64. Honouring In(di)genuity with Kiera Brant Birioukov

How might we learn from generations of “in(di)genuity” to find resilience, adaptation, and innovation during Covid? Today on the show I speak with the incredible Kiera Brant Birioukov. 

There is something so special about Kiera and her research that is impossible to ignore when you listen to this conversation. Maybe it is her hopeful optimism, her contagious love for learning and education, or perhaps it is the power of her vulnerability…whatever it is, I know you will appreciate Kiera’s work as much as me after spending some time with her today.

Kiera is a Haudenosaunee woman from Tyendinaga Mohawk territory who recently has been appointed as an assistant professor at York University in their faculty of education. Kiera’s writing and research focuses on Haudenosaunee Thought, Indigenous Curriculum Theory, Reconciliatory Pedagogies, and Indigenous Language Revitalization.

In this conversation, we talk about what settlers can learn from Indigenous communities to not just “get through this time”, but to actually thrive, we talk about her research on teacher education in New Zealand, language revitalization, and the importance of relationships between settlers and Indigenous knowledge keepers. 

I’m just speaking for myself, but I think you will agree after you hear this conversation, I wish that I knew Kiera when I was first learning to become a teacher. Her kindness, wisdom, and perspective are all so needed in our profession and I am so grateful that she took the time today to be with us.

Click on the Soundcloud link above to listen to the episode.

Teaching Tomorrow is a podcast that is recorded on the traditional territory of many nations including the Haudenosaunee, Mississaugas of the Credit, the Anishinabe, and the Chippewa. I have benefitted immensely from the many ways this land has been taken care of by generations before me and the unfair treaties that have been signed that made it easy for my ancestors to purchase land and live in this area. 

Wherever you are listening today, I hope that you too can take a moment and think about the land where you are right now and feel your feet on the earth. Actually put your feet on the ground if you can and think about where you are and why you are here. Many of you listening today are settler teachers: we have a responsibility to repair past wrongdoings and systemic injustices. After listening to Kiera speak, I have made a donation to a local language revitalization program in Toronto and I encourage you to do the same if you are able. I’ve included some links below for how you might do this. 

A warm thank you to Kiera for coming on the show today and sharing her work and her research with us. 

That’s all the time we have for today folks, keep stepping into your vulnerability, and remember we are teaching tomorrow.

Things Mentioned In This Show:

Language Revitalization Programs:

https://ncct.on.ca/

https://www.firstvoices.com/explore/FV/sections/Data/Kwak’wala/Kwak%CC%93wala/Kwak%CC%93wala

https://gdins.org/programs-and-courses/what-we-offer/

Kiera’s Article I mentioned “Covid-19 and In(dig)genuity: Lessons from Indigenous resilience, adaptation, and innovation in times of crisis”

Kiera on Twitter 

 

About the Author
Passionate and curious about technology, smiles, special education, differentiated instruction, forests, graphic novels, accessibility, anti-oppression, and warm beverages. Can often be found laughing with young people and improvising songs on the spot. @teach_tomorrow

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