Reflecting on National Indigenous Peoples Day 2021

 Written by Kaitlyn Corlett  

This National Indigenous Peoples Day and throughout National Indigenous History Month, I’ve been thinking a lot about what this means to me. While days of recognition are significant and obviously important, as an ally to communities, I often ask myself ‘What next?’. Not for the communities themselves, but rather for myself. What’s next for me in active allyship – and what can I do in my life, circle of influence or with folx I engage with?  

Allow Us to Reintroduce Ourselves…

By Shamim Ahmed and Heather Watts, Design Researchers at the Innovation Hub & Redefining Traditional

Screenshot of Shamim Ahmed and Heather Watts in a Microsoft Teams meeting, who are working virtually on Redefining Traditional, both smiling at the camera.
Shamim & Heather working virtually!

As we are jumping back into the Fall semester, we wanted to take a moment to re-introduce ourselves to you all. We are Shamim Ahmed and Heather Watts, the Design Researchers of the Redefining Traditional: Making Higher Education Family Friendly project at the Innovation Hub – University of Toronto. We look forward to bringing our voices and stories to this blog space, as well as be in community with you on our Facebook group [insert link]. If you haven’t joined already, we’d love to have you!  

A bit about us and what brings us to this work… 

The Conversation That We Need to Have

By Shamim Ahmed

Shamim speaking at a webinar or talk. Is wearing a deep blue shirt and using hand gestures to convey a message.
Shamim Ahmed – Design Researcher

I was sitting on the couch, reading a popular “Bengali”[1] fiction, and all of a sudden heard my daughter mumbling “brutal”. I looked at her once, and again went back to my reading when I heard her infuriatingly saying “that’s totally unacceptable”. I took a pause from my reading, sat back properly, looked at the television and saw that horrid image of a policeman sitting on the road with his knee placed firmly on a person’s neck with a stone face. I was a little startled whether my 12-years old daughter should be watching this, but then she left on her own without saying much. I inquisitively continued to watch the news and came to know about the horrific act of killing George Floyd, a 46-year-old black American, during an arrest for allegedly using a counterfeit bill. To be frank, I came to know about the allegation at least two weeks after the killing, as I was not curious about the reason why a person could be killed so brutally. I had no idea why a person should be treated so inhumanely as if he was not a living object. I was shocked.