Foregrounding Indigenous Perspectives on Open Education

Open education (OE) is often framed as a part of a social justice movement with a focus on transparency, community, accessibility, and affordability. Within this context, OE and open educational resources (OER) have a great potential to develop culturally responsive supports for the sharing of Indigenous Knowledges, language revitalization, and cultural resurgence that is in keeping with the communities’ educational advocacy efforts. However, without a greater understanding of Indigenous communities and stakeholder needs, OE can replicate inequities existing within the very foundations of educational practice instead of being transformative. This session will delve into Indigenous perspectives of the movement through an analysis of the tensions, barriers, and potential alignments with OE. The session will also provide insight into needed practices and approaches to ensure the OE movement is truly transformative when engaging with Indigenous Knowledges, language, and culture.  

The session will provide an opportunity for small group discussion and brainstorming about principles for open education and Indigenous engagement. The groups will be given a set of questions to explore in the development of principles, policies, and practices that could be adopted universally around OE and Indigenous engagement (similar to OCAP but for OE). The groups will be asked to assign a scribe to take notes in a shared electronic document (e.g. Google doc). The group will also assign a reporter to share the group’s ideas. These documents will be collated and shared with interested participants through the presenters’ website:

Learning Outcomes

  • Understand the tensions Indigenous communities and stakeholders have with the open education movement 
  • Identify the barriers and gaps in the framing of the open education movement as it relates to Indigenous Knowledges, language, and culture  
  • Apply a set of research-informed principles when engaging with Indigenous communities and stakeholders in OE activities 

We hope you join us for this session!