Asst. Profs Jake Chakasim and Omeasoo Wahpasiw on integrating Indigenous knowledge into teaching

July 12, 2022

Assistant Professors Jake Chakasim and Omeasoo Wahpasiw of the Azrieli School of Architecture & Urbanism were featured in a Carleton Newsroom story discussing how Indigenous faculty members integrate Indigenous ways of knowing and being into their curriculums. 


“In my courses, I attempt to centre Indigenous worldviews, focusing on Indigenous scholars and my own experience and nehiyaw perspective,” says Dr. Omeasoo Wahpasiw. “I seek to embody holistic teaching and learning methods. I want participants to bring their full selves to the course material and interactions with myself, colleagues, and the material,” she says. 


“Indigenous architecture is a medium to understand our relationship to people, place, and potential through traditional and contemporary forms,” says Assistant Professor K. Jake Chakasim. 


“I also include ideas that relate to Indigenous planning and engineering,” adds Chakasim. 


“Understanding these disciplines and how they are interrelated gives the students in my courses a better sense as to why First Nations communities are challenged with inadequate housing, boil water advisories, lack of water infrastructure, and are affected by the social determinants of health and well-being, including why we have more First Nations people in the urban (built environment) than the rural environment.” 


Read the full story here:…/indigenous-faculty…/ 

About Omeasoo Wahpasiw 

woman with glasses, wearing a tshirt and a scarf

Assistant Professor Omeasoo Wahpasiw is a nehiyaw iskwew living in Anishinabe territory. Her PhD dissertation is titled Tla’amin Housing, Architecture and Home Territories in the 20th Century: Invisible spaces Shaping Historical Indigenous Education. It explores how Indigenous people have maintained their cultural and spatial heritage even while forced to inhabit architecture that follows colonial paradigms. 


Dr. Wahpasiw co-wrote the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations Women’s Commission submission to the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls and 2SLGBTQQIA+ People.  


Before joining Carleton University in 2021, she was an Assistant Professor in the Department of Education at the University of Prince Edward Island, where she led a suite of courses on Indigenous culture and values and the emerging legacy of the residential schools. Wahpasiw is cross appointed with Carleton’s School of Indigenous and Canadian Studies. 

About K. Jake Chakasim 

Jake Chakasim is a Cree from the Mushkegowuk Territory situated in Northern Ontario, also known as Treaty 9 or the James Bay Treaty. Coupled with scholarly activities and professional practice, he has worked and collaborated with firms in Ontario and British Columbia. Chakasim is cross appointed with Carleton’s School of Indigenous and Canadian Studies. 


His approach to community design is interdisciplinary, informed by architecture, engineering, and Indigenous planning principles. He is currently a Doctoral Candidate with UBC’s School of Community and Regional Planning, with a research focus on resiliency, the internal migration, and displacement of Indigenous communities (a type of ‘domestic’ diaspora), including the foregrounding of an etymology of Indigenous design missing in Canadian schools of architecture.