Indigenizing the Academy to be Discussed at Local Conference

While Indigenization is a popular topic around the Nation, Atlantic Canadian universities want to be sure that they approach the subject carefully and with much respect. For this reason, the Association of Nova Scotia University Teachers (ANSUT), Cape Breton University (CBU), the Cape Breton University Faculty Association (CBUFA) and CBU’s Unama’ki College have partnered to hold Indigenizing the Academy, a two-day conference on May 3-4, at the Membertou Trade and Convention Centre, located in Mi’kma’ki, the unceded territory of the Mi’kmaw people.
With many perspectives to consider, the conference will provide a safe space for open discussions and focus on finding collaborative solutions to implementing the recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Report.
“After years and years of attempting to assimilate First Nations people, and particularly in the context of the horrendous damage done by the Residential School system, it is absolutely imperative that post-secondary education do everything possible to include First Nations people and First Nations thought into the academy and into our curriculum. I hope that this conference can be an impetus to an ongoing process where that – namely, indigenization – happens,” says Scott Stewart, CBU Professor of Philosophy and President of ANSUT.
Conference speakers include:

  • Dr. Cheryl Bartlett, Professor Emerita, Cape Breton University; Member of the Order of Canada; Former Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Integrative Science; Former Director of the Institute for Integrative Science and Health
  • Dr. Marie Battiste, Professor, Educational Foundations, University of Saskatchewan; Member of the Royal Society of Canada; Distinguished Academic Award from CAUT
  • Dr. Albert Marshall, Elder Advisor, Unama’ki Institute of Natural Resources; Creator of the “Two Eyed Seeing” concept – Balancing Traditional Aboriginal Knowledge and Contemporary Science
  • Dr. Blair Stonechild, Professor of Indigenous Studies, First Nations University; First Faculty member hired at FNU; Former Dean of Academics and Executive Director of Development, FNU.
  • Stephen Augustine, Associate Vice President, Indigenous Affairs & Unama’ki College, Cape Breton University; Hereditary Chief, Signigtog Clan, Mi’kma’ki
  • Sakej Youngblood Henderson, Professor, Native Law Centre, University of Saskatchewan.