Reported, with a straight face and approving tone, by the former newspaper The New York Times:
The college was built in the last century, modeled on the great American and British universities. It was imagined as a grand preserve of Western thought for the children of Canadian settlers, then flooding into the country’s youngest province in the prairies. …Now, all that has changed. Universities across Canada are “indigenizing” — a new, elastic term that means everything from drawing more aboriginal students and faculty members onto campuses built largely for white settlers, to infusing those stodgy Western institutions with aboriginal belief systems and traditional knowledge.
Two smaller Canadian institutions introduced indigenous learning requirements for all undergraduates this past school year.Aboriginal scholars say that colonial education philosophies and aboriginal theories of knowledge are incompatible.
Peter Stoicheff, the university’s president, recognizes the challenge:“Universities are so inherently white and Western, when you start to push against it, you realized how intractable a lot of that is,” Mr. Stoicheff said.“Everything is based on reading stuff,” he explained. “Everything is laid out in a hierarchical and linear fashion. Look at the aboriginal ways, from visual expression to the wampum belt, dances and oral storytelling. It’s not linear. Everything is based on the circle.”
Last year, the academic governing body agreed that all of the 17 colleges and schools, from dentistry to engineering, should include indigenous knowledge.