Sept. 28, 2022

What We Are Learning This Week with Dr. Adela Kincaid

Exploring animal-human relationships from an Indigenous lens.
Tipi at the University of Calgary

October 03, 2022 in INDG 399 Topics: Animal-Human Relationships 

Dr. Adela Kincaid is exploring animal-human relationships from an Indigenous lens where animals act as messengers, guides, healers, teachers, helpers, providers, and protectors. The teachings are based on shared knowledge by Elders, Indigenous youth and members from community as well as concepts from Indigenous scholars 


Can you tell us a little more about this topic? 

The course draws from work with community, and we begin by writing, “One of the most devastating effects of colonization has been fragmented relations among humans and their more-than-human counterparts” (McGinnis et al., 2019). This week we are specifically talking about animals as teachers and students shared their experiences of learning from their other-than-human relatives. 

Adela headshot

What else do you cover in your course? 

We are very fortunate to have Dr. Grandmother Doreen, Iyarxe-Nakoda Daryl Kootenay, and Elder Rose Crowshoe and Dr. Crowshoe share stories and perspectives on animal-human relationships with us this semester. This course is exciting because we have opportunities to learn from the land and to learn from local Knowledge Keepers and Elders. One assignment that I am looking forward to guiding is for students to spend time on the land to learn from our animal relatives. Another exciting assignment opportunity is for students to contribute to Dr. Ginn’s Animal Kinship Project that shares animal-human stories through song and is supported by graduate student Monique Riel.

What do you love about teaching this course? 

 I love teaching this course because everyone has relationships with animalsdomestic, wild or other and through this course we are able to think about the importance of that connection in a deeper, more reflective and personal way. The intention of the course is to learn from Indigenous ways of knowing through an experiential and land-based approach. I am very fortunate to have an exceptional TA and course coach, Miranda Christin, who has been co-ordinating, organizing and helping students in a number of important ways.

Finally, what other courses would you recommend for students interested this topic?

I would recommend that students consider taking any one of our International Indigenous studies courses taught by our exceptional instructors. Some that are being taught this semester include: Indigenous Ways of Knowing, International Indigenous Film, Indigenous Law in Canada, Comparative International Indigenous Communities, Indigenous Psychology and a new course on Indigenous Science. 


Our Thanks to Dr. Adela Kincaid for sharing your course with us!