Indigenization in the Hair Stylist Classroom.

The College of the Rockies Hairstyle program is incorporating indigenous knowledge in their classroom.

Often the thought of indigenization is met with confusion.

What does indigenization really mean?

BC Campus states:

“Indigenization is a process of naturalizing Indigenous knowledge systems and making them evident to transform spaces, places, and hearts.”

Where more traditional education focuses on the mental cognition, incorporating indigenous knowledge systems expands that focus to include the body, emotions and spirit.

Cutting hair can be seen as purely technical skill, and yet it is so much more.

In the Ojibwe culture, hair is considered to be a connection to ancestors. So the teachers now teach their students to ask their indigenous clients if they want to keep their hair after it is cut.

A whole new dimension is added to hair school when you incorporate indigenous knowledge.

What a nice gesture!

It’s a simple act of respect that deepens the relationship students have with their clients, their craft and can move us towards reconciliation.

Does this change how you think of a hair cut?