Stephen Augustine, Dean of the Unama’ki College and Aboriginal Learning at CBU, will be speaking at the 12th annual Joseph Howe symposium on Saturday, January 14, in Halifax. The symposium will engage with the crucial question of reconciliation with Indigenous people of Canada.
Dean Augustine will discuss the importance of language and culture in Indigenous communities and how journalists can best use language when covering these communities.
The presentation will specifically focus on: Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s (TRC) Call to Action #86, which states, “We call upon Canadian journalism programs and media schools to require education for all students on the history of Aboriginal peoples, including the history and legacy of residential schools, the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Treaties and Aboriginal rights, Indigenous law, and Aboriginal–Crown relations.” Dean Augustine will also touch upon his work with the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, to which he was an Elder advisor.
The symposium will include guest speaker Naiomi Metallic, Assistant Professor and Chancellor’s Chair in Aboriginal Law and Policy at Dalhousie University’s Schulich School of Law, and keynote speaker Duncan McCue, host of CBC’s Cross Country Checkup and a member of the Chippewas of Georgina Island First Nation, in Ontario.
This year’s symposium springs from the TRC’s 2015 report. It concluded that Canada engaged in a century of cultural genocide when it established residential schools and tried to assimilate Indigenous peoples into white society.
“One of the recommendations made by the TRC was that institutions of higher education should work with Indigenous people to start to incorporate Indigenous knowledge and ways of learning into curriculum,” says Augustine. “This is something that CBU has been doing for more than 40 years.”
An example of this is shown in the free, open, online course Augustine facilitated at CBU last Winter titled, Learning from the Knowledge Keepers of Mi’kma’ki.
The symposium, which is presented by the University of King’s College School of Journalism, is free and open to everyone. It takes place on Saturday, January 14, in Paul O’Reagan Hall at the Halifax Central Library.