Rising Up: A Graduate Students Conference on Indigenous Knowledge and Research Friday and Saturday, March 9th and 10th, 2018 Fort Garry Campus, University of Manitoba

Rising Up is an academic gathering giving graduate students the spotlight to present their work while connecting with other researchers. The conference is interdisciplinary, and attracts students and researchers who are working on a wide range of topics in the Indigenous/Native Studies field.

This is a free event, open to all.

Keynote Speaker: Chantal Fiola

Chantal Fiola is Red River Métis with family from St. Laurent and Ste. Geneviève, Manitoba. She is the author of Rekindling the Sacred Fire: Métis Ancestry and Anishinaabe Spirituality, which won her the John Hirsch Award for Most Promising Manitoba Writer and the Beatrice Mosionier Aboriginal Writer of the Year Award (2016). Dr. Fiola is an Assistant Professor in the Urban and Inner-City Studies Department at the University of Winnipeg. She is currently undertaking a SSHRC-funded research study exploring Métis relationships with ceremony in Manitoba Métis communities. Chantal is Two-Spirit, Midewiwin, and a Sundancer.

Keynote Speaker: Adam Gaudry

Adam Gaudry, Ph.D. is Métis and an Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Native Studies and Department of Political Science at the University of Alberta.

Adam’s research explores nineteenth-century Métis political thought, the Métis-Canada “Manitoba Treaty” of 1870, and Canada’s outstanding obligations under the act. This project argues for the maintenance of a respectful and bilateral political relationship between the Métis Nation and the Canadian people as treaty partners. This work is being revised into a book for publication with the University of Manitoba Press.

Adam received his Ph.D. from the Indigenous Governance Program at the University of Victoria, and both his MA in Sociology and BAH in Political Studies from Queen’s University. He was a Henry Roe Cloud Fellow at Yale University and currently a co-investigator in the Métis Treaties Project.

Adam’s work has been published in Native American and Indigenous Studies, Critical Ethnic Studies, The Wicazo Sa Review, aboriginal policy studies, the Canadian Journal of Native Education, the Osgoode Hall Law Journal, and The Canadian Encyclopedia. He also has several chapters in edited collections on Métis identity, research ethics, and methodology.

Abstracts will be reviewed and notification provided on a rolling basis.
The deadline for abstract submissions is December 29th, 2017.

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Friday  
9:00AM - 11:00AM Pipe ceremony and opening remarks
11:00AM - 12:30PM First session
12:30PM - 1:00PM Break
1:00PM - 2:00PM Adam Gaudry, keynote speaker
2:00PM - 3:00PM Lunch
3:00PM - 4:30PM Second session
4:30PM - 5:00PM Break
5:00PM - 6:30PM Third Session
6:30PM - 7:00PM Transfer to Fort Garry Canad Inn
7:00PM Dinner
after dinner Evening Social



Saturday  
10:00AM - 11:30AM First session
11:30AM - 12:00AM Break
12:00AM - 1:00PM Chantel Fiola, keynote speaker
1:00PM - 2:00PM Lunch
2:00PM - 3:30PM Second Session
3:30PM - 4:00PM break
4:00PM - 5:30PM Third Session
7:00PM More than a Word
analyzes the Washington football team and their use of the derogatory term R*dskins.
To see the trailer, click here

Decolonization Stories: Indigenous Women Building Resistance through Existence

Decolonization is not a metaphor. It is the clothes we wear, the food we eat, the way we love queerly, and our practice in a community. This is our liberation. Through auto-ethnographic narratives collected from myself and women within the Kapulli Tekpatl Mexika Nation Moondance Circle, I focus on the construction of non-Western, liberatory epistemologies created through ceremonial spaces. Through the works of Gloria Anzaldua, Maria Lugones, and Aurora Levins-Morales, I argue that these ceremonial spaces open up an intersubjective limen that allows us to world travel between the past, present, and future of Indigenous histories. Through this creative poesis, I argue that resistant, decolonized history must become storytelling. Thus, this paper takes the form of three major sections: (1)the weaving of theories of liminality, border- thinking, and storytelling, (2) the transcribing and centering of Indigenous women’s experiences of colonial trauma as a genealogy of resistance, and (3), then, present these narratives as an embodied praxis of resistance that reconstructs indigenous histories into subversive storytelling. Ultimately, this paper and these shared narratives will be unapologetic and unaltered, as they are to serve as historicized stories and epistemic histories of othered bodies. The sharing of these stories and cultural visibility in dance, song and smudging, are communal acts of resistance preservation. Not only are they decolonial methods of resistance, but also liberatory disruptions and deconstructions of the multifaceted ways in which we exist and take up space.

Sarah María Acosta Ahmad

DePaul University

I am a queer, two-spirit Mexican and Indian artist, activist and scholar from Pontiac, Michigan. My work as a curandera and being a copalera of the Kapulli Tekpatl Mexika moondance circle, has allowed me to use ancestral knowledge and theories on resistance in my written work. My own healing comes from decolonization, copal, sage, and community work.


Indigenous Knowledge and Colonial Ideology: Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit as Mobilizing Metaphor

This presentation examines the way in which politicians and mining companies refer to Inuit knowledge as a means to rationalize and legitimize the extractive economy in Nunavut. In particular, it examines the development of the bureaucratic concept Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit (IQ)—a term usually translated as "Inuit traditional knowledge"—and how it has been applied in development policy and environmental assessment. I argue that IQ is being used as a mobilizing metaphor—a key term which is defined imprecisely, to help generate support for a policy from actors with divergent interests and political positions (Mosse, 2005). Notably, the concept of IQ has been used extensively to help legitimize an economy based on extraction. I conclude with some reflections on how scholars can help resist this de-politicization of indigenous knowledge.

Warren Bernauer

Human Geography, York University

I am a PhD Candidate at York University in the Department of Geography. I have an MA from the Department of Native Studies at the University of Manitoba. My graduate research examines the politics of energy extraction in Nunavut. For several years, I have worked for hunters and trappers organizations in Nunavut, primarily on environmental assessment and land use planning. I also teach as a sessional instructor in Winnipeg.


Exploring how Métis individuals practice and express their self understandings in the city through an oral methodology and visual media.

I was born into the traditions and experiences of my ancestors, but through dwelling in Calgary I have also been shaped and formed by the urban environment. I have struggled to understand my Métis-ness in relation to the city landscape and have been left questioning – how do Métis individuals, born and raised in the city, express and practice their Métis self- understandings (Brubaker & Cooper, 2000) in the urban environment? Evelyn Peters (2011) stresses, “there is very little public knowledge about how Aboriginal people define their cultural identities in cities” (p.80) and furthermore, “Despite the high percentage of Canada’s Métis population residing in cities, there is almost no literature that discusses urban Métis identities” (Laliberte, 2013, p. 111). My doctoral research aims to illustrate that Métis self-understandings indeed exist and are embedded in the urban landscape and are practiced through and within our everyday experiences. For the purposes of this presentation, I will provide a brief overview of the literature pertaining to Aboriginal urban experiences. I will illustrate my research methodology that is informed by an oral model of learning and describe how we, as a research collective, will use photovoice and video reflexive entries as methods to support our individual and collective truthing process (Bishop, 1998; Little Bear, 2000; personal communication, Reg Crowshoe, 2017). This research is imperative so that we, as Métis individuals and communities, can thrive and flourish in urban environments while practicing our inherent right to maintain, renew, and express our worldview and self-understandings in the city.

Victoria Bouvier

Werklund School of Education, University of Calgary

I am a proud Michif (Métis) woman from Calgary, Alberta. My ancestors come from the St. Francois Xavier community of the Red River Settlement and after leaving St. Francois Xavier, they formed a small Michif speaking community in Boggy Creek, Manitoba. I am a doctoral student in curriculum and learning in the Werklund School of Education at the University of Calgary. My master’s research focused on Métis ways of knowing, and my current research is exploring how Métis people practice and express their self- understandings, both individually and collectively in urban environments through oral model of learning and visual media.


