Purpose of This Guide

The Manitoba Foundations Guide (Brandon Edition) is the first Manitoba adaptation of an open professional learning series developed for staff across post-secondary institutions. Guides developed in the series include: Foundations1; Leaders and  Administrators2; Curriculum Developers3; Teachers and Instructors4; Front-Line Staff, Student Services, and Advisors5; and Researchers6. This guide is an adaptation of the Foundations Guide published by BCcampus and the Ministry of Advanced Education in collaboration with a steering committee of Indigenous education leaders from post-secondary institutions in British Columbia.

This guide is intended to support the systemic change occurring across post-secondary institutions and beyond through Indigenization, decolonization, and reconciliation. A guiding principle from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada process states why this change is happening.

In recognizing the significance of the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, Colleges & Institutes Canada (2023) recognized that the “Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) identifies education as one of the five key areas requiring reform to attain reconciliation” (para. 2).

We all have a role to play. As noted by Colleges & Institutes Canada (2023), the work is far from complete: “While…progress is encouraging, it’s crucial to acknowledge that disparities persist between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people” (2023, para. 3). Now, more than ever, it is crucial that post-secondary institutions “actively engage with Indigenous communities across the country to dismantle barriers and cultivate a culture of respect and inclusion” (Colleges & Institutes Canada, 2023, para. 4). These guides provide ways for faculty and staff to begin to decolonize and Indigenize their practices in post-secondary education. The guides provide beginning steps, but deeper understanding is experienced when readers thoughtfully engage in the activities that go beyond these pages. Trust and mutual respect are best built through relationships.


6 figures paddle in a canoe. There is text above the first 5 figures. Text reads (from left to right): Leaders & Administrators, Teachers & Instructors, Front Line Student Services Advisors, Curriculum Developers, Researchers.
Fig 0.1:  “Pulling Together: A Canoe Journey” (Diane Biin), adapted by Emery Knight.

Indigenization can be described as an evolving story of how diverse people can journey  forward in a canoe (Fig. 0.1). In Indigenous methodologies, stories emphasize our relationships with our  environment, our communities, and with each other. To stay on course, we are guided by the stars in the  sky, with each star a project principle: deliver holistically, learn from one another, work together, share  strengths, value collaboration, deepen the learning, engage respectfully, and learn to work in discomfort.  As we look ahead, we do not forget our past.

The canoe holds Indigenous Peoples and the key people in post-secondary education whose roles  support, lead, and build Indigenization. Our combined strengths give us balance and the ability to steer  and paddle in unison as we sit side by side. The paddles are the open resources. As we learn to pull  together, we understand that our shared knowledge makes us stronger and makes us one.

The perpetual motion and depth of water reflects the evolving process of Indigenization.  Indigenization is relational and collaborative and involves various levels of transformation, from  inclusion and integration to infusion of Indigenous perspectives and approaches in education. As we  learn together, we ask new questions, so we continue our journey with curiosity and optimism, always  looking for new stories to share.

We hope these guides support you in your learning journey. As open education resources, they can be  adapted to fit local context, in collaboration with Indigenous Peoples who connect with and advise your  institution. We expect that as more educators use and revise these guides, they will evolve over time. This guide, for example, is one that was adapted for the prairie regions. This foundational guide will be appropriate for use for many organizations, not just for educational institutions. We envision participants coming from all walks of life, industries, professions, and service provision areas.

Reflection Question

What are the roles of the people in your canoe who are pulling together to work on decolonization and support Indigenous awareness and perspectives in your spaces? In your department? In your social spaces and communities?

How to Use and Adapt This Guide (See also Appendix D)

The Pulling Together: Manitoba Foundations Guide (Brandon Edition) explores Indigenous-Canadian relationships from contact to the present. To be clear, the guide is short and very limited in its scope. This resource cannot begin to cover the complexity or the detail of history, colonization or decolonization.

This guide looks at the diversity of Indigenous Peoples and the historical and contemporary realities since contact. It may be a first step or guide to becoming involved in conversations about these important topics.

You can use the guide to:

  • increase your awareness of Indigenous People, our histories, decolonization, and  reconciliation
  • enhance your knowledge of how Indigenous history and realities in Canada affect  relationships and how this may influence your work with Indigenous people/s and  colleagues in post-secondary education

Along with a qualified facilitator, this guide can be used within a learning community. The guide can also be worked through as a self-study course. Whether users are in a group or using the self-study option, we encourage learners to take their engagement with the material out into the world and seek out experiences that will contribute to their understanding. There are suggestions throughout the guide where participants may take a “deeper dive” into the material through a variety of media or lived experience. Although conceived as a guide for faculty and staff in post-secondary settings, the resource may be adapted for use by a variety of users, including employees or students, both within or outside of post-secondary institutions.

The Manitoba Foundations Guide (Brandon Edition) is not a definitive resource, since First Nation, Métis, and Inuit perspectives and approaches are diverse across North America. We invite you to augment it with your own stories and examples, and, where possible, consider how you can respectfully incorporate  Indigenous voices, perspectives, and resources from your area in the materials.

This textbook can be referenced. In APA style, it should appear as follows:

Manitoba Foundations Group. (2021). Pulling Together: Manitoba Foundations Guide (Brandon Edition). Campus Manitoba. Retrieved from https://pressbooks.openedmb.ca/PullingTogetherManitoba

Media Attributions

‘Pulling Together: A Canoe Journey’ (Diane Biin) is an adaptation by Emery Knight, and is licensed under a CC BY (Attribution) License.


  1. Pulling Together: Manitoba Foundations Guide (Brandon Edition) (https://pressbooks.openedmb.ca/pullingtogethermanitoba)
  2. Pulling Together: A Guide for Leaders and Administrators (https://opentextbc.ca/indigenizationleadersadministrators/)
  3. Pulling Together: A Guide for Curriculum Developers (https://opentextbc.ca/indigenizationcurriculumdevelopers/)
  4. Pulling Together: A Guide for Teachers and Instructors (https://opentextbc.ca/indigenizationinstructors/)
  5. Pulling Together: A Guide for Front-Line Staff, Student Services, and Advisors (https://opentextbc.ca/indigenizationfrontlineworkers/)
  6. Pulling Together: A Guide for Researchers, Hiłḱ̠ala (https://opentextbc.ca/indigenizationresearchers/)


Icon for the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License

Pulling Together: Manitoba Foundations Guide (Brandon Edition) Copyright © by Manitoba Foundations Group is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

Share This Book