Oct. 4, 2018

A journey toward reconciliation through dialogue

Indigenous Strategy launches five-part lecture series Oct. 15
Shawn Wilson, Margaret Kovach and Suzanne L. Stewart are the first three speakers in the upcoming Indigenous Knowledge Public Lecture Series presented by ii’ taa’poh’to’p.

Shawn Wilson, Margaret Kovach and Suzanne L. Stewart.

The speakers.

It has been almost one year since ii’ taa’poh’to’p, the University of Calgary's Indigenous Strategy, launched. A direct response to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s 94 Calls to Action, ii’ taa’poh’to’p will require ongoing dialogues and thoughtful reflection to inspire deep evolutionary change at UCalgary.

To set forth on the long path ahead, ii’ taa’poh’to’p is launching a five-part public lecture series, starting on Oct. 15. The series, running until April 2019, will feature accomplished Indigenous scholars, who will share knowledge and research methodologies with the community.

“The Indigenous scholars invited this year come from diverse backgrounds and expertise, including education, health, psychology, and social work, while still sharing the common commitment to bring Indigenous knowledge forward in their respective areas,” says Dr. Michael Hart, vice provost (Indigenous engagement). “The series will provide opportunity for these first speakers to share their knowledge and experience with our local communities and to partake in a dialogue of resurgence, engagement, and transformation.”

Sharing space

Following the guiding strategy principle of "shared space" the series will welcome students, faculty and staff, as well as external Indigenous and settler audiences under the theme: Welcome to ii’ taa’poh’to’p: Moving Towards an Ethical Shared Space.

A recent arrival to UCalgary, Pam Beebe, UCalgary’s Indigenous cultural education and protocol specialist and co-ordinator of the series, sees the value in sharing ideas both internally and externally. “Before working at the university, it was important to me as a member of the community, to stay connected to the university through conferences, guest speakers, public events and to the Native Centre,” she says. “Now as a staff member, it’s just as important that I remain connected to the community.”

Diverse perspectives

The first lecture will be from Dr. Shawn Wilson, PhD, who is Opaskwayak Cree from northern Manitoba. His main focus of study is on Indigenous research methods, and he currently lives on Bundjalung land on the east coast of Australia, where he teaches at the Gnibi College of Indigenous Australian Peoples and Southern Cross University.

“Indigenous scholars around the world are responding to the call for decolonization by engaging in culturally grounded methodologies that reflect Indigenous people’s worldviews and traditional knowledge systems, which are diverse, profound, and prolific,” explains Shawna Cunningham, director of ii’ taa’poh’to’p. “This lecture series will provide an opportunity for the campus community to engage in ‘other’ ways of knowing, doing, being, and connecting within the academy.”

On Oct. 25, attendees will hear from Dr. Margaret Kovach, PhD, who is of Plains Cree and Saulteaux ancestry and a member of Pasqua First Nation located in southern Saskatchewan. Her work as a professor at the University of Saskatchewan focuses on the complexities of research methodologies and Indigenous Education.

To round off the semester on Dec. 13, UCalgary will welcome Dr. Suzanne L. Stewart, PhD, a member of the Yellowknife Dene First Nation. She is a registered psychologist and the director of the Waakebiness-Bryce Institute for Indigenous Health at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto, where she is an associate professor in the Division of Social and Behavioural Health Sciences.

Registration is now open for all three lectures. Students, faculty and staff and all residents of Treaty 7 territory are encouraged to attend. Dates and speakers for Winter 2019 will be announced in the coming months.

Register for public lecture series

Oct. 15: Shawn Wilson: Register here

Oct. 25: Margaret Kovach: Register here

Dec. 13: Suzanne L. Stewart: Register here

ii’ taa’poh’to’p, the University of Calgary’s Indigenous Strategy, is a commitment to deep evolutionary transformation by reimagining ways of knowing, doing, connecting and being. Walking parallel paths together, ‘in a good way,’ UCalgary will move towards genuine reconciliation and Indigenization.