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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10791/345

Authors: Loewen, David M.
Supervisor(s): Dr. Debra Hoven (Athabasca University)
Examining Committee: Dr. Janelle Baker (Athabasca University)
Dr. Reinekke Lengelle (Athabasca University)
Dr. Lindsay Morcom (Queens University)
Degree: Doctor of Education (EdD) in Distance Education
Department: Centre for Distance Education
Keywords: online learning
Truth and Reconciliation Commission
distance education
social justice
cultural safety
cultural interface
ethical space
Issue Date: 22-Apr-2021
Abstract: In late 2015, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) on Indian Residential Schools in Canada released its Final Report and 94 Calls to Action. The TRC laid out how Canada has enacted ongoing policies and practices of cultural genocide against Aboriginal peoples and communities. In a 2014 book outlining a proposed research agenda for online distance education, long-time researchers in the field, Zawacki-Richter and Anderson argued that social justice is always at the forefront for individual educators and institutions engaged in the field. The purpose of this critical qualitative inquiry was to test and reflect upon this argument, as well as reflect on my personal position within this frame. To do that, this study has been conducted through critical self-reflection upon my own privileges (white, male, Settler, etc.) framed by my experiences completing an online distance education doctoral program, in turn, interfacing these with my reading of the TRC reports and Calls to Action. This study was framed and conducted in this way, in order to examine whether social justice aspirations, such as for example the TRC Calls to Action, are at the forefront of educators and institutions engaged in online distance education, and not just glossy aspirational statements, otherwise referred to as bullshit (à la Frankfurt, 2005). The process and outcome of this study was guided by the narrative method of autoethnography, which is recognized as both process and product. This dissertation highlights some of that process, and the results represent the product. This autoethnographic research is based on one practitioner’s experiences – mine, a non-Indigenous, white, Settler, able-bodied, male in the geographic area currently called Canada. This is intermeshed with my experiences within online distance education, and more specifically the doctoral program that I have participated in since 2015, which specializes in the field of online education. This dissertation explores and reflects upon various tensioned interfaces through interrogating my white Settler privileges, along with broader Setter responsibilities and response-abilities articulated within the TRC Calls to Action and related processes. These include interfaces with the Indigenous-informed concepts of cultural safety, ethical space of engagement, and cultural interface.
Graduation Date:  -1
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10791/345
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