Telling the Truth and Restoring Relationships: Towards a Conceptualization of Residential School Literature

This paper offers a comprehensive overview of Indigenous writings on the residential school experience in order to establish a conceptualization of the genre of “residential school literature.” Since the late 20th century, residential school survivors all over Canada have spoken up, sharing their experiences and contributing to an ever-growing body of residential school narratives. My PhD research, which I conduct from the perspective of a non-Indigenous researcher, analyzes the ways in which residential school stories support the restoration of relationships that were disrupted by residential schools. Although fundamental work has been done on the workings of residential school literature (McKegney 2007, Eigenbrod 2012, Coupal 2016), a comprehensive conceptualization of the genre and its various subgenres that is attentive to their effects in the non-fictional world has not yet been established. This paper aims at filling the existing gap and argues that in order to be attentive to the effects of stories in the real world, a conceptualization of residential school literature and its subgenres needs to consider four constitutive elements: the author’s personal experience of residential schools, the author’s agency in the process of telling their story, the way in which the work might support processes of restitution and healing, and the way in which the work engages readers as witnesses. Analyzing residential school literature and contrasting it with survivors’ testimonies given in court and in front of Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission, this paper will contribute to the public’s understanding of residential school literature and its workings.

Melanie Braith

Department of English, Film, and Theatre, University of Manitoba

Melanie Braith is a PhD student at the Department of English, Film, and Theatre at the University of Manitoba. She is originally from Germany and holds a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in English Literatures and Cultures from the University of Konstanz. As a PhD student, Melanie works on Indigenous literatures in general and residential school literature in particular. She is also fortunate to work at the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation where she is involved in creating an oral history of Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Melanie’s research interests include Indigenous and Canadian literatures as well as theories of trauma, memory, identity, and community in literary and various cultural contexts.

residential schools, reconciliation, indigenous literature, trauma, testimony


Miýo-Pimātisiwin Decolonizing Self Through Culturally Responsive Pedagogies

The purpose of presentation is to identify ways in which Culturally Responsive Pedagogies (CRP) can be applied in my work as an educator. Before I proceed with evidence and academic sources to provide critical analysis and attempt to answer this question, firstly, I will discuss the effects of colonization on Aboriginal people, also using examples from Australia and Canada respectively. Secondly, by applying critical pedagogy and CRP, I will argue that in order to achieve Miyo Pimatisiwin (The Good Life) and Ubuntu (Humanity towards others); a decolonized mindset as described by Ladson Billings, & Pete, Martin & Illich-Pirbhai, must be achieved, and practiced. I recognize that this cannot be achieved in one day; it is a work-in-progress because global challenges and educational disparities has had a significant impact on the health and wellbeing of Indigenous people which been trace to be the root causes of colonization and intergenerational trauma (Sasakamoose, Bellegarde, Sutherland, Pete, & McKay-McNabb, 2017); a decolonized mindset is aware of these disparities, aims to address these challenges and works to achieve pure justice and equity. I do not claim to represent all Indigenous people nor do my ideas as discussed in this paper speak for all Indigenous people rather, to represent myself, my thoughts, my journey and my interpretation of the topics discussed in this paper.

Obianuju Juliet Bushi

Faculty of Education, University of Regina

I am an educator and a PhD student at the University of Regina. I am originally from Orodo Mbaitoli LGA in Imo States, Nigeria. My research is in Indigenized and Decolonizing Education, and Self, Curriculum Development, and Social Determinants of Health

decolonized education, crp, abyssal thinking


Indigenous Knowledge, Climate Change, and Communications: Participatory video and the Onjisay Aki Climate Summit

In June 2017, the Turtle Lodge – an Indigenous knowledge centre in Sagkeeng First Nation - convened an international summit on climate change, initiated and led by First Peoples. This initiative was an unparalleled opportunity for cross-cultural dialogue on climate change with participants from around the world. In collaboration with Turtle Lodge, our research team was invited to support the documentation and communication of the knowledge and perspectives shared at the climate summit. This process of community-based research used participatory video to support the communication of Indigenous knowledge on climate change. These video-based methods were designed to support and honour the unique epistemological considerations required when documenting Indigenous knowledges including: oral traditions and Indigenous languages; cultural and ceremonial protocols associated with knowledge exchange; embodied nature of knowledge and the knowledge keeper; and the importance of environmental context in cultural sharing. Taking these important considerations into account, the research team supported organizing and documenting of the summit, and collaboratively with Turtle Lodge have produced several short videos highlighting the perspectives shared at the gathering. These videos – and the underlying community-based processes that derived them - facilitate respectful mobilization of Indigenous knowledge in a manner that allows it to be shared with a wider audience across cultures and geographies. In an era of sustainability and reconciliation discourses in Canada, it is critically important to centre Indigenous perspectives and leadership in addressing climate change, and this research offers important insight into novel methods of communicating these perspectives within and beyond the academy.

Laura Cameron

Masters of Indigenous Governance, University of Winnipeg

Laura is a Canadian from Vancouver, BC, traditional territory of the Sto:lo, Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh Nations. She is an MA candidate in the Indigenous Governance program at the University of Winnipeg, where she works under the guidance of Dr. Ian Mauro and Dr. Jacqueline Romanow. Her SSHRC-sponsored research focuses on Indigenous perspectives and leadership on climate change in the Canadian prairies, and how participatory video can serve as a tool for sharing these perspectives across cultures and knowledge systems. She previously received her BSc in biology from McGill University, where she worked on projects with the Sustainable Canada Dialogues and the Climate Change Adaptation Research Group.

indigenous knowledge; climate change; participatory video; community-based participatory research


Disrupting Policy Foresight through Feminist Indigenous Futurisms

Foresight has become a trendy exercise in policy circles across North America. The approach suggests that through “imaginative policy work” both policymakers and politicians may anticipate upcoming challenges and opportunities in a globalized world, in order to make adequate policy decisions and investments today. Mainstream foresight exercises entail government engagement with the possibilities of the future based on current technological, political, economic and social trends, resulting in scenario development with the purpose of lowering risks and addressing political, social and economic uncertainty (Meissner, Gokhberg, Sokolov, 2013; Weber, Kubeczbo, Kauffmann, 2009; Havas, Schartinger, Weber, 2010). Nonetheless, mainstream policy foresight exercises centre middle class-white-settlers as holders of the future. Currently, “imaginative policy work” relies on the erasure of Indigeneity across Canada and other international settings where Canada has economic interests. Further, it relies on the social, economic and political marginalization of Indigenous women in domestic and international settings in an attempt to continue framing the “Canadian future” as Terra Nullius (Martineau, 2017; Kwe Today, 2015) with little space for Indigenous peoples. Foresight is currently being applied in areas that are of particular concern to some Indigenous peoples domestically and abroad including international development, infrastructure, urban planning, Artic sovereignty, etc. This paper conducts an analysis of the “imaginary policy future” in Canadian policy settings through Indigenous feminist perspectives, while inviting reflections from Indigenous futurisms (Dillon, 2012; Dillon, 2016; Medak-Saltzman, 2017; James, 2016; Baudemann, 2016; Tapia Benavides, 2006; Burdette, 2012) to disrupt how mainstream Canadian policy work imagines a future without Indigenous peoples.

Eren Cervantes-Altamirano

Carleton University, School of Public Policy and Administration.

