Teaching and Learning About Justice Through Wahkohtowin
(2014) 4 Annual Review of Interdisciplinary Justice Research 182-210.
29 Pages Posted: 4 Oct 2017
Date Written: October 3, 2014
In this article, we describe an innovative interdisciplinary and community-based class in Saskatoon, Canada, about justice that brought together university students, Aboriginal high school students and former gang members. We called our project “Wahkohtowin” – or “kinship” in Cree. In the first section of this article, we provide some background about how we came together to collaborate on the Wahkohtowin project. We analyze key aspects of the critical pedagogy and methods of the class, including the importance of “Wahkohtowin” to critical understandings of both education and justice. We reflect particularly on the significance of the circle to our pedagogy; the “embodied” nature of learning in the class; and the centrality of personal narratives, both in their own right and as lenses through which to interpret legal and literary texts. We demonstrate how our pedagogy functioned to form a critical counter-narrative to dominant understandings of justice and to empower students to seek ways to resist injustice and work across differences in solidarity with one another.
Keywords: justice education; community-based education; Indigenous pedaogies
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