The Emotional Labour of Indigenous Post-Secondary Students: A Trauma-Informed Autoethnography
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Indigenous students in post-secondary institutions often become labelled ‘Native Informants’-- coerced into offering their lived experience(s) and/or knowledges of Indigenous worldview(s), oppression, and culture to benefit the learning outcomes of settler students and professors., Indigenous students are also put in positions where they feel pressured to respond to in-class racism and microaggressions. Responding to racism and being labeled a ‘Native Informant’ in classrooms settings prevent autonomous learning by demanding the emotional labour of Indigenous student, which may also reinscribe colonial traumas. Similarly, Indigenous students may become retraumatized through course content that triggers embodied intergenerational and/or lifetime trauma(s). To reduce Indigenous emotional labour and (re)traumatization, this autoethnographic thesis posits that educators must employ trauma- informed pedagogies and restructure the social hierarchies within post-secondary institutions.