"Know When to Hold 'em, Know When to Fold 'em": Navigating the more-than-dual roles of Indigenous leadership in post-secondary colonial institutions




Young, Ruth

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This work examines the characteristics of Indigenous leaders and the situational contexts in which they work that enable them to effect institutional change in the Canadian public post-secondary education environment. Drawing on my own work and interviews with Indigenous leaders in mainstream insitutions, this research examines topics of culture, identity, teachings, maintaining balance, racism, challenges and opportunities, and success. Knowledge gathered through the interviews revealed themes, highlights and caveats that offer important considerations for Indigenous people who are contemplating taking on leadership positions in post-secondary institutions. Wise practices and ways forward are posited in two areas: 1) self-care and self-preservation – being well so that we can do well; and 2) considerations for non-Indigenous students, staff and faculty in supporting their Indigenous counterparts and in engaging in the important work of decolonizing and Indigenizing post-secondary institutions.



Indigenization, Reconciliation, Decolonization, Post-secondary education, Being well and doing well, Self-care, Indigenous leadership, Indigenous methodologies