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Indigenous news and events at McGill
Updated: 14 hours 43 min ago

What it Means to be a Knowledge Holder with Lisa Qiluqqi Koperqualuk

Mon, 02/22/2021 - 10:24

The Indigenous Studies Program will be hosting a discussion with Lisa Qiluqqi Koperqualuk this Wednesday as a part of the Knowledge Holder series. Koperqualuk will discuss what it means to be a knowledge holder.

“Lisa Qiluqqi Koperqualuk was born in Puvirnituq, Northern Quebec (Nunavik). Fluent in Inuktitut, English and French, Lisa acted as Communications Officer for Makivik Corporation for seven years and participated in various regional, national and international fora such as Inuit Circumpolar Council General Assemblies in Kuujjuaq 2002, in Barrow 2006 (as a delegate) and elected in July 2018 in Utqiaġvik as Vice-President International for ICC Canada. She works for Inuit interests in self-determination advocating Inuit political and economic autonomy, social justice (particularly through Inuit law), and protection of the environment, culture and language.”

This event is open to the First Peoples’ House and other members of the Indigenous community at McGill.

Please register using this link.

March Office Hours: Leanne Betasamosake Simpson

Mon, 02/22/2021 - 10:05

On March 8th between 11-12pm, Leanne Betasamosake Simpson will be hosting office hours virtually. Office hours are open to the members of the McGill community, and you can sign up by commenting on the timeslot with your name and email here.

Sign up is first-come, first-serve!

Department of Family Medicine presents: Armchair Discussion with an Inuk Family Doctor

Mon, 02/22/2021 - 08:00

The Department of Family Medicine presents an armchair discussion with Dr. Jill Watts and Richard Budgell.

Dr. Watts is an Inuk family doctor who has practiced medicine in Miramichi, New Brunswick for almost 30 years. She will discuss her experiences with Professor Richard Budgell, a professor of practice in the Department of Family Medicine.

This event will take place on February 25th from 6:00-7:15 PM. More information can be found on their website.

Our Stories, Our Knowledge: A Storytelling Session

Mon, 02/15/2021 - 02:30

A conversation with Lisa Qiluqqi Koperqualuk, the 2021 Indigenous Knowledge Holder for the McGill Indigenous Studies Minor Program.

This event is open to members of the McGill community.

Storytelling is central to the teaching of Inuit worldviews, knowledges, and ethics. Join Lisa Qiluqqi Koperqualuk as she teaches of the interconnections between community, family, land, and animal life, through story.

Friday Feb 19, 10 am-11:30 am Registration link: click here 

Office Hours: Leanne Betasamosake Simpson

Mon, 02/15/2021 - 02:30

Take a moment to meet Leanne Betasamosake Simpson, our Writer-in-Residence, and learn more about her work. You can sign up for her office hours using this sheet. Once you comment on the time slot, you will receive confirmation and a link to the office space.

See below for the date and times available:

Office Hours 

February 15th, (11-12pm) 

March 8th,  (11-12pm) – Monday  

Leanne Betasamosake Simpson is a renowned Michi Saagiig Nishnaabeg scholar, writer and artist, who has been widely recognized as one of the most compelling Indigenous voices of her generation. Her work breaks open the intersections between politics,  story and song—bringing audiences into a rich and layered world of sound, light, and sovereign creativity.

Office hours are available to McGill students, faculty and staff. If there is interest in adding more office hours, please email ISCEI (iscei@mcgill.ca) to discuss possible date/times for upcoming hours.

Guest Lecture: Jeff Corntassel on Indigenous Resurgence

Mon, 02/15/2021 - 02:00

On the 17th of February, the students from POLI 622 will welcome Jeff Corntassel for a guest lecture about Indigenous resurgence.

Jeff Corntassel (Cherokee Nation), received his PhD in Political Science from the University of Arizona in 1998. His research and teaching interests include Indigenous political movements, community resurgence, and sustainable self-determination.

