Congratulations to Jody Dlouhy-Nelson, our Vicki Green Graduate Award recipient!
The Vicki Green Graduate Award recipient is selected based on how their research will implement contemplative, transformational, imaginative or creative interdisciplinary understandings in sustainability for children, youth or teachers.
QUESTION AND ANSWER WITH SESSION WITH Jody
What does receiving the award mean to you?
Receiving this award is an honour. I believe it comes with a responsibility to be reciprocal in my research, as well as in my work with teacher candidates as I go forward. The work of Vicki Green, and her foresight and generosity in establishing this award to inspire implementation of contemplative, transformational, imaginative, or creative interdisciplinary understandings in sustainability for children, youth, or teachers could not be more important than it is now. Living in this time when non-Indigenous people on the land we call Canada are facing the concrete realities of the “Truth” of Truth & Reconciliation brings with it a duty to act. While the Truth was known and shared by Residential School survivors, those who were less connected from the experience did not have to “face” it until now.
As Dr. Green says, when you are in touch with the “wild place in your soul,” you are your most creative self. With the Land as our teacher, and Indigenous Knowledge in all parts of the world holding years of wisdom and understanding that have been passed down through generations, we discover transformative ways of being, and we find the beauty of imagination. Where I live, study and work, the wisdom and teachings of the Syilx Okanagan Peoples come via the Captikʷɬ of the People, and all of these things I have learned from the teachings of Dr. Bill Cohen and Dr. Jeanette Armstrong.
What has your experience been like with the Okanagan School of Education?
My experience with OSE has been invigorating, interesting, and inspiring. I have had the blessing of working with diverse minds on a variety of teams who are all working toward the same aspirations, which involve preparing and supporting the Teacher Candidates of our program to exercise their informed agency and their thinking capacity to deal with the complexities they will face as they support the learning of future generations working within the context of the TRC calls to action.
What is your research project?
In my research, I seek to understand and articulate how our Teacher Candidates take up the work of decolonizing and Indigenizing the learning spaces they create for their students. I ask whether the experiences they have in the Teacher Education program are linked to their decolonizing and Indigenizing efforts.
Why did you choose that topic?
This is a topic that has become increasingly important in the context we are in. I believe strongly in the capacity of Education to be transformative in terms of shifting the world view of our practice to the Land and all that it can teach us. The land we work, study and live upon is the unceded territory of the Syilx Okanagan People. Viewing the Land as our teacher is the worldview found in the environmental ethic—the pedagogy of the Syilx Peoples—as articulated by Dr. Jeannette Armstrong, Dr. Bill Cohen, and the Elders and Knowledge Keepers of the Syilx Okanagan Nation who tirelessly, generously and patiently share their teachings.
Dr. Vicki Green talks about this award as being inspired by her “passion for the outdoors” and she created it “to advance an integrated understanding of our place in nature.” Dr. Green’s work has a deep kinship with all of the Syilx learnings about land and water I have so far been privileged to learn.
What difference do you hope your research will make?
I expect to add to a body of research which concerns teacher candidates embracing and embodying decolonization and Indigenization as they go through their teacher education at University, and as they proceed into their careers as educators. Currently, there is a need for more research which helps us to understand the process teacher candidates undergo to internalize and practice decolonizing and Indigenizing education ways.
What advice do you have for future graduate students?
For those who are considering graduate studies, my advice is to ask yourself what you are committed to, and why. If you have a deep level of commitment and you are ready for a multi-year pursuit, and if you are open to inter-disciplinary work, then I would strongly recommend applying to do Interdisciplinary Graduate Studies at UBCO. Nothing in my life experience to date compares with how this experience has strengthened my capacity to shift lenses and consider things from world views other than the Anglo-Eurocentric lens which I grew up in, shielded from the truth of what was done to children born of this land, and shielded from the truth of what we are doing to the land.
Graduate Supervisor: Dr. Margaret Macintyre Latta