Indigenization and Internationalization in Higher Education in Canada: Synergies, Distinctions, and Local Institutional Contexts

IN/Relation team members Liz Otero and Janey Lew recently co-facilitated a workshop as part of the Learning at Intercultural Intersections conference at Thompson Rivers University with colleagues Julie Mooney and Rose Roberts from the University of Saskatchewan. 

The workshop consisted of small group discussion circles focussed on four themes: (1) synergies, (2) distinctions, (3) implications for societal change, and (4) institutional and regional contexts.


  • Synergies: What are some similarities/synergies between internationalization and Indigenization? Some examples can include: culture shock, ways of knowing, colonialism
  • Distinctions: What are some distinctions/differences between internationalization and Indigenization? Some ideas to think about: locatedness, importance of land and history
  • Implications for Societal Engagement and Change: Why is it important to engage broader Canadian society and other social/political/cultural communities into discussions around Indigenization and internationalization in higher education? What are the broader implications for this work? Socio-politically? Globally?
  • Institutional and Regional Contexts: What specific contexts impact and inform Indigenization and/or internationalization initiatives at your home institution or in your work more broadly? Such as territory, student population, and diversity.

Discussion Circles (Guidelines)

  • The facilitator will open the circle with a brief introduction of the process, their own perspectives on their specific topic, and the discussion will proceed.
  • Discussion moves in a clockwise direction. While each speaker takes a turn the rest of the circle members listen. You may choose to pass on your turn.
  • Speak from your own experience and knowledge, including asking additional questions to enrich the circle discussion.
  • Depending on the richness of the discussion, the other themes will be discussed as time allows.
  • Following the allotted time, we will regroup as a whole, and facilitators will summarize key insights and takeaways.

PDF of circle themes and questions.