Literacy through an Indigenous Lens

Indigenous education and Indigenous literacy  are complex topics. Our definitions of literacy need to be expanded beyond the production and recognition of printed texts. With the goal of preparing children for the changing expectations of the 21st century, being literate has come to be defined as the ability to understand, interpret and construct meaning across a broad range of medias. Through a decolonizing lens, this means acknowledging and legitimizing traditional Indigenous knowledge systems, sciences, and ways of understanding our worlds. Early childhood education programs that are inclusive of the diverse backgrounds of the children and families provide valuable learning opportunities and increase success in learning and life. These programs allow these children and families to familiarize themselves with the expectations of formal schooling, including literacy.

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12:45 PM - 2:15 PM

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  • Emma Joe

    Emma Joe is an Indigenous educator and pedagogist from the Nlaka’pamux nation in the central interior of British Columbia, Canada.  She is currently pursuing a Masters in Education with a focus on Early Childhood Education as well as being enrolled in an Indigenous Language Fluency Degree program. Most recently, she has been coordinating a language nest: an Indigenous language immersion early learning environment that brings together families with young children and fluent speaker Elders in a home-like space.  She works closely with Elders and community members to embed language and culture in her practice, and her life.