Jeff’s first book, Forced Federalism: Contemporary Challenges to Indigenous Nationhood (2008, University of Oklahoma Press), examines how Indigenous nations in the US have mobilized politically as they encounter new threats to their governance from state policymakers. Jeff’s next book is a co-edited volume (with Professor Tom Holm) entitled The Power of Peoplehood: Regenerating Indigenous Nations (forthcoming), which brings together native scholars from Canada and the US to discuss contemporary strategies for revitalizing Indigenous communities.

 

Student Spotlight: Jonas Henderson

Mon, 02/15/2021 - 01:55

Every other week, meet an Indigenous student in our spotlight series! This week’s student spotlight features Jonas Henderson, and the student-led initiatives he is currently part of:

 

Tell me a little about yourself, what are you studying at McGill?

Hallo! My name is Jonas Henderson, and I’m a U2 Civil Engineering student. I am Kalaallit Inuit (the people of Western Greenland) and the Senior co-Chair of AISES.

Could you explain a little more about AISES, and your role in it?

AISES (American Indian Science and Engineering Society) is a multinational organization dedicated to promoting and supporting indigenous involvement within STEM fields. My role as Co-Chair is to foster a sense of community for Indigenous STEM students at McGill, increase visibility, and facilitate outreach and networking activities.

 

What projects/developments within your faculty are you most excited about?

The project about which I am the most excited is the one headed by the IIC (Indigenous Inclusion Committee), which aims to bring Indigenous Art into various engineering buildings. I am excited about it because I believe that it will not only increase visibility for Indigenous engineers, but also beautify engineering buildings. I am lucky enough to sit on the selection commitee for this project, and I am eager to see the pieces on display!

Lisa Qiluqqi Koperqualuk Presents: “Determining Our Future: Self Governance for Nunavik Inuit”

Fri, 02/12/2021 - 17:38

On February 15th at 3pm EST, tune into a lecture from Lisa Qiluqqi Koperqualuk, the 2021 Indigenous Knowledge Holder for the McGill Indigenous Studies Minor Program! The registration link can be found here.

In 2018, the Inuit of Nunavik mandated the Makivik Corporation to “negotiate with Canada and Quebec in order to establish a form of Indigenous government based on Inuit values, identity, culture and language.” In 2019, Makivik and the federal government signed a Memorandum of Understanding on Self-Determination, in order to structure the self-determination discussions to come. Lisa Qiluqqi Koperqualuk, Makivik’s Chief Negotiator in this negotiation process, reflects on the Nunavik Inuit journey to formalize Inuit self-determination within Canada.

Lisa Qiluqqi Koperqualuk was born in Puvirnituq, Northern Quebec (Nunavik). Fluent in Inuktitut, English and French, Lisa acted as Communications Officer for Makivik Corporation for seven years and participated in various regional, national, and international fora such as Inuit Circumpolar Council General Assemblies in Kuujjuaq 2002, in Barrow 2006 (as a delegate) and elected in July 2018 in Utqiaġvik as Vice-President International for ICC Canada. She works for Inuit interests in self-determination advocating Inuit political and economic autonomy, social justice (particularly through Inuit law), and protection of the environment, culture, and language.

Debrief Circle: Looking back at Change the Name

Mon, 02/08/2021 - 10:26

As a reminder, today (Feb 8th) at 5:30pm, there will be a debrief circle concerning the recent name change of the Men’s Varsity Team. Indigenous students, staff, faculty, and alumni are invited to this event.

This circle intends to provide closure to the campaign and provide an opportunity for the Indigenous community on campus to collectively heal from the emotional and mental distress that was experienced on a variety of levels.

You can register for this circle here.

Follow ISCEI on social media!

Wed, 01/27/2021 - 12:08

We are so excited to announce that we are on social media! Follow our Facebook and Instagram for updates on events, initiatives, and other news from ISCEI.

Leanne Simpson Presents: “A Short History of the Blockade: Beavers, Affirmation and Generative Refusal”

Tue, 01/26/2021 - 10:14

See below for a poster on Leanne Betasamosake Simpson’s upcoming Public Talk. This talk is free and open to the general public. It will take place on February 4th, at 10am.

Click here to register for this event! 

