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Partnership with North American Institute for Indigenous Theological Studies provides new opportunities for curriculum expansion

Students at King’s have new opportunities for Indigenous studies under Indigenous professors, thanks to a partnership with the North American Institute for Indigenous Theological Studies (NAIITS).

‘Introduction to Indigenous Studies’ and ‘Colonization and De-Colonization,’ were two new virtual additions to King’s course offering this fall, with further opportunities on the horizon.

“By partnering with NAIITS, we have an amazing opportunity to have Indigenous instructors teaching Indigenous classes,” says Dr. Kristopher Ooms, Vice President of Academics and Research. “Classes like these are in high demand. It’s a great way to collaborate and bring Indigenous perspectives into our curriculum.”

Courses explore Indigenous cultures, peoples, and issues ranging from first origins in North America to present time. Topics include impacts of colonization, contemporary theories about colonization and decolonization, and how these realities intersect with Christian theology.  

“As someone who grew up around many Métis people, I thought I had quite a bit of knowledge, but I found myself learning in a whole new fashion,” says Kate Burmeister, one of the first students enrolled in the new courses. “Some conversations were painful and uncomfortable, but I think that was the most important part of the class as it affected how I think of all Indigenous peoples, both in and outside of Canada.”

Looking ahead, Ooms hopes to leverage partnerships like NAIITS, along with existing Indigenous-focused courses already offered at King’s, to support the development of a new minor in Indigenous Studies.

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