April 19, 2022

Join prominent Indigenous scholars and Elders in discussions on ethical spaces and parallel processes in higher ed

Conference on Postsecondary Learning and Teaching set for May 1-3
Photos of Marie Battiste and Jacqueline Ottmann
Keynote speakers Marie Battiste and Jacqueline Ottmann.

The 2022 University of Calgary Conference on Postsecondary Learning and Teaching, Moving Forward in a Good Way: Nurturing the Spirit of Learning in Postsecondary Education, invites Indigenous and non-Indigenous community members from UCalgary and beyond to participate in discussions on ethical spaces and parallel processes in higher education, as we continue our path to truth and reconciliation.   

Elder Evelyn Goodstriker’s wisdom on the spirit of learning shaped the conference theme this year: 

"In traditional ways of teaching and knowing, every human has a spirit, and every spirit has a purpose in this life. In some teachings, the traditional word to describe a child means creator. No child, no person is an empty vessel, every person comes with a spirit of learning.

A teacher must nourish the spirit of their students and recognize that each one comes with pre-existing experiences and knowledge that need to be honoured. Teachers and learners must walk together on a path, in a good way.

The full teaching is available on the conference website.  

“We are deeply honoured to welcome prominent Indigenous scholars and elders,” says Dr. Natasha Kenny, PhD, senior director of the Taylor Institute for Teaching and Learning. “Our conference committee engaged in broad consultation with the Office of Indigenous Engagement and Indigenous community members to carefully align our planning with the cultural model presented in ii’ taa’poh’to’p, the University of Calgary’s Indigenous Strategy.” 

Kenny co-chaired the conference this year with Dr. Gabrielle Lindstrom, PhD, assistant professor, Indigenous studies at Mount Royal University.

Pre-conference, May 1  

Offered in partnership with the Office of Indigenous Engagement, the pre-conference will explore how we can model ethical spaces and parallel processes on our path to truth, reconciliation and healing.   

Elders Reg and Rose Crowshoe, prominent cultural and spiritual leaders from Piikani First Nation in Alberta, and Dr. Michael Hart, PhD, vice-provost (Indigenous engagement) at the University of Calgary and citizen of Fisher River Cree Nation in Manitoba, will share wisdom and teachings on how we can nurture the spirit of learning in higher education.    

Conference, May 2-3 

The main conference is online and features keynote presentations from Dr. Marie Battiste, EdD, special advisor at Cape Breton University and professor emerita from the University of Saskatchewan, and Dr. Jacqueline Ottmann, PhD, president of First Nations University of Canada.   

  • Indigenous and Trans-Systemic Approaches Toward Decolonizing the Academy.  Battiste will focus on the mandates, challenges and tensions of Indigenization and reconciliation. She will also provide the diverse ways Indigenization is practiced across Canada in universities and offer promising practices for reconciliation and decolonial Indigenization.  
  • okinohmakē, kēntasowin: Teaching and Learning Through Indigenous Knowledge Systems. Ottmann will explore how teaching and learning through Indigenous perspectives, pedagogies, and methodologies entices all our senses, and requires reciprocal relationality.  

Elder Betty Bastien, Elder Evelyn Goodstriker, Elder Rod Hunter and Elders Reg and Rose Crowshoe will share teachings and provide vision and guidance throughout the event. A high-level schedule and a list of sessions and presenters are available here.  

Event details 

  • Pre-conference, May 1 from 1 – 4:30 p.m. MT, in person (Register by April 22) 
  • Conference, May 2 – 3 from 9 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. MT, online (Register by April 28) 
  • Click here to register. UCalgary staff and student discounts available. 

ii’ taa’poh’to’p, the University of Calgary’s Indigenous Strategy, is a commitment to deep evolutionary transformation by reimagining ways of knowing, doing, connecting, and being. Walking parallel paths together, ‘in a good way,’ UCalgary is moving toward genuine reconciliation and Indigenization.