To prepare for the academic year and the needs of our students, the faculty and staff gathered to engage in crucial conversations around resilience and revitalization at the annual Fall Faculty Seminar on Monday, August 28. Acting Dean Andrea Sterzuk gave the Dean’s address, welcoming new faculty and staff and highlighting recent achievements. Associate Dean, Faculty Development and Human Resources, Paul Clarke also greeted faculty and staff and introduced Dr. Kathryn Ricketts, who gave an overview of the day and explained the concept of Pecha Kucha, a “presentation style in which 20 slides are shown for 20 seconds each (6 minutes and 40 seconds in total).” Pecha Kucha keeps presentations concise and fast-paced, and allows for multiple speakers to present at an event. Faculty and staff participated in crucial conversations around the following crowdsourced topics:
values and ideals in undergraduate and graduate programs;
communication, collaboration, and collegiality among faculty and staff;
wellness and sustainability through diagramming and mapping to organize meetings and endless lists;
joint mobilization and muscles elongation exercises at your desk and learning to map tension in the body;
austerity and the audit culture–how to organize, collaborate and politicize with students, staff, and community to ensure delivery of our programs; and
indigenization of our spaces, practices, and curricula.
Pecha Kucha presentations were demonstrated by Dr. Alec Couros and Wanneta Martin and faculty and staff had the opportunity to walk and talk with Elder-in-Residence Alma Poitras.
After each crucial conversations, participants used post-it notes to write down ideas, concerns, and questions. In the final session, the group reflected on the generated ideas and thoughts.
An astounding number of preservice and in-service educators (over 300!) gathered together on Saturday, October 1 to take advantage of a great opportunity: to learn about treaty education at #TreatyEdCamp 2.0. Treaty education is mandatory in Saskatchewan curriculum and #TreatyEdCamp is professional development delivered “by teachers for teachers,” allowing educators to learn about treaty and how to implement treaty education in their classrooms.
Katia Hildebrandt, Meagan Dobson and Raquel Bellefleur co-organized this second annual #treatyedcamp with the help of UR S.T.A.R.S. and many volunteers and with financial support from the Faculty of Education and the Aboriginal Student Centre.
Before participants went off to concurrent sessions (27 presentations over 4 sessions this year), Mike Desjarlais sang and drummed a song of remembrance, a reminder to participants to think of their loved ones who have gone before them. Dr. Jennifer Tupper spoke on the importance and need for treaty education, reminding participants of the recent murder of 22-year-old Colten Boushie of the Red Pheasant Reserve, which highlighted the racism that is prevalent in Saskatchewan, “still touching us all.” Education about what First Peoples have gone through at the hands of government — broken treaty promises that resulted in such losses as the loss of language and culture, loss of children to residential schools, and loss of loved ones to intergenerational trauma effects– will help to make changes that honour treaty rights, and someday will hopefully eradicate the issue of children in foster care and youth in gangs.
Brad Bellegarde, a Regina hip-hop artist and journalist, brought the Keynote presentation, “Hip Hop is the New Buffalo” after a lunch of soup and bannock. Bellegard expressed his desire to see the smiles on the faces of First Nation youth as they find relevance, self-expression and the ability to fight oppression through Hip Hop music. (See his video: https://youtu.be/TGZSBx3Ye5c). He also showed a youtube to demonstrate how music can bridge cultural gaps, creating opportunities to collaborate in schools. He encouraged teachers to ask about what they don’t know, just as he did when he went to Germany and Chile. “You’re teachers; you’re just like a big gang,” he said, “you can support each other.”
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Joely Bigeagle facilitated a baby moccasin workshop on April 5th, 2016 in the Faculty of Education from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm. In the morning session she instructed on how to make the moccasins and in the afternoon session Joely taught how to bead the moccasins. This event was organized by UR Indigenization Lead and faculty member, Dr. Shauneen Pete.