Indigenous Education in Higher Education in Canada: Settler Re-Education Through New Materialist Theory

  • Jeannie Kerr


In this viewpoint, I consider the contributions of new materialist theorizing to the field of Indigenous educational initiatives in Canadian universities in the context of Settler colonialism. Acknowledging the important work of the Canadian Truth and Reconciliation Commission, I explore the decolonial pedagogical priorities in higher education that have emerged in the context of national truth-telling over longstanding violences to Indigenous peoples in Canada. Framing part of this work as ‘Settler Re-Education’, I provide detail to the material and discursive context of Settler colonialism in Canadian society, and follow with a discussion of the ways that new materialisms and Barad’s agential realism provide theoretical grounding and pedagogical possibilities in Setter re-education. I conclude by sharing my related pedagogical practices in higher education that draw on a methodology of Barad’s re-turning to explore with students the diffracted patterns that emerge through material-discursive entanglements in Settler colonial society constituted by ethical indebtedness.


Settler colonialism Higher education Teacher education New materialism Indigenous knowledges 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jeannie Kerr
    • 1
  1. 1.University of WinnipegWinnipegCanada

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