Applying First Nations Holistic Lifelong Learning to the Study of Crime

Jonathan Anuik


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


Higher Education; First Nations Holistic Lifelong Learning; Teaching Methods

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