Eren Cervantes-Altamirano is a Binnizá-Mexican MA candidate at Carleton University. Her work focuses on applying Indigenous feminist lenses to mainstream policy issues and questioning how mainstream policy spheres construct and erase Indigeneity in their approaches. Eren has a BA from the University of Alberta, and has published papers on gender, policy, religion and feminisms. Eren blogs consistently at Muslimah Media Watch, Love InshAllah and Ishqr. Her work has also been published at Aquila Style, the Tempest, The Feminist Wire, Time Magazine, Racialicious and Altmuslimah, among others.

indigenous futurism, indigenous feminisms, decolonization, policy, settler-state


Modern Day Slavery and the Sex Industry: Raising the Voices of Survivors and Collaborators While Confronting Sex Trafficking and Exploitation in Manitoba, Canada

Abstract Sexual exploitation and human sex trafficking are a multi-billion-dollar international industry in which many Canadian women and children are trafficked and exploited, hurt and sometimes murdered by predators. Previous studies have often overlooked significant voices including police, political leaders and prosecutors who also work to protect sex industry survivors. This research widens the net and includes interviews with 61 experts across Manitoba, including police, First Nations and other political leaders, government and non- government service providers and sex trafficking survivors, who collectively represent over 1,000 years of experience combatting victimization in the sex industry. Through a grounded approach, this study gathers the stories and experiences of survivors, relevant practitioners and community leaders in Manitoba, and contributes to theory and practice around reducing sex trafficking and exploitation. The findings include the following: (1) Early risk factors for youth may be identified and addressed to reduce vulnerability to being trafficked and exploited; (2) More flexible ongoing supports can empower sex industry survivors and assist them to escape sex slavery; (3) Greater coordination and collaboration are needed between the broad spectrum of enforcement and support agencies; (4) New resources, such as more and better equipped safe houses and local and regional coordination hubs can provide a safety net for people who are being exploited in the sex industry; (5) Increased counter-exploitation

Bob Chrismas

Peace and Conflict Studies, University of Manitoba

My PhD research focused on sex trafficking and exploitation of Indigenous women and girls in Canada, and what we are doing for them. I bring over 30 years of policing experience, during which I did substantial work in this area, and that is where I gained the passion to pursue is in my PhD. I can talk about violence against Indigenous women, resilience, structural violence and the connections with Canada’s current Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls Inquiry.

violence against indigenous women nd girls, missing and murdered indigenous women and girls inquiry, sex trafficking, exploitation, structural violence.


kweskatisiwin-tí¢nitowahk? kayí¢sohci isitwanihk wiyasiwewan What are we Restoring? A Decolonized Account of Justice

This paper examines the multifaceted components that need to be addressed first, in a good way, in order to eventually evaluate the success of restorative justice methods for First Nation, Métis [FNMI] and Inuit offenders to effectively decrease the overrepresentation of young Indigenous peoples in the Canadian criminal justice system. I will analyze literature on the health of Indigenous communities, legal relationships, colonialism, and restoration. The literature review highlights common threads that co-exist to explain the phenomenon of Indigenous over-representation in the Canadian criminal justice system and the inability of current methods to remedy this issue as they only perceive this as a criminal-justice issue, not a multifaceted one. What this paper focuses on is responding to the common themes that unearth over- incarceration which exist primarily outside of a criminal justice lens. Most reception to this issue thus far has proclivities in generating policy framed around temporary solutions within the understanding that the increasing numbers of Indigenous offenders is strictly a criminal justice problem - not a social, economic political or spiritual one. This is proven false throughout the literature review as the evidence reflects that isolating the concern of over-representation to a criminal justice lens has in turn exasperated the issue. This is because no attention is harnessed in assessing the causes of criminality, nor is there enough emphasis on the effectiveness of Indigenous ethics, methodologies and relations as procedural alternatives to a colonial system that perpetuates structural dominance over First Nation, Metis and Inuit lives. I propose a multifaceted hypothesis on how to correct all aspects of this issue. The multifaceted approach uses themes collected throughout the literature review and intersects them, critically, to decolonize our understanding of Indigenous offenders by shifting our purview outside of criminal justice explanations to better address the overwhelming amount of incarcerated FNMI peoples.

Jasmine Feather Dionne

Indigenous Governance, University of Victoria

Tanisi! I am Cree and Métis from Treaty 8 territory in northern Alberta. I received my B.A Honours from the University of Calgary in 2017 and during my undergraduate degree I did a semester abroad at Harvard University. I am a current M.A student in Indigenous Governance at the University of Victoria. I am a firm believer that our own laws and ways of knowing will guide us out of the colonial project and I plan to highlight this throughout my research endeavours. miyomahcihowin

criminal justice system decolonization indigenous laws law restorative justice youth


The duojár: an agent for Sámi re-appropriation of cultural heritage

The inidgenous people of the nordic countries, the sámi, have historically been subjected to both the colonization of their customary regions (Sápmi) as well as four different nation states assimilation politics. The result of which has been felt by many in the sámi population as a loss of language, cultural heritage, both material and immaterial, and ethnic identities. Though the last 50 years or so have seen a revitalization amongst those suffering losses alongside a gradual return of political autonomy within some of the sámi communities, substantial amounts of sámi cultural heritage is still located in Western Museums and have yet to be re-appropriated. In this article I look at how a practice of a re-appropriation may be happening by looking at how sámi practicioners of duodji – the customary craftsmanship – symbolically repatriate objects in museum collections through the act of reproducing – both the material object as well as the árbediehtu (traditional knowledge) involved in the making of these.

Liisa-Rávná Finbog

PhD candidate in museology, Institution of Cultural Studies and Oriental Languages, University of Oslo

I am a sámi phd candidate at the University of Oslo in the capitol of Norway. My previous degrees include a master in both archaeology and in museology wherein the latter has a particular focus on how the indigenous people of Norway, the Sámi, after a period of harsh assimilation now use museums to revitalize language, culture and identities. The same theme is also at the core of my doctoral thesis.

sámi, duodji, duojár, árbediehtu, traditional knowledge, indigenous handcraft, museum, re-appropriation


Embodied Governance: Community Wellness, Indigenous Self- Determination and Birthing Futurisms

As many Indigenous voices and perspectives reveal, individual health and wellness is inextricably connected to community health, and furthermore the wellbeing of our Land and Waters. In this paper, I bring together scholarship in Indigenous wellness, governance and gender to counter the notion of the Indigenous body as in need of a health intervention. Instead, we draw the Indigenous body into focus as a crucial site for self-determination as embodied governance. In doing so, we situate the Indigenous body within a self- determination framework that brings together critical Indigenous studies, Indigenous governance and reproductive justice. This framework includes four central pillars which assist in ongoing discussions and investigations of Indigenous governance traditions: accountability, relationship, cultural safety and women’s leadership. These concepts provide an embodied governance framework of self-determination to engage in ongoing efforts of personal, community, land/water-based healing for the purpose of protecting the future of generations to come. Our analysis celebrates and honours on the ground practices of embodied governance by focusing on rooted examples of community birth work. We begin with an examination of the colonial underpinnings that undermine community healing and wellness and traditions of governance. In doing so, this paper aims to interrupt the predominant trope of the Indigenous body or community as continuously in crisis. Instead, this paper situates Indigenous healing practices as radical sites of governance. This analysis centres on Indigenous women’s leadership roles within healing and birth work practices. I argue for the reconsideration of self-determination as embodied governance, which begins with the body as a site of regeneration, resurgence and renewal.

Erynne M. Gilpin

Indigenous Governance, The University of Victoria

Erynne M. Gilpin is a Saulteaux-Cree Métis Phd Candidate of Indigenous Governance at the University of Victoria. Her research focuses include Indigenous womxn and two spirit embodiments of wellness and governance; with specific attention to birth-work and land/water-based healing.


Uprooted: Planning in Canada and the Indian Reserve System

The dominant history of community planning in Canada, as told by planners, omits the significant contribution of the federal government of Canada via the creation and administration of Indian reserves. Indian reserves are undeniably planned communities. The impact of their planning and development was mostly negative for the Indigenous peoples of Canada, which is why it is important not to ignore this troubling side of Canadian community planning history. This paper reveals the gaps in the Canadian planning literature, explains why it is important to include these failures in the canon of community planning history, and provides a brief overview of the creation of reserves in British Columbia.

Jessie Hemphill

Master of Community Planning, Vancouver Island University

Jessie Hemphill is from the Gwa'sala-'Nakwaxda'xw Nations on Vancouver Island and also has Métis heritage. She works nationally as an Indigenous planner and facilitator through her company, Alderhill Planning Inc. She is on the Canadian Institute of Planners Indigenous Community Planning Committee advisory group, the Indigenous Community Development National Strategy Indigenous Advisory Group, and the board of directors for the ’Kawatsi Economic Development Corporation. Her thesis research is on pre-contact Indigenous community design and incremental urban design.


