March 23, 2022

Indigenous Knowledge Public Lecture Series kicks off March 24

UCalgary welcomes Karla Jessen Williamson of the University of Saskatchewan
University of Calgary

Dreams of an Inuk Matriarch: Grounding “Democracy” on Canadian Grounds is the topic of the first webinar of this semester’s Indigenous Knowledge Public Lecture Series on Mar. 24.

This session features Dr. Karla Jessen Williamson, faculty member in educational foundations at the University of Saskatchewan, who holds a PhD in anthropology from the University of Aberdeen in Scotland, and moderator Dr. Jennifer Leason, Tier 2 Canada Research Chair Indigenous Maternal Child Wellness and associate professor, UCalgary.

The presentation starts off with a poem titled Dream With Me, and the poem will be woven in and out of the discussion, addressing the terms “Indigeneity” as defined by United Nations, while problematizing the meaning and processes of Canadian “democracy” in relation to Indigenous Peoples in Canada and exemplifying Inuit access to Canadian political power.

The inequality between Indigenous Peoples and settler/immigrant Canadians is deeply entrenched. The latter access resources as the electoral majority and seem to be incapable of sharing resources with the original inhabitants, Jessen Williamson says. 

“Treaties, land scripts and land claims, each explicitly desired goodwill between the Crown and sovereign peoples ...  These sentiments must be an integral part of a unique ‘Canadian democracy’ that is well-grounded on the lands shared by original inhabitants to meet Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation,” says Jessen Williamson.

The Indigenous Knowledge Public Lecture Series, presented by UCalgary’s Office of Indigenous Engagement, is hosted by Elissa Twoyoungmen, BA’15, Indigenous cultural education and protocol specialist. The series will highlight Indigenous leaders, scholars, artists and Knowledge Keepers, and spark key community conversations as we all work together to increase intercultural capacity and build good relations through awareness and knowledge.

Registration is now open for this first virtual Indigenous Knowledge Public Lecture Series event. The second presentation, on Apr. 14, will feature assistant professor Willie Ermine from the First Nations University of Canada speaking about ethical space with moderator Dr. Adam Murry, PhD, assistant professor in UCalgary’s Department of Psychology.

Event details

March 24, 2022
12 – 1:30 p.m. MT - Online