Catalyst 2016 -Dr. Judy Thompson

Dr. Judy Thompson will talk about how Indigenous perspectives can be woven into the new curriculum.  She will also introduce an Indigenous teaching rubric that teachers can use to be reflective about their own practices.  Her presentation will hopefully help to break down some of the barriers as teachers experience as they approach the redesigned science curriculum.


Dr. Judy Thompson / Edōsdi
Assistant Professor - UNBC

Dōsdi ushyē. Tałsetān didene hots’ih. Tsesk’iye esdā tsehi. Tlabānotine hots’ih ja’sini.

My name is Edōsdi, which literally means "someone who raises up pets and children", or more simply, “someone who is a teacher.” I am a member of the Tahltan Nation, my clan is crow, and my crest is frog. My English name is Judy Thompson and I was born and raised in La̱x Kxeen (Prince Rupert, BC) on Ts’msyen territory. I am a trained elementary school teacher and an assistant professor in First Nations Studies at the University of Northern British Columbia.

For almost 25 years, as a student, educator and researcher, I have been building relationships with Indigenous communities, which has included connecting youth with their Elders. I have mentored students of all ages and at all levels of education. I have developed many courses and programs, which have often included ways to Indigenize curriculum, decolonize teaching, and provide support for Indigenous learners. My teaching career has ranged from teaching at the primary school level, to teaching Grades 8-12 math and science courses to adult learners, and finally university courses in First Nations Studies.

I completed a PhD at the University of Victoria (UVIC), where I also completed a Master of Science in Environmental Studies. At Simon Fraser University (SFU), I completed a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology and the Professional Development Program, which lead to the completion of a professional teaching certificate. Earlier this year, my story, “Educator, Researcher, and Scholar” was featured in SFU’s Faculty of Education’s 50 Years of Stories: 1965-2015.

My doctoral dissertation, Hedekeyeh Hots’ih Kāhidi – “Our Ancestors Are In Us”: Strengthening Our Voices Through Language Revitalization From A Tahltan Worldview, employed a Tahltan research paradigm and spoke to the ways in which the voices of my people can gain strength and healing through the revitalization of our language. My doctoral research guided the development of a Tahltan Language and Culture Framework, which focuses on governance, programming, documentation, and training and professional development. Upon the completion of my doctoral program, I started working for my nation as the Tahltan Language and Culture Lead and began to implement the framework I had developed.

Over the past four years, our language revitalization team has grown and we have been able to implement a language authority - Dah Dẕahge Nodes̱idē (Tahltan Language and Culture Council), opened three language nests, bring UVIC’s Diploma in Indigenous Language Revitalization Program to our territory, as well as working on the development of K-12 school language curriculum, children’s books, apps, and an online and print dictionary. We are currently working with SFU to bring their Certificate in First Nations Language Fluency to Dease Lake this fall. In July 2016, we premiered a documentary entitled Dah Dẕahge Nodes̱idē - We Are Speaking Our Language Again, which documents the language revitalization work that our nation has been carrying out over the last four years. We are working towards our dream of starting a K-12 Tāłtān immersion school, as well as opening an immersion school for adult learners.

My research interests include Indigenous language revitalization, Indigenous research methodologies, Indigenization of curricula, and Indigenous knowledge systems.

Judy Thompson