Camille Di Lulio
One response to the Truth and Reconciliation Commissions’ 94 Calls to Action report (2015) are co-curricular initiatives that aim to Indigenize the student experience. Previous research has shown that cocurricular achievements increase students’ self-awareness of their skill set, which helps them to better articulate skills to future employers. Western University’s Office of Indigenous Initiatives proposes Memegwaanh (Meh-meh-gwah, translated to “butterfly” in Anishinaabemowin), the Indigenous Co-Curricular Honour Program, offered to all undergraduate students at main campus and the affiliates. The co-curricular program aims to develop students’ awareness and knowledge of Indigenous identity and gain a comprehensive understanding of the relational history between Indigenous Peoples and the nation of Canada. Students are rewarded with recognition on their formal academic transcript, following completion of activities across four categories: a) academic coursework, b) community-engaged experiential learning, c) the completion of NVision’s “The Path”, and d) participating in workshops through the Office of Indigenous Initiatives. Framed in a decolonizing theoretical lens, the curriculum planning process is led by and collaborated with Indigenous Peoples, with expressed intent to privilege the Indigenous perspective. This approach aims to support Indigenous Peoples’ right to self-determination, to protect the integrity and authenticity of cultural content, and to honour the lived PAGE 19 experiences of Indigenous Peoples. Students completing the program are better equipped to identify ways to engage in cross-cultural relationships and support reconciliation in alignment with the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action.
This abstract is part of a larger research project that aims to use a decolonizing lens to investigate the complex inter-relationship between indigeneity, ice hockey and colonialism. Hockey is a pivotal sport in Canada; thus, it is imperative to explore its role in reconciliation. There was a need for a comprehensive analysis of the current literature to be able to properly identify the gaps in literature that can be addressed. There was a primary search strategy implemented that consisted of searching all databases (n=112) for peer reviewed, scholarly journals and book chapters (no specified date range) that included the keywords (n=14) outlined in the study. The secondary search strategy employed included searching the grey literature and policy documents (no specified date range). A further search strategy included the search for the biographies of Indigenous hockey players. The data was systematically gathered using the Zotero platform to easily collect, organize and cite research. Potential next steps for the larger research team involves the development of a counter-statistical reality for Indigenous hockey players in Canada.
Attempting to treat one’s health without the using the proper medicine is illogical. Societal foundations of medicine are incomplete. Health cannot be entirely treated when westernized medicine only targets the physical and mental aspects of health. This research attempts to reintroduce methods to target all of health including the spiritual and emotional aspects to fully embody it. An expanded version of the medicine wheel is used for the core of this research, which emphasizes identity and community as well as the four aspects to create balanced health. Art therapy will be highlighted as an intersection between alternative medicines and westernized health as this a key example of fully embodying health. Art will also be used as a tool and visual example of embodying wellness. Specifically, pottery will be used as a physical representation of the fundamental parts of this research and the concepts that connect to provide wellness.
Equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) is an essential part of education delivery. As such, the goal of this collaborative work is to develop a first of its kind EDI principles guide to inform teaching and learning at the Ivey School of Business. In collaboration with Indigenous partners at Western University, I conducted an in-depth literature review on Indigenous culture and perspectives and created Indigeneityfocused content for the EDI guide. Covered topics included definitions of indigeneity, relevant terminology, common Indigenous practices, and resources to promote cultural safety within the academic environment. My team’s ultimate goal is to have this guide available to students, faculty, and staff at the Ivey School of Business in the upcoming school year.
Globally, there is a much higher prevalence of dementia in Indigenous peoples compared to non-Indigenous populations. Moreover, Indigenous older adults can experience an earlier onset of dementia by up to 10 years compared to their non-Indigenous counterparts. COVID-19 has negatively impacted many health behaviours that are risk factors for dementia, including reducing physical activity, worsening diet, and increasing sedentary time, among others. However, research has yet to examine whether COVID-19 has negatively impacted the health behaviours of Indigenous older adults specifically. Furthermore, it is not currently known whether Indigenous older adults are aware of the health behaviours, among other factors, that are known risk factors of dementia. This study aims to examine the health behaviours of Canadian Indigenous older adults during COVID-19, compared to before COVID-19, and assess their knowledge of dementia risk factors. The study design and methodology consist of mixed methods and survey research. The online questionnaire combines validated questionnaires in their entirety as well as specific questions pulled from additional validated questionnaires. Interview questions include a fully PAGE 8 validated questionnaire, as well as questions created based on previous qualitative studies that were literature-informed. Findings from the study may help inform areas for improved education in Indigenous older adults on the topic of dementia and determine how resources that promote healthy active living may be improved in this population during the COVID-19 pandemic and afterwards.
