Answered By: Theresa Bell (she/her/hers) Last Updated: Sep 15, 2022 Views: 34
The Writing Centre’s online resources have been key to the Writing Centre’s supports since the centre opened in 2007. The development of the site between 2007-2021 reflected Western, colonial approaches to learning, and when we had an opportunity in 2021 to redesign the website, we were excited by the opportunity to “honour the work done in creating the Four Feathers Writing Guide by integrating that work into all aspects of the Writing Centre website” (Royal Roads University Writing Centre, n.d., para. 5).
We wanted to do more than a surface-level nod to Indigenous Knowledge, so with the appropriate permissions, we wove many of the Teachings shared in the Four Feathers Writing Guide into the philosophy, structure, and design of the site. We’re learning too, so while we did our best to be as respectful as possible, we recognize that we may have made mistakes, and we’re hoping visitors to the site will provide feedback if they have any suggestions. Our choices included:
- Asking for and receiving permission from Cowichan and T’Sou-ke Elder THE-LA-ME-YÉ Shirley Alphonse to extend the Teachings shared in the Four Feathers Writing Guide into the website;
- Developing the site in consultation with Russ Johnston, Director, Indigenous Education;
- Being mindful that we were making decisions with good hearts and minds, and with the desire to do things in a good way that is respectful of all the relationships involved;
- Trying our best to provide an online experience that welcomes visitors first as people who bring their knowledge, experience, and relationships with them to their learning. Beyond that, we hoped to support visitors to find the information they need, recognizing that visitors know best what they’re looking for, so we took an invitational approach that engages visitors through relational learning and provides suggested resources.
For people who are more comfortable with a Western approach to knowledge-sharing, all the Writing Centre’s resources are available via the Writing Centre guides.
For more information, please visit The Story of the Writing Centre Website, and for a deep dive into the story of the website, please watch the video below that is a recorded discussion about the development of the website with:
- Russ Johnston, Director, Indigenous Education
- Candice Cook, Indigenous Student Services Coordinator
- Theresa Bell, Manager, Blended Learning Success
- Caitlin Keenan, Librarian, User-Experience, Outreach, and Assessment
- Jonathan Faerber, Academic Writing Specialist
Royal Roads University Writing Centre. (n.d.). The story of the Writing Centre website. https://library.royalroads.ca/improve-my-skills/improve-my-writing/story-writing-centre-website