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The Department of Education's Commitment to Action on Systematic Racism

Recent events have called to attention the impact of oppression, injustice and inequities on Black communities.

The Faculty of Health, Community and Education’s strategic plan 2019–24 is based on Ani to pisi — the spider web (Blackfoot). One of our goals is promoting a healthy community with an intention to support diversity and inclusion of all people, including Black, Indigenous, People of Colour, LGBTQIA+ communities and all those suffering at the hands of systemic racism. As leaders of HCE, we acknowledge that we have not done enough and we are committed to working with the HCE community to do more. We turned to our Espoom Tah Elder Roy Bear Chief to share his wisdom and perspective on what’s happening and our role in creating a world that respects all.

Stephen Price
Dean, Faculty of Health, Community and Education

Elizabeth Van Den Kerkhof
Director, School of Nursing and Midwifery

 

I am the Espoom tah or Helper for the Faculty of Health, Community and Education. I would like to include my thoughts on Black Lives Matter through my Blackfoot worldview and lenses.

According to the Blackfoot creation story of Ani to pisi which is the “spider web”, vibrations within the web indicates that there is a problem and we must attend to the vibration as it is our duty to go and help. A major vibration has occurred and it has brought global attention to the vibration. People have responded in droves. But after the dust settles, how do we sustain the momentum and harness the energy generated from all this response? How do we go from misunderstood to understood to understand and continue to push forward in addressing racism as well as colonialism. One is embedded in the other. A major global challenge that should have been undertaken years and years ago. Never too late. If we look at each other as being one and leaving out the colour of our skins will certainly lead to the belief that we are all related even with the plants, animals, and our environment as a whole.

Leroy Little Bear’s words sums it up best:

If everything is animate.
Then everything has spirit and knowledge.
If everything has spirit and knowledge.
Then all are like me.
If all are like me.
Then all are my relations.

Iika nai kso ko watsi yopa, in other words, “we are all related”. Let us not forget that. Thank you and God bless.

Espoom Tah Elder Roy Bear Chief

Bachelor of Education — Elementary (BEd)

Mount Royal University's collaborative and challenging educational environment features innovative teaching practices that push beyond the ordinary, including digital, arts-based and experiential learning. Our students and graduates value reflective engagement and are committed to creating strong community relationships.

Our dedicated students and graduates are:

  • innovative and responsive teachers with courses in assessment, inclusive education and all areas of the core curriculum

  • informed and thoughtful educators with capacity for theory-practise integration

  • prepared to lead the development of STEAM learning experiences and other cross-curricular integration

  • becoming knowledgeable in Indigenous ways of life, including some placements in Indigenous schools

  • penriched through a wide array of learning experiences with our community partnerships

Featured Links

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Tim Horton Children's Ranch

Alternative Practicum settings

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Ann and Sandy Cross

Place-based experiential education