While there is a recent trend in postsecondary education towards including mandatory Indigenous content as part of program requirements, Confederation College has been embedding Indigenous knowledge into curriculum since 2011 through specially developed Indigenous Learning Outcomes (ILO). The infusion of ILOs into program-specific courses throughout the College is intended to provide students with opportunities to develop an understanding of Indigenous culture, context, and worldview in relation to their chosen career field. As outlined in the Negahneewin Council 10 Year Vision, the ILOs also afford students the opportunity to engage in their role as global citizens who demonstrate respect for a diversity of perspectives.
The ILOs are a set of seven competencies as follows:
- Relate principles of Indigenous knowledge to career field
- Analyze the impact of colonialism on Indigenous communities
- Explain the relationship between land and identity within Indigenous societies
- Compare Indigenous and Canadian perceptions of inclusion and diversity
- Analyze racism in relation to Indigenous peoples
- Generate strategies for reconciling Indigenous and Canadian relations
- Formulate approaches for engaging Indigenous community partners
Developed by Negahneewin College, with support from Negahneewin Council, the ILOs were created with the intention that all students foster an understanding of Indigenous worldview that respects and celebrates diversity towards social justice. The ILOs also align well with the Indigenous Education Protocol developed by Colleges and Institutes Canada, and adopted by Confederation College in 2014, which recognizes that the infusion of Indigenous knowledges into curriculum will “strengthen colleges’ and institutes’ contribution to improving the lives of learners and communities” (Colleges and Institutes Canada, n/d).
100% of Confederation’s programs currently include one or more ILOs, with the goal of having all 7 included by 2020.