Nov. 19, 2019
For Immediate Release
Waterloo – Wilfrid Laurier University is holding three public events within a week focused on Indigenous research. On Wednesday, Dec. 4, the fifth annual Indigenist Research Symposium will feature talks about land, democracy and intimacy. In the week prior, on Thursday, Nov. 28, acclaimed Huron-Wendat scholar Georges Sioui will launch his new book, Eatenonha: Native Roots of Modern Democracy, and on Friday, Nov. 29, the Indigenous Day of Learning will feature discussions about research methods, history and Indigenous ways of thinking. All events take place on Laurier’s Waterloo campus.
This year’s theme for the full-day Indigenist Research Symposium on Dec. 4 is “On Our Own Terms: The Future of Research in Indigenous Communities.” The symposium will feature a keynote speech by John Zoe, senior advisor to the Tłı̨chǫ Government, Northwest Territories (NWT), and talks by Geraldine King, a Queen’s University PhD candidate, and Sioui, retired professor of history at the University of Ottawa. The symposium is organized by Laurier’s Office of Indigenous Initiatives with the support of the Office of Research Services and Cold Regions Research Centre.
“The purpose of the Indigenist Research Symposium is to highlight Indigenous researchers and their work, and to bring issues around research in Indigenous communities to academia,” said Jean Becker, Laurier’s senior advisor of Indigenous initiatives. “This year we are focusing on community control of research, which is not well understood by researchers.”
Zoe, who is Tłı̨chǫ, is a fellow of the Arctic Institute of North America and former chief land claims negotiator for the former Treaty 11 Council of the NWT. His talk is titled “The Story is in the Landscape: To Know More About the Story, We Must Go to the Land.”
King, who is Anishinaabe, is a consultant, writer and full-time lecturer at Carleton University whose research interests include decolonizing gender, sex and sexuality. Her lecture is titled, “Bebeshwendaam Anishinaabeg: Generating Ontologies of Intimacy through an Anishinaabe-Centric Research-Creation Paradigm.”
Sioui was the first Indigenous person to obtain a PhD in history in Canada and was the inaugural coordinator of the Aboriginal Studies Program at the University of Ottawa. He is also the father of Miguel Sioui, a Laurier assistant professor in the Department of Geography and Environmental Studies. His talk is titled, “Indigenous Research: Defining the Complementarity of Roles of Insiders and Outsiders.”
The symposium, which will be held at Laurier’s Senate and Board Chamber from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 4, is free and open to the public but registration is required at Eventbrite. Journalists wishing to attend or interview speakers are asked to contact Corri Daniels at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“I hope people come away feeling more connected to Indigenous people and issues, and knowing more about Indigenous research,” said Becker.
Georges Sioui’s book launch and reading on Nov. 28 is co-presented by Laurier’s Office of Indigenous Initiatives and Cold Regions Research Centre.
Eatenonha: Native Roots of Modern Democracy, is subtitled, “An Exploration of the Historical and Future Significance of Canada’s Native Soul.” According to the publisher, McGill-Queen’s University Press, “Eatenonha” signifies “a land in which all can and should feel included, valued, and celebrated.”
The book tells the story of a group of Wendat known as the Seawi Clan to show how the pre-European-contact Wendat Confederacy was at the geopolitical centre of a commonwealth based on peace, trade, and reciprocity, in which all were equally valued and respected – a true democracy.
The book launch takes place from 4:30 to 6 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 28, on the main floor of the Laurier Library. The event is free, with no registration necessary. For more information, contact Corri Daniels at email@example.com.
The Indigenous Day of Learning on Friday, Nov. 29, is co-presented by Laurier’s Cold Regions Research Centre and Centre for Indigegogy.
The morning session will feature a presentation by Georges Sioui, who will discuss circular and matricentric thinking; the essential thread of Canadian history, the concept of Americity and the Four America, and Indigenous roots of modern democracy.
The afternoon session will feature an Indigenist research workshop by Anishinaabe scholar Associate Professor Kathy Absolon, who will introduce participants to an Indigenous lens and methodology to research. She will discuss conducting research with or about Indigenous peoples and introduce learners to a holistic research paradigm. Absolon is director of Laurier’s Centre for Indigegogy, which offers professional development workshops including the Indigenous Research Series, Decolonizing Education and Indigenous Peoples Certificate in Indigegogy.
The event runs from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 29, in Laurier’s Paul Martin Centre. It is free and open to the public, and may be of interest to researchers from a variety of institutions interested in working with or near Indigenous communities in Canada or around the world. For more information, contact William Quinton, director of the Cold Regions Research Centre, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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