Philippe: I’ll start by saying that I’ve worked under some very hierarchical structures in my career. Today, my approach is much more aligned with the goals of the circular economy. The hands-on exercise we’ll be doing with the cohort touches on both.
What I really like is the idea of learning by doing. It’s one of the aspects of the training that really resonated with me.
But when we started out, I was a little thrown by how open Cyrille was. We don’t often hear questions like “What do you think?” or “How do you see this?” His approach was much different than what I’ve experienced in the past. I’ve really enjoyed how he goes about things, even though it takes a little getting used to.
Cyrille: A game-based, experiential approach is already being used at HEC Montréal, but where Philippe really made a difference is in opting for a new approach with more specific content.
What’s changed is that the intent is very different. The lesson plan, the way workshop is facilitated, and the intent and objectives of the learning process have been reworked to be more clear-cut than they usually are. The collaborative construction approach has radically changed the lesson plan for the game.
FNEE: From a practical perspective, what’s it like to facilitate these courses? Describe the experience for us.
Cyrille: Because it’s a very hands-on approach, it really depends on the participants. It’s not like everything is written out in advance. It takes place over two days. We start by explaining what the game is. Then participants answer a few questions on their phone. Then we get the discussions going, start analyzing the answers and so forth.
Philippe will be facilitating the workshop and take the lead. That’s the way it needs to be, anyway. I think he’s in the best position for that. I’ll step back a bit and play a more supportive role during the analysis.
Philippe: So right there is a prime example of how Cyrille keeps surprising me (laughter). Like I said before, he’s given me a lot of leeway.
This interview emphasizes one of the unique features of the new FNEE school. The learning is shaped by First Nations and non-Indigenous pedagogical leadership alike.
The result involves more than adapting or “Indigenizing” the HEC Montréal curriculum. It is a comprehensive co-creation process developed “for and by First Nations” using key academic concepts. This unique approach will undoubtedly contribute to the success and positive spinoffs of the program.