Phronesis: Practical Wisdom for Leaders

Dr. Candace Brunette-Debassige - Undoing the Silence

September 05, 2021 Scott J. Allen Season 1 Episode 85
Phronesis: Practical Wisdom for Leaders
Dr. Candace Brunette-Debassige - Undoing the Silence
Show Notes Transcript

Dr. Candace Brunette-Debassige is a Mushkego Cree iskwew scholar originally from Peetabeck Treaty 9 Territory. She is an Assistant Professor in Critical Policy, Equity, and Leadership Studies in the Faculty of Education at Western University. Her research centers on advancing the liberatory needs of Indigenous Peoples in Euro-Western colonial educational spaces. Beyond her scholarship, Candace brings extensive leadership experience in Indigenous education at the K-12 and postsecondary levels. She was the first Indigenous Education Advisor for the Thames Valley District School Board from 2009-2012, and was the Director of Indigenous Student Services at Western from 2012-2017. At Western, she also served as Acting Vice-Provost/Associate Vice President for the Office of Indigenous Initiatives, and Special Advisor to the Provost, from 2018 to 2021.

Resources Mentioned in This Episode 

Quotes From This Episode

  • "There were many, many indigenous peoples that were forced to attend residential schools in our country for over 150 years. So it's generations, generations, and generations of people within particular families and communities were forced legislatively forced to attend these schools."
  • "My grandmother was apprehended by the Royal Mounted Police (RCMP)... she was physically removed from her home at the age of seven. She was forced to attend this school, which was an Anglican school; in her situation, she was prohibited from speaking Cree. And she was taught that to be Cree, to be indigenous, was backward. It was savage, it was uncivilized...the purpose of residential schools was assimilating indigenous peoples into the dominant society."
  • "When you point out the problem, you become the problem."
  •  "In my work, I have to lead with subjectivity. That's what brings me credibility when I'm working with the indigenous community. The first thing people are going to ask me is, 'Who are you? Where do you come from?' And, and then I have to develop that relationship. And that relationship is developed through sharing our stories and coming from our experiences."

About The International Leadership Association (ILA)

  • The ILA was created in 1999 to bring together professionals with a keen interest in the study, practice, and teaching of leadership. 

Connect with Scott Allen

Note: Voice-to-text transcriptions are about 90% accurate.

Scott Allen  0:01 
Good afternoon. Good evening. Good morning. Welcome to the Phronesis podcast today I have Dr. Candace Brunette-Debassige. And Dr. I'm going to emphasize that because it's recent, I believe it was April 2021. Candace and so congratulations. That's wonderful. And for our listeners, I'm going to tell you a little bit about Candace. She is the special adviser to the provost for indigenous initiatives at Western University in Ontario, Canada. And she worked on in her role, one of the first-ever indigenous initiatives strategic plans at Western University, in fact, the first strategic plan for indigenous initiatives at Western University. And I'm really excited about this conversation today. Candace, what more can we learn a little bit about you before we jump into our conversation, what would what should listeners know?

