General

Join the conversation at Indigenous Education Week

Recently, the idea of introducing a mandatory Indigenous Studies course at U of T has been making waves on campus. It was raised by the Native Students’ Association and echoed by Carolyn Bennett, Canada’s minister of Indigenous and northern affairs, at a talk on campus.

These calls come in the wake of the report from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (TRC), which U of T has addressed by striking a committee to review the report and implement the recommendations on campus. The university also announced the establishment of a graduate research program dedicated to Indigenous health this past summer, and will host an Indigenous Health Conference this coming May.

With the dialogue about the TRC growing on campus, Indigenous Education Week (IEW) presents an opportunity to learn more about Native issues and culture, meet the diverse Indigenous community on campus, and join the conversation.

A banner for 2016 IEW. Background features indigenous art; text reads: "2016 Indigenous Education Week. All events are free and open to the public. First Nations House, 563 Spadina Ave., 3rd floor."

These are some of the events you can attend next week at IEW, depending on what you want to explore.

I want to learn more about the TRC: On Wednesday, February 24, best-selling author, journalist, and Aboriginal advocate Wab Kinew will be speaking at Isabel Bader Theatre about the findings of the TRC and reconciliation. Register for this event on Eventbrite.

I want to learn more about Indigenous art and culture. Several hands-on workshops offer you the opportunity to engage in Indigenous culture during IEW. On Tuesday, you can register for a workshop on creating cornhusk dolls; and on Friday, hear from Black and Indigenous emcees discussing “Rhyming for Black and Indigenous Liberation”, and try out drum making at OISE.

Indigenous artwork showing animals in a meadow in front and the Toronto skyline in back.

Indigenous artwork showing the Toronto skyline in the background, from the First Nations House Facebook page. Like their page to stay on top of Indigenous events on campus!

I want to learn more about Indigenous history: Check out Arthur Manuel, an Indigenous community leader, discussing “150 years of Canadian Colonization and our Right to Self-Determination” on Monday afternoon. On Thursday, you can hear Kyle T. Mays discussing the competing Indigenous histories in 20th century Detroit at Massey College.

Learn more about these events and other offerings of Indigenous Education Week on the First Nations House site. Share your experiences during the week on Twitter with the hashtag #UofTIEW2016

danielle

Danielle is the summer 2015 Communications Intern at the Office of Student Life. She wrapped up her undergrad this year and will be entering a master's program at U of T in the fall, studying in the Faculty of Information. She previously studied English and Jewish Studies with a minor in History. Danielle studied abroad twice, in Jerusalem and Berlin, did a service learning course, and did a few work-study positions. Her favourite part of her undergrad was working at The Varsity, the campus newspaper. She was the editor-in-chief in her final year. She's passionate about good writing, student journalism, reading, knitting, long walks (on the beach or otherwise), and table tennis, which she insists she is very good at, though her friends may not agree. You can reach her on twitter @lifeatuoft over the summer if you want to chat!

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