Exciting Initiatives Focused on Indigenization

This has been an exciting time at Unama’ki College, and we are pleased to be working on many innovative initiatives that will support students, staff, faculty, and our greater community in learning more about Mi’kmaq culture, history, and ways of knowing. As we come to an end of 2015, I wanted to take this opportunity to share with you a number of upcoming opportunities that may be of interest.

As many of you are aware, we are launching a new course in January 2016, MIKM 2701, Learning from the Knowledge Keepers of Mi’kma’ki. This course will be available for course credit for CBU students and will also be free and open to the public. We will be live-streaming all the lectures, allowing as many people as possible to access this course. This is a unique and engaging approach to a course offering!

We have also successfully launched the Nation2Nation Speaker Series this past fall semester, holding three events on topics including Residential Schools and their enduring legacy on Mi’kmaq culture; the Truth and Reconciliation Commission; and Indigenizing the curriculum. Ashlee Cunsolo Willox, Emily Root, and myself will be continuing to hold monthly events, welcoming in speakers from throughout Mi’kma’ki and beyond. Stay posted for announcements about our 2016 line-up, and visit our Facebook page.

Based on the success of the Nation2Nation events, and our commitment to keeping these conversations going on campus, we are pleased to be launching a Nation2Nation Reading Circle in 2016. This will be a monthly event bringing people together to discuss readings, learn about Mi’kmaq culture, consider broader Indigenous issues across Canada, and discuss strategies for incorporating Indigenous content into the university and the curriculum. An information session will be held on December 17, at noon in the Multipurpose Room. The regular gatherings will begin in January 2016.

Finally, Unama’ki College is becoming an Institutional Partner with the National Truth & Reconciliation Centre. As part of this relationship, we are pleased to be welcoming Charlene Bearhead back to Unama’ki and Cape Breton University in April, 2016. Charlene will be giving public talks, providing training sessions for interested faculty and staff, and will be working with the communities on the Island. More information will be coming in the new year about this exciting visit.

We look forward to continuing to engage in exciting dialogue, discussion, and debate in 2016, and to welcoming knowledge holders from across the country to learn and share with us.

Stephen Augustine
Dean, Unama’ki College & Aboriginal Learning