Candace Brunette-Debassige  0:54 
Thanks so much for having me, Scott. It's a real honor. Yep. My name is Candace Brunette-Debassige and I am a Cree woman originally from treaty nine territory in North Eastern Ontario. And I work in London, Ontario, which is outside of my, my territory, my ancestral territory, I work in and live in the lands of the Anishinaabek, Haudenosaunee and Lūnaapéewak people I guess as a Cree woman I bring I bring that lens, that indigenous lens to the work that I do at the university as a special advisor and also a faculty, more recently, an assistant professor in the Faculty of Education, where my research focuses on educational leadership and policy in the context of universities in Canada. Talk a little bit about that. Talk a little bit about your research, and that intersection of leadership and policy. Absolutely, yeah, my research, it really is born out of my experiences. I've been working in universities or in educational contexts for almost 20 years. I guess, like a lot of people working in the context of indigenous education, we've been working within educational institutions, to change them to make them more responsive and inclusive of indigenous peoples and of indigenous knowledge is that work starting to take on, I guess, new energy after the release of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) in 2015. But the work of indigenous scholars and indigenous educators far precedes that, like it really started to take momentum after the TRC released its 94 calls to action in 2015. And that that work comes out of the Indian residential school survivor settlement package. So a lot of people I always like to recognize that survivors of residential schools which there were many, many indigenous peoples that were forced to attend residential schools in our country for over 150 years. So it's generations, generations, and generations of people within particular families and communities were forced legislatively forced to attend these schools. And these schools were paid for by our government, and they were delivered by churches, different churches delivered the education. So it was a Christianized educational process, and it was really the intent of residential schools running for over 150 years, over 150 schools across the country. And over 150,000 children and my own in my own family. My grandmother was apprehended by the RCMP, the Royal Mounted Police attend this school, she was physically removed from her home at the age of seven, and she was forced to attend this school, which was an Anglican school in her situation, where she was prohibited from speaking Cree. And she was taught that to be Cree, to be indigenous was backward. It was Savage, it was uncivilized. And she was taught these things and indoctrinated into this belief system that the government wanted indigenous peoples to believe in order to assimilate. And the purpose of residential schools was assimilation with simulated indigenous peoples into the dominant society. And the underlying purpose of that was to get rid of the Indian problem, and I'm using quotation marks there was to get rid of the Indian problem in order to take the land. And so there were economic-political motivations for the government to run these schools. So in 2008, the government finally recognize that this happened in the last school closed in 1996. So it's quite recent. You know, there are people that are my age, I'm in my 40s that have attended residential school. It's not a thing of the past and the other thing To recognize is that the residential school system is part of a much larger colonial system in Canada, and it has to do with how indigenous peoples are legally recognized in the country. So for indigenous peoples First Nations people, in particular, all of our experiences are bound up within the Indian Act, which is federal legislation that governs First Nations people's rights and education, education, health, and governance on reserves in Canada. So it continues, you know, that the colonial relationship that indigenous peoples have with the federal government is ongoing, and residential schools were a part of that construct. But there's that system is still ongoing. So the Truth and Reconciliation Commission is about educating the general society, about that lineage and that ongoing historical relationship and embedding that education within our education systems. So I work in a university and I work in the Faculty of Education. So we train teachers in my area of study. So it became very important to me, as an indigenous woman with this experience within my own family, to stand up and take a leadership role with working within an educational institution to help educate people and to make changes so that generations coming after me will have an inclusive space, should they want to come to university and, and participate in society, people will understand that history.

Scott Allen  6:43 
In a previous conversation we had with you, you said something just really beautiful in the phrasing was, it struck me and you said, undo the silence? Would you talk a little bit about that? I think that that's your passion. That's your mission to undo the silence? Is that framing it up correctly?

Candace Brunette-Debassige  7:03 
Absolutely. What I always have to remember is, you know, although I have this experience, even in my own family, this the reality and these kinds of stories were commonly told around our kitchen table, you know, they were things that I knew in my bones, because I saw the impacts, and I experienced the impacts myself and saw them in my own family members. But for most Canadians, it is not known, because indigenous peoples and kids in the general population, for the most part, live quite isolated from each other. And we don't have conversations about these things. And it's written about quite extensively in academic literature, and quite a well-known fact that there is what we would call, there's this beautiful scholar that actually comes from the territory that I work in. So I was trying to try to recognize those scholars that are originally from the territory that I work in, she's laying off a and her name is Dr. Susan Dion. And she talks about the perfect stranger. And she talks about how there is this sense among many most Canadians of indigenous peoples being the perfect stranger, and that relationship that divides between indigenous and most Canadians. It serves a purpose and it serves to perpetuate that division. And that kind of getting people off the hook from having to actually take a look at the conditions and the history and the realities of indigenous peoples and their own implication within that relationship. Because as we become Canadians, as any anybody takes on that, whether they're new immigrants or their families have been here for a long time, we all benefit from the silence and historic amnesia that the country has when it comes to its relationship with indigenous peoples. We benefit or we don't benefit from that. And what Susan Dion says is we need to address the perfect stranger within our education system in order to help undo the silence that exists and education I believe is full of possibilities. Of course, if you look at the residential school system, it's also can go the other way and can be very impressive. But when we have indigenous peoples in the driving seat and helping to inform what we're being taught and the stories that were daring in our classrooms, we can start to undo the historical amnesia that is pervasive within the education system, and policy has made a huge impact. You know, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission calls to action had been a game-changer. There is no doubt that we are having different conversations because of that policy today.

