New Indigenous Faculty Lecturer in the School of Continuing Studies

The School of Continuing Studies (SCS) is pleased to welcome announce that the School of Continuing Studies (SCS) is welcoming George R Kennedy a new Faculty Lecturer. George joined SCS this August and is currently making his journey from New Hamburg, Ontario to Montreal to join us on campus.

George Kennedy is from Oneida nation turtle clan family.  His academic background includes a BA in History from University of Waterloo, MA in history from Wilfrid Laurier University, and is a PhD candidate in History at the University of Western Ontario. His primary research interest is Haudenosaunee diplomacy from ancient times up the Great Peace of Montreal. He developed a wholistic methodology based on the mind, body, and spirit to examine history. This is a well-balanced culturally based approach, which acknowledges ethical issues when utilizing Indigenous knowledge.

George, taught diverse courses at First Nations University, Western University, Wilfrid University and Conestago College where he also served on various committees. His professional experience also includes developing multiple educational and support programs that fostered student academic success and partnered with multiple First Nations and Indigenous Communities. George also has over 20 years of volunteer experience with various Boards of Directors and organizations that work for the betterment of this generation and those yet to be born.

George’s experience and knowledge will provide valuable contribution to SCS and the rest of McGill University community.

Please join in welcoming George and say Shé:kon

New Publication: The Flying Heads of Settler Colonialism; or the Ideological Erasures of Indigenous Peoples in Political Theorizing

The Flying Heads of Settler Colonialism; or the Ideological Erasures of Indigenous Peoples in Political Theorizing is a recently published article in Sage Journals by Yann Allard-Tremblay and Elaine Coburn, who are professors in Political Science. The article was published on June 9th, and is open access. See below for the essay’s abstract:

 

This essay relies on the insight that settler colonialism is an ongoing structure geared toward the elimination of Indigenous presence to argue that ideologies that legitimate and naturalize settler occupation are equally ongoing. More specifically, the ideologies that justify settler colonialism in major states like Australia, Canada, and the United States, are like Flying Heads that shape-shift and recur over time. We explore how two notorious ideological tropes—terra nullius and the myth of the Vanishing Race—recur in the work of contrasting contemporary theorists. Ultimately, Flying Head ideologies of settler colonialism cannot be defeated by reasoned argument alone, but by structural transformations beyond the settler-colonial relations that necessitate and sustain them. Following diverse Indigenous theorists and activists, we briefly explore prefigurative resurgent practices and how Indigenous political imaginaries, like the Dish with One Spoon, offer alternatives to transcend the settler colonial present

 

Read the full article (available as open-access) here.

Hiring: Associate Director, Indigenous Student Success

McGill is currently looking for an Associate Director (Indigenous Student Success). The Associate Director will provide strategic leadership in enabling Indigenous student success and retention through relevant planning, policy development, programming, and overall responsibility for Indigenous Student Affairs at McGill.

Minimum Education and Experience:

Bachelor’s Degree 5 Years Related Experience /

Hours per Week:

33.75 (Full time)

Supervisor:

Dir Indigenous Initiatives

Click Here to View the Full Position Summary

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.

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.

 

McGill Welcomes new Indigenous Faculty

On October 27th, McGill formally welcomed seven Indigenous academic staff (one being a recent hire who was not able to attend precious ceremonies), following a series of hires across departments and faculties. The welcome ceremony took place virtually and included prayer and ceremony by Indigenous Elders.

This series of hires stems from the Provost’s Task Force on Indigenous Studies and Indigenous Education, who called upon the University to set a target of appointing at least 35 Indigenous tenure-track or tenured professors by 2032.

Welcome and congratulations again on joining McGill!

Click here to read the full article from the McGill Reporter to learn more about the new hires.

Political Science professor Yann Allard-Tremblay receives SSHRC Insight Development Grant

Yann Allard-Tremblay, a recently-hired professor in the Department of Political Science, received an SSHRC Insight Development Grant. The grant funding supports research projects by scholars to develop new research questions and/or approaches. In the 2019-20 applicant pool, Allard-Tremblay received a total of $44,943 for 2 years.
Allard-Tremblay’s research focuses on “Disjunctive Indigenous Resistance and the Transformation of Political Thought”. The project “sets itself the problem of thinking about politics in light of the specific Canadian context of settler colonialism. It seeks to offer a theoretical synthesis and elucidation of the literature on Indigenous resurgence and revitalization. As well, it seeks to build on this synthesis to contribute to the decolonization and indigenization of Political theory; and to the reconciliation of Western political theory with Indigenous political thought.”
Congratulations on receiving the grant!

McGill Student and Professor attend 2020 Beading Symposium

The 2020 Beading Symposium: Ziigimenshin, was held February 6-9th. It is the second iteration of the Beading Symposia, with the first being held in Tkaronto in 2019. This year’s iteration took place in Winnipeg and was organized by the Manitoba Craft Council (MCC) in partnership with Urban Shaman, Manitoba Museum, with ancillary programming by MAWA (Mentoring Artists for Women’s Art). The symposium served as a place to contribute to the scholarly study of Contemporary Indigenous Art, with a focus on community and the role beadwork has in it.

With travel funding support from the Andrew W. Mellon-funded ISCEI, McGill Art History student Hana Nikčević and Professor Gloria Bell traveled to attend the symposium.

Alongside the symposium, attendees were also able to visit exhibitions such as Endurance ….. Patience curated by Daina Warren at Urban Shaman and Community Beading Table Group Show curated by Niahm Dooley at Mentoring Artists for Women’s Art (MAWA).

Hana Nikcevic discussed her experience at the Symposium, and particularly appreciated “the chance to learn about beadwork as a creative practice with resonances for cultural heritage, intergenerational knowledge transfer, community building, and aesthetic experimentation.”

The Symposium also focused on contemporary beading and encouraged participants to bring their own projects to work on at the many beading tables that fostered community and new connections. Ziigimenshin provided a space to explore and create a dialogue about the interrelatedness of history and present, theory and practice, creativity, and community.

To learn more about ISCEI’s funding opportunities, click here!

Noelani Arista’s “The Kingdom and the Republic” wins major book award

Incoming McGill history professor and Director of the Indigenous Studies program, Noelani Arista, was awarded the Best 2019 First Book in Native American and Indigenous Studies Prize earlier this year for her book, The Kingdom and the Republic: Sovereign Hawai’i and the Early United States (University of Pennsylvania Press)Professor Arista discusses her book in a recent article in the University of Hawai’i News:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Noted were her use of previously unused written historical records in the Hawaiian language, and her ability to contextualize Hawaiian history in “Hawaiian understandings of the past.” David Chang, of the University of Minnesota, says that with this book, Arista “transforms the way we understand Hawai’i in the crucial decades between 1820 and 1840. She upends a simplistic colonial historiography that makes American missionaries the dominant forces in the period.”

Our congratulations to Noelani – we’re looking forward to working with you at McGill!

Law professor Aaron Mills featured in Teaching for Learning blog

This week, Anishinaabe professor Aaron Mills was featured in the ‘Teaching for Learning McGill’ blog. He shared the core pedagogical practices of his class (Indigenous Constitutionalism, LAWG 508) that he “designed to introduce students to some foundations for understanding Anishinaabe law in particular.” This includes teaching, learning, and contributing in circle, a practice he became knowledgeable about through his grandmother, in his community, Couchiching First Nation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thank you, Aaron, for sharing your experience and knowledge with the McGill community. We wish you well in your online teaching this semester!

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