UBC librarians are embarking on a new collaborative research project that aims to address a fundamental problem in how open educational practices approach Indigenous Knowledges, and instead replicate colonial concepts of ownership and knowledge transfer.
The research project, titled Foregrounding Indigenous Perspectives: Community and Collaborator Affinities and Conflicts in Open Education, recently received a grant by the Canadian Association of Research Libraries (CARL). The Practicing Librarian Grant, awarded by CARL’s Strengthening Capacity Committee, supports Canadian research in the field of academic librarianship for projects that use structured, evidence-based research to tackle real-world issues.
“I’ve been a part of a number of provincial and national open education committees and working groups, and there is always a struggle when discussions about Indigenous communities’ interest and engagement in open education arises,” says Erin Fields, principal investigator and Open Education and Scholarly Communications Librarian at UBC Library. “My hope for this project is to have some sense of how we can engage in open education practices that are grounded in research on Indigenous perspectives. This will be able to unearth our gaps in understanding and balance our advocacy efforts with research-informed practice.”
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Through Strategy 17: Indigenous Engagement, the university is committed to supporting the objectives and actions of the Indigenous Strategic Plan.