Dr. Joan Garbutt

Academic Skills Specialist (Writing)

Research Image

Email: garbuttj@brandonu.ca

Research Description

In research for my doctoral dissertation, I used the arts-based methodology of poetic inquiry. Grounded in critical realism and in Indigenous philosophies of teaching, learning, knowledge, and social justice, I explored the actions, emotions, and interpersonal relationships of people identified to me as allies of Indigenous Peoples. Using transcripts from one-on-one interviews with allies, I constructed found poems that reflected the participants' experiences. The creative writing environment also allowed me to challenge and disrupt colonial writing conventions and to attempt, in my own way, to decolonize the dissertation form.


After learning so much from this project, I wanted to turn my skills to assisting with projects identified by the Indigenous Education Subcommittee of Senate at Brandon University as requiring attention. During my sabbatical year I was privileged to be able to work on a community-led project to adapt Pulling Together: Foundations (Wilson, 2018) originally published by BCcampus as an open educational resource (OER). As a result of countless hours of dedicated work by a mostly Brandon-based community of contributors, the Pulling Together: Manitoba Foundations Guide (Brandon Ed.) (Brandon Foundations Group, 2021) was published as an OER by CampusManitoba. Since its publication, this guide has become the resource guide for Knowledge Keeper led learning circles, where participants learn about the history of Indigenous Peoples locally and more distantly, colonization, and decolonization.


Research Area

Ally Development and Decolonizing Writing Centres

Research Keywords

allyship | ally develop | decolonization | writing centres | academic writing | scholarly writing | open educational resources (OER)

Faculties & Departments