Read the latest news from SFU Library's Indigenous Initiatives

The eagle flies the highest in the sky, and in a coast salish story people would seek guidance from the eagle to gain knowledge of faraway places. This representational eagle wing relief was created to bring the knowledge to students as they seek guidance in their studies. -- Marissa Nahanee

 


 

Indigenous Initiatives, Project 57: Unlearning and learning together

The Decolonizing the Library Working Group (DLWG) invites everyone to learning alongside us with Project 57.  This project is a response to the TRC Call to Action 57, which calls on "federal, provincial, territorial, and municipal governments to provide education to public servants on the history of Aboriginal peoples." Over the next 57 weeks the DLWG will share information about a topic related to Indigenous Peoples, communities, and culture.

This week, let's learn about the Indian Act.

 

Project 57: Unlearning and learning together posts are found here.


Learning about the living, thriving Indigenous Nations all around us  

On the Traditional territories: SFU's land acknowledgments page, there is an excellent set of introductions and resources for preparing and delivering land acknowledgments. 

Within those resources is a reference to the nearly 200 First Nations and their languages and dialects in BC. There are links to the 10 First Nations' where parts of each SFU campus are located. Each link has overviews of contemporary governance and issues as well as current and future plans for each Indigenous Nation.  

Linking out to those First Nations' webpages consistently calls attention to the fact that we work and live on the stolen lands belonging to Indigenous People who are currently living, thriving, working, and building on their lands. The Indigenous People who have been and are currently impacted by the theft of these lands should be in the front of our minds when we acknowledge any lands or think about where we are living and working. Indigenous People live here, have lived here, and will always live here. 

As you go further in your decolonizing journey, please use those webpages to read and learn about the current publicly available work the Nations are doing to preserve, govern, and support their lands, people, and businesses. If you are looking for a place to start, native-land.ca provides a map that can give you an idea of whose lands you live on. 

On the First Nations' web pages, you will find information, that includes but is not limited to, housing projects, education initiatives, community planning, and taxation. 

An example of both an education initiative and community planning in the Katzie First Nation, is the beautiful new Katzie Early Years Centre. The new Centre provides a safe and fulfilling space for the young children that attend the programs there. 

In addition to all of the other good work being done to run each Nation, you might also find information about any ongoing legal cases between Indigenous Nations and the BC province or corporations. These legal cases only become necessary after years, or even decades, of advocacy and good-faith pressure by Indigenous People and Nations to compel the BC or Canadian governments or corporations to adhere to the contracts and agreements that they have made with sovereign Indigenous Nations. 

An example of this is right now the Katzie First Nation is involved in a lawsuit “alleging breaches of a contract to mitigate impacts of power generation work on the Alouette River.” (Katzie.ca) This suit outlines 25 years of alleged failure by the province of BC and BC Hydro to meet contractual obligations to mitigate the cultural, ecological and economic damage caused to the river by the Alouette Dam. 

***** 
When you are considering where you live, where you work, and plans for your future, I would encourage you to also learn what the Indigenous Nation's vision is for their lands as part of your thoughts and plans for your home. 

As many of these Indigenous Nations often do not get positive, meaningful, and sovereign coverage in the news or popular culture, it is important to take the time to seek out this information so you know what each Nation publicly announces. 

It is a good idea to explore these webpages when you are preparing to deliver a land acknowledgment. Ask yourself questions like: what are the land plans are for the Indigenous Nations we are on? What issues has a Nation made publicly available? Has a First Nation asked for public support for a particular issue? Is a Nation celebrating the completion of a project? Knowing this information and checking in on it regularly will help you frame your calls to action when you offer a land acknowledgment, and more importantly help inform the decisions you make about the places where you live and work. 

~September 29, 2023


Attend the It Stops Here book launch with Rueben George and Guests

 

Join us for the launch of Rueben George’s It Stops Here: Standing Up for Our Lands, Our Waters, and Our People.

On August 30th, SFU Library is co-sponsoring the book launch event for Rueben George’s It Stops Here: Standing Up for Our Lands, Our Waters, and Our People.

Register to attend

The launch takes place at the Djavad Mowafaghian Cinema (SFU Woodwards) at 7pm on Wednesday August 30th. Registration is free/by donation to the Massy Arts Society.  

About the book

The book is a personal account of Rueben George’s ongoing work of standing up against colonial extraction as a land defender.

SFU’s Burnaby and Vancouver campuses occupy lands that are part of the Tsleil-Waututh territory, and our communities therefore benefit directly from George’s environmental activism. It Stops Here is "part memoir, part call to action” and provides us with the opportunity to learn more about the ongoing responsibilities that Indigenous community leaders take on in the spiritual, cultural, and political realms, particularly in connection to land defense.  

Copies of It Stops Here will be available for purchase before and after the event, with a book signing happening after the moderated discussion. 

Pre-order It Stops Here from Massy Books.   