"In this war of words": Canada 150 and the (re)Telling of History

In 2017, the Government of Canada celebrated 150 years of confederacy promoted as “Canada 150”. This discussion draws on data from a critical discourse analysis of the government’s web-based promotional material for “Canada 150” in order to uncover implicit assumptions embedded in contemporary Canadian discourses. The analysis is situated in post-colonial and de-colonizing paradigms which understand settler-colonial domination as an adaptive and ongoing force. From this perspective, language and the production of knowledge are enmeshed with social and political structures of oppression. Despite the government’s recent attempts at redress such as the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, the findings indicate that “Canada 150” functions to maintain a meta-narrative of colonial superiority in its (re)telling of history; it falsely represents the true nature of the colonial project and thereby (re)establishes a rationale for colonial superiority. I argue that this national narrative justifies persistent unequal treatment of Indigenous peoples such as the ongoing removal of Indigenous children to child welfare custody. I conclude that decolonization requires actively ‘unsettling’ colonial and Eurocentric regimes of power; one way to do this is to interrogate ontological and epistemological assumptions underpinning national narratives such as 𔄙Canada 150”.

Wanda Hounslow

Sociology

I am in my second year of Graduate Studies in the Department of Sociology at the University of Manitoba. My research focuses on settler-colonial genocide and ongoing forms of colonial violence.


Reframing Catholicism: Agency and Resistance in Mi’kmaq Stories

This study of Mi’kmaq Catholicism emphasizes the power and inherent value of stories. Despite European’s use of Catholicism to justify colonial violence against Indigenous Peoples, the Mi’kmaq have survived the trauma of colonialism for over 400 years. Remarkably, the descendants of those who first encountered missionaries continue to identify as Mi’kmaq and Catholic (Robinson 2005). Part of decolonizing involves countering colonial narratives which insist that Indigenous Peoples were passive recipients of Christianity. Adapting Catholicism allowed the Mi’kmaq to preserve Mi’kmaq religious and cultural elements. I argue that these cultural negotiations are present in Mi’kmaq stories. I contend that stories create in-between spaces with endless potential, thus introducing Catholic elements into story allowed Mi’kmaq Peoples to make it palatable. Following this, I address how Mi’kmaq Peoples reframed Catholicism in narrative and actively constructed (and continue to construct) Catholicism to suit their needs. My research considers Mi’kmaq oral histories, specifically stories, and privileges the voices and history of the Mi’kmaq. A major portion of this research involves analyzing Mi’kmaq narratives that were recorded by non-Mi’kmaq people, however, as Stevenson recounts, Indigenous Peoples need to take their stories back (2000). Smith contends, “Indigenous peoples want to tell our own stories, write our own versions, in our own ways, for our own purposes” (1999, 29) and that Indigenous Peoples must rewrite as well as reright (his)stories. Therefore, one role of narrative is to foster resistance and agency; Mi’kmaq stories allowed them to recreate Catholicism and make it relevant in a Mi’kma’ki context.

Micheline Hughes

University of Manitoba

I am an Indigenous woman and a member of the Cape Sable Island Wampanoag. Originally from Newfoundland, I currently reside in Winnipeg and I am a Ph.D. candidate in Native Studies. I am the recipient of a SSHRC Doctoral Award and a junior fellow at St. John’s College. My research interests include Mi’kmaq nation’s oral histories, specifically stories, the negotiation and adaptation of Catholicism, and the inherent power of stories.


Disruption of Storytelling and Intergenerational Learning Among the Abam People

My paper is a discussion of my research investigating the disruption of storytelling and intergenerational learning among Abam (Indigenous people of Nigeria). Postcolonial theories by Frantz Fanon and Paulo Freire guided the research. The study discovered that storytelling has been the main way through which Abam people teach their young ones from generation to generation. Apart from educational purposes of storytelling, the Abam people use stories to entertain themselves after farm work and during festive periods. They also communicate their norms through stories, stories also reminds them of their historical origin and also helps to inculcate discipline and good morals to their children. The study discovered that globalization which is seen here as a continuation of colonial legacies has dealt a deadly blow on the oral storytelling of Abam people. Abam people now live a mere prescribed life. The study design is qualitative, while the research method applied oral key informant interview and focus group discussion (FGD). Seven males and seven females were involved in two FGD groups respectively. While one person each was selected from the two different FGD groups for the key informant interview. The study suffered some limitations which includes time constraints, absence of baseline information, and language issues. Also, the study recommends ways of revitalizing pedagogies of storytelling in Abam and Igbo tribe of south eastern Nigeria.

Uwakwe Nkochi Kalu

Adult Education and Human Resource Unit, University of Regina

I was born in October 15 1977 I am a Nigerian (Abia State to be precise) My city address is 26/29 Ehere RD, Ogbor-Hill Aba Abia State I am married with two kids first Degree in Arts Education University of Nigeria

oral storytelling, intergenerational learning, globalization, colonization


Crowfoot’s Omahsspa’tsikoi: A History of Blackfoot Funerary Practices, 1850-1990

When a Blackfoot individual passes on, their spirit does not die but rather makes the final journey to the sacred camp called Omahksspa’tskikoi, the Sand Hills. This paper explores 19th century Blackfoot deathways in present-day southern Alberta. It examines how Blackfoot funerary customs have changed over time, arguing that these practices are expressions of long standing spiritual and environmental relationships that have remained intact despite colonial attempts to eradicate them. Rather than being displaced by Western Christian norms, Blackfoot practices have proven to be resilient. At times these practices have blended with non-Blackfoot customs to create new hybrid forms, such as the traditional Blackfoot death lodges blending with European style houses to create death houses. My paper will begin with an overview of Blackfoot funerary practices c.1850, discussing the cultural and historic significance of these customs. Next, I will offer insights into adaptations that have been made to Blackfoot funerary practices, and highlight the connections between these changes and Indigenous activist initiatives. This research is rooted in an ethnohistorical and community-engaged approach. Sources include not only textual documents, maps, and photographs from the Glenbow Museum Archives, but also oral histories gathered through interviews that I conducted with Blackfoot Elders and Knowledge Keepers in 2015. Overall, the evidence depicts a history of cultural complexity and adaptation, demonstrating the diversity of Blackfoot funerary customs, culture, and spirituality both in the past and today.

Mckelvey Kelly

History, University of Saskatchewan

I was born and raised in Fernie, BC and completed my undergraduate history degree at Mount Royal University in Calgary, Alberta. During 2014 I participating in a semi-immersive field school in the Treaty No. 7 area and traditional Blackfoot territory. This field school gave me insights into Blackfoot culture and way of life, which sparked my interest in Canadian Indigenous history. I am currently studying Canadian Indigenous history at the University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, SK. I hope to obtain a PhD specializing in Indigenous history.

indigenous, blackfoot, burial practices, canada, ethnohistory, community- engagement.


Factors influencing varsity sport participation among rural, Indigenous athletes in Manitoba

Despite the TRC’s emphasis on Indigenous athlete development, numerous barriers impede efforts, including geographic isolation of Indigenous communities, lack of Indigenous coaches, and racism. Further, acculturation is a challenge often confronted by Indigenous athletes moving from reserve communities to pursue sport in Euro-Canadian contexts. In particular, associated with participation in university-level (varsity) sport are challenges of negotiating the cultural exclusion common across many Euro-Canadian university settings. Yet sport may reduce alienation by facilitating feelings of family, community, and common culture. Using an Indigenous research paradigm and Bronfenbrenner’s Ecological Systems Theory, the current research seeks to identify factors influencing varsity sport participation among rural, Indigenous athletes in Manitoba. Athletes competing at pre-varsity and varsity levels, or who are alumni of varsity teams, will share experiences and knowledge through yarning and/or talking circles. Results will be conveyed through a culturally-relevant, accessible medium chosen and created by willing participants. In addition, using confirmatory factor analysis, Rathwell and Young’s University Sport Experiences Survey will be assessed for cultural relevance to Indigenous athletes and modified, if found necessary. Collectively, this research will provide recommendations to improve Indigenous athlete development in Manitoba.

Nickolas Kosmenko

Applied Health Sciences, University of Manitoba

Nearly a decade ago, I moved to Winnipeg from my small hometown in northern Manitoba - Cranberry Portage - to pursue sport at the university level and, in my remaining free time, to work toward a post-secondary degree. I soon realized there were significant cultural differences between my hometown and my new place of residence, and I struggled for years with feelings of isolation and cultural exclusion. Yet I credit sport with facilitating relationships that helped keep me in school long enough to earn my bachelor’s and master’s degrees. As a result of my realizations, my current research seeks to identify ways in which access to sport can be improved upon for others. In particular, my frustrations with the disparaging environments created for Indigenous people through hundreds of years of colonial activities have prompted me to use my passion for sport as an adapter, turning my rage against the colonial machine into positive contributions to society.


