Decolonizing and Indigenizing: What’s my role as an educator?

In this session, Alana Johnson, Jen Hill, and Jenn Treble will share some of their own journeys of decolonizing and Indigenizing self and how that has developed into their teaching practice, particularly through drumming. We have all taken missteps, such as appropriating from or misrepresenting Indigenous cultures in the past, and this conversation is designed to turn those into learning experiences that inform our practice. We will discuss what it means (and doesn't mean!) to decolonize and Indigenize our classrooms, some appropriate protocols that can enhance the learning experiences and worldviews of you and your students, and some "don't do this in your classroom" basics. This discussion is designed for all levels of education. Please bring your thoughts and questions for breakout group discussion and a question and response period.

Target Audience



10:30 AM - 11:45 AM

This session is full.


  • IED SD 61
    Alana Johnson

    Alana Johnson haan.uu dii kiiG̱aaga. T’alang kaayxal ga. T’alang kyaanuusali ga.

    Alana Johnson belongs to the Raven matrilineage of the Haida nation, specifically to the kyaanuusali clan and Star house. She is Haida and British-Canadian. Her British family settled in lək̓ʷəŋən, W̱SÁNEĆ, and xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) territories in her grandparents' generation. She was born and learned most of what she knows on lək̓ʷəŋən territory and is grateful for the land that has sustained and taught her throughout her life. She is awaay (mother/aunt) to her daughter (ʔiiḥatisʔaqsup) and her sisters' children and carries that as a sacred responsibility.

    Until her recent move to We Wai Kai/We Wai Kum territory (Campbell River), she was the choir teacher at PKOLS Secondary (Mount Douglas) in the Greater Victoria School District. She is a piano teacher, an Indigenous role model in the Sooke School District, is the Indigenous Drumming Teacher Consultant for SD 61, teaches Indigenous Studies at Camosun College, and actively pursues language studies in both nuučaan̓uł (Nuu-chah-nulth) and Xaayda kil (Skidegate Haida).

    She is grateful for the strength of her kuuniisii (ancestors) and to her many Indigenous and musician mentors over the years, and is excited to be part of (re)conciliation in c\a\n\a\d\a by equipping educators to gain new skills, engage in challenging conversations, and build relationships between individuals and communities.

  • SD61, École Arbutus Global Middle School
    Jen Hill

    Jen Hill was born and raised on Lkwungen and WSANEC territory. She is of Nlaka’pamux, Metis (Cree), English, Scottish, Irish, Norwegian, Swedish and Austrian ancestry. Jen teaches Music, Drama and supports international students at École Arbutus Global Middle School. She has been involved in the creation of a district-wide Indigenous drumming initiative for SD61, and enjoys collaborating with colleagues to connect students to the land and Indigenous teachings. She is grateful for all of the mentors and elders that have helped her connect to Indigenous teachings and her ancestry.

  • SD61, Esquimalt High School
    Jenn Treble

    Jenn Treble was born and raised on Treaty 4 Territory (Regina, SK), and has been a grateful visitor on Lkwungen Territory since 2005. She is of English, Irish, German, and South Korean ancestry. Jenn teaches Music, English, and Careers courses at Esquimalt High School, and is involved in a district-wide Indigenous drumming initiative for SD61.