Scott Allen  9:59 
94 calls to action? What are some that stand out for you? So just so the listeners have an understanding of what that means, and maybe a few that have made a difference based on your experience?

Candace Brunette-Debassige  10:13 
Well, I'm particularly interested and I feel a sense of accountability, the ones that relate to education. So there are at least 13 of those 94 calls to action that are specific to education, some of the ones that we are really spending a lot of time attending to our mandatory courses in medical fields. So when we're training doctors, nurses, anyone that has, you know, contact within the healthcare system, having mandatory courses that deal with the indigenous history, but also Indigenous People's realities and unique, distinct rights, what a lot of people don't recognize or understand is how indigenous peoples in our country have a distinct legal relationship with the government because of treaties. Yeah, and, as such, have constitutional internationally and nationally recognized rights. And so we need to do a lot more education on that in the context of health care, but the law as well, media, so journalism programs, but also other programs that have to do with the media, there's also been more of an emphasis and a call to address language revitalization, or many indigenous languages in Canada that are critically endangered, because of residential school, when you think, you know, people were prohibited from speaking their language, literally, you know, many people tell horrible, horrifying stories about when they spoke their language in these residential schools, they were literally beaten for, for doing that. So the trauma of that is very, is very deep, and we need to find new ways, to help restore those languages so that they survive, because, within indigenous languages, our indigenous knowledge is indigenous knowledge are not inferior. You know, although that we've been indoctrinated to believe that indigenous languages, indigenous knowledges, are complex, diverse, they have a connection to the land that, you know, in a time of global warming, and all of the different social-political challenges that we're facing, I think indigenous knowledge is have something to offer the world in terms of that connection to land, that relationship to the land is embedded within our languages. And our knowledge is so for universities and educational institutions to spend some time to invest in helping indigenous peoples reclaim and restore that in our education system, I think will be really important for indigenous peoples, but also important for everyone.

Scott Allen  12:58 
As you think of your work at the university. And you think about the strategic plan. Talk about that level a little bit. What are some initiatives at the local level on campus that you have passion for that really, really excite you?

