Decolonial Teaching and Learning Seminar Series

One of the key values emerging from our ongoing strategic planning is a commitment to decolonial and social justice principles. One result is the establishment of the Postdoctoral Fellowship in Social Justice and Decolonization, currently held by Dr. Nawal Musleh-Motut.

Dr. Musleh-Motut’s postdoctoral project, Creating Decolonial and Just Futurities in Postsecondary Education, highlights the dangers and counters the consequences of institutional performances of equity, diversity, and inclusion that support the neocolonial and neoliberal status quo by creating decolonial and just educational futurities1 via teaching and learning. One major component of this project is the two-part seminar series Decolonial Teaching & Learning (DTL), which will be piloted in 2022/2023 (Part I in Fall 2022 and Part II in Spring 2023).

1Creating decolonial and just futurities requires imagining what a decolonial and justice future might look like and then working to create that reality in the present using the pathways, tools, and resources currently available to us (Harjo 2019).


Decolonial Teaching & Learning seeks to begin healing the colonial wound at the heart of the university by integrating the following three elements of “decolonial thinking and doing” (Mignolo and Walsh, 2018, p.8) into the scholarship and practice of teaching and learning:

  1. identifying, deconstructing, and delinking from the colonial matrix of power;
  2. re-existence and restorying of negated and/or silenced ways of knowing and being, cultural traditions, pedagogies, and/or experiences;
  3. linking decolonial thinking (theory) with decolonial doing (praxis) and vice versa.

While this decolonial approach acknowledges connections between global experiences of and resistance to colonialism, it prioritizes the local. As such, Decolonial Teaching & Learning focuses on the historical and contemporary manifestations of colonial education in BC and Canada, while prioritizing the knowledge, stories, pedagogies, and experiences of local and national Indigenous educators, students, knowledge keepers, community leaders, and/or elders.

Decolonial Teaching & Learning will support SFU educators as they explore current and future decolonial pathways to teaching and learning by:

  • uncovering the historical colonial system that underpins the current everyday workings of the university, as well its harmful consequences for IBPOC (Indigenous, Black, and People of Colour) faculty and students; 
  • encouraging deep inquiry into and reflection on settler privilege and responsibility;
  • supporting a deeper understandings of the TRC’s educational Calls to Action, as well as the processes of decolonization, indigenization, and reconciliation;
  • providing the opportunity to actively listen to, learn from, and work with local and national Indigenous educators, students, knowledge keepers, community leaders, and/or elders;
  • showcasing decolonial and Indigenous approaches to teaching and learning;
  • highlighting critical and intersectional social justice approaches that support decolonial teaching and learning, and vice versa;
  • collectively workshopping ideas for creating current and future decolonial pathways for teaching and learning;
  • undertaking inquiry into and reflective evaluation of decolonial teaching and learning principles and practices;
  • building ethical and reciprocal relationships, partnerships, collaborations, and/or communities of practice dedicated to decolonial teaching and learning.

Benefits and supports for Decolonial Teaching & Learning participants

  • Gain critical knowledge and skills related to decolonial teaching and learning.
  • Workshop decolonial teaching and learning strategies for implementation and evaluation in upcoming courses.
  • Receive feedback from fellow seminar participants and facilitators on proposed decolonial teaching and learning strategies.
  • Given free access to all readings and other series related materials.
  • Ongoing consultation support from TILT, both during and after the completion of the series.
  • Completion of Decolonial Teaching & Learning Part I (Fall 2022) qualifies participants to apply for Decolonial Teaching & Learning Part II (Spring 2023), which extends, but goes much deeper than, Part I.
  • All seminar participants will be invited to contribute to Dr. Musleh-Motut’s larger research project, Creating Decolonial and Just Futurities in Postsecondary Education, by evaluating the impact of Decolonial Teaching & Learning on their teaching and student learning. 
  • Participant cohorts will also be encouraged and supported in creating communities of practice that can collectively move through Decolonial Teaching & Learning and support one another beyond the end of the series.

Decolonial Teaching and Learning Part I Curriculum (Fall 2022)

**These topics are subject to change with notice.

A. Deconstructing & Delinking (Weeks #1-5)

1)    Introduction and Relationship Building

2)    Decolonial Thinking and Doing in Teaching and Learning

3)    History of Colonial Education in BC and Canada

4)    Colonial Education in BC and Canada Today

5)    Unsettling and Decolonizing the Self/Settler Responsibility

B. Re-existence & Restroying (Weeks #6-9)                                     

6)    Indigenous Voices I: TRC Educational Calls to Action and Reconciliation

7)    Indigenous Voices II: Decolonizing and Indigenizing the University

8)    Indigenous Voices III: Decolonial and Indigenous Teaching and Learning

9)    Indigenous Voices IV: Community and/or Student Perspectives and Experiences

C. Thinking-Doing and Doing-Thinking (Weeks #10-13)

10) Creating Decolonial and Just Educational Futurities

11) Decolonial and Indigenous Approaches to Teaching and Learning I

12) Decolonial and Indigenous Approaches to Teaching and Learning II

13) Putting Your Learning to Work: Next Steps Workshop

Time commitment and workload  

To ensure the depth of engagement, relationship building, and reflection required for such decolonial work, this series consists of 13, 2-hour weekly seminars. Enrollment will be capped at 10 participants. These sessions will be held in person on the Burnaby campus.

Target audience

SFU educators (faculty members, limited term lecturers, and sessionals) interested in decolonizing their classrooms, curricula, and pedagogies, as well as their own ways of knowing and being.

Decolonial Teaching & Learning is a seminar series and priority will be given to educators with continuing positions.

Facilitation team


  • Sheri Fabian, Director
  • Nawal Musleh-Motut, Postdoctoral Fellow in Social Justice and Decolonization

Guest Facilitators

  • Will be confirmed shortly