Effective Indigenization of Curriculum in Canada and New Zealand: Towards Culturally Responsive Pedagogies


  • Edward R. Howe Thompson Rivers University
  • Shelly Johnson Thompson Rivers University
  • Fiona Te Momo Massey University




In this paper, we critically examine culturally responsive pedagogies in Canada and New Zealand. As each nation has a wide range of government policies and education systems, we focus our investigation on indigenization of teacher education programs at one institution within each cultural context. We are in search of best practices in terms of indigenizing the curriculum and effective ways to facilitate the gradual acculturation of novice teachers. Moreover, we seek to find out how these unique, exemplary programs are responding to calls to action (Truth and Reconciliation Commission in Canada and Ka Hikitia in New Zealand) in light of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples as a framework for reconciliation. The New Zealand Maori cultural context provides a mirror for us to reflect on Canada’s curriculum reform efforts to embed Indigenous ways of knowing into teacher education. For, it is teachers who ultimately can lead the way to advancing Indigenous perspectives, reversing decades of assimilation policies, evoking social change, and providing the bridge between government rhetoric and meaningful student learning.