Candace Brunette-Debassige  13:13 
Well, I remember when I started at Western in 2012, it was a really different time I started as the director of indigenous Student Services, we call them indigenous services at that time. And so at that time, we had what we had a model for indigenous education that our university which is a student services model, the only unit that existed on our campus, what Well, one of the only units that existed was indigenous services. And it basically supported Indigenous students. Once they got there. Once they got there, there were some services, and wraparound supports were very, not super supported in terms of resources and funding. But there was some funding in place and some staff members there, a handful, less than a handful of members. And we supported students once they got there. And sometimes we did some outreach programs to try and invite them in, in, you know, going into the high schools and promoting that university is a possible place for students to go to since the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, we've shifted and many universities have shifted their model. So they're going from a student services model to a whole university approach. And this means that there are more senior administrative roles that are looking at policy governance, curriculum-based planning, they're looking at championing and including indigenous peoples and perspectives across the university. So it's not just in the Student Affairs unit that's just going to support some students once they get there, which some people have argued that that approach is almost as a quasi stimulatory approach. Because you're helping students adapt to the current environment. You're not actually Changing proactively trying to change the university, you're expecting Indigenous students to come to be included, but it's a conditional inclusion. So they come in on the university's terms and, they adapt, they need to change, this new approach, the whole of university approach is a little more dynamic. And it involves obviously, you know, indigenous peoples are going to university to learn to change and grow. But at the same time, recognizing that the institution is inherently Eurocentric, that takes arguably, there are some colonial elements to the institution that need to we need to change policies to not only serve indigenous peoples, and so we need to address those proactively. And that's the shift that we're that's the moment that we're in, in, in higher education. I think in a lot of institutions, we're in this moment of reckoning, that these institutions are not perfect there. And when it comes to marginalized groups, not just indigenous groups, black people, other marginalized groups, LGBTQ too, I mean, there are a lot of different groups women, that the norms of the University are not inherently inclusive to different groups, my interest has been on indigenous populations in particular. So we really do try to bring an indigenous lens to the work that we do. And the strategic plan has been impactful. Just to give you an example, we are in the process of creating a brand new space and indigenous learning space at Western which will be in addition to the student center that I talked to you about which has you know, offices and computer lab and elders and takes an indigenous approach to Student Services. But this indigenous learning space will be a gathering space for faculty and community partners, and students to gather together and learn in an indigenous way. So we have hired an architect, her name is Wanda Dalla Costa, she's the first indigenous woman architect in Canada, D takes a place-based approach to architecture. So the space has been like, we've been in the planning process for over a year to develop, repurpose this. It's an old building, but it's being repurposed and significantly repurposed. He's worked with our community to come up with the design principles. And it's going to be just an incredible space with an indoor and outdoor gathering space, that's going to reflect indigenous peoples in our territory. And, you know, also indigenous peoples more broadly speaking, there will be reflections of all sorts of different nations around Turtle Island. But we want to spend particular attention to the local land in a place that we're located. So we've worked really closely with the communities to have a space that reflects who our community is that Western, which is so exciting, and it's a significant investment for the university that I don't think would have been possible without the political pressure and the leadership and the vision of the TRC, that has really helped us have different conversations on university campuses.

Scott Allen  18:13  
So I have two lines of questioning, I want to go to one, that must have been a Herculean effort to influence the government to even put the commission together. Yeah, it's have worked decades and decades of work, I would imagine, I would love for you to tell just maybe a few stories about that. But then I would love to hear from you. Even as you are doing your work on campus, what are some of the leadership challenges you still face?

Candace Brunette-Debassige  18:43  
I love the questions, but they're really good questions. I do this in my dissertation, my doctoral work, it's so important to recognize and pay homage to the decades and decades of work that preceded the TRC. You know, because indigenous peoples are, we're going on maybe our fourth wave of indigenous peoples who have come into the Academy, indigenous peoples, up until the 1960s. If we decided to go to university in Canada, we had to give up our treaty rights. So we were like, there was a legal stipulation that we needed to assimilate in order to get educated. So this, you know, really detracted from a lot of people going this route, you know, it was seen as a threat to our indigeneity to go on to university. So we have to recognize that indigenous peoples are quite new in the grand scheme of things to higher education, to having a place within higher education. And it's through what we call in Canada, in the States. It's a similar movement, and they are interconnected the American Indian Movement in the States, but in Canada, it's called Indian control of Indian education. We don't use the word Indian anymore, but it is still, you know, a reference when we pay homage to that movement. And that's a  political movement that really advocated for indigenous peoples to start programs in universities, like native studies, we call it Indigenous Studies now, and to even get these offices that I refer to the student affairs offices, like indigenous Student Services, those kinds of initiatives were really pushed during the 70s. You know, when indigenous people started to go into universities in the 60s and 70s, and larger numbers, not huge numbers. I mean, in 19, I think it was 1961, I pulled out a stat, only about 200, indigenous peoples were in universities in Canada. And so we're really just to give you a sense of how new we are to the Academy, that I work with people who are the first Ph.D. to graduate at Western. Oh, yeah. And that's only in 2012. So I mean, this is not typical to every university, some universities are have been, have had more presence than others. But Western, I think we're on the, you know, we're starting that journey. I always like to recognize that, although the TRC has really shifted the conversation, people are people indigenous peoples have been struggling and pushing these agendas for decades. And if it weren't for you know, that work to lay that foundation, we wouldn't be where we wouldn't have the conversations that we're able to have. Now, the other thing that we need to recognize is that the Truth and Reconciliation Commission actually came out of the largest class-action lawsuit in Canadian history, where 86,000 residential school survivors, including my grandmother, took the median government to court in one. And from their settlement package, the Indian residential school settlement package, they paid the survivors paid for the commission to happen. So our government in Canada has been very reluctant, but has been compelled through legal action to do the TRC, but has not been super supportive when we really look at it. So it's, I think, important to recognize that indigenous peoples have struggled to get to this place. And yeah, they've taken legal action, and they have resisted throughout history to get us to this place 

