Faculty of Education
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Sarah Burm

PhD Candidate


Room #: 1135

Sarah Burm

I am a fourth year doctoral candidate in the Faculty of Education at Western University. My research is focused in the area of Indigenous education and aims to explore the meaning(s) educators give to policy and how these meaning(s) affect the processes and outcomes of educators’ work within the context of Indigenous education in Ontario.

My research interests are fueled by my experiences as an elementary school teacher in a remote First Nations community in Northern Ontario. My previous research explored non-Indigenous teachers’ accounts of ways in which they integrated Indigenous knowledge and perspectives into their teaching practice. As an Ontario certified teacher with a focus on, and experience in Indigenous education, I am interested in exploring the larger metanarratives being told/enacted/embodied through educational policy and practices concerning First Nations, Métis, and Inuit (FNMI) students and how these over-arching narratives may be contributing to, shaping, or inhibiting the capacity for educational stakeholders to respond to the learning and cultural needs of FNMI students within the province of Ontario.

My most recent teaching experience includes instructing the Aboriginal Education course for Bachelor of Education students (2014-2015 academic year) and my involvement in the FNMI Summer Literacy Program offered through the Thames Valley District School Board (2012-2015).

In March 2015 I assisted with the planning and organization of the It Matters to Us conference. This was a collaborative effort in partnership with the Centre for Research & Education on Violence against Women & Children, The Sisters of St. Joseph, Western Faculty of Education, and local Indigenous and non-Indigenous representatives to support the work of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) locally. This event brought together more than 500 people and sought to increase knowledge, enhance self-awareness and strengthen the skills of those who work both directly and indirectly with Indigenous peoples. This conference served as a vehicle for promoting and exemplifying what it means to understand ourselves as contributors to the telling of a new story, one based on mutual respect and reciprocity.

I would like to thank and acknowledge the support of my supervisor Dr. Kathy Hibbert and my committee members Dr. Gus Riveros and Dr. Brent Debassige.