Éy swayel! Indigenous Education Week 2021 is almost upon us. The events this year will take place primarily online from November 1st to 5th. Treaties are the area of focus for this year’s Indigenous Education Week because it coincides with Treaties Recognition Week. It will be an excellent opportunity for students and faculty to reflect on how treaties impact the relationships between human beings, humans and animals, as well as living beings and the natural environment. Personally, as a first-year undergrad student, I have much to learn about the histories of treaties, particularly the ones of this part of Turtle Island. I look forward to deepening my understanding of treaties during the events of Indigenous Education Week. Here is a brief breakdown by day of the weeks’ events (please be sure to register for the events via the links):
Monday the 1st, 6–8 pm- Indigenous Waves: Let’s Talk Treaties.
This radio program hosted by Jenny Blackbird and Jennifer Sylvester will focus on treaties and will also feature music from Indigenous artists.
Tuesday the 2nd, 2:00–3:00 pm via Zoom– Upholding Excellence: Supporting Indigenous Staff, Faculty & Students.
A panel of University of Toronto Indigenous educators and executives will discuss how the University supports their fellow Indigenous staff and students through engagement with the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
Panellists include Shannon Simpson (Director, Office of Indigenous Initiatives), Michael White (Director, Indigenous Student Services, First Nations House), Tee Duke (Assistant Director, UTM Indigenous Initiatives Unit) and Kelly Crawford (Assistant Director, UTSC Indigenous Initiatives Unit).
Wednesday the 3rd, 12–2 pm via Zoom– Indigenous Book Club.
The Book Club’s goals are to foster a space of collaboration, sharing, inquiry, and respect amongst faculty, staff, and students through the discovery and awareness of Indigenous authors and themes. Participants will learn about Indigenous themes and engage in conversation on different Indigenous perspectives that helps with addressing obligations, responsibilities, solidarity, and supporting resistance of Indigenous people of Canada.
Friday the 5th, 6:30–7:30 pm via Zoom– The Gift of Reclaiming Your Family Medicine: A Storytelling Workshop with Richard Van Camp.
This event is a conversation with the great Dene writer Richard Van Camp about storytelling and medicine by sharing his personal stories and ones from his nation’s knowledge holders.
There is also one in-person (!) event that is called Reclaiming: A Landback Installation.
Since it’s an art installation, it will run from Monday, November 1st, 12 pm – Friday, November 5th 1 pm. It’s at 22 Russell St in the North Courtyard of the Earth Sciences Building.
I hope to see lots of you at the events. Even though they are mostly all virtual, it will be nice to gather to reflect and celebrate Indigenous forms of education. I will also be posting an update afterwards to reflect on my experience with Indigenous Education Week.