Cultural Safety in the Classroom: Addressing Anti-Indigenous Racism in Education Settings
Sheila Cote-Meek and Leigh Patel
January 25, 2018
10:30 am - 12:00 pm PST 1:30 - 3:00 pm EST
Sheila Cote-Meek, Ph.D., is Anishinaabe from the Teme-Augama Anishnabai. Author of Colonized Classrooms - Racism, Trauma and Resistance in Post-Secondary Education, Sheila is a full professor in the School of Rural and Northern Health and holds a cross-appointment to the Northern Ontario School of Medicine at Laurentian University where she is also the Associate Vice-President, Academic and Indigenous Programs. As the senior lead on Indigenous initiatives, Sheila leads Indigenous academic developments across the disciplines. She has played a lead role in the development of the Indigenous Sharing and Learning Centre, the Master of Indigenous Relations program, and the Maamwizing Indigenous Research Institute at Laurentian University. Dr. Cote-Meek has focused on bringing about systemic changes that impact Indigenous learners in post- secondary education. In 2016 she was nominated as an Indigenous Role Model for the Council of Ontario Universities Future Further Campaign and in 2013 she was the recipient of a YWCA Women of Distinction Award.
Leigh Patel is part of the arrivant/forced settler group of South Asians who were displaced from South Asia to Turtle Island. She is a researcher, educator, and writer whose work addresses the narratives that facilitate societal structures. With a background in sociology, Leigh researches and teaches about education as a site of social reproduction and as a potential site for transformation. She works extensively with societally marginalized youth and teacher activists. Professor Patel has been a journalist, a teacher, and a state-level policymaker, ever-focused on the ways that education structures opportunities in society and the stories that are told about those opportunities. She is an award-winning author and has been a consistent voice in educational policymaking and policy analysis over a number of years. Her writing and research has been featured in various media outlets, and she is recipient of the June Jordan Award for scholarly leadership and poetic bravery in social critique. Professor Patel is a national board member of Education for Liberation, a long-standing organization dedicated to transformative education for and by youth of color.