Len Pierre | Navigating the Tyranny of Efficiency

Equity + Justice, Series Taking Action!, 2024, Indigenous Voices, Uphold Truth and Reconciliation, Make a Difference for B.C.

Decolonization is not a buzzword; it is an active, living practice in which Indigenous ways of existence are prioritized over the colonizers. It is dismantling and unlearning our notions of governance, health and knowledge. Decolonization is Indigenous led. It is the act of being in solidarity with Indigenous sovereignties on their own terms. Decolonization is not a box you can check off on a list of diversity practices.

In this country, we are governed by institutions that are anti-Indigenous at their core, having real consequences for real people. Indigenous peoples all over these stolen lands are subjected to cruel and dehumanizing treatment from law enforcement, the education system, the healthcare system, and various government bodies; the very systems we rely on to help our society “function”. There is an urgent need to interrogate how these systems are contributing to the displacement and disenfranchisement of Indigenous peoples that goes beyond scratching the surface.

At this event, Len Pierre discussed what it means to center cultural safety through an Indigenous world view, within, what he called the “tyranny of efficiency”. This tyranny refers to the way in which institutions prioritize quick fixes over meaningful change, leading to surface level approaches and virtue signaling. Len’s dialogue explored the detrimental repercussions of using shallow approaches that do not prioritize cultural safety. He established the foundational tenets of cultural safety through his perspective as a Coast Salish Katzie man and explored how to move forward in more informed ways.

Thu, 29 Feb 2024

This was an online event

About Taking Action!

The Taking Action! series was a partnership between SFU and the Resilience BC Anti-Racism Network, a provincial government program that connects B.C. communities with support, information and training to prevent and respond to incidents of racism and hate. With this partnership, SFU aimed to build reciprocal relationships that combine the university’s research expertise with the knowledge and experience of community activists who have been leading anti-racism work in B.C. for years.

For more about past Taking Action! events, click here.

About the speaker

Len Pierre is a professor, consultant, TEDx Speaker, social activist, change agent, & traditional knowledge keeper. He has a Masters degree in Education from Simon Fraser University focusing on Indigenous Curriculum and Instructional Design. His experience includes Indigenous education and program leadership from various organizations across colonial Canada.

He specializes in the development of educational programs and services with decolonization and reconciliation as its core values. He comes to us with an open heart and open mind, and hopes to be received in the same way.

About the moderator

Avneet Randhawa (she/her) is the program coordinator for Resilience BC Anti Racism Network Hub. Born and raised on the traditional territory of the Semiahmoo, Katzie, Coquitlam, Kwantlen, Qayqayt and Tsawwassen First Nations, she is an uninvited settler of Punjabi descent. An SFU Alum herself, Avneet strives to create spaces that promote radical change, compassion, and resilience against systemic racism. 


Event partner

Events in the Taking Action! series