“Kikédasowin kakina awiya ci kéndang, migézi minoginawasowak.”

“Education is vitally important because it gives us the knowledge and skills to build a better future for our children and grandchildren.”

My Teaching Philosophy

Every class I teach has been unique and there hasn’t been a class or a student that hasn’t taught me something. I am always inspired by student’s optimism, hard work, dedication, curiosity and their thirst to know and do more.

I teach because I love to learn and share what I’ve learned with others. I believe teaching and learning is life long.

I know I am a successful teacher if I have broadened your understanding of a topic, challended and opened your mind to new perspectives, and inspired you to keep learning, searching, and exploring.

Teaching is about creating a supportive learning community, transforming our understanding and planting the seeds that will continue to grow and flourish.



  • INDG 401: Social Determinants of Indigenous Peoples Health
  • INDG 403: Indigenous Language Revitalization and Resurgence
  • INDG 603: Critical and Indigenous Methodologies


  • ANTH 355: Indigenous Peoples in Canada
  • ANTH 410: Contemporary Indigenous Affairs
  • ANTH 603: Qualitative Health Research Methods
  • ANTH 603: Anthropology of Death and Dying
  • ANTH 603: Critical Medical Anthropology


  • WMST 201: Introduction to Women & Gender Studies
  • WMST 295: Indigenous Women & Gender Perspectives


This professional development opportunity allows you to focus your training in the field of Aboriginal community support. With an emphasis on a person/family-centered and holistic approach to community support, you gain the core training required for all community support workers. Topics include: Aboriginal traditional knowledge systems, Aboriginal law, reconciliation, and motivational interviewing. Graduates are prepared to work in entry-level positions under direction and supervision, and practice professionally as part of a support team in community based organizations that work with Aboriginal people.

Teepee Teaching

Teepee Teaching is a metaphor that informs my teaching philosophy. In Cree and Anishibaabe teachings, the teepee is a woman with a shawl wrapped around her shoulders with her arms raised to the sky, giving thanks to Creator.

The 15 poles represent:

  • Respect
  • Guidance
  • Humility
  • Happiness
  • Love
  • Trust
  • Kinship
  • Cleanliness
  • Thankfulness
  • Sharing
  • Strength
  • Good child rearing
  • Hope
  • Responsibility
  • Interconnectedness

The poles represent the unique experiences and perspectives of each student. Although they are spaced apart around the perimeter, they meet and intersect at the top. The interconnections and relationships transform our growth and understanding. If one pole were erected without the others, it would fall to the ground. Therefore, we lean and support one another throughout our lifelong learning journey.

The teepee over is the context that brings us all together, and represents the classroom. The fire in the middle of the teepee symbolizes our passion for knowledge and understanding, and the wood that fuels the fire is the content, readings, exercises, and conversations.


Valerie Fox

Barbra Horsefall

Judy Half

Sharon Foster

Cynthia Fasola

Effective Teaching


As an instructor, my role is to facilitate learning through leadership and providing context and content. We are a community of learners and it is important that the classroom is an ethical and safe space to ask questions and express ourselves.


Not everything will be understood today or tomorrow and it’s okay to make mistakes. Learning is a life long journey and lessons continue to grow long after the course is complete.


Transformative praxis and change: “There is a need to move beyond mere description of problems and issues to makeing sure that change does in fact occur,” (Smith 2005: 41).


The greatest satisfaction as an instructor is watching students success. However, we are also here to support you and provide guidance.

Balance: Gwayooshgawin

“Knowledge is inherent in all things. The world was a library and its books were the stones, leaves, grass, brooks and the birds and animals that shared, alike with us, the storms and blessings of the earth. We learn to do what only the students of nature ever learn, that is to feel its beauty,” (Chief Luther Standing Bear 1868-1939).

Relationship & Reconciliation

As Canadians, we all have a role and responsiblity to reconcile our history and create, “a vibrant inclusive Canada where all peoples achieve their full potential and shared prosperity” (Reconciliation Canada).

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