Jan. 31, 2024

UCalgary invites public to engage in reconciliation through free Indigenous Knowledge Lecture Series

3-part webinar series begins Feb. 7
On a grassy hill, a white tipi sits in front of a glass building
UCalgary aims to reach beyond its campus and develop authentic relationships with community partners and relational allies. Riley Brandt, University of Calgary

Empowering reconciliation through education has become more accessible thanks to learning opportunities such as the annual Indigenous Knowledge Lecture Series (IKLS) at the University of Calgary. Throughout the winter semester, Indigenous leaders and scholars will present on the topic of transformative reconciliation during this three-part webinar series, hosted by the Office of Indigenous Engagement.

Since its inception in 2018, the IKLS has brought together Indigenous Knowledge Keepers from across Turtle Island (North America) with the goal of building good relations through education and awareness. Presented as part of ii ’taa’poh’to’p, UCalgary’s Indigenous Strategy, the lecture series supports the university’s goal of deep evolutionary systemic change by creating a more inclusive campus that respects and parallels Indigenous ways of knowing, doing, connecting and being. 

Created in direct response to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s 94 Calls to Action, the lectures support individuals as they embark on their journey toward reconciliation through scholarly presentations that explore the complexity and diversity of Indigenous knowledge systems. 

By encouraging inclusivity on campus as a primary goal for the university, UCalgary aims to reach beyond its campus and develop authentic relationships with community partners and relational allies. To increase intercultural capacity within its community, UCalgary’s Indigenous Knowledge Lecture Series is free and open to the public. 

This year’s webinars will take place from February through April, and will feature Dr. John Borrows, PhD, a law professor at the University of Toronto; Dr. Joshua Whitehead, PhD’21, an assistant professor in the Department of English at UCalgary; and Dr. Gabrielle Weasel Head, PhD’18, assistant professor of Indigenous Studies at Mount Royal University. To learn more about this year’s speakers and how to participate, visit the Indigenous Knowledge Lecture Series web page

Attend the 2024 Indigenous Knowledge Lecture Series

A headshot of a man in a black jacket and white hair

John Borrows

Courtesy John Borrows

John Borrows
Feb. 7, 12-1:30 p.m. 
Presentation: Learning Resurgence and Reconciliation from the Earth 

John Borrows is a member of the Chippewa of the Nawash First Nation in Ontario and currently is the Loveland Chair in Indigenous Law at the University of Toronto Law School. Borrows is an accomplished author and his most recent publication, Law’s Indigenous Ethics, received the 2020 Best Subsequent Book Award from the Native American and Indigenous Studies Association. He is celebrated by his peers as suggested by his many awards and recognitions such as the 2021 Canadian Bar Association President’s Award. In 2020, he was appointed as an Officer of the Order of Canada.

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A man wearing a striped shirt and large hat stands in a field

Joshua Whitehead

Courtesy Joshua Whitehead

Joshua Whitehead 
March 20, 12-1:30 p.m. 
Presentation: Indigenous Futurisms and Literary Joy 

Joshua Whitehead is an Oji-Cree, Two-Spirit writer and academic from Peguis First Nation. He is the author of Full-Metal Indigiqueer and Indigiqueerness: A Conversation About Storytelling, among other titles, and is the editor of Love After the End: An Anthology of Two-Spirit and Indigiqueer Speculative Fiction. Currently, Whitehead is an assistant professor at UCalgary with the departments of English and International Indigenous Studies program

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A woman in a blazer smiles at the camera

Gabrielle Weasel Head

Courtesy Gabrielle Weasel Head

Gabrielle Weasel Head
April 10, 12-1:30 p.m.
Presentation: In the Spirit of Dr. Betty Bastien: Conceptualizing Ontological Responsibilities in Higher Education

Gabrielle Weasel Head is a member of the Kainai Nation, part of the Blackfoot Confederacy. Working as an assistant professor in Indigenous Studies at Mount Royal University, Weasel Head is an active researcher mobilizing Indigenous research methodologies to elevate Indigenous ways of knowing, being and doing in mainstream education and professional-development spaces. Her dissertation research focused on the interplay between trauma and resilience in the post-secondary experiences of Indigenous adult learners.

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The University of Calgary’s Indigenous Strategy, ii’ taa’poh’to’p, is a commitment to deep evolutionary transformation by reimagining ways of knowing, doing, connecting and being. Walking parallel paths together, “in a good way,” UCalgary is moving toward genuine reconciliation and Indigenization.

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