Journeying Toward a Praxis of Indigenous Maternal Pedagogy: Lessons From Our Sweetgrass Baskets
Brant, Jennifer Rose
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This qualitative inquiry explored the value of Indigenous Maternal Pedagogy, an Indigenous women-centred approach, to consider the effects this unique teaching and learning engagement had on the cultural identity development, holistic well-being, academic success, and community engagement of Indigenous women. Through Indigenous Maternal Methodology, I worked closely with an Elder to implement a series of sharing circles to gather the narratives of Indigenous women who had completed one or more of the classes where Indigenous Maternal Pedagogy was enacted. I connect Maternal Pedagogies with Indigenous epistemologies that embrace the “whole student” within educational contexts. Thus, Indigenous Maternal Pedagogy extends Maternal Pedagogies by drawing from an Indigenous women-centred worldview to establish a teaching and learning environment that can speak to the hearts and minds of students. In the spirit of reconciliation, I position this environment as a safe space where students can be their whole authentic selves and where their realities and lived experiences are positioned as strengths and key assets to establishing an ethical space for cross-cultural and anti-racist dialogue. My final chapter extends Indigenous Maternal Pedagogy to all students and includes a section that aligns this teaching praxis with the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s (2016) Calls to Action in the spirit of advancing safe Homeplaces for all learners, educators, and scholars to become involved in reconciliation.