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.
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.
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.