 

Student Spotlight: Sativa Kawakami

Thu, 01/21/2021 - 11:51

Get to know some of the Indigenous students on campus in our new bi-weekly spotlight series! This week, we get to know a little more about the Indigenous Student Alliance’s (ISA) new Co-Chair, Sativa Kawakami!

Tell us a little about yourself, what are you studying at McGill? My name is Sativa, but most people call me Tiva, and I am a U1 student majoring in Environmental Biology at McGill Mac Campus. Ethnobotany has always been a huge interest of mine, and so, I take lots of anthropology courses downtown, too! I am Manitoba Metis, born and raised in Winnipeg. Although I miss the prairies every day, I am beyond thankful to be studying at McGill and to have connected with many amazing people since moving to Montreal. How did you begin to get involved with the ISA? I met some folks at the welcome back event with First Peoples’ House who recommended I join the ISA. As a shy freshman, joining the club was a little daunting, but I would consider it one of the best decisions I have made as a McGill student. Looking back, everyone who is involved with the ISA is so wonderful, and I feel silly having ever been nervous to join. Initially, I was interested in all ISA initiatives, but was ultimately looking to make friends in a new city; connecting with other Indigenous students and allies was a major hope of mine following my move, that has now been and continues to be fulfilled. What are you most excited about in your new role in the ISA? I am honoured to take on the role of Co-Chair of the ISA! My appreciation for this club and all of its members grows every day, and I am extremely grateful to be able to increase my involvement with the group. Community building has and will always be very important to me, and my new position as co-chair gives me a great opportunity and platform to enhance relations between Indigenous students and allies at McGill and to strengthen and extend our lovely community beyond the University. I am thrilled to further connect with all the ISA members, and to enjoy the positive space that this club creates. Learn more about the ISA and what they’re up to on their Facebook Page.

Looking Back at ‘Change the Name’: A Debriefing Circle

Tue, 01/19/2021 - 16:51
On February 8th at 5:30PM (EST), there will be a debriefing circle focusing on the Change the Name campaign. This circle intends to provide closure to the campaign and provide an  opportunity for the Indigenous community on campus to collectively heal from the emotional and mental distress that was experienced on a variety of levels. This event is open to Indigenous students, faculty/staff and alumni. It will be facilitated by Konwatsitsa:wi Meloche, who is a community member of Kahnawá:ke, and the circle will be open and closed by an Elder, Michael Standup. As well, participants will receive a small gift for taking the time to participate in this event. This meeting will not be recorded. Click here to register for this event.  

Anti-Racist and Decolonial Work in the Academy and Beyond: Registration Open

Mon, 01/18/2021 - 11:31

Registration for the upcoming talks in the Department of English’s Speaker Series has opened. To learn more about this series and ISCEI’s involvement, check out our previous post about it here. These talks are free but require an RSVP, if you would like to register, please follow the links below!

 

Vicky Boldo (Cree/Métis), Autumn Godwin (nehithaw iskwew), Laurence Lainesse (white settler): “Collective Resistance & Solidarity: Creating Social and Decolonial Change” (January 27, 3-5pm EST)

Register to attend this talk here

 

Kim TallBear (Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate): “Diversity v. Decolonization in the Academy” (February 9, 5-6pm EST)

Register to attend this talk here

Meet Leanne Betasamosake Simpson: New Writer in Residence

Fri, 01/15/2021 - 21:24

ISCEI is thrilled to welcome Leanne Betasamosake Simpson as the first ISCEI Writer-in-Residence, in collaboration with the Mordecai Richler Writer-in-Residence series.

Simpson is a Michi Saagiig Nishnaabeg writer, musician, and academic. She has worked as an independent scholar for two decades and lectured at universities across Canada and the United States. In her work, she deals with ideas of Indigenous environmentalisms and land-based knowledge, resurgence and resilience, and Indigenous futurities. She holds a PhD from the University of Manitoba and currently teaches at Dechinta Centre for Research and Learning. She is a member of Alderville First Nation.

Some of her notable works include Dancing on Our Turtle’s BackIslands of Decolonial Love, and most recently, Noopiming: The Cure for White Ladies and its accompanying album Noopiming Sessions.

More information about Leanne and her work can be found at her website.

