Indigenous Education for Teachers: Starting with Story

Accepting applications for this topic summer of 2025


Master of Education - MEd Interdisciplinary (4 course program)


(On-campus in the Summer and online in Fall and Winter)


One year (4 consecutive terms)


Graduate Program Administrator:

Academic Co-cordinators:
Dr. Aubrey Hanson

Dr. Erin Spring

Program Overview

This four-course M.Ed. Interdisciplinary option engages K-12 teachers in Indigenous education for teaching and learning. Teachers in K-12 settings have the responsibility to engage in Indigenous education work, but often do not feel confident to do so. This program begins there, offering foundational knowledge and introductory approaches to build educator confidence.

Across the four courses, students will build understandings by exploring the following provocations: who am I; where do I come from; where am I going; what are my responsibilities? These questions, shared with our School by Saulteaux leader Jacqueline Ottmann, offer a framework to help educators begin their work in Indigenous education. These questions allow teachers to find their place in the work, build relevance to their roles, understand why Indigenous education matters, strengthen their professional practices, develop approaches to leadership, and carry forward these ways of knowing, doing, connecting, and being beyond this program.

Program Details

Teachers engaging in this program as learners will be supported in

  • beginning to understand Indigenous Education as an area of study, practice, and leadership
  • exploring and articulating their own stories and positionalities in relation with Indigenous education
  • starting with story as a way of entering into Indigenous education work
  • listening to Indigenous oral storytelling and reading/viewing Indigenous texts to build understanding and relationality
  • understanding why place, land, community, and context matter in teaching and learning
  • building foundational knowledge of First Nations, Métis, and Inuit peoples and knowledge systems
  • grappling with contexts that shape Indigenous education work in the past/present/future
  • addressing the responsibilities laid out for educators and educational leaders in professional standards
  • applying concepts, theories, and understandings to teaching and learning practice in and beyond the classroom
  • engaging in the bigger project of transforming education systems through Indigenous theories of change like decolonization and Indigenous resurgence

This four-course topic will be of interest to K-12 teachers (across the curriculum) and leaders who:

  • are interested in developing their competencies and foundational knowledge in the area of Indigenous Education.
  • feel that they do not have the knowledge to engage in this work in a meaningful way and who wish to know how and where to begin.
  • are interested in storytelling as a methodological approach/way of entering into the work of Indigenous education.

A registration package will be sent to new students after they have been admitted. Registration for the summer term will be available in late winter. Fall and Winter registration opens in the spring. Your Graduate Program Administrator will send more information about registration to you.

Fee details are available on the Faculty of Graduate Studies website.

The University of Calgary offers multiple ways to meet the cost of your education. Please refer to the Awards, Scholarships and Bursaries page to learn more about options available to students. For additional information, please contact Student Financial Support.

A written statement of intent (suggested length: 300 words) indicating the applicant's reasons for pursuing a graduate program in Graduate Programs in Education. The statement should address the following:

  • Please identify your reasons for applying to this graduate program.
  • Please outline the particular topics or questions that you plan to pursue in your specialization.
  • In what way is this program related to your desired career path or employment objectives?

Two references are required for students applying to the Graduate Certificate (Step 1). References will be asked to complete an online reference form. No hard copy documents will be accepted.

  • Graduate Diploma (Step 2) applicants are not required to submit references.
  • Master of Education - Educational Research Topic (Step 3) applicants are not required to submit references.

Applicants to the Master of Education - Educational Research Topic (Step 3): the minimum admission requirements for the final step of the MEd Interdisciplinary degree program also include completion of steps 1 and 2, the Graduate Certificate AND the Graduate Diploma in Education.

Relevant Prior Learning Considerations:

In exceptional circumstances, individuals who do not meet formal academic requirements but who have significant life achievements may be considered for admission to the program. The candidates must provide the relevant graduate program with evidence demonstrating a potential to undertake successfully the proposed program of studies.

Such candidates are advised to make early contact with Graduate Programs in Education, and supply additional supporting documents as part of their application package, such as:

a) Evidence of personal continuing education/training.

b) Results in these continuing education efforts.

c) Experience in a field related to the aspired degree.

d) Evidence of successful management of people, resources, finances, situations.

e) Increasing or varying responsible positions in organizations related to the aspired degree.

f) Work-related products, e.g. reports, programs of learning or training, handbooks, videos, manuals, workshops, seminars.

g) Evidence of personal growth in knowledge, understanding, management skills, and intellectual resources.

h) Evidence of innovation.

i) Evidence of leadership, coordination.

Admission to all graduate programs is highly competitive due to limited enrollment capacities. Meeting the minimum requirements does not guarantee admission.

All graduate programs are governed by the Faculty of Graduate Studies. In the case of any conflict, regulations of the Faculty of Graduate Studies Calendar take precedence over material on this website. Please consult the Faculty of Graduate Studies Calendar for University of Calgary graduate admission requirements.

Offers of admission are valid only for the term to which applications are made. Graduate Programs in Education will not grant deferrals of admission. Students unable to take up an offer will be required to submit a new application.

Program Schedule & Course Descriptions

  • Program begins each July (summer term 1) 
  • Outlines are normally available 1-2 weeks prior to the start of term in D2L
  • 3 units per course

Term 1 - Summer

Who am I?

This course provides teachers with an opportunity to tell and trouble their own stories and identities personally, professionally, and in relation to Indigenous education. Teachers will begin to orient themselves to the work of Indigenous education, beginning with the question of who they are.

Registration info:

Term 1 - Summer

Where do I come from?

This course requires teachers to develop the background knowledge to do the work of Indigenous education in a meaningful way. Teachers will orient themselves to the contexts and mandates shaping Indigenous education, building understandings of where they come from and why the work matters.

Registration info:

Term 2 - Fall

Where am I going?

This course frees teachers to engage in Indigenous education, building on their growing foundational knowledge. Teachers will build a sense of where they are going and professional purpose and learn to sit with uncertainty, unsettledness, and interdependence.

Registration info:

Term 3 - Winter

What are my responsibilities?

This course draws teachers into enacting relationality in Indigenous education. Having considered who they are, where they come from, and where they are going, this final course offers an opportunity for teachers to recognize and enact their responsibilities.

Registration info:

Have Questions? Connect with Us


Graduate Program Administrator (GPA)

Aubrey Hanson

Academic Program Co- coordinator

Dr. Aubrey Hanson

Erin Spring

Academic Program Co- coordinator

Dr. Erin Spring