Beginning the Journey towards Decolonisation and Reconciliation


  • Heather Duncan Brandon University
  • Jeff Smith Brandon University
  • Laurie Bachewich Erickson Elementary School, Brandon University




Reconciliation, Indigenous education, rural, Indigenous curriculum, student self-esteem, belonging


Mino-Pimaatisiwin is an Ojibwe term for life in the fullest, healthiest sense. Grounded in anti-colonial theory, this case study explores the impact of infusing Indigenous perspectives into an elementary school curriculum on students, school staff, parents, and community. With a focus on building self-esteem and cultural connectedness among Indigenous students, it uses the cultural frameworks of Mino-Pimaatisiwin and the Ojibwe seven sacred teachings of a good life. Findings indicate high levels of cultural connectedness and a reduced gap in self-esteem levels between Indigenous and non-Indigenous students, an increased awareness among staff of Indigenous history and culture, a greater parent comfort level with visiting the school, and increased involvement from the community.

Author Biographies

Jeff Smith, Brandon University

Jeff Smith is a doctoral candidate at the University of Manitoba and a counsellor at Brandon University.

Laurie Bachewich, Erickson Elementary School, Brandon University

Laurie Bachewich is an elementary school principal and a sessional leacturer at Brandon University.




How to Cite

Duncan, H., Smith, J., & Bachewich, L. (2022). Mino-Pimaatisiwin: Beginning the Journey towards Decolonisation and Reconciliation. Australian and International Journal of Rural Education, 32(2), 1–18. https://doi.org/10.47381/aijre.v32i2.332