Indigenous Knowledge Lecture Series


Hosted by the Office of Indigenous Engagement

This series is meant to highlight Indigenous leaders, scholars, artists and Knowledge Keepers, and spark key community conversations as we all work together to increase intercultural capacity and build good relations through awareness and knowledge.

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Wanda Dalla Costa

January 18, 2023
10:30 - 11:30 a.m. | webinar

Presentation: Indigenous Urban Futurity: A Lens for Reconciliation

Summary: This session will examine the concept of Indigenous futurity, a term coined by Dr. Grace Dillion to describe past-future visions where Indigenous peoples use creative thinking to construct alternative narratives about their futures. Viewed as a pathway toward indigenous revival, Indigenous futurities also provides a useful conduit toward restoring the balance between humans and living elements. Join Dalla Costa in conversation to examine the intersections - the creative, natural, social, and temporal forces - embedded in Indigenous-centric urban environments towards global resilience. 

Bio: Wanda Dalla Costa, AIA, OAA, AAA, LEED A.P. is a member of the Saddle Lake Cree Nation. She is a practicing architect and a professor. Dalla Costa was honored in 2019 by the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, added to the YBCA 100, a list which celebrates people, organizations, and movements shifting culture through ideas, their art, and their activism. At Arizona State University, she is the director and founder of the Indigenous Design Collaborative, a community-driven design and construction program, which brings together tribal community members, industry and a multidisciplinary team of ASU students and faculty to co-design and co-develop solutions for tribal communities. Her teaching and research is focused on Indigenous ways of knowing and being, co-design methodologies, sustainable design, and the resiliency of vernacular architectures.



Frank Deer

February 22, 2023
12:00 - 1:30 p.m. | webinar

Presentation: The Journey Toward Moral Truth: Reconciliatory Perspectives

Summary: One of the central aspects of belief systems that manifest in and across cultures is that of morality. A ubiquitous feature of humanity’s search for truth, meaning, and fecund social connections, morality is often strongly associated with religious and/or spiritual orientations. As many Indigenous peoples venture to affirm and embrace their traditional identities, their focus upon traditional systems of belief and morality have become more focused. In recent years, public schools have begun to reflect such systems of belief and morality in educational programming. This talk will be an effort to discuss how Indigenous conceptions of morality may be resident in educational forums and in broader communal consciousness.

Bio: Frank Deer is a Professor, Canada Research Chair, and Associate Dean in the Faculty of Education at the University of Manitoba, and also serves as College President of the Royal Society of Canada. Frank is Kanienkeha’ka from Kahnawake, a community that lies just south of Tiotia’ke in the eastern region of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy. Frank earned a PhD in Educational Administration from the University of Saskatchewan. Frank studies Indigenous education and Indigenous religious and spiritual orientations. Frank has previously served as a classroom teacher in Northern Manitoba and in the Inner City of Winnipeg.



Melanie Goodchild

April 4, 2023
12:00 - 1:30 p.m. | webinar

Produced in partnership with the Office of Sustainability 

Presentation: Niigani Miinigowiziiwin (We Give These Gifts to the Future)

Summary: How do we heal self and systems? Melanie will be discussing an Anishinaabe approach to systems thinking and complexity science. She will share a dibaajimowin (story) about her apprenticeship with complexity anchored in the principle of gidinawendimin (we are all related).  

Bio: Melanie Goodchild is moose clan Anishinaabekwe (Ojibway woman) from Biigtigong Nishnaabeg and Ketegaunseebee First Nations in northern Ontario. She is a PhD candidate in Social & Ecological Sustainability at the University of Waterloo. Melanie is a systems thinking and complexity science scholar. She lives with her family in Baawaating (the place of the rapids) in Three Fires Confederacy territory, currently known as Sault Ste Marie. She is on faculty with the Wolf Willow Institute for Systems Learning, the Academy for Systems Change, the Presencing Institute and teaches part-time at the University of Vermont. 


Stoney Nation

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