Settler mindsets are deeply engrained with Eurocentric ideals and colonial identity. The study examined how reconciliation has occurred through education initiatives, the historical context for which the Following Their Voices (FTV) initiative stemmed from, and the critiques of reconciliation initiatives. Investigating how de-colonizing the mindset of settler-teachers occurs through culturally responsive pedagogy, examining one’s own settler consciousness and mindset and becoming an agent of change. The study explored how the FTV initiative, in a northern Saskatchewan public school hindered or advanced settler-teacher abilities to explore positionality, bias, privilege and continued reflection for improving the educational experiences for Indigenous students. A qualitative investigation occurred to explore the phenomenon while focusing on social constructionism. Purposive sampling was used to choose six respondents who participated in semi-structured interviews to help establish the perspectives and experiences of fellow settler-teachers. Coming to terms with being labelled a settler-teacher, and that we are visitors to these lands now known as Canada is the first step in positioning oneself. The frequency and opportunity of reflection in the structured FTV meetings and discourse to best support Indigenous students in the school proved to be positive experiences. With the funding and support being cut, there has not been enough time to establish these practices as norms. Implementation, lack of continuity and not normalizing critical self-reflection proved to hinder progress throughout the program and continue to be barriers moving forward. Consistent critical self-reflection, affective processing and meaning making is suggested by scholars for authentic and sustained change to occur for the improved relationships and learning for Indigenous students.

Author: Gabriel J. Andrews

Published in: Canada International Conference on Education, 2022

  • Date of Conference: 21-23 June, 2022
  • DOI: 10.20533/CICE.2022.0037
  • Electronic ISBN: 978-1-913572-49-5
  • Conference Location: Virtual (Mississauga, Canada)