Schmidt, H. (2019). Indigenizing and Decolonizing the Teaching of Psychology: Reflections on the Role of the Non-Indigenous Ally. American Journal of Community Psychology, 64(1-2), 59-71.

Canada’s 2015 Truth and Reconciliation Commission published 94 Calls to Action including direction to post-secondary institutions “to integrate Indigenous knowledge and teaching methods into classrooms” as well as to “build student capacity for intercultural understanding, empathy, and mutual respect.” In response, Canadian universities have rushed to “Indigenize” and are now competing to hire Indigenous faculty, from a limited pool of applicants. However, it is missing the true spirit of reconciliation for non-Indigenous faculty to continue with the status quo while assigning the sole responsibility of Indigenizing curriculum to these new hires. How can non-Indigenous psychology professors change their teaching to ensure that all students acquire an appreciation of traditional Indigenous knowledge about holistic health and healing practices, as well as an understanding of Canada’s history of racist colonization practices and its intergenerational effects? Community psychologists, particularly those who have established relationships with Indigenous communities, have an important role to play. In this article, I survey the existing literature on Indigenizing and decolonizing psychological curriculum and share ways in which I have integrated Indigenous content into my psychology courses. I also reflect upon the successes, questions, and ongoing challenges that have emerged as I worked in collaboration with first Anisinaabek First Nations and then Mi’kmaw/L’nu First Nations.