TC² @ 25
Focus for This Month
Success Stories
Next Steps
Media Release
TC² @ 25
Focus for This Month
Success Stories
Next Steps
Media Release

Using Critical Inquiry to Rebuild Relationships


Bobbie-Jo Leclair

As a French-Métis/Cree educator in an urban setting, I see firsthand the impact history continues to have in our schools. Indigenous students are still the most marginalized students. Every day they bring with them intergenerational trauma that affects their learning and achievement. Consequently, I understand the importance of embedding Indigenous cultures, worldviews, and practices into student learning and activities. These efforts help to validate Indigenous identities and support Indigenous students’ achievement.


Witnessing the gap

I also see firsthand the gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous students. This gap can come in the form of academic achievement, cultural difference, or conflicting perceptions about history or current issues. The critical inquiry process has allowed me to help bridge the gaps between Indigenous and non-Indigenous students.

I have always thought that critical inquiry and Indigenous education flowed naturally together. When I recently joined the board of The Critical Thinking Consortium (TC²), it struck me that critical inquiry, as TC² approaches it, is much like an Indigenous way of knowing and being, whereby the learners' thinking and real-time problem solving help them connect deeply with their learning.


Exploring a shared history

As an Indigenous education support teacher, my role is not to tell a history of Indigenous peoples in Canada. Instead, my role is to engage students and teachers alike in the critical thinking process of exploring, processing, and coming to understand a history of Canada shared by both Indigenous peoples and non-Indigenous Canadians. By thinking critically about history, taking into account historical context, students can better understand and make connections to current issues. The process can help students see what has led us to where we are today as a country.


Relationship building

Relationship building is a necessary step in moving toward reconciliation. In my work supporting teachers and students, I use critical inquiry to help them build those relationships. Through that process, Indigenous and non-Indigenous students gain confidence in one another, so that they may take the risks that allow their learning to evolve.

Bobbie-Jo Leclair
Itinerant Echo Teacher
Louis Riel School Division
Winnipeg, Manitoba