Kaupapa Midwifery Research Paradigm: Our First Mothers Speak

When we as Māori midwifery practitioners continue to be educated in our colonizers image than we are merely instruments of the colonizers agenda. This PhD journey is creating the theoretical space to articulate midwifery in our contexts without being rushed. It is greater than providing more primary birthing units or browner Pākehā midwives. Reframing and redefining our cultural needs from Kaupapa Māori philosophies of birthing may contribute towards education which is culturally relevant and may impact positively upon the recruitment and retention of Māori to midwifery. Currently Māori women make up 25.4% of the total birthing population of New Zealand. By 2021, the New Zealand Māori population will reach 16.6%. Add to this, Māori midwives make up 5.7% of the midwifery workforce compared to 88.5% of midwives who identify as Pākehā (New Zealand European) and other European ethnicities. The birthing needs of Māori has reached critical mass things need to change. My doctoral research applies to multiple sites of struggle for Māori and will investigate the potential for educational reform for all midwifery practitioners, in particular Māori. Exploring through a Kaupapa Midwifery Research Paradigm educational pathways to inform the development of an alternative Kaupapa Midwifery curriculum founded on Our First Mothers: an Indigenous midwifery philosophy of Aotearoa. This may influence an increase in the M?ori midwifery workforce, and help to ensure all midwifery practitioners are culturally responsive. (pre-and-post-midwifery registration)

Jacqueline Martin

Indigenous Development and Advancement, Te Whare Wānanga o Awainuiārangi, Whakatāne, New Zealand : Masters Graduate of He Waka Hiringa: Masters Degree in Appl

Tēnā koutou katoa. My name is Jacqueline Martin. I hail from the lands of Raukawa, Waikato and Tauranga Moana, Aotearoa, New Zealand. I am a Tāpuhi (childbirth practitioner) by whakapapa (bloodlines) and a midwife, educated and trained according to Pākehā (New Zealand European) midwifery and motherhood ideologies. Things need changing. This begins with the re-education of the Māori midwifery practitioner and the development and practical application of an entire alternative Kaupapa Midwifery curriculum.

kaupapa midwifery research paradigm, our first mothers: an indigenous midwifery philosophy of aotearoa, māori and midwifery, kaupapa midwifery curriculum


When Words Collide: Intercultural Education as a Possible Bridge

Mexico is well known for its Indigenous heritage. However, when it comes to honoring the Indigenous knowledge and perspectives, the State’s attempts are quite deficient. This country is home to 68 constitutionally recognized Indigenous tribes. Mexico acknowledges the communities’ right to exercise their Common Law; under article two, the Mexican constitution admits that Indigenous people possess the autonomy to apply their own normative systems in the regulation and solution of their internal conflicts, respecting inalienable and human rights. This presentation argues that, in efforts to accept Indigenous legal capacity, the Mexican state inevitably imposes constraints on the community, thus allowing them to resolve only minor crimes, such as theft, domestic violence, and land appropriation. However, this has not always been the case. Before the legal reform that changed Mexico’s procedure from the Inquisitorial to the Accusatorial system in 2008, Indigenous communities had the liberty to judge major criminal cases, such as murder. I draw from the situation in the southern Mexican State of Oaxaca, where at least two thousand Indigenous people stand in jail waiting for sentencing, and where the Indigenous Assembly’s knowledge is rarely requested in the resolution. In order solve matters properly, the Indigenous knowledge and perspectives need to be included within the national legal system. I propose that Intercultural education for the State’s authorities and collaboration with Indigenous judges will help break a cultural barrier against Indigenous defendants. Fulfilling this proposal is vital to dismantling the historical racism that is still a very much alive in this region.

Monica Morales-Good

Faculty of Creative and Critical Studies, University of British Columbia-Okanagan

I am Mexican born and raised and honor my Indigenous heritage. At present, I am a Ph.D. Student at UBC Okanagan. My research concentrates on Mexican Indigenous Peoples rights to Court interpretation, Intercultural communication, and Indigenous Peoples Human Rights. My research is based in the southern Mexican State of Oaxaca.

intercultural education, indigenous jurisdiction, indigenous normative systems, common law


Queer normativity in Anishinaabeg story telling: who’s gender(s) are we talking about?

This paper argues that narrative, story telling, and discourse are unequivocal to the production and transference of Anishinaabeg knowledges. These stories tell truths not only about us, but shape the very structure of our reality and our investments in those realities. As Anishinaabeg people, my ancestors wove beautiful stories through narratives of land, spirit, blunders, sexual and gender fluidity, and intelligence (Stark, Doerfler, Johnston). Each person had a different set of stories to tell, each with a reciprocal relationship to that knowledge, as if the stories and the storyteller were in an intimate relationship (Simpson, Johnston). The narratives in these stories are not statically fixed to specific temporal-spatial constructions of time nor to essentialist dogmatic ideas; rather, like the fluid relationship between knowledge and person, they oscillate as non- orchestrated movement between spirit, theory, practice, and bodies. It is clear that this ”˜queered movement’ was part of a communal, spiritual, land- based methodology that our people have been participating in since creation. I locate this paper within the larger discussion on the reconceptualization of Indigenous genders and sexualities through a recalibration of Indigenous knowledge (Simpson, Wilson). I show how shape-shifting narratives in Anishinaabeg oral traditions speak to “queer-normativity” as a central tenet to Anishinaabeg metaphysics. Rethinking the forced gendered nature of Anishinaabeg stories opens expansive sites of resurgence through generative praxis. This paper functions as a point of departure for a much needed conversation in Indigenous studies.

Binesi Morrisseau

Department of Indigenous Studies, Trent University

Binesi Morrisseau is Anishinaabe from Couchiching First Nation in what is now called Northwestern Ontario, Canada. He is Ph.D. Candidate in the Department of Indigenous Studies at Trent University and is affiliated with Michigan State University’s Department of American Indian and Indigenous Studies. His SSHRC sponsored research explores Indigenous knowledge as decolonial sites of onto-epistemological productivity by locating Anishinaabeg intelligence at the critical intersection of sexuality discourse, critical Indigenous theory, and Anishinaabeg metaphysics.


Indigenous Knowledge at Crossroad: Articulating Africa Traditional Knowledge with Contemporary Knowledge, the Case of Kikuyu Community, Kenya

Indigenous Knowledge across the African communities has undergone alienation, subordination, transformation and even destruction by other knowledge systems perceived to be contemporary and scientific. Among such community is the Kikuyu of Central Kenya. The largely agrarian Kikuyu community has a long history of interaction with foreign knowledge systems that spans over a century. Historically, the European colonization duped African indigenous knowledge as 'unscientific' and therefore ‘backward’. The interaction of this two different knowledge systems sometimes generated into open hostilities. Today, the interest by many African communities to reawaken their indigenous knowledge has met serious concerns, skepticism, criticism as well as support. Research carried out among the Kikuyu has shown that contemporary knowledge is being articulated with indigenous knowledge for a greater good especially in environmental conservation, organic farming and general crop and animal production and in other facets. However, there is also concern over emerging conflict of understanding and conflict of interest from these knowledge systems. While contemporary knowledge is asserting itself as scientific, formal and modern, the indigenous knowledge prides as being old, tested and proven. This paper will examine how aspects of the two knowledge system has been successfully articulated and applied successfully in various ways among the Kikuyu community. The paper will at the same time highlight differing aspects which has at times resulted into hostilities among the agents of these knowledge systems. The argument of the paper is anchored on the need to have attitude change over these knowledge systems as well as focus on complementary elements that will have these knowledge systems work towards addressing contemporary issues such as environmental conservation that has led to global warming, improved food security that ensures healthy production among others as will be outlined in the paper.

