Leanne Hudson Creates Indigenous Culture and History Resource Through Internship with the Provincial Archives of New Brunswick
Second-year STUdent Leanne Hudson is hoping her internship project with the Provincial Archives of New Brunswick will help address the gaps in Indigenous culture and history in the province’s public school curriculum.
The project, “Integration of Indigenous Culture, Knowledge, and Traditions” — A guide for understanding New Brunswick Archives and Indigenous History in New Brunswick, Canada—available in English and French—is a publication that contains history on individual Indigenous communities in New Brunswick, geography, Indigenous names and language, as well as significant Canadian and provincial events.
“It’s a book that’s filled with Indigenous history with the goal of educating students, professors, educators—everybody,” Hudson said. “I call it the ‘Reader’s Digest version’ because it’s brief but it’s more digestible which will hopefully make it easier to learn from.”
Hudson, who is studying Communications and Public Policy, Native Studies, and Human Rights, was the lead on the project. It was researched, prepared, and put together by her.
The inspiration for the project came from Hudson’s own experience in the public school system in Nova Scotia.
“It was difficult for me to not see my culture recognized in my schools. In high school, I started advocating more and gained a better understanding of my culture, and I felt empowered to figure out why there were these gaps in public education and Indigenous culture,” she said.
“When I had this opportunity, I took a look at the New Brunswick curriculum and was able to connect with some people within the public education system on this project. It’s very much intended for public school educators to be able to digest and turn into material they can teach students.”
While the resource was created with educators in mind, Hudson is hopeful that those who want to learn more about Indigenous history and culture will also find it useful.
ACCESS THE RESOURCE HERE IN ENGLISH AND FRENCH
A Direct Connection to in-class Learning
Hudson, who was given this opportunity through Indigenous Experiential Learning at STU, has found direct connections between her in-class learning and the work she’s done with the Provincial Archives.
“Communications links directly with this project especially the promotion strategy,” she said. “I’ve been taking things I’ve learned in class—even things from this September—and using them in this project.”
Taking on a project of this magnitude has helped Hudson develop skills in organization, time management, content management, and sensitivity, as well as refine practical skills in writing and critical reading.
It also provided an opportunity to work within a government organization, something that she wasn’t sure would be a possibility.
“If you read the resource, you’ll see a lot has happened between Indigenous groups and the government, and it can make it hard to be in those places,” she said. “I had this opportunity—it was an amazing opportunity—and the Provincial Archives really embraced what I had to offer. They’ve been supportive and confident in this project, and now they’re willing to help me even more by making sure people see it and learn from it.”