Steps on the Path towards Decolonization: A Reflection on Learning, Experience, and Practice in Academic Support at the University of Manitoba
This essay comes out of a panel presentation featured at the 2018 Canadian Association Writing Centres Conference entitled, “Steps on the Path of Decolonization” where representatives of the Academic Learning Centre and the Indigenous Student Centre from the University of Manitoba collaborated to discuss how our student support offices have made efforts at decolonizing our work. We three women of Canadian Settler, International, and Indigenous backgrounds reflect on how the journey on the path towards decolonization has been for us personally, and on how post-secondary institutions can move forward with the work of decolonization, particularly within Writing/Learning Centres. Key themes included the need for ongoing learning, the value of building collaborative relationships, and the importance of creating safe and inviting spaces. Our conclusions suggest that decolonization is a complex journey for individuals and for post-secondary institutions.
To begin in a good way, the writers would like to acknowledge that we work at the University of Manitoba, which is located on original lands of Anishinaabeg, Cree, Oji-Cree, Dakota, and Dene Peoples, and on the homeland of the Métis Nation.
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