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Hello Friends! As you may have read in the About Us section of this blog, I have been working on a Master’s degree at the University of Alberta in the Department of Educational Policy Studies (specializing in Indigenous Peoples Education) for the last five years. This has taken much longer than expected as I had switched from being a full-time student to part-time student (and part-time work) after the first year. All of last winter was spent here at the cabin, reworking and rewriting the thesis and I am happy to tell you that today I finally (finally!!!) sat for my oral defense.

The defense went very, very well and was an enjoyable experience. The committee asked me good questions and I was able to respond to all of them with thoughtful answers. After their private deliberation at the end, the committee decided that they had no further recommendations and congratulated me on a job well done. All that is left to do is submit the thesis and convocate (in spring). Hooray!

In case anyone is interested, the title of the work is: The Place Where Stories Are Shared: Two Indigenous Educators Enhance Their Pedagogies through Critical Reflection and Dialogue on Community-Based Education. My very dear friend, F, was my ‘co-creator’ and together we had many rich conversations about our experiences and challenges as Indigenous (Metis) teachers striving to teach in an ‘Indigenous way’.

I am very excited to be finishing this long academic journey and look forward to celebrating together with F and her family once we have our copies of the book in our hands. I am proud of this work and hope that it encourages other Indigenous educators, who may be asking the same questions that I was asking back when I was a brand new Indigenous teacher teaching in an Indigenous school. A heartfelt thank you to my supervisor, committee members, and all of the friends and colleagues who have supported and encouraged me over the years. Cheers!