Speaker Series: How to Do Anti-Racist and Decolonial Work Within the Academy and Beyond McGill Department of English

Wed, 01/13/2021 - 15:46

The EGSA’s 2020-21 Equity and Diversity Committee has organized a four-part webinar / speaker series entitled “How to Do Anti-Racist and Decolonial Work Within the Academy and Beyond.” It will take place in January and February 2021 and is open to both graduate students and faculty members of McGill’s Department of English.

With the support of ISCEI and the Mellon Grant, this series includes Indigenous speakers who will be sharing their knowledge on this topic. Indigenous speakers include Vicky Boldo, Autumn Godwin and Kim Tallbear. See below for some of the topics and speakers in this series!

 

Beth Berila: “Building an Anti-Racist Culture” (January 14, 9-12pm EST)

This interactive workshop will explore how to practice anti-racism at the individual, collective, and structural levels in your department. We will discuss what is already working and generate best practices for anti-racism in our lives, pedagogies, departmental practices/policies, and communities.

Vicky Boldo (Cree/Métis), Autumn Godwin (nehithaw iskwew), Laurence Lainesse (white settler): “Collective Resistance & Solidarity: Creating Social and Decolonial Change” (January 27, 3-5pm EST)

Are you open-minded? Do you welcome diversity and difference as an opportunity to learn and broaden yourself both professionally and personally? Are respect and dignity important for you in team building and community service? This two-hour workshop is intended to provide a culturally safe space for exchange between each of the participants and the presenters. From a perspective of lived experience, we will discuss different strategies of resistance and solidarity implemented by the facilitators and participants in their own communities and within colonial structures of Canada and Quebec. Let’s engage and explore how collective actions of solidarity and resistance can contribute toward the reconstruction of a more just and decolonial society.

Kim TallBear (Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate): “Diversity v. Decolonization in the Academy” (February 9, 5-6pm EST)

In Eve Tuck and K. Wayne Yang’s seminal 2012 article, “Decolonization is not a metaphor,” they define decolonization as bringing about “the repatriation of Indigenous land and life.” With this concrete transfer of (re)sources in mind, Dr. TallBear will address the differences between “diversity and inclusion” vs. decolonization. Also drawing on Adam Gaudry’s and Danielle Lorenz’s 2018 article “Indigenization as inclusion, reconciliation, and decolonization,” TallBear argues for a more critical approach than the settler state’s multicultural model of inclusion—one that seeks to aid repatriatiation of “land and life.” Dr. TallBear will provide concrete examples of what repatriation looks like in the context of academic decolonization.

Bettina Love: “We Gon’ Be Alright, But That Ain’t Alright: Abolitionist Teaching and the Pursuit of Educational Freedom” (February 22, 5-6pm EST)

Dr. Love’s talk will discuss the struggles and the possibilities of committing ourselves to an abolitionist goal of educational freedom, as opposed to reform, and moving beyond what she calls the educational survival complex. Abolitionist Teaching is built on the creativity, imagination, boldness, ingenuity, and rebellious spirit and methods of abolitionists to demand and fight for an educational system where all students are thriving, not simply surviving.

 

Indigenous Alumni Ardith Walkem appointed in BC Supreme Court

Tue, 01/05/2021 - 12:27

Ardith Walkem, alumni of McGill (BA), was appointed as a judge in British Columbia’s Supreme Court in December. As an Nlaka’pamux community member, she is the first Indigenous woman to be appointed as a BC Supreme Court Justice. Walkem completed her BA at McGill University and then studied law the University of British Columbia. Walkem is also the owner and partner at Cedar and Sage Law

Taken from the Nanaimo News Bulletin, Chief Don Tom, UBCIC (Union of BC Indian Chiefs) vice-president said;

“Ardith is a brave and bold thinker who challenges those around her to understand the law and different legal traditions in innovative, transformative ways. Her research, work, and teaching have often focused extensively on the application and elevation of Indigenous laws, including in areas of child welfare and specific claims, and have undoubtedly changed the field.”

You can read more about her achievements and appointment here.

