Indigenous Classroom Climate Issues (ICCI)


The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (2015) provided a crucial directive for Canadians: learn about colonization and its ongoing impacts and take action wherever possible to support efforts to transform Canadian society into one that offers a respectful relationship with Indigenous peoples. Educational institutions have long been recognized as both a tool of colonization and a source of continued oppression for Indigenous students. These expectations are highlighted in the SFU Aboriginal Reconciliation Council report, Walk this Path with Us (2017), along with recognition that the institution envisions a future where Indigenous students can “flourish,” “be recognized and celebrated,” “respected” and “see their culture[s] as an essential part of the fabric of the University” (p. 2). 

The university classroom is a crucial site for working toward these goals. Yet, both Indigenous and non-Indigenous students at Simon Fraser University report troubling classroom situations arising from the discussion of Indigenous topics, which impacts their experience of the classroom and university, and often their ability to stay in class. To begin to examine and address classroom climate issues, this project invites current and former SFU students to share their recollections of, and reflections on, their experiences of SFU classrooms through interviews and/or confidential online surveys. It is modeled after precedent studies, beginning with the UBC-based project, What I Learned in Class Today: Aboriginal Issues in the Classroom (WILICT, 2007), and Kinàmàgawin: Aboriginal Issues in the Classroom (2011), an initiative at Carleton University that adapted the WILICT research model to document and address similar classroom incidents and climate issues.

How to participate

We are currently looking for former and current SFU students who would like to participate in either the survey, an interview, or both. Please email us at icci_sfu[at] if you have any questions about the project or your potential participation.


If you are interested in participating in an interview, or would like more information about it, please email us at icci_sfu[at] Your email communication will remain confidential and only be seen by study team members.

The Survey:

If you would like to participate in the confidential survey, click here or on the link below. Following the completion of the survey, you will have the option to leave your contact information if you would like to also participate in an interview.