Pillars of Literacy 3-5

Decolonizing Our Practice

WAYI WAH! (Let’s go; it’s time!) – Jo Chrona

The Richmond School District is located on the traditional unceded territory of the hən̓q̓əmin̓əm̓ speaking language group. It is an honour to teach, learn and live here.

“Honouring Indigenous-informed pedagogical approaches and creating anti-racist education systems is not accomplished by creating and implementing a lesson plan or reading one book. It happens when we commit to learning and doing differently. It happens when we work together.” (Jo Chrona, 2022). The following are some questions to consider and resources to support decolonizing our practice.

Questions to consider:

Many of the questions below come from Jo Chrona’s book WAYI WAH! Indigenous Pedagogies: An Act for Reconciliation and Anti-Racist Education. For more reflection questions and ideas for taking action, consider reading the book.

  • ​Who are your learners? Where do they come from? What are they passionate about?
  • In what ways do you provide learners with opportunities to share their stories and to listen to the stories of others?
  • How are you supporting a sense of belonging and community for all learners?
  • How can you use the power of story and narrative to learn across curricular areas?
  • In what ways do the learning experiences provide your learners with opportunities to connect what they are learning with who they are, their families and their communities?
  • How are you developing relationships with your learners’ families and communities? In what ways are your learners’ families included in their learning?
  • How are you supporting connection and re-connection to land, community and place?
  • In what ways are you providing multiple access points to engage learners from where they are?
  • How can you provide opportunities for learners to choose how to represent their thinking, learning and understanding?
  • How are you honouring the First Peoples Principles of Learning in the decisions and choices you make each day?
When considering texts and resources:
  • Whose voices are represented? Whose voices are missing?
  • Who are we privileging?
  • What opportunities do your learners have to regularly see themselves reflected in the texts and resources in your classroom?
  • What opportunities do your learners have to engage with texts that offer another perspective or worldview?
  • What opportunities do your learners have to learn from Indigenous story (oral, written, visual and digital)?
  • What authentic Indigenous resources are you using in your classroom? As often as possible, are you using resources that have been developed locally?
  • When choosing a text to use, who is the author?


Diverse Texts for Classroom Use:

Carolyn Roberts Books for Classrooms List: Authentic Indigenous Voices
click here


SD38 Anti-Racism Book List (curated in 2020)click here


French Immersion Book List – click here


Resources to Support Your Learning:

WAYI WAH! by Jo Chrona

​Ensouling Our Schools by Jennifer Katz


​Cultivating Genius by Gholdy Muhammad


​Carolyn Roberts Resource Books for Your Own Learning
click here


​Jo Chrona’s Blogclick here


First Nations Education Steering Committeeclick here


​Decolonizing Teaching, Indigenizing Learning (UBC) 
click here


​Musqueam – click here


Inclusive Practices:
  • Getting to know your learners, who they are and what they are passionate about
  • Providing choice
    • text
    • ways to represent thinking, learning and stories
    • materials
    • the environment
  • Providing multiple access points to meet all learners where they are at
  • Incorporating multi-modalities
  • Honouring student voice
  • Providing opportunities for students to share their stories and hear the stories of others
  • Using Universal Design for Learning (UDL) to plan for all learning
  • Developing connections to learners’ families and communities
  • Supporting students to make connections to place, community and past life experiences to support understanding
  • Considering all worldviews and perspectives
  • Considering the triangulation of evidence (observations, conversations and artifacts) when gathering assessment information