Whiteboard with writing about Indigenous Land Acknowledgement and learning for English students

Community and Identity: The Role of Indigenous Perspectives in English Education

May 28, 2024

Integrating Indigenous perspectives, histories, and knowledge systems into our classrooms is a transformative journey that goes beyond curriculum enhancement. By incorporating Indigenous perspectives across all subjects, we not only honour the rich heritage of Indigenous communities but also nurture a more inclusive and interconnected learning environment for all students.

At Robert Bateman, our English department’s commitment to indigenizing education is evident in our holistic approach. Our department members have worked to infuse Indigenous voices and narratives into our curriculum for all English courses 9 to 12, including English First Peoples 11 & 12. A pivotal aspect of this journey has been the careful selection and incorporation of new Indigenous novels at each grade level, enriching our students' literary experiences with diverse perspectives and stories.

Moreover, our department's collaborative approach has led to the creation of Indigenized units and activities that encourage students to critically engage with Indigenous texts, themes, and the First People’s principles of learning. Through this process, we strive to authentically represent Indigenous voices and stories while exploring their intersections with broader themes in literature and society.

Our department’s guiding questions reflect our commitment to these meaningful learning experiences: How can we ensure authenticity and respect in representing Indigenous cultures? How do these narratives challenge and expand our understanding of identity, community, and belonging? By engaging with these inquiries, we aim to foster not just academic growth but also cultivate community-minded thinking and a profound appreciation for the diverse tapestry of human experience.


  • English 9: Elatsoe by Darcie Little Badger, Indian Horse by Richard Wagamese
  • English 10: Lexeywa: I Pass the Torch to You by Beatrice Silver, The Truth About Stories by Thomas King
  • English 11 & EFP 11: Five Little Indians by Michelle Goode, They Called Me Number One by Bev Sellars
  • English 12 & EFP 12: Monkey Beach by Eden Robinson, The Marrow Thieves by Cherie Dimaline, One Native Life by Richard Wagamese, Cottagers & Indians by Drew Hayden Taylor, Daughters of Copper Woman by Anne Cameron

Robert Bateman Secondary School