Scott Allen  22:22  
Well, you have a lot of people in power with a vested interest in not undoing the silence. Right. And it's, it's horrible. It's absolutely horrible. It's tragic. How about you, even on campus? What, as a leader on campus, do you experience the good, the bad, the challenging? What, what experiences do you have? Because, again, there's a large system in place that is not designed or built for this work? Correct?

Candace Brunette-Debassige  22:52  
That's right. Yeah. I mean, when we look at the university model, it's been imported, it's been imposed and imported from other parts of the world, from European countries to the Americas. And even the disciplines themselves are very Eurocentric, you know, they're premised on certain types of knowledges. When we look at the history of how indigenous peoples have been taken up, of course, indigenous peoples have been subjects to research for, you know, Western research for hundreds of years seen and others through Eurocentric colonial lenses. Yeah, so part of the work of early scholars, indigenous scholars, and allied scholars, you know, has been naming that colonial project in the processes of their research and undoing that. So I really draw on D colonial theory and praxis because D colonialism is about naming and understanding the ideology of colonialism and how it's present and every day everything, everything in our institutions and our structures, but in our just the myths of indigenous peoples have been represented Miss represented in all sorts of ways that are taken for granted. Part of the decolonizing project is his understanding and seeing that within ourselves like I mean, I've internalized that we've all been marinating in those, those ideologies and what we need to do is is unpack that and see it, see it and unlearn it, and then start to shift the conversation. Indigenous peoples have knowledges, indigenous peoples are contributing members of society they have contributed to this nation. They have, you know, they have they're diverse, they're not one monolithic culture they are. It's not just culture, even to reduce indigenous peoples to a culture I find is problematic because indigenous peoples have knowledge we have the capacity to intellectual life. In your eyes, and we have ways of doing things in our communities that gear to different value systems that have the potential to contribute to society. It's a large intellectual process of critically interrogating that and then putting it into practice, which is, I think, always unsettling for people. And I think in my leadership practice, I take on that work, I acknowledge who I am my own subjectivity, I'm unapologetic about it, and I find in leadership, there tends to be this kind of norm to be more neutral. And this doesn't mean that just because I bring my subjectivity, my indigeneity into my leadership practice, that I'm not fair. I'm incapable of being unbiased. Like I but I think there's this sense sometimes that if you leave too much with who you are, you are valid. And I find that that's really interesting to me how that object it's a very scientific managerialist kind of mentality in leadership, that you need to be objective. That's just this objective positioning this rational objective, it's a very masculinist kind of ideology and that's pervasive in leadership, practice, and discourses that one not lead with their subjectivity. But in my work, it's I have to lead with my subjectivity. That's what brings me my credibility when I'm working with the indigenous community. The first thing people are gonna ask me is, who are you? Where do you come from? And, and then I have to develop that relationship. And that relationship is developed through sharing our stories and coming from our experiences. And that's a difference I think, approach, then the dominant way of doing things in administration anyways, like I'm speaking really broadly. But I think that's been a real challenge for me. And that came up in my research like this, I'm not just talking from my experience, I've done research on this, my, my research, my doctoral research has sat with Indigenous women administrators across the country. And I asked them to tell me their stories. And that was, you know, one of the common things that I heard from people and I can see it in myself as well. But people are a little, they're not used to that. You know, that's something different that I think we come up against in our leadership, among many other things.

