Applying First Nations Holistic Lifelong Learning to the Study of Crime


  • Jonathan Anuik University of Alberta



Higher Education, First Nations Holistic Lifelong Learning, Teaching Methods


Since the 1970s, critics have asked universities to “do more” to support Indigenous learners and learning. Universities usually respond by increasing Indigenous student and faculty representation on campuses and adding on units with Indigenous content in existing courses. However, a lot of curriculum and pedagogy remains vacant of Indigenous understandings of learning and perspectives on higher education content and topics for discussion. This paper applies epistemological lessons in the First Nations Holistic Lifelong Learning Model (2007) to the study of crime in America. Its inspiration comes from a guest lecture delivered by myself in an introductory sociology class. The students who take this class are registered in professional programs at a large private university in Rhode Island, United States. I describe the class’s context and use of the model with students in an engaged inquiry format to talk about the subject of the day: crime. This discussion can help faculty consider promising practices for grounding course content in Indigenous epistemologies.

             Keywords: Indigenous epistemologies; crime; higher education

Author Biography

Jonathan Anuik, University of Alberta

Jonathan Anuik is assistant professor in the Theoretical, Cultural and International Studies in Education, specializing in the Educational Policy Studies department at the University of Alberta. He holds a PhD and Bachelor of Arts (high honours) in history from the University of Saskatchewan. His research and publications focus on the history of Métis education, nourishing the learning spirit, First Nation, Métis, and Inuit education policies, First Nation, Métis, and Inuit histories, concepts of childhood in Canadian history, and history of intellectual life in Canadian faculties of education.