Colin Laroque (2013)

LaroqueAffiliation at the time of the award: Mount Allison University, Geography and Environment.

Citation: Maria Campbell, the great Metis teacher and writer, once said, “When people asked me about our culture, I didn’t know what to say, because we didn’t have Culture. Years later, I realized everything we do is our culture!” Everything Colin Laroque does as a teacher flows from his Saskatchewan Metis and academic culture. For thousands of years, Canada’s First Nations taught their children to live in harmony with Nature. They taught through stories and lived experience.

Colin Laroque’s teaching and leadership are both traditional and radically new. He absorbed wisdom from his parents and Elders, men and women for whom “experiential learning” would have been a fancy way of saying, “being alive,” and “problem-based learning” would have meant “staying alive.” Through his stories, hands-on observation, site visits, circles of questions, and radical contemplation, Colin’s students feel a powerful sense of community and exploration—wide and deep. “This was the best course I have ever taken.”

A curious student himself, Colin continually seeks out pedagogical research to improve his teaching. His excitement is contagious. His humility is potent, inspiring colleagues and students alike. Colin Laroque’s work as an educator is perfectly encapsulated by the 3M Ethos.