Trudy Cardinal, PhD, MEd, BEd

Associate Professor, Faculty of Education - Elementary Education


Associate Professor, Faculty of Education - Elementary Education
(780) 492-8294
632 Education Centre - South
11210 - 87 Ave NW
Edmonton AB
T6G 2G5




Dr. Trudy Cardinal is a Cree/Métis educator from Northern Alberta. As a former Elementary School teacher of 13 years, a mother, a grandmother, an aunty, and an Indigenous scholar she is dedicated to continuing to deepen understanding of the educational experiences of First Nations, Metis & Inuit children, youth and families. Her current research is an inquiry into former teacher education students' thinking in regards to the possibilities relational pedagogies and Indigenous ways of being and knowing create for shifting how schooling attends to literacy, particularly literacy in an Indigenous context.

Academic Credentials
Bachelor of Education (Elementary Generalist), University of Alberta, 1995 
Master of Education (Indigenous Peoples Education specialization), University of Alberta, 2010
Doctor of Philosophy, University of Alberta, 2014


Trudy Cardinal’s research lends itself to: Identity negotiations of Aboriginal children, youth and families in and out of schools, narrative inquiry, Indigenous research, and teacher education.


I recall many moments as a little girl of sitting as close as possible to the women who would gather in kitchens sharing a meal, or on the land picking berries, or in vehicles travelling together to distant place. In these moments listening to the conversations I would try to understand the motivations of the characters in the stories they told. I would try to understand the subtle shift in the stories and storytellers depending on who the audience was and the context of where the conversations were held. I was already, at that young age, fascinated with stories; the stories themselves as well as the ways stories would shift in the telling and retelling. I have come to believe that the story itself should be the teacher (Archibald, 2008) and that there is much to be gained in the telling, retelling and inquiring into story. I began to see how even as a little girl I understood the importance of learning through life, through the living alongside of others and also to the ethical responsibility involved in narrative. Cole says, “their story, yours, mine—it’s what we all carry with us on this trip we take, and we owe it to each other to respect our stories and learn from them” (p. 31).

Clandinin and Connelly (1998), write in the context of the education of children:
As we think about our own lives and the lives of teachers and children with whom we engage, we see possibilities for growth and change. As we learn to tell, to listen and to respond to teachers’ and children’s stories, we imagine significant educational consequences for children and teachers in schools and for faculty members in universities through more mutual relations between schools and universities. (pp. 246-247)

In my teaching in the past, in an elementary public school setting, and now as a university professor, I am aware that the relational way I engage in those activities resonates with Clandinin and Connelly’s understanding of teaching, as an experience that is relational and that takes a stance of inquiry, where people interact to tell, retell, live and relive their experiences. Embedded in this process are inherent possibilities to shift lives. I think about Cole’s (1989) words and I continue to be aware that the telling, retelling, living and reliving of experiences calls forth obligations and ways of interacting and responding to and with one another.

Attending to how my students are experiencing my teaching will require a wakefulness and attentiveness to be present in all our interactions. Excellent teaching will require that I remain faithful to the relational ontology that is also part of narrative inquiry and paying attention to the relational and relational knowing while also acknowledging that lives are always in the midst.


EDEL 412 - Teaching Language Arts in First Nations, Inuit and Métis Contexts

This course is designed to help prepare teachers to develop learners' oral and written language skills in elementary classrooms, particularly for First Nations, Inuit, and Métis (FNIM) students. It offers an overview, within the Canadian context, of the linguistic, psycholinguistic, and sociolinguistic backgrounds, strengths and needs of FNIM children in elementary classrooms. Topics include language acquisition, bilingualism, bidialectalism, linguistic diversity, language maintenance and loss, teaching Standard English as a second language or dialect, and materials evaluation and development. Prerequisite: EDEL 305 or consent of the Department.

EDEL 495 - Seminar in Group Projects in Elementary Education II

Prerequisite: consent of Department. Sections may be offered at an increased rate of fee assessment; refer to the Tuition and Fees page in the University Regulations sections of the Calendar.

EDU 560 - Honouring Indigenous Ways of Knowing, Being, and Doing in Literacy Learning

This course is designed to transform understandings of Indigenous ways of nurturing literacy learning. Students will have the opportunity to participate in diverse experiences designed to deepen understanding of the potential of Indigenous knowledges and pedagogies for transforming understandings of Literacy and how we can inspire and nurture literacy alongside our next generations of children and youth.

Browse more courses taught by Trudy Cardinal

Featured Publications

Cardinal, T., Murphy, M. S., Huber, J., & Pinnegar, S.

Studying Teacher Education. 2022 January;

Huber, J., Cardinal, T., & Murphy, M.S.

Frontiers in Education. 2022 January; 6

Branch-Mueller, J., Pegg, J. ., Kim, M., & Cardinal, T.

Brock Education Journal. 2021 March; 30 (1):30-50

Pinnegar, S., Murphy, M.S., Cardinal, T., & Huber, J.

In J. Kitchen (Ed.), Writing as a Method for the Self-Study of Practice. 2021 January;

Cardinal, T.

In B. Brantford (Ed.), The Doctoral Journey: International Educationalist Perspectives. 2021 January;

Steinhauer, E., Cardinal, T., Higgins, M., Madden, B., Steinhauer, N., Steinhauer, P., Underwood, M. Wolfe, A., Cardinal, B.

In S. Cote-Meek & T. Moeke-Pickering (Eds.), Decolonizing and indigenizing education in Canada. 2020 January;

Cardinal, T., Murphy, S. & Huber, J.

Narrativas en la formación del profesorado. 2019 January;

Cardinal, T., & Fenichel, S.

In Ross. V, Chan, E. and Keyes, D.K. (Eds). Crossroads of the Classroom: Narrative Intersections of Teacher Knowledge and Subject Matter. 2017 January;

Cardinal, T.

Alberta Voices. 2016 November; 13 (1):27-30

Lange, E., Chovanec, D., Cardinal, T., Kajner, T., & Smith Acuña, N.

Canadian Journal for the Study of Adult Education. 2015 June; 27 (3):83-104

Trudy Cardinal

Canadian Social Studies. 2015 January; 48 (1):1-7

Cardinal, T., Lambert, L., & Lamouche, S.

The Journal of the Canadian Philosophy of Education Society. 2015 January; 22 (2):8-22

Cardinal, T.

Education & Research Archive (ERA). 2014 April;

Cardinal, T.

LEARNing Landscapes. 2011 January; 4 (2):79-91

Cardinal, T.

Education & Research Archive (ERA). 2010 December;