Decolonizing Heteronormative Conceptions on Gender and Sexual Identity: Investigating Through an Indigenous Lens
Internalized racism, oppression, stigma, and discrimination that exists within the Indigenous lesbian, gay, bisexual, transexual, and individuals who question their gender or sexual identity (LGBTQ+ two spirit) community, are under-researched compared to their nonIndigenous counterparts. Current western research models and theories do not adequately account for the biopolitical roots of the social and structural determinants of health that the Indigenous LGBTQ+ two-spirit experience and are limited in their explanations of the structural violence they suffer. I argue that we need to better understand, from a biopolitical and biopower perspective, how the colonial history that Indigenous peoples have endured has altered Indigenous conceptions of gender and/or sexual identity. Furthermore, I will argue that the revitalization of Anishinaabe gikendaasowin (Anishinaabe knowledge), rejuvenation of Anishinaabe izhitwaanin – (Anishinaabe culture), and perspective on gender, is critical to understanding the Indigenous LGBTQ+ two-spirit community for biskaabiiyang (returning back to ourselves).
This research project focuses on Indigenous fatherhood. It includes a literature review on scholarly research completed surrounding Indigenous fatherhood, and also some lived experience knowledge shared by Indigenous fathers. The purpose of the literature review is to identify what information is currently available to identify gaps that exist within the literature and what questions remain. This information is used to create a framework for providing programming for Indigenous fathers at various stages of fatherhood including prenatal, fathers as part of a family unit, and single fathers. The research project includes considerations that need to be made so that programming is inclusive of all types of Indigenous fathers including LGBTQ+, fathers with disabilities, working fathers, and fathers with varying levels of parenting time. This research project proposes to provide a foundation for the integration of Indigenous fathers into regular family programming.
My research topic is about including Indigenous knowledge in school science curriculum. My research problem is the underrepresentation of Indigenous students in mainstream education. Therefore, my research problem will focus on curriculum and pedagogy that are culturally inclusive, with the goal of increasing participation rates of Aboriginal students in STEM education and careers. There is a gap in academic achievement and graduation rates between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal students. The 2008 census data for Aboriginal student population indicates their enrolments in the sciences continue to be very low. The scholarly context for my research is an Indigenist postcolonial context. Although the literature on cross-cultural science is a growing topic, there still exist a scarcity. The existing literature clearly states that more research is needed to improve Indigenous achievement levels in school science and employment in the STEM fields. My research project will follow an Indigenous paradigm and can potentially make a significant contribution to three areas in Indigenous education: 1) Two-Eyed Seeing as a weaving mechanism for bridging Western Science with Indigenous science; 2) medicine wheel as a conceptual framework in a storytelling context, and 3) PAGE 10 culturally responsive teachers, curriculum and pedagogy that addresses the needs of Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal students. My research on Indigenizing STEM education has the potential to make significant contributions to our understanding of weaving Western and Indigenous science perspectives. Two-Eyed Seeing is represented as the synthesis of Indigenous methodology and participatory action research situated within an Indigenous paradigm of relevant, reciprocal, respectful, and responsible research (Peltier, 2018).
This project analyses several versions of the Haudenosaunee Creation Story in order to understand how depictions of Sky Woman have changed and evolved over time. Due to the oral nature of Haudenosaunee storytelling, the early versions which are recorded were either written down by settlers who had extensive contact with Haudenosaunee communities or by Haudenosaunee scholars who had grown up in society which was already colonized. This makes it hard to understand the full extent of colonial and patriarchal influence on storytelling and depictions of Sky Woman herself. However, I hope that by examining a variety of stories from different time periods and from various Haudenosaunee communities (who would have had varying degrees of Christian and European influence) that I can identify elements of her character which have been changed or lost over time.
