Self-determination or relative autonomy.
Pedagogically we believe that students perform best when provided sufficient latitude to reach their full capacity. We believe that self-determine is a cornerstone for a better quality of life and cultural well-being. When charged with decision making, the choices made autonomously reflect the cultural, political, economic and social preferences of Indigenous peoples. We attempt to promote this in all our approach.
Validating and legitimizing cultural aspirations and identity.
In our learning environment, there is no need to justify one’s identity. Our goal is to provide a culturally safe and supportive space for all students. For CIT, a student’s identity, indigenous language, knowledge, culture and values are essential to their creative expression. We are conscious of the broader societal context in which Indigenous learners seek to make their way and thus believe it is our duty to ensure the survival of Indigenous culture in an otherwise overwhelming non-indigenous world.
Teaching and learning practices must connect with the cultural backgrounds and life circumstances of Indigenous communities. To this end, we prioritize culturally appropriate methods where-ever possible while including contemporary and Western theatre training, on the basis of what will most enhance artist development, professional capacity and overall learning outcomes.
Cultural community building.
The survival of Indigenous cultural practices is not possible without understanding the vital connection between the artist and their community. Foundational teachings guide these principals and are communicated by Indigenous knowledge keepers in a variety of ways as part of the program of study. This approach is crucial to our students as they progress in their careers and find their way into non-indigenous organizations and institutions.