University of Calgary

Yvonne Poitras Pratt

  • Associate Professor

Profile

Dr. Yvonne Poitras Pratt is a Métis scholar whose family ancestry traces to the historic Red River Settlement and, more recently, to the Fishing Lake Métis Settlement in northeastern Alberta. Dr. Pratt was recruited to the Werklund School of Education in 2013 as an Assistant Professor after serving as Associate Director, Métis Education at the Rupertsland Institute, a Métis Centre of Excellence and her doctoral completion in 2011. Yvonne teaches at the graduate and undergraduate level, and has taught the mandatory Indigenous education course (EDUC 530) to pre-service teachers since 2013. She was the recipient of the Werklund Teaching Excellence Award in 2016, and the Students Union Teaching Excellence Award in 2017. Alongside her leadership role in the creation of the “Indigenous education: A Call to Action” graduate program in 2016, she continues to explore the potential of reconciliatory pedagogy.

Research & Scholarly Activity

Dr. Pratt’s research concentrates on the multiple ways in which transformative learning can be invoked within classrooms and at the community level through experiential learning and creative imaginings. Working with Routledge Press, her upcoming publication Educating through Digital Storytelling will further explore the potential of digital storytelling as a means to revitalize oral traditions and foster intergenerational learning within Métis communities. Her current scholarship builds on the use of media, and other aesthetic expressions, as catalysts for transformative learning within difficult learning environments. She publishes in the area of critical service-learning, Indigenous and reconciliatory pedagogy, anti-racism and social justice studies, with a special interest in the integration of arts in a variety of learning environments.

Current Projects:

    • Building stronger connections between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples, schools, and communities through praxis-based learning opportunities (PI, with Dr. Patricia Danyluk)
    • Moving toward critical service-learning as a signature pedagogy in Aboriginal communities: Why good intentions are not enough (PI, with Dr. Patricia Danyluk)
    • Exploring power and privilege within responses to First Nations, Métis, and Inuit education: Improving our teaching practice through ‘difficult learning’ (PI, with Dr. Aubrey Hanson)

Education

Doctor of Philosophy, Communications Studies (2011)
University of Calgary

Masters of Arts, Communications Studies (2005)
University of Calgary

Bachelor of Arts (Hons), Canadian (Native) Studies, minor Education
University of Calgary

Professional & Community Affiliations

Dr. Poitras Pratt offers her expertise around Indigenous education to a variety of governmental and non-governmental organizations; importantly, a large component of her efforts are dedicated to supporting the Métis Nation of Alberta in achieving their educational aspirations.

  • Alberta Métis Education Council – council and founding member
  • Rupertsland Centre for Métis Research – community member
  • College of Alberta School Superintendents – affiliate member

Publications

Poitras Pratt, Y., & Danyluk, P. (2017). Learning what schooling left out: Making an Indigenous case for critical service-learning and critical pedagogy within teacher education. Canadian Journal of Education, 40 (1).

Poitras Pratt, Y., & Danyluk, P. (in press). Transforming teachers and practices through First Nations, Métis and Inuit community learning experiences. In D. Lund & K. Grain (Eds.), Wiley International Handbook of Service-Learning for Social Justice (pp. xx-xx). Boston, MA: Wiley Press.

Poitras Pratt, Y., & Lalonde, S. (accepted, in press). The Alberta Métis Education Council: Realizing self-determination in education. In S. Carr-Stewart (Ed.), Disconnection and Reconciliation: Aboriginal Education in Canada, (pp. xx-xx). Vancouver, BC: UBC Press.

Poitras Pratt, Y., Lalonde, S., Hanson, A. & Danyluk, P. (2017). Responding to the TRC Calls to Action: Indigenizing a graduate program. In P. Preciado Babb, L. Yeworiew, & S. Sabbaghan (Eds.). Selected Proceedings of the IDEAS Conference: Leading Educational Change Conference 2017, pp. 103-111. Calgary, Canada: Werklund School of Education, University of Calgary.

Poitras Pratt, Y., Louie, D. W., Hanson, A. J., & Ottmann, J. (forthcoming). “Indigenous Education and Decolonization.” In G. Noblit (Ed.), Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Education. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

Awards

  • Students Union Teaching Excellence Award (2017)
  • Werklund Teaching Excellence Award (2016)

Media Work

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