Robin Gray Guest Lecturing in the Department of Sociology on January 22nd

Tue, 01/05/2021 - 12:06

On January 22nd from 10:30 – 12PM, Robin Gray will be presenting her research titled: “Repatriating Indigenous Cultural Heritage: A Case of Ts’msyen Songs”. This presentation is part ofa larger speaker series in the Department of Sociology. Information on how to access this lecture will be provided below.

Robin Gray is Ts’msyen and Mikisew Cree, and an Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of Toronto Mississauga. Dr. Gray’s current research projects focus on the repatriation of Ts’msyen songs from archives, and foundational issues related to the preservation, management, ownership, access and control of Indigenous cultural heritage.

The repatriation of Indigenous cultural heritage, ranging from bodies and objects to knowledge, is a socio-cultural, spiritual, and political priority for Indigenous communities worldwide. Although Indigenous peoples have had varying levels of success securing the release of their ancestors and belongings from captivity, the repatriation of intangible heritage such as song is a relatively new domain. Drawing on research from an ongoing case study to repatriate a single collection of Ts’msyen songs from multiple archives with, by and for Ts’msyen from Lax Kw’alaams, BC, this talk will offer considerations about the colonizing properties of intellectual property, the reach of Indigenous dispossession in the archive, and why Indigenous laws should be respected as precedent for ownership, access, and control of Indigenous cultural heritage.

To listen to her lecture on the 22nd, you can click here for the zoom link or enter the meeting ID/passcode here:

Meeting ID: 839 2499 2870
Passcode: 042833

Meet Caroline Monnet: McGill’s First ISCEI Artist in Residence

Fri, 12/18/2020 - 11:55

In the upcoming Winter semester, we are so happy to welcome Caroline Monnet as the first ISCEI Artist in Residence!

Caroline Monnet is an Algonquin-French multidisciplinary artist from Outaouais, Quebec. She studied in Sociology and Communication at the University of Ottawa (Canada) and the University of Granada (Spain) before pursuing a career in visual arts and films.

Monnet’s work in film, painting and sculpture deals with complex ideas around Indigenous identity and bicultural living through the examination of cultural histories. She is interested in themes of identity, representation, and modernity. Monnet has made a signature for working with industrial materials, combining the vocabulary of popular and traditional visual culture with the tropes of modernist abstraction to create unique hybrid forms. 

To learn more about Caroline and view some of her current work, check out her website!

The Mellon ISCEI Artist in Residence program is an important means of bringing practicing artists to campus to continue their work, share their expertise, interact with students and faculty members, and enhance knowledge of and exposure to Indigenous art among the campus community and the public at large. The annual Artist in Residence will be co-organized with the Department of Art History & Communication Studies and will be involved in a variety of on-campus activities such as workshops and public exhibitions, and will be available as a resource to students, faculty, and staff.

Two New Courses on Indigenous Languages in Linguistics

Fri, 12/11/2020 - 11:27

In the upcoming Winter 2021 semester, two new courses will be offered by the Department of Linguistics! These courses will be led by professor James Crippen.

Ling 211: Introduction to Indigenous Languages

This course provides and introduction to the scientific study of language through the lens of Indigenous languages in North America. This course includes basic linguistic concepts like sound system organization, word formation and structure, gender and classification, expression of time and space are all explored through examples drawn from Indigenous languages across the continent. Cultural and political issues addressed include orality versus literacy, language endangerment and revitalization, and social policies of support or suppression.

This course will take place on Tuesday/Thursdays from 11:30am to 12:55pm.

 

Ling 411/611: Structure/Analysis of an Indigenous Language

This course reviews the languages in the Na-Dene (Dene-Eyak-Tlingit) family of North America. Topics include: history of research on the family, shared patterns in the organization of linguistic subsystems, genealogical relationships and subgrouping proposals and particular problems that Na-Dene languages pose for linguistic theory. Students will select a particular linguistic phenomenon to review in a final paper, either in depth for a particular lanugage or more shallowly across a selection of languages in the family. Graduate students will apply current theoretical research to their selected topic and will develop a novel analysis of primary data from published sources.

This course will be offered Monday/Wednesday from 4:05-5:25pm. Note that this course is open to both graduate and undergraduate students.

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