Fall 2021: Decolonizing Childhood Spaces

How do we begin to invite Indigenous & Black knowledge into our Early Years practice?

Friday, October 22, 2021
Place, Pedagogy and Otherwise Futures in ECE

Facilitated by Dr. Fikile Nxumalo & Dr. Cristina Delgado Vintimilla

This presentation aims to engage with a provocation: what might it mean to frame pedagogy in Early Childhood Education as a process of asking difficult questions? What are the possibilities for the creation of alternate educational worlds?

Our current early childhood education environments are created in a certain way, holding up a certain image of what childcare spaces are supposed to look like.

But what if we reject these ideas? What could our spaces look like if we re-envisioned them? What does a decolonized childcare space look like? What could Black and Indigenized spaces look like? How can these ideas transform our worldview, and that of the children in our care?

And what if we move the space outdoors? What provocations do we find there? What assumptions do we carry with us?

Participants will be invited to encounter an outdoor space near them, with guided questions to further the conversation.

Saturday, October 23, 2021
Indigenous Worldviews & Early Years Spaces

Facilitated by Danielle Alphonse & Norm Leech

As we begin to think with Indigenous worldviews we try to understand how we might bring these notions into our Early Years spaces. Sometimes the uncertainty and the fear of not doing things right can prevent us from taking the first steps.

In this workshop Danielle Alphonse and Norm Leech create a safe space for educators to consider ancient wisdoms in reflecting on their own image of uncertainty and beginning to take action towards reconstructing it.

• How do educators invite healing and strength to their learning spaces?

• What is the role of land in healing?

• What does it take for educators to embrace children’s deep connections with land?

• How might we begin to bring the ancient wisdom into our practice with children?

About our Presenters:

About Dr. Fikile Nxumalo:

Dr Fikile NxumaloDr. Fikile Nxumalo is an assistant professor in the Department of Curriculum, Teaching & Learning at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto. Her work is centered on environmental and place-attuned early childhood education that is situated within and responsive to children’s inheritances of settler colonialism, anti-Blackness and environmental precarity. Her book, Decolonizing Place in Early Childhood Education (Routledge, 2019) examines the entanglements of place, environmental education, childhood, race, and settler colonialism in early learning contexts on unceded Coast Salish territories.

About Dr. Cristina Delgado Vintimilla:Dr Cristina Delgado Vintimilla

Cristina Delgado Vintimilla is an assistant professor in the Faculty of Education at York University. She is also a pedagogista within the Italian tradition. Cristina’s area of research is pedagogy as living knowledge and as that which thinks and troubles education as a normative project. Currently, her research focus on creating pedagogical inquiries and pedagogies that address the complexities of educational contexts (formal and informal) in the Global North and South. As a pedagogista, Cristina is particularly interested in the intersection between pedagogy and the arts as a generative intersection for imagining alternative onto-epistemologies.

About Danielle Alphonse:

Danille AlphonseDanielle has worked for many years in Aboriginal Education in early childhood/child care settings (infants and toddlers), First Nations Education (FNED) in Victoria working with children in kindergarten as well as high school level students regarding cultural awareness. As an Aboriginal Supported Child Development Consultant (ASCD) at a Victoria agency she worked on providing services to urban Aboriginal families. Danielle is in her sixth year as the BC Regional Innovation Chair for Aboriginal Early Childhood Development (AECD) and is working on a number of exciting community-based initiatives.

About Norm Leech:Norm Leech

Norm has been the Executive Director for the Vancouver Aboriginal Community Policing Centre (VACPC) since May 2016, and is a frequent speaker, facilitator, and storyteller, about the experience of Indigenous peoples in Canada. Norm shares about the Indigenous Worldview and ways of being and knowing and communicating, and sharing about Indigenous relations including genders, the written word, and with the land. Norm is trained in facilitation with the Canadian Human Rights Foundation (now Equitas) and with St’at’imc Restorative Justice in Lillooet.


Friday, October 22 –
Saturday, February 23, 2021


This conference will take place online via Zoom

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