My name is April McInnes and I am from Glenburnie, Ontario on the traditional lands of the Anishinaabe and the Haudenosaunee. I attend Queen’s University on the same territories. As a 22-year old, white, able-bodied, settler woman, I acknowledge that I have social privileges that are not allotted to all people. The pictures on the lid of my bundle boxes illustrate some of these privileges. For example, my grandparents were the first settlers in my neighbourhood, and my family has had the privilege of residing on this land for generations whereas this was not the case for many Indigenous peoples who were forcibly displaced. I have been educated in institutions that reflect and represent me and my culture, and my belief systems have never been questioned by others. School has always been a positive space for me, and my family’s ideals have been reflected and perpetuated within the education system. I have been able to participate in western cultural events, including prom and multiple graduation ceremonies. As illustrated by all the smiles, I have felt accepted and included at school, and I recognize that this is not a privilege held by everyone.
I acknowledge that I do hold a westernized perspective, but I am committed to the ongoing process of decolonizing my thinking. I implement what I have learned about Indigenous pedagogies on a regular basis, and I leave space for reflection to ensure that I am considering the effectiveness of my teaching.
I acknowledge that I have a responsibility to include Indigenous Education - both content and pedagogy - into my classroom. Since I am not in a position to Indigenize my teaching practice on my own, I need to incorporate and center Indigenous ways of knowing
through Indigenous voices. I included settler scholar Sam McKegney’s Carrying the Burden of Peace: Reimagining Indigenous Masculinities Through Story as I feel that his research centers Indigenous voices; he acts as a mediator, weaving together the words of