School of Education and Human Development

Libra Scholar Series: Abolitionist Education

USM School of Education and Human Development Libra Scholar Series 

Abolitionist Education Series: Curriculum, Instruction, Scholarship and Practice

The 2021-2022 Libra Scholar active learning series celebrates three indigenous scholars who will support and strengthen our abolitionist understanding and work.


  • Abolition: the action or an act of abolishing a system, practice, or institution.
  • Abolitionist: a person who favors the abolition of a practice or institution
  • Abolitionist teaching: inclusive teaching that combats injustice in our own schools and communities, based on the belief that no black, brown or indigenous child is disposable

This series builds off the Libra Committee’s previous work and USM’s recent community-wide focus on anti-racism. There are three featured scholars:

Megan Bang

Dr. Megan Bang

Date: Thursday, May 5 from 5:00-6:30pm via Zoom
Recording Available:

FMI about Registration and the Public Lecture visit here.

About Dr. Bang
Megan Bang (Ojibwe and Italian descent) is a Professor of the Learning Sciences and Psychology at Northwestern University and is currently serving as the Senior Vice President at the Spencer Foundation. Dr. Bang studies dynamics of culture, learning, and development broadly with a specific focus on the complexities of navigating multiple meaning systems in creating and implementing more effective and just learning environments in science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics education. She focuses on reasoning and decision-making about complex socio-ecological systems in ways that intersect with culture, power, and historicity. Central to this work are dimensions of identity, equity and community engagement. She conducts research in both schools and informal settings across the life course. She has taught in and conducted research in teacher education as well as leadership preparation programs. Dr. Bang currently serves on the Board of Science Education at the National Academy of Sciences. She also serves as an executive editor of Cognition and Instruction and is on the editorial boards of several other top tiered journals in the field.


Dr. Battiste

Dr. Marie Battiste

Decolonizing the Academy: A ‘Lnu Lifelong Lifeward Learning and Advocacy for Cognitive Justice

Date: March 24, 2022
Recording Available:

In this lecture, Dr. Marie Battiste shares her personal life journey through Eurocentric academies of the insights and influencers that helped shape a lived life as a Mi’kmaw/Micmac growing out of colonialism and cognitive imperialism through a critique of Eurocentric colonialism in disciplinary knowledges and her growing research, publications and talks that have forged an academic journey seeking cognitive and social justice, the recognition and protection of Indigenous knowledges, and the imperatives for reconciliation with Indigenous peoples through the respect for constitutional aboriginal and treaty rights.

About Dr. Battiste

Dr. Marie Battiste is a Mi’kmaw educator from the Potlotek First Nation and from Aroostook Band of Micmacs in Maine. A Professor Emerita at the University of Saskatchewan, she has returned to Nova Scotia and is currently a Special Advisor to the Vice President Academic at Cape Breton University on Decolonizing the Academy. She holds a B.S. degree from the University of Maine at Farmington and graduate degrees from Harvard and Stanford universities, and has been honoured with four honorary degrees (UMaine Farmington, St.Mary’s, Thompson Rivers, and Ottawa).

Widely published, she is author of Decolonizing Education: Nourishing the Learning Spirit (Purich Press, 2013) and co-authored with J.Y. Henderson on Protecting Indigenous Knowledge and Heritage: A Global Challenge (Purich Press/UBC Press, 2000), edited several collections, the most recent are Visioning Mi’kmaw Humanities: Indigenizing the Academy (2016), Living Treaties: Narrating Mi’kmaw Treaty Relations (2016), and The Engaged Scholar Journal for Community Engaged Research, Teaching and Learning on the theme of Indigenous and Trans-systemic Knowledges. She is a 2019 Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation Fellow, an honorary Officer of the Order of Canada, and an elected Fellow to the Royal Society of Canada.


Dr. Rebecca Sockbeson

Dr. Rebecca Sockbeson

Maine Indigenous Education Left Behind: A Call for Anti-Racist Conviction for Political Will Toward Decolonization

Date: December 15, 2021
Recording Available:

About Dr. Sockbeson

Dr. Rebecca Sockbeson (she/her) is an Associate Professor with the Department of Educational Policy Studies in the Faculty of Education at the University of Alberta.

Dr. Sockbeson is of the Penobscot Indian Nation, the Waponahki Confederacy of tribes located in Indian Island, Maine, United States and the Maritime provinces of Canada. She is the 8th child of the Elizabeth Sockbeson clan, the auntie of over 100 Waponahki & Stoney Sioux youth, and the mother of three children who are also of the Alexis Nakota Sioux Nation of Alberta. She earned a Masters Degree in Education from Harvard University and a PhD in Educational Policy Studies at the University of Alberta.

Rebecca is an activist and scholar, specializing in Indigenous Peoples Education. Her research focuses on Indigenous knowledge and knowledge mobilization, Aboriginal healing through language and culture, anti-racism and decolonization. In 2013, she received, together with her Indigenous colleagues, the University of Alberta Human Rights Teaching Award for her role in coordinating and teaching Alberta’s first compulsory course in Aboriginal Education.

Contact Information

Angela Atkinson Duina

(207) 780-5338