Decolonization Reflection Activity – 35 minutes

Developed by: Alicia Hibbert & Rebecca Shortt

The following activity is an adapted 1-2-4-All Activity with the theme of decolonization. This was first completed in a setting with 15 people with a limited timeframe of 35 minutes – I include it here in that short format so you can see how it can be applied easily within limited parameters.

5 minutes – Introduction:

  • Land Acknowledgement: I begin with a land acknowledgement for the territory where the group is being facilitated. I situate my own knowledge and experiences (ie: within or outside of that territory).
  • Oral Tradition: For this activity, I don’t use slides, etc. as one means of getting groups comfortable with oral approaches to learning, as is common across Indigenous groups.
  • Safe Spaces: A skilled and knowledgeable facilitator can help to create a safe space for sharing within the group, while also having some answers to the group’s questions. A primer in UNDRIP and TRC Calls to Action for your industry/area would be greatly beneficial. I let all participants know that it is acceptable and safe in this setting to answer questions with “I don’t know.” In an ideal setting, this might include grounding the discussion in ceremony and allowing for enough time for reflection. For this discussion, I pre-chose a set of with/out modernity cards to provoke further thought at a level I thought would fit best with the group.

5 minutes – On your own, write down your thoughts about these 2 questions:

  • What does decolonization mean to you? Or, how could it look to you?
  • How can you do the work of decolonization or Indigenous engagement in your role? (Prompt: How could you get more information to learn more? What could you change about what you’re already doing at work to include Indigenous perspectives?)

5 minutes – In pairs – ie: turning to your network – discuss what you have reflected on. Note any questions that have arisen during your reflections.

5 minutes – In groups of 4, choose a with/out modernity card, which asks a question to provoke further thinking.

15 minutes – As an entire group, sit in a circle, using an item of significance or grounding to pass around to each person, speaking in turn going clockwise around the circle. I begin myself to provide a template for others. For this discussion, I use my Metis sash, but have also used rocks, especially those received from an Elder. With the short time available to us, I had the group respond to:

  • Describe a word or quick remark about the process we went through today or any lingering questions you have about decolonization and Indigenous engagement.

Please comment below if you used this activity – let me know how it went!

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