Manitoba Collaboration Pulls Together and Launches Regionally-Specific Indigenization Foundational Guide
September 15, 2021
Elders, Knowledge Keepers, community members, and Indigenous organizations across Manitoba have ‘pulled together’ to work alongside Assiniboine Community College (ACC), Brandon University (BU), and Campus Manitoba (CMB) to adapt the Pulling Together Foundations Guide for Manitoba.
Originally created in British Columbia as part of a larger Indigenization project, the Pulling Together: Manitoba Foundations Guide (Brandon Edition) will provide a starting point for those who want to learn more about Indigenous Peoples in the Prairie region of Canada and those who wish to begin their journey of understanding Canada’s colonial legacy.
In 2019, the stars aligned for this unprecedented community collaboration when Assiniboine’s Vice President Academic, Dr. Deanna Rexe, brought the original B.C. resource to the attention of the Assiniboine community for consideration of adopting for the college’s cultural diversity training objectives. Not long thereafter, Assiniboine was approached by BU and CMB, who were looking at adapting the foundation guide for Manitoba.
“We all need to pull the load together. The time has come to recognize differences, acknowledge them and accept that we are stronger together. We are a blend. We have heard it so many ways. Think of the blades of sweetgrass braided together and how strong it becomes. We want to share our stories and get everyone thinking about how we live, how we interact and how we could strengthen our communities if we are all pulling the load. We can do better,” said Leah LaPlante, Vice President at Manitoba Metis Federation.
One recurring theme throughout is that this guide is not a definitive resource, as First Nations, Metis, and Inuit perspectives, stories, and approaches are diverse across Turtle Island. This is meant to be a starting place where people can continue their learning off the page and into the communities in Manitoba and beyond.
“We are grateful for the opportunity to work with community partners, Brandon University, and Campus Manitoba in adapting this resource,” said Kris Desjarlais, Director of Indigenous Education at Assiniboine. “The guidance we received from Elders, Knowledge Keepers and Indigenous organizations authenticated the process. We look forward to sharing the resource with staff, students and the broader community.”
The Pulling Together: Manitoba Foundations Guide (Brandon edition) is an open educational resource. The resource can be found at pressbooks.openedmb.ca/pullingtogethermanitoba. For more information about open education in Manitoba, visit openedmb.ca.