The written nature of Western society and oral basis of Indigenous society present a key difference in the way we approach the world (Duarte and Belarde-Lewis 2015; Kovach 2021; Scully 2012). Within an Indigenous ontology, there is an inseparable relationship between story and knowing and a holistic nature to this knowledge (Kovach 2021). Stories become a valuable tool for teaching and learning, which can also be used in other areas where value is placed on contextualized knowledge. Through the inclusion of Siksika (Blackfoot) Elders in our archaeology field school on the Siksika Nation, we attempt to present culturally appropriate curricula which increases student’s intercultural competency. Our study sought to evaluate our teaching pedagogy and to understand what value students attach to instructional methods which incorporate Indigenous teachers. Using the First Nations Holistic Lifelong Learning Model (Canadian Council for Learning 2007) as a guide, we examine data from student reflective journals to evaluate the cultural inclusivity of the curricula developed and its efficacy in increasing student’s intercultural competency. We demonstrate that the holistic curricula provided was highly valued, and that the land-based and immersive learning environment created allowed students to reframe their own previous biases and understandings which ultimately increased their intercultural competency.



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