Forshaw, Laurel Dawn. “Engaging Indigenous Voices in the Academy: Indigenizing Music in Canadian Universities.” ProQuest Dissertations Publishing, 2021.
Canadian universities are under increasing pressure to address systemic exclusions of Indigenous peoples and knowledges, exclusions that have been perpetrated by residential schools, day schools, and universities. Canadian universities have, increasingly, begun to engage in Indigenization efforts; however, engagement in Indigenization efforts has been inconsistent and uneven within institutions and across the sector. Higher music education, in particular, has done little in terms of engaging in Indigenization, and this research seeks to address this gap. This research engages with six Indigenous musicians who each hold at least one university degree in music in order to hear their experiences in higher music education and to envision an Indigenized higher music education in Canadian universities. This research is, in part, a response to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s 94 Calls to Action (2015c), specifically Call 62, ii.: We call upon the federal, provincial, and territorial governments, in consultation and collaboration with Survivors, Aboriginal peoples, and educators, to: ii. Provide the necessary funding to post-secondary institutions to educate teachers on how to integrate Indigenous knowledge and teaching methods into classrooms (p. 331). Call to Action 62, ii provides a framework for thinking about and envisioning what higher music education—or post-secondary music programs—can do to respond to the TRC’s Calls to Action (2015c) in meaningful ways in collaboration with Indigenous peoples, communities, and Nations. This research engages with Ermine’s (2007) conceptualization of the ethical space and McCallum and Perry’s (2018) structures of indifference in order to conceptualize higher music education as structures of difference whereby Indigenous musics, musicians, knowledges, and musical practices are valued and included in ways that go well beyond Indigenous inclusion (Gaudry & Lorenz, 2018). The final chapter includes a lengthy list of recommendations, informed by the participants’ stories, for all stakeholders in higher music education, including deans and senior leadership, chairs, faculty, staff, students, patrons and donors, and audience members. The academy has undergone very little structural change (Ottmann, 2013) and the magnitude of what will be required of higher music education in the work of Indigenization will necessitate visionary and courageous leadership.