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Wayi Wah! Indigenous Pedagogies

An Act for Reconciliation and Anti-Racist Education

By Jo Chrona
Imprint: Portage & Main Press

Categories: Education, Professional Development, Social Science, Race & Ethnic Relations, Philosophy & Social Aspects, Multicultural Education
Paperback : 9781774920466, 232 pages, September 2022
Ebook (EPUB) : 9781774920480, 232 pages, October 2022
Ebook (PDF) : 9781774920497, 232 pages, October 2022

Table of contents

1 Where Do We Begin? Setting Up Our Space in A Good Way

  • Situating Ourselves
  • An Invitation
  • Some Structural Guidance as You Read
  • Discomfort: Moving Through the Fear of Making Mistakes
  • Taking Responsibility

2 Indigenous Education Is Not Multicultural Education

  • Defining Indigenous Education
  • Culturally Responsive Education and Beyond

3 Yes, You Have a Role: Reconciliation Through Education

  • Our Collective Responsibility
  • This Is Not “Just History”; This Is Now
  • Colonization Past and Present
  • Reconciliation Through Education
  • A Vision of a System

4 So, Let’s Talk About the R Word

  • Begin With Honesty
  • Becoming Anti-Racist in Canada
  • Investigating Our Own Biases and Assumptions
  • How We Define Racism Matters
  • Relational Racism
  • Systemic Racism
  • Learning and Growing

5 An Indigenous-Informed Pedagogy: The First Peoples Principles of Learning

  • Moving From “Learning About” to “Learning From”
  • How Were the FPPL Identified?
  • What Is Important to Know About the FPPL?
  • A Closer Look at Each Principle
  • Current Contexts

6 Authentic Indigenous Resources

  • Voice and Representation
  • Authentic Resource Evaluation Criteria
  • Collaborative Development of Local First Nations, Inuit, and Métis Resources

7 A Story of One System: Indigenous Education in British Columbia

  • On a Learning Journey
  • The Power of Indigenous Advocacy and United Voice
  • Government Commitments and Obligations
  • Bumpy Paths

8 Now What?

  • Next Steps
  • Final Thoughts: Working in Relation


Extend your learning to explore how racism and bias are embedded in education systems, as well as our own perspectives—and how to create equitable education for all learners.


★ Starred selection for CCBC's Best Books Ideal for Teachers 2023!

Now a National Best Seller!

How can Indigenous knowledge systems inform our teaching practices and enhance education? How do we create an education system that embodies an anti-racist approach and equity for all learners?

This powerful and engaging resource is for non-Indigenous educators who want to learn more, are new to these conversations, or want to deepen their learning.

Some educators may come to this work with some trepidation. You may feel that you are not equipped to engage in Indigenous education, reconciliation, or anti-racism work. You may be anxious about perpetuating misconceptions or stereotypes, making mistakes, or giving offence. In these chapters, I invite you to take a walk and have a conversation with a good mind and a good heart.

With over two decades in Indigenous education, author Jo Chrona encourages readers to acknowledge and challenge assumptions, reflect on their own experiences, and envision a more equitable education system for all. Each chapter includes

  • reflection questions to help process the ideas in each chapter
  • suggestions for taking action in both personal and professional spheres of influence
  • recommended resources to read, watch, or listen to for further learning
  • personal reflections and anecdotes from the author on her own learning journey
  • voices of non-Indigenous educators who share their learning and model how to move into, and sit, in places of unknowing and discomfort, so we can examine our own biases and engage in this work in a good way


Grounded in the First Peoples Principles of Learning, this comprehensive guide builds on Chrona’s own experiences in British Columbia’s education system to explore how to shape anti-racist and equitable education systems for all.

Perfect for reading on your own or with your professional learning community!


  • Short-listed, Manuela Dias Book Design and Illustration Awards, Book Design 2023


Reading Wayi Wah! Indigenous Pedagogies is the next best thing to learning from Jo Chrona in person. She has masterfully drawn on decades of on-the-ground experience and influential work to provide sage advice for educators, leaders, and learners of all ages. The reflection questions posed throughout the book are deep and practical, laying the groundwork for truly meaningful ongoing professional development opportunities. As well, I absolutely LOVE the Taking Action sections at the close of each chapter, which provide necessary calls to action that challenge readers in the best possible way. Jo Chrona writes with humility and an understanding of the complex job of being an educator, leader, and lifelong learner in Canada today. This book is a necessary read for anyone working in the education system.

Joe Heslip, Project Lead, BC Ministry of Education and Child Care

It was an honour to read this book. With immense expertise, humility, and care Jo Chrona has created a path for each of us to examine the personal and systemic racism that is preventing Indigenous learners, their families, and communities from achieving their rightful place and success in the education system. As we work towards reconciliation, the historic and current truths of oppression and injustice against Indigenous peoples must be known, understood, and addressed. Wayi Wah! Indigenous Pedagogies examines the truths of education and how they can be dismantled. This is an essential read.

Teresa Downs, President, BC School Superintendents Association

If you are feeling uneducated yourself and unsure about how to help your students grapple with the concepts of racism and reconciliation, let this book be your guide to greater understanding and confidence. The chapter headings are an excellent reflection of the scope of the content and will give you an idea of how useful this book is.

Diana Mumford, Canadian Teacher Magazine

Among Quill & Quire's National Day for Truth and Reconciliation: A reading list of books published in 2022 that provide a pathway to greater understanding, deeper reflection, and a way forward.

Quill & Quire

Learning is a lifelong endeavour. And for educators -- it can also mean making it an equitable environment for all learners. As we are set to mark Truth and Reconciliation Day on September 30th -- there's a new book that looks at that from the perspective of Indigenous Knowledge Systems. The book is called Wayi Wah! Indigenous Pedagogies: An Act for Reconciliation and Anti-Racist Education.

On The Coast, CBC Listen

Jo Chrona challenges educators to ask themselves “If not here, then where?” and “If not now, then when?” Wayi Wah! is designed to help non-Indigenous educators know better and do better. It provides the tools, the questions, the insights, and the background to help us all take action on racism and dig into acts of reconciliation. What could be more important?

Judy Halbert, co-author of Leading Through Spirals of Inquiry and Co-Director of the Networks of Inquiry and Indigenous Education

Every educator will benefit from Jo Chrona’s practical insights and effective strategies for embedding Indigenous learning principles in our schools and systems. Through learning about and then applying the advice Jo shares in this magnificent book, we can build a better learning world together—and this IS the right time to do so.

Linda Kaser, co-author of Leading Through Spirals of Inquiry and Co-Director of the Networks of Inquiry and Indigenous Education

I recently received a review copy of Wayi Wah! Indigenous Pedagogies: An Act for Reconciliation and Anti-Racist Education, by Jo Chrona. If the articles you read [in Education Canada Magazine] excite, inspire, or call you to action and you want to learn more, this book is a great next step (specifically for an Indigenous focus). With a compassionate and plain-spoken voice, the author walks us through chapters on the role of educators in reconciliation and decolonization, Indigenous education and Indigenous-informed pedagogy, understanding systemic racism, and more. Every chapter includes questions for reflections, ways to take action, and resources for further learning and classroom use.

Holly Bennett, Education Canada Magazine

Among CCBC's Best Books for Kids & Teens 2023, Ideal for Teachers, starred selection of exceptional caliber


The journey of an educator, that Chrona has so ably shown, is never-ending. She has written, in a clear, direct voice, an important book which is essential reading for everyone working with Indigenous peoples in the education system.

The British Columbia Review