Mwangi Nixon Njau

Egerton University

Mwangi Nixon is a historian and a researcher in the field of indigenous knowledge. He is currently a PhD student researching on Kikuyu Indigenous agricultural knowledge and how it articulates with Western knowledge.He is a lecturer in History at Egerton University, Kenya.

indigenous knowledge, traditional knowledge, articulating, contemporary knowledge


Fiddling Together: Youth, Community, and Cultural Impacts of ‘The Frontier Fiddling Program’ in Northern Manitoba

This project investigates the cultural, social and community benefits of culturally appropriate music instruction in public schools, as a means for cultural reclamation of Aboriginal heritage in Northern Manitoba. Research has shown that children benefit greatly from music programs in public education. The Frontier School Division has taken this one step further, by introducing a fiddling program. The fiddle is an important element of Aboriginal culture and heritage: it brings people together; it is a mechanism that allows creativity and musicianship; fiddlers and their audiences build friendships and solidarity. Fiddling allows communities to come together for a common purpose, and to make connections across generations. Through qualitative research with current and former fiddling teachers, this project explores how the Frontier Fiddling Program is promoting cultural reclamation and revitalizing Aboriginal culture in Northern Manitoba.

Kaitlyn Obedzinski

Department of Graduate Studies, University of Manitoba

I am a Métis graduate student in the department of Sociology at the University of Manitoba. I am a fiddler, who teaches privately and at camps for the Frontier School Division in Northern Manitoba. My research areas include Indigenous cultural reclamation, the immense power of music, and drinking and gambling motivations and consequences among emerging adults.

cultural reclamation music education youth fiddling


Decolonization? What is it? Does anyone know what it is? Let’s find out!

I think it’s safe to say that decolonization has turned into this weird, many- headed and empty beast of a word. While it is never entirely clear how one is using ‘decolonization’ and its cognates, one thing is for sure: Settlers rarely reference land stewardship in their definitions. What I intend to do with this paper is to (1) determine the appropriate audience for this paper, (2) point out the inconsistencies in use, and (3) make a case for the necessary inclusion of land as something that requires decolonization before other aspects of life can be reclaimed. Sheila Cote-Meek tells us that decolonization starts with the individual. However, it would be weird to speak only to Indigenous people concerning what they can do to decolonize. Hence, this paper is for Settlers. ‘Decolonization’ has become a semi-empty buzzword when uttered by the Liberal government. While news reports never give us the full picture, the quotes given to the public leave much to be desired. With avoidance of talking about land, ‘decolonization’ becomes about things like the Indian Act and what government officials can do to help Indigenous peoples out of their predicament: colonization. Regardless of UNDRIP’s insistence that land is a crucial component of Indigenous Rights, political leaders try to avoid the topic. Canadian control of land is necessary for maintaining the Canadian state and governance. Any mention of Indigenous stewardship of land would reduce certainty that Canada can accommodate corporate interests. Without Indigenous land stewardship, Indigenous peoples will remain colonized.

Patricia Siniikwe Pajunen

Philosophy, University of Guelph

Boozhoo. I am a Two-Spirit Anishinaabe person from Opwaaganasiniing (Red Rock Indian Band). I am also a philosopher. At the intersection of Anishinaabe and academic, I attempt to weave together these two aspects of myself. As an Anishinaabe Philosopher, I am here to eat fry bread and write Anishinaabe Philosophy. Unfortunately, I’m all out of fry bread.

Land, food, and belonging

In 2015, a group of Indigenous youth in an inner city high school in Winnipeg participated in a year long, land-based Indigenous food skills research program. Indigenous youth worked with Indigenous researchers, high school teachers and Elders to develop food skills woven with stories of food, history and connection to land. Students learned how to ice fish, tap maple trees, cook traditional food, and plant a garden. Through a series of conversational interviews, youth shared their experiences about how their learning went beyond skill building. It provided them with an opportunity to support one another, and to build their identity as Indigenous people. Food became an equalizer. For many youth, the food skills program became a safe space where they shared what it was like to be Indigenous in the city. This presentation will focus on the role of traditional food skill building as the backbone of Indigenous food sovereignty programming and a strong connection to culture and self-esteem. This presentation also discusses the critical role of children and youth as conduits of culture and identity through food skills development.

Tabitha Robin

Faculty of Social Work, University of Manitoba

Tabitha Robin (Martens) is a mixed ancestry Cree researcher, educator, and writer. She is a PhD student at the University of Manitoba, studying Indigenous food sovereignty in the Faculty of Social Work and the Department of Native Studies. She spends much of her time on the land, working with her people, and learning traditional Cree food practices.

indigenous food; land; youth; education


Reclaiming Indigenous Women’s Roles as Birth Helpers

The goal of the research is to examine the impact of how a program that is rooted in Indigenous knowledge and directed by Indigenous grandmothers, the Indigenous doula program can improve psychosocial health and cultural outcomes for First Nation women who live in First Nation communities. The project is a part of a larger research project examining the impact of Indigenous Doulas for First Nation women who travel for birth. Historically, Indigenous women labored and gave birth in their communities with the assistance of other women and community members. The Manitoba Indigenous Doula Initiative has revitalized the role of Indigenous women as birth helpers. Expectant mothers in the community will be paired with a local Indigenous doula (birth helper). At the time of delivery an urban based Indigenous doula will care for the mother throughout the delivery. Expectant mother will receive doula care from pregnancy to postpartum from her doula team. The research will interview both the mothers and the doulas who participate in this program of research to look at how participating impacts hope, belonging, meaning and purpose of the women. This presentation will discuss the methodology of creating a partnership with First Nation communities, academic institutions and community organizations.

Stephanie Sinclair

Native Studies, University of Manitoba

Stephanie Sinclair is an Ojibway woman from Sandy Bay First Nation. She is a mother of two beautiful children. Stephanie has worked for 10 years in the area of First Nation Health and research.


Mino-Bimaadiziwin in Atwood’s Speculative Fiction

This project follows the path blazed by such scholars Glen Coulthard (Yellowknives Dene First Nation), Vine Deloria Jr. (Oglala Sioux), Lawrence Gross (White Earth Chippewa), Kwes Kwentin (Musqueam), Audra Simpson (Mohawk), Iní©s Talamantez (Mescalero Apache), and Zoe Todd (Métis/otipemisiw), who have all argued for the value in using Indigenous epistemologies as critical theories in a largely non-Indigenous academic context. Following their research and their practice, my project uses the the Anishinaabe epistemology of Mino-Bimaadiziwin, or “the good life,” to read Margaret Atwood’s speculative “ustopian” (dystopia / utopia) novel, MaddAddam. While scholars have approached the novel, as well as the trilogy as a whole, in terms of post-structuralism, post-colonialism, post-humanism, feminism, and trauma narratives, few (if any) have addressed the novel in terms of Indigenous ways of seeing and being part of an interconnected and interdependent world, as proposed and practiced by Anishinaabe elders and scholars. Some readers may question the relevance of Indigenous studies in this novel due, perhaps, to the near-absence of non-white characters and figures in the trilogy as a whole; others may question the relevance of Margaret Atwood to the conversation of Indigenous studies in general in light of the criticisms brought against her fiction and non-fiction for their (stereotypical or appropriative) representation (or lack thereof) of Indigenous people and cultures and due to her participation in debates regarding the supposed claims of Native identity made by Canadian authors. Nevertheless, this paper argues that reading MaddAddam in terms of Mino-Bimaadiziwin highlights the epistemological significance of the novel’s inventive use of polyphony, fragmented narrative structure, and ambiguous ending, as well as the non-anthropomorphic use of non-human voices and discourse, both of which are illustrative of the novel’s determined turn towards a non-anthropocentric and non-speciesist post- apocalyptic society. While these points share commonalities with the theories raised in post-structuralism and posthumanism, reading the novel in terms of Anishinaabe epistemologies not only illuminates the critical value of these ways of seeing the world, but highlights the ways in which non-Indigenous philosophies like post-structuralism and post-humanism are indebted to those marginalized fields of theory which preceded them, often by centuries. As such, this project has three goals: to provide an in-depth narratological analysis of one of Atwood’s most popular novels; in doing so, to offer an alternative theoretical approach to the novel which includes Native epistemologies; and thus, to do the valuable and necessary work of ontological and social decolonization by challenging the commonly accepted wisdom of who produces theory and to whom it is applied.