Joette Lefebvre and Tara Hedican
The First Nations Community of Inquiry & Praxis (FNCIP) is a group of Indigenous intellectuals working together to support each other and the First Nations With Schools Collective (FNWSC). FNCIP was founded by the FNWSC and an Indigenous faculty member partner employed at Western University’s Faculty of Education. FNCIP aims to conduct inquiries and praxis that originate out of interest and relevance to its members, and to the FNWSC’s mandate in supporting lifelong learning that is Indigenous-centered and grounded in Indigenous philosophies of knowing, being and doing. Through regularly scheduled inquiry-based discussions, FNCIP members principally participate in the co-production of knowledge and a communityminded approach that serves as an educational advisory group on topics of significance to the FNWSC. Additionally, FNCIP members seek to mobilize transformative educational praxis among FNCIP members and in their individual community contexts, generally. The FNWSC recognizes the on-going participation of FNCIP members and FNWSC delegates as a vital contribution toward sustaining and building educational excellence among FNWSC members First Nations citizenry. FNCIP webinars presentations 12-14 conducted PAGE 28 between March 5, 2021, and August 4, 2021, will be discussed for this presentation.
Western, euro-centric methodologies like the scientific method are essential for some forms of research, particularly for research in the biological realms of genetics and cell function. Using the scientific method by conducting a literature review and subsequently performing in silico experiments with simulation programs and machine learning, it has been concluded that microplastics in rivers, lakes and oceans are being consumed by aquatic wildlife, causing cellular and genetic damage, and biomagnifying up trophic levels, with evidence suggesting that microplastics have entered the human body. This is knowledge obtained by western research methods that would be relevant knowledge for Indigenous communities, based on the widespread Indigenous value that water is life. Based on the longknown Indigenous truth that Quanja Lake, and all the lakes on Manitoulin Island are connected to Lake Huron through underground channels, it is the responsible thing to inform communities of the dangers of microplastics that could be infiltrating the islands’ lakes via littering in Lake Huron from mainland Ontario. The task at hand was finding a way to deliver information obtained by western
As artificial intelligence advances, we are faced with increasingly complex ethical issues and considerations. Thus far, as is the case with AI research and development in general, the dominant ethical approach has been through a Western techno-utilitarian lens which prioritizes human flourishing and development above all else. The anthropocentric approach insists that we label and treat AI as an objectified tool. Many Indigenous epistemologies, however, are founded on a relational ethic that refuses to ethically elevate humans. A relational ethic sees humans as equal partners in the world along with other entities and follows principles and practices of social and environmental sustainability. AI is a new technology, but many Indigenous peoples have long been practicing reciprocal relationships of mutual respect and aid with animate and inanimate entities. We can build on these paradigms and practices to inform our approach and relationship with AI. Such an approach would guide careful consideration of the development of the technology itself, and the way it participates in our networked society. Such an approach forces us to see AI as participating agent and to consider PAGE 6 what role it should play in a balanced and sustainable world of mutually respectful relationships. This project is somewhere between a literature review of work that broaches various aspects of “Indigenous AI”, a discussion of key philosophical issues around utilizing a relational ethic towards AI, and a meditation on what our relationship to AI says about us, our relationships to the world, and what it means to be human.
This paper examines First Nations peoples’ educational experiences during the Covid 19 pandemic, including their engagement with land-based pedagogy. First Nations peoples have always had a deep connection and reciprocal relationship with their ancestral lands. Within Eurocentric school settings, many First Nations students are systemically disadvantaged, and their knowledge systems are often undermined. This paper focuses on the critical importance of how First Nations peoples draw on land pedagogy and center their Indigenous knowledge to continue their formal and informal learning during the pandemic. I have chosen to restrict the literature review to Canadian content as my research is focused on pandemic impacts with First Nations schools and includes First Nations peoples in relation to informal land-based education practices at the community level. Drawing on existing literature, my research question will look at how and in what ways have First Nations peoples engaged in land-based pedagogy during the pandemic? This paper will make use of secondary sources including gray literature.