Scott Allen  27:35  
Well, Candace, what else did you find? What were some other themes as you're working with these leaders,

Candace Brunette-Debassige  27:39  
I talked to Indigenous women administrators who are leading indigenous work. So you know, it's this particular segment of the population. It's not just talking to Indigenous women operating in any, unit in the university, it's really a unit that's trying to drive change. So I imagine that you know, this change process is really challenging because policy became a tool, an instrument that was really important to help them do their work, developing strategic plans, doing other policy change processes. So what a lot of the participants that I spoke with talked about was that a lot of the existing policies and procedures were barriers for the indigenous inclusion project. So what they had to do was go and change update old policies, like for example, within indigenous communities to do you know, in community engagement, try to get indigenous peoples engaged with the university, gathering around food is really, really important. Well, there were policies that many universities guarded against outside caterers or certain companies that didn't have an agreement with you come and do catering on campus. Yes. So this became a barrier, and they had to update and change those policies in order to have traditional food made by you know, in a traditional way by community members happen or smudging, for example. smudging is another common practice within indigenous communities where there's the burning, and it's not a lot of smoke. It's a little bit of smoke of sage. Yep. It's used as a purification ceremony and often done at large events to start the gathering in a good way. And that was, again, another barrier where Indigenous women administrators had to proactively go in and update and change the policies in order to be more inclusive of indigenous peoples. Another example was hanging and recognizing indigenous nations original to the territory through flags, flying flags. So there are certain parameters within many universities that you only Fly certain flags, and you can't fly otherwise, though, all sorts of work has to be done in order to make even those simple practices of gathering around food smudging and flying an indigenous flag on campus?

Scott Allen  30:16  
Well, I said earlier, everything, I mean, literally,

Candace Brunette-Debassige  30:22  
Yes, admission is, so the other thing when doing change work is you're having to interrupt this flow, there's a flow of, you know, there's a way of normalized way of doing things. And when you become that person that has to interrupt, well, wait a minute, we have to change this, you become the problem some women talked about was being put placed in that position to have to interrupt the status quo was an enormous weight and requires a certain amount of emotional labor. And there was a cost that Indigenous women administrators talked about the great cost that it took for them to challenge the normalized ways of doing things over and over and over again. So that cost for them often was their well-being. Because they were often greeted with ignorance, not understanding the deeper logics, the problematic colonial logics that they were interrupting. And then they become the symbol of the problem. Yeah, because there when it's that one, I draw on that one scholar, Sara Ahmed, when you point out the problem, you become the problem. And a lot of the women talked about that, but nonetheless, doing that work, what I frame in my research as a type of refusal, and we often think of refusal in a really negative way, you know, like as being, like, unreasonable or difficult. But I think, you know, when we're trying to make positive changes, it is important, but it takes an enormous amount of courage and stamina to do that on, on a regular basis within these institutions that really aren't made for us, let's be honest.

Scott Allen  32:16  
I mean, you said some really important words, their courage, stamina, I mean, it's just chipping away. At, to your point, some of these institutions, even the smallest of things about the flag, that, again, if we are going to have artifacts in the community that represents, that's, that's important. That's critical, right, whether that's the architecture, or whether that's the flags, or whether that's any number of different I mean, 1000s of different elements. And I'd never thought of it that way. When you point out the problem, you become the problem. You're disrupting the flow of the organization that was built in this way to service certain populations. Only. I'm not laughing because that's funny. I'm laughing because it's just, it's mind-boggling.

