Meet CIS Student: Teagan Sharrock

July 14, 2023 by Alexandra Pennell

Name: Teagan Sharrock  

Background: Settler, born in Oxford, England, grew up in Germany and Vancouver  

Program:  Major in physical and environmental geography and Indigenous studies, minor in human geography 

Graduate Year: 2024 

College: Woodsworth 

Areas of Interest: Rugby, environmental, physical geography, advocacy  

What drew you to our program (Indigenous Studies)? 

I took INS201Y (Introduction to Indigenous Studies: Foundations, History and Politics) in my second year because I had a background in working with an international Indigenous organization called Survivor International in the UK so I already had an interest in Indigenous peoples and culture and wanting to know more about the Indigenous peoples in Canada. After getting to actually learn about the explicit history of our Indigenous peoples, I realized my previous knowledge was not accurate and wanted to continue to learn more. First as a minor and then into a major. 


Which course has been your favourite?  

That is hard to say! I think every course I have taken has been interesting in the way it has expanded my knowledge. Coming from a settler background, some of the introductury courses were essential in building the foundation for Indigenous Studies. I am really enjoying INS390H (Research and Ethics in Indigenous Studies) and INS250H (Indigenous Environmental Science and Practice) because they are both specifically expanding my knowledge of Indigenous narratives. Like I said, every course has expanded my knowledge but these courses have shown me just how broad and in depth Indigenous knowledges can go and how to navigate mobilizing those knowledges in the academic setting and my own worldviews to help critically think. 


How has the city of Toronto helped shape your experience at the CIS? 

Specifically coming from where I live in Vancouver, Toronto is massive and really diverse. In terms of Indigenous Studies, Toronto has helped me see who is actually willing to advocate for Indigenous peoples and who isn't. Especially politically. 


What are your career aspirations?  

I have no idea, haha! I would like to combine my two majors and potentially work in something like consulting, where I can include an Indigenous perspective. 


In what ways are you involved with Indigenous Studies at UofT? 

I haven't been too involved, mostly academic.


What would you say to a prospective student interested in our program? 

From my experience, Indigenous Studies has changed my outlook on life, like my worldview in general. It is an important point of contention to have, in the way of perspecitve and who you are and how you percieve yourself in Canada. If you are open to new perspectives, even taking one Indigenous Studies course can change how you see yourself. You'll really get to explore the truth behind the history of Canada and how have you may have participated in it. It is an entirely positive experience taking these courses.