Bryn Skibo-Birney

Department of English Literature and Linguistics, University of Geneva, Switzerland

I am a PhD Candidate in American literature at the University of Geneva, where I am currently writing a doctoral thesis on human-nonhuman inter-subjectivity and connectivity in contemporary North American literature, focusing on novels by Louise Erdrich (Oiibwe) and Margaret Atwood. I earned my MA in English Studies from this same university after writing a Master’s thesis on Margaret Atwood, Philip K. Dick, and Kazuo Ishiguro, discussing the representation and reversal of the Aristotelian “Great Chain of Being” in speculative fiction and science fiction. I have presented and published research relating to New Journalism, 1960s counter-culture movements, post-apocalyptic literature, and inter-species kinship and I co-organized the international conference, “Approaching Posthumanism and the Posthuman” (Geneva, 2015). My research interests include critical “animal” studies, posthumanism, anthrozoology, and altered state narratives.

anishinaabe bimaadiziwin indigenous studies atwood posthuman


Towards an Architecture of Métis Resistance

The Métis are a distinct group of Indigenous people that have unique cultural practices, language and building traditions that differ from both their maternal and paternal lineages. One of the primary spatial conditions that historically distinguished the Métis from other groups in the Canadian prairie provinces emerged from their overriding emphasis on egalitarian principles of social organization and consensus that evolved out of their Buffalo hunting culture during the 19th century. The Métis built and continue to build spaces across the prairie provinces that respond to each local environment in ingenious, sustainable, egalitarian, and resourceful ways. This Métis vernacular architecture is the manifestation that developed when the lived consequences were too severe to make error. These responses have been learnt through inherited experiences that were and continue to be distilled by countless generations of lived experience in harsh environmental and even harsher social conditions. This research will explore both historical and contemporary examples of Métis architecture to better understand what is Métis architecture. Other Indigenous cultures in Canada have recognizable vernacular typologies such as the igloo, teepee, longhouse, and wigwam. What then is Métis architecture beyond log cabin nostalgia? Is there a place for a contemporary Métis architecture in the prairies? This thesis will collaborate with Métis Elder, Maria Campbell, on a design proposal for a space that facilitates cultural practice through art, music, storytelling, language, and cultural activities on the historic site of Gabriel Dumont’s Crossing along the South Saskatchewan River.

Jason Surkan

Faculty of Architecture, University of Manitoba

Born and raised in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, Jason Surkan holds a Bachelor of Architecture (B.Arch) from Carleton University. He previously studied Commerce at the University of Saskatchewan, Architecture at the University of British Columbia and is currently pursuing his Masters of Architecture (M.Arch) degree at the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg. He is of mixed Canadian Ancestry: Métis, Scottish, Ukrainian and Polish. Jason is a member of Fish Lake Métis Local #108, and the Métis Nation of Saskatchewan. He has worked intermittently for Douglas Cardinal Architect since 2014 as well as Oxbow Architecture in Saskatoon. His work is inspired by observation of nature. He aims to create culturally contextual work that is appropriate for the social, economic and political environment it will perform within.

métis architecture vernacular land based contemporary built environment


"We monitor by living here”: Building a community-based program to document Gitga’at knowledge in a time of change

The wellbeing of Gitga’at people is closely tied to the health of Gitga’at lands and waters. This is a relationship that has existed since time immemorial. Today, however, this tightly linked social-ecological system is being stressed by a changing climate, colonial policies, industrial shipping proposals, and other barriers to passing on ancestral teachings. Our research project seeks to inform a community-owned program to document Gitga’at knowledge, which accumulates across generations and through time spent on the land. In the words of Sm’oogyit Wahmoodmx: “We monitor by living here”. Leaders, harvesters and knowledge holders have affirmed that documenting Gitga’at knowledge using community-informed methods will inform stewardship decisions, rights and title, wellness, and bolster intergenerational knowledge transfer. With the guidance of community leaders and harvesters, we are combining harvest interviews and logbooks following the seasonal harvest round, as well as investigating historic journals to lay the foundations of an ongoing knowledge documentation program with which to inform adaptation in a changing social-ecological system. Some key aspects of this system, which we have focused on thus far, include the quality and quantity of Gitga’at food species, weather patterns, harvest patterns, and sharing networks. We will discuss the trajectory of our community-based research from conception and design to data collection, as well as the lessons we have learned as researchers and the feedback we have received from harvesters following two pilot studies: one during the spring harvest, and the other during the winter harvest season.

Kim-Ly Thompson and Nicole Robinson

University of Victoria, School of Environmental Studies, Gitga’at First Nation

Kim-Ly: I am a Masters candidate in Marine Ethnoecology at the University of Victoria. My mother is Vietnamese and my father is of Scottish-Irish ancestry. I was raised along the shores of the Grand River in Haudenosaunee territory, and am blessed to now be living and learning on the Pacific Coast of Tsimshian Territory. Prior to beginning my masters, I worked for two years as a biologist for the Gitga’at First Nation. My time living in Gitga’at Territory and working with friends and Elders who are harvesters and knowledge holders, has led to our current research project. Nicole: I am a researcher, proud Tsimshian woman, and member of the Gitga’at First Nation. Since 2013 my husband and I have been involved in many stewardship activities in our territory, including monitoring our local populations of humpback and killer whales. We are also active harvesters of traditional foods and enjoy preparing and sharing our harvest with our community, friends, and extended family. I have been working with Kim-Ly to research the ways of documenting the knowledge our people have about changes in our foods and territory since the fall of 2017, and am especially excited about learning from the stories and records of my Elders.


Redefining taxation powers in plurinational countries from an Indigenous Law perspective

The history of taxation is a chronicle of conflict and balance. Conflict arises when people perceive that states do not apply taxation powers according to their values. Balance occurs when people realize states apply those powers to support their individual and collective aspirations. Explaining this history without referring to the western concept of state is impossible. For instance, societies accept not only that taxes were created to sustain states, but also that states emerged to apply taxes. Therefore, people focus on how sovereign states apply taxation powers, not why they can do so. This situation is the consequence of a western-historical process, in which taxation determined the history of the state. During the last centuries, the question of who can create taxes has not been debated by western societies because its answer is taken for granted: governments representing sovereign states. However, nowadays, plurinational countries with Indigenous peoples must discuss this question once more. Due to their inherent sovereignty and right to self-determination, Indigenous peoples can impose taxes in plurinational countries like Canada and the United States. Important topics thus arise: what Indigenous peoples think of taxation powers, how Indigenous governments tax, who they tax, how such taxation powers interact with the national taxation powers, and how all of us should understand taxation powers in plurinational countries. My research aims to address these topics by explaining taxation powers of Indigenous peoples from an Indigenous Law perspective inspired by principles of kinship-economy and benefit theory of taxation.

Esteban Vallejo-Toledo

Faculty of Law, University of Toronto

I am a LL.M student in the Faculty of Law of University of Toronto. Before coming to Canada, I worked for the Ecuadorean Government for five years, during which I mediated conflicts and conducted research on local taxation, fiscal decentralization and public policy. This experience helped me appreciate that the highest privilege of a tax lawyer´s life is to contribute to improve the quality of life in a country where the average citizen cannot afford services. My research interests include Indigenous Law, Constitutional Law and Tax Law. I analyze social and legal institutions from a critical interdisciplinary perspective to promote social understanding.

indigenous peoples, taxation powers, right to self-determination, sovereignty, plurinational countries, kinship economy, benefit theory of taxation, tax law, constitutional law, indigenous law.


Daughter Culture: culture transmission from Mothers to Daughters and cultural hybridism in matrilineal nations in British Columbia.

The scope of Daughter Culture was an in depth and dynamic interdisciplinary look at what successful traditional culture transmission looks like in matrilineal indigenous cultural groups/nations. Daughter culture looks at the dynamics between urban and rural indigenous communities and their economic standing point and how that has an impact on transmission. The purpose of the research is to look into different socio-economic conditions and apply daughter culture to every aspect of life for matrilineal people. The journey in understanding Daughter Culture is understanding the name. ‘Daughter’ coincides with the sociological aspects of the concept. With this I use the works of classical and contemporary social theorist and the foundations of sociological gender studies. The word ‘Culture’ not only explains the cultural concept but also allows Daughter Culture to be studied and explained through contemporary anthropological conceptions.

