Event: “On Being a Good Relative” with Wanda Gabriel and Dr. Billie Allan

On September 29th, Wanda Gabriel will be leading a discourse on decolonizing social work education in collaboration with Dr. Billie Allan, who will be leading both Ceremony and Circle.

Dr. Billie Allan is a Two Spirit Anishinaabe from Sharbot Lake, Ontario. Allan is currently an Assistant Professor in the School of Social Work at the University of Victoria and Chair of the Thunderbird Circle – Indigenous Social Work Educators’ Network (TC-ISWEN). Billie’s current research work focuses on the impact of racism on Indigenous peoples’ health, child welfare as a determinant of Indigenous health and well-being, and Two Spirit resurgence.

To learn more about the event and registration, check out the Facebook Event here!




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!

Welcome Vanessa Racine!

We are very pleased to welcome Vanessa Racine as the new full-time administrative coordinator for the Mellon-funded Indigenous Studies and Community Engagement Initiative!

Vanessa is Anishinaabe from Beaverhouse FN and is currently finishing her BA in Linguistics and Indigenous Studies at McGill. She focuses her research on Indigenous language visibility, as well as language learning through alternative media. In addition, she focuses on community building and has been involved with Indigenous initiatives on campus. You can learn more about the initiatives she will be working to support on the ISCEI page here: https://www.mcgill.ca/iscei/our-intiatives

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!

Indigenous Knowledge Holder Series 2020

The Indigenous Studies Program has been holding Knowledge Holder Series for the last 6 years, which showcases incredible Indigenous scholars and artists. The 2020 speaker was announced, Lisa Qiluqqi Koperqualuk, but the series has been postponed until further notice. We will share updates once they become available!

Ella Martindale to University of Victoria

Ella Martindale, the administrative coordinator for the Mellon-funded Indigenous Studies and Community Engagement Initiative, has said goodbye to McGill and now on Lekwungen and W̱SÁNEĆ territories (Victoria), where she is beginning an MA program in Anthropology at the University of Victoria. Ella is also a McGill BA alum, having completed a BA in Anthropology and Indigenous Studies in 2019. Best of luck in your next steps, Ella!

Video celebrating 10th year of Indigenous Studies Field Course (IDFC 500)

Rahskwahseron:nis – Building Bridges is a recent video presented by Indigenous Access McGill and the School of Social Work, celebrating ten years of the IDFC 500 Indigenous Studies Field Course class. The course “provides an opportunity for Social Work, Law, Medicine and Anthropology students to learn about Haudenosaunee cultures and worldviews, with particular emphasis on linkages to students’ practice areas.” Watch the video here:

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