UBC Community, Partners, and Alumni Publications

Braided Learning : Illuminating Indigenous Presence through Art and Story [Book Supplement] Dion, Susan D.


The Truth and Reconciliation Commission and Indigenous activism have made many Canadians uncomfortably aware of how little they know about First Nations, Métis, and Inuit peoples. In Braided Learning, Lenape-Potawatomi scholar and educator Susan Dion shares her approach to learning and teaching about Indigenous histories and perspectives. Métis leader Louis Riel illuminated the connection between creativity and identity in his declaration, “My people will sleep for a hundred years, but when they awake, it will be the artists who give them their spirits back.” Using the power of stories and artwork, Dion offers respectful ways to address challenging topics including treaties, the Indian Act, the Sixties Scoop, land claims, resurgence, the drive for self-determination, and government policies that undermine language, culture, and traditional knowledge systems. Braided Learning draws on Indigenous knowledge and world views to explain perspectives that are often missing from the national narrative. This generous work is an invaluable resource for Canadians trying to make sense of a difficult past, decode unjust conditions in the present, and work toward a more equitable future. The documents available here are a video of Susan D. Dion giving her historical timeline lecture (discussed in Chapter 3 of the book) and a colour supplement showing the artworks of the Indigenous artists featured in the book (Chapter 4). The artwork is shared by permission of the artists.

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