Mount Allison to host second indigenous conference, March 16-17
Speakers include activist Pamela Palmater and author Blair Stonechild
SACKVILLE, NB — Mount Allison University will host its second indigenous conference on campus this year. Titled Working Towards Cultural Proficiency, the conference will take place March 16-17, 2016 at the University and is open to the public.
“We are so pleased to be hosting the second indigenous conference at Mount Allison this academic year,” says Indigenous Affairs Co-ordinator and conference organizer, Doreen Richard. “Our first forum, held in the fall, included many great discussions and observations about the indigenization of our campus. We are looking forward to continuing these discussions with community members and guests from across the country.”
The event, which will welcome individuals and groups from indigenous communities across the Maritimes, as well high school and university students, faculty, and staff, will focus on three main areas. These include: broadening awareness and deepening the understanding of the unique needs of First Nations students by engaging non-aboriginal students and staff; finding ways to begin the decolonization process of the curriculum; and making post-secondary institutions a more welcoming environment for indigenous students.
Panelists include indigenous community members, academics, and students from across Canada. Indigenous author Blair Stonechild will read from his book, The New Buffalo: The Struggle for Aboriginal Post-Secondary Education in Canada, as part of the conference (March 16, 7 p.m., Crabtree Auditorium). Other guests include Andrea Bear Nicholas, previous chair in native studies at St. Thomas University, and indigenous activist and academic Pamela Palmater (Ryerson University).
“We will also be welcoming First Nations students from across the region,” says Richard. “It’s integral that their voices be heard as part of this discussion and we’re excited to have our students participate in this event.”
Mount Allison University and the New Brunswick Department of Post-Secondary Education, Training, and Labour are sponsoring the conference.
Working Towards Cultural Proficiency presentations are open to the public but organizers do ask individuals to register for specific events. All events, with the exception of Blair Stonechild’s reading, will take place in Tweedie Hall, Wallace McCain Student Centre (62 York Street). A full schedule and registration form can be found at mta.ca/indigenous