Sharing Relational Stories About Engagement Between Indigenous Communities and Universities: Critical Conversations Through A World Café

Community Engagement Event Series

150112 - CEWG Event, January 26_emailPlease join us at this first in a series of events planned by the Community Engagement Working Group in the Faculty of Education, in collaboration with the UBC Community Partnership Unit, as part of the Year of Research in Education. Students, staff, and faculty from all units at UBC are welcome.

Following welcome remarks and an introduction to the process, smaller groups will circulate amongst a number of tables, changing tables about every 20 minutes. Leading the conversation at each table will be community partners, faculty members, and students, who, together with table participants, will explore particular dimensions of the motivations, joys and challenges of community engagement work.



Table #1: Awakening the Spirit: Revitalization of Canoeing in Musqueam

Presenters: Shelly Johnson, Assistant Professor, UBC School of Social Work; Corinna Sparrow, Manager of Social Development, Musqueam; Andrea Lyall, First Nations Coordinator, UBC Faculty of Forestry; and Jo-ann Archibald, Associate Dean for Indigenous Education, UBC Faculty of Education.

“Awakening the spirit: Revitalization of canoeing in Musqueam” (ATS) is a three-year research project with the Musqueam Indian Band and UBC working cooperatively to address this question “In what ways can the revitalization of Musqueam traditional canoeing knowledges contribute towards wholistic well-being in Musqueam?” The focus of ATS is to awaken the spirit of an ancient practice, maintain it for future generations, and repair and develop respectful relationships between UBC, Western professions, and Musqueam. The research team will share their first year experiences.

Table #2: Regenerating Survivance: Intersectionalities of Traditional Ecological Knowledges, More-Than-Human Intelligences, and Education in BC and Peru

Presenters: Peter Cole, Assistant Professor, Indigenous Education, EDCP; Pat O’Riley, Associate Professor (limited term), EDCP.

There is a growing realization by scholars and international organizations such as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change that addressing the current global ecological challenges requires a widening of the circle of knowledges beyond the ‘progress narrative’ to include Indigenous traditional ecological knowledges. Indigenous Peoples have long been seeking to have their knowings and practices acknowledged, not merely as ‘alternatives’ to the Western canon, but as equivalent epistemologies. Indigenous knowledges are sophisticated, complex, and based on millennia of observation and lived experience: they are holistic, land-based, and involve ceremonies and ritual practices that animate the interdependencies of human and more-than-human intelligences and agencies. Peter and Pat will share their research undertaken with Indigenous communities in BC and Peru to regenerate their traditional knowings and practices – enactments of mutuality, intimate pedagogies of place, and survivance. They will ask the participants to consider what radical/rhizomatic multi-dimensionalities, non-anthropocentric collectivities, and new narrativities education deeply embedded in a capitalist society might enact when intersected by the thousands of other ways of knowings that still exist in this world toward a more equitable, just, epistemologically diverse, and ecologically sustainable world.

Table #3: Decolonizing Knowledge

Presenter: Sarah Ling, Aboriginal Initiatives Graduate Academic Assistant

As part of the Aboriginal Initiatives team at UBC’s Centre for Teaching, Learning, and Technology (CTLT), Sarah Ling develops multimedia resources and professional development opportunities that encourage students, faculty and staff to foster a better understanding of local Indigenous issues and UBC-Indigenous relations on Musqueam land. She is the co-founder of Decolonizing Knowledge, an initiative that serves to address misrepresentations of Indigenous peoples on campus and facilitated the naming process for the həm̓ləsəm̓ and q̓ələχən Houses at Totem Park Residence. As a Master’s student in Interdisciplinary Studies, she works with the Musqueam Nation to revitalize the intercultural history of Chinese market gardening during the 20th century in their community.