Queen's University

Aboriginal ways of knowing focus of symposium

Kathleen Absolon, an associate professor at Wilfrid Laurier University, is the keynote speaker at the 13th annual Symposium in Indigenous Research. 

Adopting Aboriginal ways of knowing is integral for an inclusive academic culture, and essential for students to form a balanced understanding of Canada’s past, present and future. It is not surprising, then, that efforts to attract and retain more Aboriginal students have Queen’s community members thinking about ways of including more Aboriginal knowledge and scholarship in research and the curriculum.

“Queen’s is making progress, and we hope to see more support for incorporating Indigenous ways of knowing into the academy in the future,” says Jessica Insley, a third-year environmental studies student and coordinator of the 13th annual Symposium in Indigenous Research hosted by the Four Directions Aboriginal Student Centre.

The symposium called “Indigenizing the Academy” is aimed at fostering more understanding of Aboriginal tradition and creating additional connections between researchers, academics and community members not only within the Queen’s community but also between Queen’s and other universities.

Kathleen Absolon’s keynote address is based on her research in this area. In her recent book Kaandossiwin: How We Come to Know, Dr. Absolon writes about how 14 Indigenous scholars use Indigenous worldviews in their search for knowing.

Several Queen’s professors and students will participate in the symposium including Anne Godlewska, a professor in the Department of Geography, Emma Nicholl, a fifth-year Health Studies student, and Erin Sutherland, a Cultural Studies master’s student. Dr. Godlewska will also present the work of Queen’s PhD student Susan DeLisle.

Aboriginal elders Banakonda Kennedy-Kish and Allen Doxtator will give guidance to presenters, according to traditional Aboriginal protocol, and a community leader will moderate the discussion using a talking stick.

Complete details and schedule for the symposium are posted on the FDASC website.

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Last updated at 4:16 pm EDT, Fri August 29, 2014
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