Decolonizing Engineering Curriculum and Culture: A Pilot Project

TitleDecolonizing Engineering Curriculum and Culture: A Pilot Project
Faculty/College/UnitApplied Science
StatusActive
Duration1 Year
Initiation04/01/2020
Project Summary

Engineering curriculum has historically emphasized objective ways of knowing, focused on math and physics, and finding ‘correct’ answers, even when there is ambiguity. Indigenous ways of knowing involve holistic views of people, communities, nations, and environments. In order to transform the engineering culture and curriculum, this project will increase faculty and students' ability to engage with Indigenous content and build important competencies.

The project goals are:

  1. Increase instructor knowledge of Indigenous ways of knowing to the point where they can lead activities in this area, through a land-based curriculum co-development process with Tahltan Nation partners.
  2. Co-develop Indigenous course activities for three engineering disciplines (Civil, Mechanical and Mining), informed by the land-based experience with Tahltan Nation.
  3. Develop and facilitate dialogues within the engineering community about Indigenous ways of knowing and the responsibility of engineers in reconciliation.

This project will impact 10 engineering professors and 530 students in engineering.

Funding Details
Year 1: Project YearYear 1
Year 1: Funding Year2020/2021
Year 1: Project TypeSmall TLEF
Year 1: Principal InvestigatorSheryl Staub-French
Year 1: Funded Amount50,000
Year 1: Team Members

Principal Investigators:

Sheryl Staub-French, Professor / Associate Dean, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, Faculty of Applied Science
Pamela Rogalski, 12-month Lecturer, Materials and Civil Engineering, Faculty of Applied Science

Primary Faculty:

Andrea Arduini, 12-Month Lecturer, Mining Engineering, Faculty of Applied Science
Agnes d'Entremont, Senior Instructor, Mechanical Engineering, Faculty of Applied Science
Peter Ostafichuk, Professor, Mechanical Engineering, Faculty of Applied Science

Secondary Faculty:

Nadja Kunz, Assistant Professor, Mining Engineering, Faculty of Applied Science
Jon Mikkelsen, Professor of Teaching / Director, Mechanical Engineering, Faculty of Applied Science
Susan Nesbit, Professor, Civil Engineering, Faculty of Applied Science
Omar Swei, Assistant Professor, Civil Engineering, Faculty of Applied Science

Students:

Danilo Caron, Indigenous Student Engagement Coordinator / Civil Engineering Undergraduate
James Shaw, Geering Up Indigenous Outreach Research Assistant / Materials Engineering Undergraduate

Community Partners:

Curtis Rattray, Lead Guide / Board Member, Tū’dese̲’chō Wholistic Indigenous Leadership

Geering Up Staff:

Soundous Ettayabi, Indigenous Outreach Coordinator, UBC Geering Up (GU**)

Collaborators:

Jannik Eikenaar, Technical Communications Instructor, School of Engineering, UBC Okanagan
Alison Krahn, Education and Training Strategist, Indigenous Research Support Initiative
Jim Sibley, Director, Centre for Instructional Support
Nathan Skubovius, Member, TWILD Board of Directors / Sponsorship Manager
Tene Mehodihi, Indigenous Community Liaison, Tahltan