Amanda Vick

Liberal Studies, Capilano University

Hello, my name is Amanda Vick, from the Gitxsan Nation in Gitanmaax (Hazelton BC) from the house of Wilps Delgamuux. I currently live on Coast Salish territory on the traditional territories of the Lekwungen speaking peoples- also known as Greater Victoria. I have a degree in Liberal Arts and have always focused my research around traditional cultural identity transmissions through western indigenous matrilineal kinship patterns. The end project in an interdisciplinary auto ethnography that I call ‘Daughter Culture’. I would be honoured to continue to share my findings.

indigenous feminism indigenous studies indigenous academics feminism sociology anthropology culture women’s studies gitxsan british columbia’s first nations matrilineal society’s mother-daughter relationship


Public Perceptions of Substance Use and Indigenous Canadians

Substance use disorders are one of the most stigmatized mental health issues. There is a disproportionate burden of substance use disorders and related harms on Indigenous peoples in Canada. The current study examined people’s views and attitudes towards Indigenous people in Canada with substance use disorders. Participants (N = 711) completed an online survey, in which they were randomly assigned to read one of four vignettes depicting a person struggling with a substance use disorder. Vignettes differed on two factors: (1) the person’s ethnicity (Caucasian vs. First Nations) and (2) the person’s decision to seek treatment or not (choosing to seek treatment vs. refusing treatment). Based on their assigned vignette, participants completed a series of stigma measures that included the Unpredictability and Incompetence Scale, the Vignette-Social Distance Scale, and the Vignette-Emotion Scale. A series of two- way factorial ANOVAs were employed, with ethnicity and treatment seeking as independent variables. Significant main effects of both ethnicity and treatment seeking were found on all three outcome measures of stigma. Specifically, participants assigned a vignette depicting a First Nations person responded with more stigmatizing attitudes than participants assigned a vignette of a Caucasian person. Additionally, participants assigned a vignette of a person refusing treatment responded with more stigmatizing attitudes than participants assigned a vignette of a person who sought treatment. These findings highlight the need for future anti-stigma interventions for substance use. Furthermore, documenting and addressing disparities among Indigenous populations is a crucial step in working towards reconciliation.

Emily Winters

Department of Psychology, Memorial University of Newfoundland

My name is Emily Winters and I am an Inuk graduate student at Memorial University of Newfoundland. I completed my Bachelor’s of Science (Honours) in Psychology at Memorial, and am now working on my Masters of Science in Experimental Psychology. My current research explores the attitudes and stigma towards Indigenous peoples living with substance use disorders, as well as the stigma towards individuals who do not seek treatment for substance use disorders.

stigma, indigenous populations, substance use, treatment seeking


Indigenous Matricultures of Canada

My purpose is to introduce the terminology of “Indigenous matricultures”. Matriculture refers to cultures that value The Maternal, in its literal and metaphoric meanings, and elevate mothering for its creative contribution to cultural continuity. Heidi Goettner-Abendroth (2013), leading theorist of matriarchal studies, posits that “maternal values as ethical principles pervade all areas of a matriarchal society,” creating an attitude of care-taking, nurturing, and peacemaking in a cultural paradigm. Matricultures is much broader than anthropology’s concepts of matrilineal kinship and matrilocality. My presentation will focus on the eight core principles of matricultures that have emerged from my readings of Indigenous Feminisms: relationality, regeneration, mothering, cosmology, sharing, food sovereignty, governance and plurality. As a settler woman conducting doctoral research on indigenous matricultures in Canada, I acknowledge that I am limited by the English language and seek to collaborate with speakers of indigenous languages who may be able to contribute indigenous words that represent matricultures. Eurocentric words such as goddess, god, deity, religion, marriage and property seem irrelevant to a discussion of indigenous matricultures. My hypothesis is that matriculture and food sovereignty are preconditions for cultural continuity in adapting to climate change; thus, the study of matricultures is both relevant and urgent in the current ecocrises. I draw on the Inuit cosmology of sila and the ”˜indweller’, Sedna, to illustrate this point.

Irene Friesen Wolfstone

Faculty of Education, University of Alberta,

I come from Pinawa, Manitoba at the edge of the Canadian Shield and on the shores of the Winnipeg River where I live in kinship with sacred land, trees, rocks and other land kin. Living in a round house is a catalyst for thinking outside the box. I hold an MA in Integrated studies from Athabasca University (2016) and am currently in doctoral studies at University of Alberta where I explore the links between indigenous matricultures, food sovereignty and climate change adaptation.

matriculture indigenous feminisms cosmology


Who has the right? A reflection on my position in the Indigenous studies as a non-Indigenous researcher.

Since the 1960s more and more Indigenous scholars have become active and influential in academia. They endeavor not only to criticize the works conducted from the western perspectives but also to build the insiders’ discourse. On the one hand, I appreciate the great contribution made by the Indigenous scholars in decolonizing the academia and developing inspiring methodologies. On the other hand, faced with some of the criticism, I have to reconsider my position – a researcher who is neither from the Indigenous community or western world – in the research, and examine my rationality. In the presentation, I will, first, talk about why I am interested in the Indigenous cultures and why I am conducting my current research, the powwow culture in Treaty Six Territory. Then, I will concentrate on how I did my fieldwork and how my psychological changes were happening during the process. Finally and most importantly, I will try to ask who has the right to study Indigenous cultures and what are the appropriate methodologies to adopt especially by the non- Indigenous researchers.

Xiao Zheng

Department of Anthropology, University of Alberta

I am Xiao Zheng, a second year Master’s student in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Alberta. My research interests are generally in two areas: indigenous cultures and museum studies. Currently, I am conducting research on powwows in Treaty Six Territory. After finishing my Master’s Degree, I would like to continue my education and focus on Indigenous community-based museums, collection and exhibition of Indigenous objects, and indigenous performances that take place in the museums. My favorite pastimes are listening to music, watching detective TV shows, and traveling.


Partnership Research: The Northern Community Archive Project

Until very recently many frequently studied Indigenous communities have received no copies of information or data created around their land and people. This is a pattern in academia and government based research that needs to end. Indigenous communities who are studied need to be partners in each study through partnership projects. Academics need to use their research on indigenous communities to help indigenous communities in some way during their research period. Even the simplest task of repatriating information for a community can assist a community in ways not previously realized. In my paper I will discuss the Northern Community Archive Project, a project I created in partnership with members from the Chemawawin First Nation and South Indian Lake in northern Manitoba. The project focuses on the creation of community archive spaces within each community that assists each community in accessing information previously inaccessible to them. Information is made accessible through the digitization of files held in archives in Winnipeg, these files are then made available to each community in a physical archive space within each community. Many community residents have closet or basement archives that contain important physical documents pertaining to the community’s history. Physical files that remain in the community by way of personal archives will also be digitized once approved by the original owner. Alongside the digitization of physical files is the creation of oral history life story interviews in alliance with community elders. Information in each archive can be used for community created curriculum and other community based projects. Indigenous communities in the north know what they need, academic partnership and alliance can assist them in growing and organizing their ideas into projects.

Erin Yaremko

University of Winnipeg and University of Manitoba

Erin Yaremko is currently in her research year of the Joint Master’s program in History between the University of Winnipeg and the University of Manitoba. She holds an honors degree in History (special focus oral history) with a double major in Political Sciences from the University of Manitoba. Her current research focus is on documenting the social impacts of hydroelectric development on two Indigenous communities in northern Manitoba. Alongside her thesis research Erin is working in partnership with the communities of South Indian Lake (Pipon-na-piwin Cree Nation) and the Chemawawin Nation in the creation of community archives. The northern community archives project will allow for the repatriation and accessibility of information for each community. Erin is working with both communities to grow each community archive to become a space for the further repatriation of information as well as artifacts.


Fort Garry Canad Inn

The Canad Inn has a special rate of $104, but you must phone and say you are attending the Risingup Conference at University of Manitoba. Do not use the online order form. This is good price, regular rate is $174, so book as soon as you can.

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More than a Word analyzes the Washington football team and their use of the derogatory term R*dskins. To see the trailer, click here

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