Debrief Circle: Looking back at Change the Name

As a reminder, today (Feb 8th) at 5:30pm, there will be a debrief circle concerning the recent name change of the Men’s Varsity Team. Indigenous students, staff, faculty, and alumni are invited to this event.

This circle intends to provide closure to the campaign and provide an opportunity for the Indigenous community on campus to collectively heal from the emotional and mental distress that was experienced on a variety of levels.

You can register for this circle here.

Looking Back at ‘Change the Name’: A Debriefing Circle

On February 8th at 5:30PM (EST), there will be a debriefing circle focusing on the Change the Name campaign.
This circle intends to provide closure to the campaign and provide an  opportunity for the Indigenous community on campus to collectively heal from the emotional and mental distress that was experienced on a variety of levels.
This event is open to Indigenous students, faculty/staff and alumni. It will be facilitated by Konwatsitsa:wi Meloche, who is a community member of Kahnawá:ke, and the circle will be open and closed by an Elder, Michael Standup. As well, participants will receive a small gift for taking the time to participate in this event. This meeting will not be recorded.

Anti-Racist and Decolonial Work in the Academy and Beyond: Registration Open

Registration for the upcoming talks in the Department of English’s Speaker Series has opened. To learn more about this series and ISCEI’s involvement, check out our previous post about it here. These talks are free but require an RSVP, if you would like to register, please follow the links below!

 

Vicky Boldo (Cree/Métis), Autumn Godwin (nehithaw iskwew), Laurence Lainesse (white settler): “Collective Resistance & Solidarity: Creating Social and Decolonial Change” (January 27, 3-5pm EST)

Register to attend this talk here

 

Kim TallBear (Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate): “Diversity v. Decolonization in the Academy” (February 9, 5-6pm EST)

Register to attend this talk here

Speaker Series: How to Do Anti-Racist and Decolonial Work Within the Academy and Beyond McGill Department of English

The EGSA’s 2020-21 Equity and Diversity Committee has organized a four-part webinar / speaker series entitled “How to Do Anti-Racist and Decolonial Work Within the Academy and Beyond.” It will take place in January and February 2021 and is open to both graduate students and faculty members of McGill’s Department of English.

With the support of ISCEI and the Mellon Grant, this series includes Indigenous speakers who will be sharing their knowledge on this topic. Indigenous speakers include Vicky Boldo, Autumn Godwin and Kim Tallbear. See below for some of the topics and speakers in this series!

 

Beth Berila: “Building an Anti-Racist Culture” (January 14, 9-12pm EST)

This interactive workshop will explore how to practice anti-racism at the individual, collective, and structural levels in your department. We will discuss what is already working and generate best practices for anti-racism in our lives, pedagogies, departmental practices/policies, and communities.

Vicky Boldo (Cree/Métis), Autumn Godwin (nehithaw iskwew), Laurence Lainesse (white settler): “Collective Resistance & Solidarity: Creating Social and Decolonial Change” (January 27, 3-5pm EST)

Are you open-minded? Do you welcome diversity and difference as an opportunity to learn and broaden yourself both professionally and personally? Are respect and dignity important for you in team building and community service? This two-hour workshop is intended to provide a culturally safe space for exchange between each of the participants and the presenters. From a perspective of lived experience, we will discuss different strategies of resistance and solidarity implemented by the facilitators and participants in their own communities and within colonial structures of Canada and Quebec. Let’s engage and explore how collective actions of solidarity and resistance can contribute toward the reconstruction of a more just and decolonial society.

Kim TallBear (Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate): “Diversity v. Decolonization in the Academy” (February 9, 5-6pm EST)

In Eve Tuck and K. Wayne Yang’s seminal 2012 article, “Decolonization is not a metaphor,” they define decolonization as bringing about “the repatriation of Indigenous land and life.” With this concrete transfer of (re)sources in mind, Dr. TallBear will address the differences between “diversity and inclusion” vs. decolonization. Also drawing on Adam Gaudry’s and Danielle Lorenz’s 2018 article “Indigenization as inclusion, reconciliation, and decolonization,” TallBear argues for a more critical approach than the settler state’s multicultural model of inclusion—one that seeks to aid repatriatiation of “land and life.” Dr. TallBear will provide concrete examples of what repatriation looks like in the context of academic decolonization.

Bettina Love: “We Gon’ Be Alright, But That Ain’t Alright: Abolitionist Teaching and the Pursuit of Educational Freedom” (February 22, 5-6pm EST)

Dr. Love’s talk will discuss the struggles and the possibilities of committing ourselves to an abolitionist goal of educational freedom, as opposed to reform, and moving beyond what she calls the educational survival complex. Abolitionist Teaching is built on the creativity, imagination, boldness, ingenuity, and rebellious spirit and methods of abolitionists to demand and fight for an educational system where all students are thriving, not simply surviving.

 

Robin Gray Guest Lecturing in the Department of Sociology on January 22nd

On January 22nd from 10:30 – 12PM, Robin Gray will be presenting her research titled: “Repatriating Indigenous Cultural Heritage: A Case of Ts’msyen Songs”. This presentation is part ofa larger speaker series in the Department of Sociology. Information on how to access this lecture will be provided below.

