Ensemble mentorship as a decolonising and relational practice in Canada


  • Yvonne Poitras Pratt University of Calgary, Canada
  • Sulyn Bodnaresko University of Calgary, Canada
  • Michelle Scott St. Mary's University, Canada


Decolonisation, mentorship, academic collaboration, higher education, Indigenisation


Inspired by collaborating on a shared vision of reconciliation, three authors explore ethical relationality and the practical ways in which their heterarchical ensemble mentorship serves to decolonise and advance a shared vision of reconciliation for university teaching and learning. As Indigenous and non-Indigenous educators, we are buoyed by those developing decolonising and Indigenising strategies in formerly colonised regions. Seen as a promising interruption to a neoliberal approach to education, the authors embrace the possibilities of imagining and creating an ethical space in universities where relationality is prioritised in service of social justice. While the complex nature of reconciliation within a Canadian context begets tension and highlights what are often conflicting value systems within academe, we maintain that innovations in teaching and learning are possible in what is now a globally disrupted terrain as students, faculty, administrators, and university leadership contend with the unknown, encounter collectivist Indigenous traditions, and tentatively explore decolonisation as an ethical avenue towards inclusive and empowering education. In imagining what is possible, we build upon Indigenous knowledge traditions and the work of leadership studies scholars to propose 'ensemble mentorship' between students and faculty as a collaborative and decolonising teaching and learning practice.


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How to Cite

Ensemble mentorship as a decolonising and relational practice in Canada. (2021). Journal of University Teaching and Learning Practice, 18(7), 177-194. https://open-publishing.org/journals/index.php/jutlp/article/view/526