An Arctic encounter with Indigenous and non-Indigenous youth as pedagogy for historical consciousness and decolonizing

Heather Elizabeth McGregor


In this article I reflect on a pedagogical encounter that occurred during my research with a program called Students on Ice, a ship-based expedition to the Arctic with youth and adults, including a large number of Indigenous Northerners. Together, we visited a National Historic Site and confronted part of Canada’s history of colonization. I frame this powerful pedagogical encounter with Dwayne Donald’s (2012) theory of decolonizing education, wherein processes of decolonizing and historical consciousness are deeply linked. I work to identify the dimensions of this encounter that produced such a powerful learning opportunity in service of both historical consciousness and decolonizing. I found that as students learned how people are differentlyhistorically conditioned, they did not resort to voyeuristic distance, but rather recognition of connection, and from that, “ethical relationality” (Donald, 2012) may flow.


history education; Indigenous; pedagogy; decolonizing; Arctic; Students on Ice

Full Text:



  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2019 Heather Elizabeth McGregor

Historical Encounters is a double blind peer-reviewed, open access, interdisciplinary journal dedicated to the empirical and theoretical study of historical consciousness, historical cultures, and history education.

The journal is published by the HERMES History Education Research Network concentrated at The University of Newcastle, Australia. The journal publishes a single regular issue in June each year, and a special issue in the December. To ensure timely availability of scholarship, articles and reviews are published as soon as they have been successfully through the peer review and editorial processes, adding cumulatively to the content for the single regular issue each year. No fees are charged for subscription or publication. The journal is indexed in SCOPUSDOAJ, Index Didacticorum, and Google Scholar, and periodically archived in the National Library of Australia's PANDORA Archive. Contributors to the journal retain copyright to their work. Please read the Copyright Notice for full details.

Click here to download the Journal Information booklet, with complete Author Guidelines.

Follow us on Twitter: @hermeshistory or #HistoricalEncounters

A/ Professor Robert J. Parkes, PhD
Editor | Historical Encounters
Faculty of Education and Arts
The University of Newcastle
Callaghan NSW 2308 Australia

T: +61 (2) 498-54080

ISSN 2203-7543