Robin Gray is Ts’msyen and Mikisew Cree, and an Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of Toronto Mississauga. Dr. Gray’s current research projects focus on the repatriation of Ts’msyen songs from archives, and foundational issues related to the preservation, management, ownership, access and control of Indigenous cultural heritage.

The repatriation of Indigenous cultural heritage, ranging from bodies and objects to knowledge, is a socio-cultural, spiritual, and political priority for Indigenous communities worldwide. Although Indigenous peoples have had varying levels of success securing the release of their ancestors and belongings from captivity, the repatriation of intangible heritage such as song is a relatively new domain. Drawing on research from an ongoing case study to repatriate a single collection of Ts’msyen songs from multiple archives with, by and for Ts’msyen from Lax Kw’alaams, BC, this talk will offer considerations about the colonizing properties of intellectual property, the reach of Indigenous dispossession in the archive, and why Indigenous laws should be respected as precedent for ownership, access, and control of Indigenous cultural heritage.

To listen to her lecture on the 22nd, you can click here for the zoom link or enter the meeting ID/passcode here:

Meeting ID: 839 2499 2870
Passcode: 042833

“Knowledge Mobilization: from SSHRC Buzzword to Actual Meaningful Thing”: Online Workshop for Graduate Students

The Centre for Indigenous Research and Community-Led Engagement (CIRCLE) announced a SAGE online workshop on Friday Nov. 13th 2020, from 12:00-1:30 PM (PST) with Dr. Shiri Pasternak titled: “Knowledge Mobilization: from SSHRC Buzzword to Actual Meaningful Thing”.

Have you come across the term ‘knowledge mobilization’ when tediously filling out grant applications? Have you wondered why this language of war is used to describe the thing you are quietly doing in libraries and in your room? And what you can do, beyond peer-review publishing, to impact the world with your research? Using Yellowhead Institute resources, tools, and “collaterals” as examples (plus some other great forms of public intervention), this workshop is a crash course on making knowledge matter beyond normal academic outputs.

Shiri Pasternak is a professor of criminology at Ryerson University in Toronto. She is also the Research Director at the Yellowhead Institute, a First Nations’-focused and -led think tank based at Ryerson. She is the author of the award-winning book Grounded Authority: the Algonqins of Barriere Lake Against the State, and a bunch of other articles and essays all obsessively focused on abolishing the settler state.

Registration is limited and open to UVic graduate students, faculty, and staff as well as Indigenous graduate students throughout Canada. Register in advance for this meeting: https://uvic.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZMrd-mqpzsjG9UX1QoHThmKFgTPfLGMS5Lb

 

Michèle Audette Guest Lectures INDG 200

On November 4th, McGill’s INDG 200 course welcomed Innu political activist Michèle Audette for a Q&A session with students concerning Indigenous Feminisms. Students were given the opportunity to connect and ask questions about her work and its relevance to the larger Indigenous communities.

Michèle Audette has served as president of Femmes autochtones du Québec (Quebec Native Women) and the Native Women’s Association of Canada. In 2017, she was appointed as one of the five commissioners of the government’s national inquiry: Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG).

When Canadian society creates systems in which violence becomes pervasive, and which puts Indigenous women at risk, we fail our collective responsibilities.” – Michèle Audette 

You can find more information here about her work on the national inquiry on MMIWG.

McGill Students at AFN’s Youth Summit on Language Revitalization

The Assembly of First Nations hosted an online National Youth Gathering from the Languages and Culture Sector virtually over the weekend of October 17th and 18th. This gathering, Spirit Speakers: Our Languages, Our Future, was originally scheduled for March 27th-30th 2020, however, due to health concerns stemming from COVID-19, the gathering was canceled.

The gathering’s goal was to create a collaborative discussion space for youth to share their experiences, best practices, successes, challenges, and recommendations regarding the revitalization, promotion, and maintenance of Indigenous languages.

One of the organizers of the gathering is Isabelle Zwicker, an Anishinaabe student who is currently at McGill studying Law. In the gathering itself, Zwicker helped facilitate and moderate discussions as well as making sure that the gathering ran smoothly. As well, Vanessa Racine (an Anishinaabe student at McGill and Administrative Coordinator for ISCEI) attended the conference.

Some of the concerns that participants voiced were the lack of visibility of Indigenous languages both in schools as well as in general media.

The ideas, experiences, and comments from the First Nations youth participants were compiled into a report and will be shared with the Assembly of First Nations (AFN) and other leaders in language revitalization.

Indigenous Awareness Week at McGill

Indigenous Awareness Week has begun at McGill University and this year it is taking place virtually. On September 18th, the Virtual Powwow allowed attendees to view exhibition dances from home. As well, In honor of the weeks, the Hiawatha Wampum Belt flag was raised on the Arts Building.

There is still a chance to attend an event. On September 24th

from 12pm -1, join the First People’s House for a virtual presentation with Healers Geraldine and Mike Standup. Listen to a discussion of the body and mind, and share the importance of recognizing how the connection affects our health.

RSVP before the end of the day to attend this event!

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