Candace Brunette-Debassige  33:11  
You have to laugh sometimes, right? Because it's, it's, you know, that's a way of for indigenous peoples humor has been a way for us to cope for over the years, you know, it has been our medicine, it helps release the tension it, what else do you do? I mean, I can recall another example, you know, of things that we've we've had to push back against, and it is a complication. So we've done some work on convocation, you know, to try and have it reflect indigenous peoples. And so there is a policy at our institution and many other institutions that allows indigenous peoples to wear their traditional regalia during convocation. So that was a huge moment for us the first time the first year that we could do that, and to see the honor. And what it meant to our students like that's what it makes it all worth it, when you see the impact that it has for Indigenous students and we are a small percentage of the total population, you know, at Western, we should at a national level, we should be closer to 5% of the total population at our institution, we are at 1.5%. So we have a lot of work to do to increase the representation of Indigenous students at our university.  When it comes to faculty members, it's even lower than that. So representation is a good first step. But I'm even talking, you know, about going deeper than that is shifting, you know, what we're teaching in class. So that's, you know, what are the policies and how do they support indigenous peoples, maintaining who we are and still, you know, contributing To the university environment,

Scott Allen  35:01  
Candace, you are at the nexus of my favorite place, you are a woman who has her doctorate and studied this. And you are doing the work. And it's just incredible. I have so much respect because, again, those words courageousness, resilience, grit, it's, it's not easy work to your point. I mean, you let up, it was beautiful when you smiled, you said to see that to see those graduates when we when that shift occurred. That's just absolutely wonderful. So thank you for the work that you do. You're changing people's lives and existence. And to your point, I don't know if I'm going to say this correctly. But it was also really interesting to hear you describe how, look, we even need to begin to look at some of these things through a different lens and that we've just taken as the way it is, and that's been normalized, and rethink so many different aspects. So that we can provide that experience for the 3%, the 4%, the five, the six to seven to 8% of students down the road. And I think that's God's work, whatever God means to you. Whatever that concept is, your earning points out there in the universe.

Candace Brunette-Debassige  36:29  
We will call that and gives you a Matador Yeah, like that greater creator. Yeah, that sense of spirituality is very strong for indigenous peoples. And I know that in an institution like a university, that's been, that's been an interesting movement too, because I can, I can find that I have found that some people are uncomfortable when we start to talk about spirit. But when you're working with indigenous peoples and indigenous ways of knowing it's not a religious understanding, but it is a deeper spiritual understanding about how we do our work. And we can't leave that at the door either. So I wholeheartedly agree

Scott Allen  37:06  
So Candace, as we wind down for today. I always ask guests what they've been reading or listening to or streaming and it could have something to do with what we've just discussed. It could have nothing to do with what we've discussed. But what's caught your eye in recent months that you think listeners should maybe know about?

Candace Brunette-Debassige  37:23  
Well, there's a great little podcast that people can tune into - it's on CBC Radio, okay. In Canada, it's a great podcast hosted by Falen Johnson, who is just an incredible artist. She's a playwright, and she's now hosting Unreserved and it takes up a lot of contemporary current affairs by indigenous peoples in Canada. And I try to tune in regularly, I find the guests fresh, exciting. Get it real pulse of some of the current affairs for indigenous peoples. And it's fun. It's fun, it's a fun one.

Scott Allen  38:06  
Okay, I will put that in the show notes so that listeners can access that and check it out. For sure.

Candace Brunette-Debassige  38:12  
There's I just recently wrote a book review for a book. And if people are really interested in indigenous education in Canada, in the movement that I talk about decolonizing and indigenizing education, this book is is a great one. Sheila Cote-Meek and Taima Moeke-Pickering wrote a book called Decolonizing and Indigenizing Education in Canada. And I think this, this is a really, it takes up a lot of the complexities and the tensions that we're, you know, grappling with right now and articulate them really well. So I think if people are intrigued by some of the movements in education, that's a good one.

Scott Allen  38:54  
Okay, I'll put that in the show notes as well so that people can access that, Candace, I hope we can. Dr. Candace. Congratulations again. I hope we can continue this conversation. I hope you'll come back and thank you for the work that you do. You're at this nexus of a really, really cool place in multiple ways. Thank you so much. Thank you for the work you do. Thanks for inviting me. Okay, have a great day. 

Candace Brunette-Debassige  39:19  
Okay, bye.

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