Module 4: Being an Ally 

In the book Becoming an Ally, Anne Bishop defines allies as people “ who use any opportunity to learn more and then act on what they learn” (p. 109). The work of becoming an ally requires an iterative process of learning and acting about oppression, power, and privilege and then acting in solidarity with the marginalized. In doing so, one is going to make mistakes. However, that is part of learning. Meaghan Carpenter says it well in this short article Get it wrong for me: What I need from allies (approximately 8 min).

In the context of Canada, engaging with what Indigenous Peoples are asking from Allies is critical. This resource Indigenous Ally Toolkit: Montreal Urban Aboriginal Strategy Network provides a framework for practical allyship (Consider giving a reasonable amount of time to reading this resource, suggested 30 minutes). 

Allyship is a practice, and this TED Talk 3 ways to be a better ally in the workplace ( 9 min) by Melinda Epler is illuminating.

Now that you have engaged with the resources above, it's time to journal. You may use the questions below as a guide. 

Reflection Questions

  • What does allyship look like in your life? What shapes and forms does it take now, and has it brought in the past? What are you learning about yourself?

  • Think of a time when you witnessed or became aware of injustice. How did you feel? What did you do? 

  • Travel back to that moment and step more fully into the role of ally. Would you respond differently? How?

  • How might you be able to step more fully into the role of an ally at CES? 

  • How can evaluation be a site of allyship practice? Brainstorm some ideas that apply to your work context.

  • Any other reflections?


Bishop, A. ( 2002). Becoming an Ally: Breaking the cycle of oppression in people. Halifax: Fernwood Publishing.

Carpenter, M. (2020, May). Get it wrong for me. What I need from allies [Video File]. Youtube.

Epler, M. (2018, October). 3 ways to be a better ally in the workplace. YouTube. 

Ferrara, Nadia. (2015). Reconciling and Rehumanizing Indigenous-Settler Relations: An Applied Anthropological Perspective. 

Lamont, A ( n.d). Guide to allyship. Retrieved from

Montreal Urban Aboriginal Strategy Network (2019). Indigenous Ally Toolkit. Retrieved from

First Nations Information Governance Center (2014). Ownership, Control, Access, Possession: The Path to First Nations Governance