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SFU to examine reconciliation in higher education


Windspeaker Staff







Simon Fraser University (SFU) will host a 10-part public lecture series that examines how reconciliation is taking form in higher education.

Called the “President’s Dream Colloquium on Returning to the Teachings: Justice, Identity and Belonging”, the series intends to illustrate the history of Aboriginal peoples in higher education, as well as new ways forward through public lectures, dialogue and ceremony.

“One of the unique offerings of this colloquium is that an All Nations Circle of Elders have gathered to lead the ceremonies and share their teachings,” said Vicki Kelly, professor of education.

“This is one of the ways we intend to honor SFU’s commitment to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action by respecting Indigenous knowledge, traditions and practices within contemporary contexts.”
Brenda Morrison, professor of Criminology and director of SFU’s Centre for Restorative Justice, said SFU, as a Canadian institution, needs to “embrace and own our full history as Canadians. We can turn the tide of harm and injustice through reaching out and working across knowledge systems.”
The series begins with guest lecturer Chief Robert Joseph, hereditary chief of the Gwawaenuk First Nation, on Sept. 8 at the Leslie & Gordon Diamond Family Auditorium at SFU’s Burnaby campus.

Joseph is an Order of British Columbia recipient, ambassador for Reconciliation Canada, and special advisor to Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
The series is a response to the legacy of Canadian residential schools. Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) gathered testimony for six years from more than 6,000 Aboriginal people. Last year, the TRC issued a report with 94 recommendations for reconciling and repairing relationships between Indigenous and non-Aboriginal peoples.
Some recommendations focused on higher learning, including increased funding for students to access post-secondary institutions and recognition of Indigenous knowledge—such as languages, histories, and ways-of-knowing.

Other speakers who will present are Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas, award-winning visual contemporary Haida artist, author, and professional speaker; Wab Kinew, MLA for Fort Rouge in Manitoba, author, musician, broadcaster, and Aboriginal leader; Manulani Aluli-Meyer, EdD, professor of Education at the University of Hawaii, Indigenous Epistemologist; Stephen Reicher, PhD, Wardlaw professor, School of Psychology and Neuroscience, at University of St. Andrews.
Rupert Ross, QC, retired assistant Crown Attorney for the District of Kenora, Ont.; Jennifery Llewellyn, professor of Law; Viscount Bennett professor of Law, Dalhousie University; John Burrows, PhD, Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Law; Nexen Chair in Indigenous Leadership, University of Victoria and Wade Davis, PhD, professor of Anthropology and the BC Leadership Chair in Cultures and Ecosystems at Risk at the University of British Columbia round out the speakers list.

For more information about this series, see the Web site here: https://www.sfu.ca/dean-gradstudies/events/dreamcolloquium/DreamColloquium-Reconciliation.html