Printer-friendlyIrving K. Barber School of Arts and Sciences /  > CCGS > Faculty > Margo Tamez > Teaching


"Indian education was never simply about the desire to "civilize" or even deculturize a people, but rather, from its very inception, it was a project designed to colonize Indian minds as a means of gaining access to Indian labor, land, and resources."  --Sandy Grande, Red Pedagogy: Native American Social and Political Thought.

"Storytelling  is at its core decolonizing, because it is a process of remembering, visioning and creating a just reality... Storytelling then becomes a lens through which we can envision our way out of cognitive imperialism, where we can create models and mirrors where none existed, and where we can experience the spaces of freedom and justice."  --Leanne Simpson, Dancing on our Turtle's Back.

teachingubcoTAMEZ       DOCOFDISC-TAMEZ       studentembod1

(Left to right) Kukpi Wayne Christian, Chief of Splatsin Band visited my INDG Governance course in 2013; the Doctrine of Discovery and its genocidal effects on Indigenous peoples is core to all my courses; Embodiment art work, such as this one demonstrated by INDG major, Crystal Prince,  give students a medium through which to engage contemporary and historical issues, micro to macro.

In each of my classes, students have direct access to Indigenous knowledge, critical shapers of contemporary politics, and the tools to embody and explore Indigenous theory and methods



  • INDG 203:  Indigenous Peoples' Historical Perspectives
  • INDG 302:  Indigenous Governance
  • INDG 304:  Indigenous Studies Field Methods (Pre-Engagement Strategies)
  • INDG 305:  Indigenous Justice
  • INDG 310:  Indigenous Women's Perspectives: Gender, Nation, State, Resistance
  • INDG 450:  Indigenous Women, Activisms, Feminisms
  • INDG 481:  Directed Studies:  (Topics have included Syilx women's history; Kainai frameworks for decolonizing secondary education;      Comparative Oral histories of Ukrainian and Okanagan women; Digital 'me search', settler identity, and decolonization.)  
  • GWST 110: Introduction to Women's Studies
  • GWST 395:  Gender and Women's Studies Special Topic
  • GWST 495F:  Gender and Women's Studies Advanced Special Topic

Graduate Directed Studies

  • IGS 503C/IGS 523C:  Indigenous Methodologies
  • IGS 503 H:  Indigenous Research Methods: Indigenous Community Practices
  • IGS 503 I:  Indigenous Research Methods: Indigenous Tattoos and Family Histories
  • IGS 503Z:  Readings in Indigenous Theory & Methods

Teaching Philosophy:

My teaching philosophy is rooted in Indigenous empowerment in education, and addresses deep engagement with UBC’s Aboriginal Strategic Plan.  At UBCO, I build on an extensive teaching background in Indigenous poetics, oral history, Indigenous environmental justice, Indigenous women’s studies, Traditional Ecological Knowledge, Indigenous resistance and leadership principles, and social justice.

I believe that a degree in Indigenous Studies must be firmly grounded in a critical engagement with historical processes, experiences, and perspectives of Indigenous peoples on our own terms.

Within Indigenous Studies, my areas of specialization are oral history, memory, justice, governance, gender, and poetics. I use an interdisciplinary approach, utilizing oral traditions, embodiment, me-search, we-search, history, law, arts, film, and digital sources as empowerment tools to develop critical thinking and to strengthen skills and practices reaching far beyond the classroom.

In 2013, UBCO students nominated me for a Teaching Excellence Award. This affirms to me that UBCO students value Indigenous grounded pedagogy and Indigenous grounded methods approaches.

Teaching at UBCO inspires me to reach more students who seek to build peace and to strengthen society through education, action, transformation, and service with, alongside, and for Indigenous peoples.  Bridging Indigenous perspectives to higher education is my passion.

tamez-turtle            TAMEZ-REV-STWORK           tamez-teach1

Last reviewed shim8/29/2014 2:19:55 PM