About Rueben George

Rueben George is a Sun Dance Chief, a member of the Tsleil-Waututh Nation, a family counsellor, and a “force of nature” (Dr. Pamela Palmater, Mi'kmaw lawyer, professor, and Indigenous rights advocate from Eel River Bar First Nation) in his work to protect the lands and waters that are under Tsleil-Waututh protection.

 

The book launch is being put on in collaboration between Massy Arts Society, Massy Books, SFU Library, and SFU Public Square. 


Salish Weave Box Sets: Art & Storytelling Project companion website

Image containing the project title, Salish Weave Box Sets: Art and Storytelling, the Salish Weave logo, and the SFU Library Indigenous Initiatives logo

The companion website for the Salish Weave Box Sets: Art and Storytelling Project is now available! On this site you'll find a visual annotated bibliography, and educational activities developed to for multiple disciplines.

The Salish Weave Box Set: Art and Storytelling Project is a series of conversations with Coast Salish artists. During these conversations, the artists talk with Ashley Edwards and Courtney Vance about their influences, processes, and how art is a source of knowledge sharing.

~ August 09, 2023, Ashley Edwards
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The Indigenous Curriculum Resource Centre is now open!

The ICRC, showing the seating area, windows, and cedar.

Visit the ICRC on the 4th floor (north side) of the WAC Bennett to browse books about decolonizing curriculum and view art by Coast Salish artists.

Development of the ICRC started in 2020, and supports decolonizing initiatives of faculty members, instructors, and course designers. The collection includes materials on the impacts of colonization, why decolonization is needed in education, and centres Indigenous scholarship on teaching and learning. The ICRC itself is an example of how libraries can decolonize, by incorporating audio-video materials such as the Salish Weave Box Set: Art and Storytelling conversations, and using an Indigenous classification system to catalogue books. The space complements the ICRC webpages.

To read more about the design elements of the space, collections, and classification system, see Doing the work in a good way: Information for instructors and course designers about the Indigenous Curriculum.

~ June 1 2023

 


Tea & Teachings: Conversations around Indigenizing Curriculum 

What is curriculum indigenization? What forms can curriculum indigenization take? How can instructors implement curriculum indigenization in their classes?

If you are a faculty or teaching staff member with an interest in these questions, the Centre for Educational Excellence and SFU Library’s Indigenous Curriculum Resource Centre invite you to a series entitled “Tea and Teachings: Conversations about Decolonizing and Indigenizing Curriculum.”

Using conversation and co-learning processes, this series will help you to develop foundational knowledge related to indigenizing and decolonizing curriculum.

Register and find out more.

~ September 27, 2021


Salish Weave Storytelling Project

The ICRC is thrilled to welcome Courtney Vance to the team! Courtney is joining as a Research Assistant on a project looking into art as pedagogy and storywork, as described by Q’um Q’um Xiiem in her 2008 book, Indigenous Storywork. The project will be centred around the art and artists included in the Salish Weave Box Sets, and has been generously funded by the Salish Weave Fund at the Victoria Foundation.

Courtney (Selkirk First Nation) graduated in 2021 with her BA in Sociology and Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies, alongside a minor in Anthropology. She is starting her Masters in the Sociology program in September 2021. She’s particularly interested in integrating Indigenous knowledges and ways of knowing at the forefront of urban planning on the unceded territories of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh), and kʷikʷəƛ̓əm (Kwikwetlem) First Nations. 

The Salish Weave Storytelling Project will invite the artists represented in the Salish Weave Box Sets to have a conversation about their artwork. These conversations will be recorded, with participants receiving a copy, and will be made available through SFU Library. It is envisioned that many SFU Faculties and Departments will be interested in hearing from the artists, from Indigenous Studies, to Contemporary Art, to Literature, and Education. Future ideas for these conversations include developing post secondary curricula around the Box Sets, and collaborating with campus partners on events.

~ June 10, 2021


Welcome to the Indigenous Curriculum Resource Centre!

Taanshi and welcome! My name is Ashley Edwards, and I’m the Indigenous Curriculum Resource Centre librarian. I want to extend a warm welcome to you, and share a little about what can be found within the Indigenous Curriculum Resource Centre (ICRC). 

Both historically and currently, education systems often repress, negate, and ignore Indigenous knowledge. Because of this it can be hard to know where to begin making changes in your own teaching. The ICRC gives educators at all stages a place to explore and get started with interrupting these harmful practices by Indigenizing curriculum.  

Start your journey with six core resources

We have curated these online ICRC resources specifically to assist faculty, instructors, and TA/TM/RAs with understanding how and why to decolonize and Indigenize curriculum. 

Learn about why this work is important, what Indigenous pedagogy is, and find resources you can use in your classroom. Exploring further, you will find assignment examples and much more as our site expands. 

The six core pages are supported by an increasing number of pages on topics like:

Questions? Feedback? Suggestions? Please reach out to Ashley at avandijk@sfu.ca

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