FCAT Community in Practice

Community in Practice (CiP) is an initiative led by FCAT’s Advisor, Equity, Community and Care. It encompasses our active work to respond to and demonstrate our commitments to decolonization, Indigenization, truth and reconciliation, and the wide range of issues within the equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) compass. As the title emphasizes, it is a practice, and it is something we are doing collectively as a faculty to provide the time and space for FCAT faculty, students, administrators and staff to listen and learn together, to disrupt our regularly scheduled programming to discuss important topics affecting academic work life and student life—and to reflect on how we work together. 

Community in Practice goals: 

  • make room for thoughtful discussions about CiP topics across FCAT

  • make visible the CiP work done by FCAT teachers, researchers, staff and students  

  • provide professional development and learning opportunities for FCAT community members

  • develop best practices for community building within and across our classrooms and meeting rooms

Equity, Community and Care Working Group

Faculty and staff members doing decolonizing, equity-seeking, inclusion and anti-racism work in FCAT’s schools and the Dean’s Office have come together over the last year to discuss the formation of an FCAT Equity, Community and Care (ECC) Working Group. In its early stages, the FCAT ECC is 

  • discussing the benefits and challenges of forming an FCAT level group and making this work visible internally and externally

  • developing an ethics of care practice for working together 

  • supporting the new role of the FCAT Advisor ECC

  • informing content for the FCAT ECC Summit and CiP Speaker Series. 

FCAT Equity, Community and Care Summit 

The first FCAT EDI Summit was held in October 2022. Now an annual event, the FCAT ECC Summit brings together members of the ECC Working Group in conversation with student representatives (graduate and undergraduate), invited guests, FCAT school and program administrators, and the Dean’s Office. The intention of the Summit is to inform the ECC work being done across FCAT and the content for the CiP Speaker Series.

CiP Speaker Series

The CiP Speaker Series is held in early September and January and hosts experts from a broad range of fields and practices to address current (social, political and cultural) issues affecting academic work life and student life and to provide a prompt for FCAT to reflect on and consider. 

On CiP days, guests present to the entire Faculty in the morning. Talks may be in person, online or a combination of both and may be internal or public facing. The presentation is followed by afternoon programming curated by the FCAT Advisor Equity, Community and Care and the FCAT School and Program Directors and Managers. The afternoon events may include special school meetings or retreats, professional development workshops, community building activities, or other reflective practices. 

CiP 2023/2024 Events

Beyond Diversity and Inclusion in the Academy: Restoring Indigenous Land and Life

Kim TallBear, Professor, Faculty of Native Studies, University of Alberta | Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Peoples, Technoscience, and Society

Date: Thursday, January 4, 2024
Time: 10:00am - 11:30am
Location: Live streamed and recorded

*In-person tickets have SOLD OUT, waitlist and live stream tickets are available HERE.

Indigenous peoples are often at the receiving end of the colonial gaze, and this includes the gaze of non-Indigenous researchers. Science and technology, social scientific, and humanities fields have all developed in tandem with the growth of colonial states and their longstanding anti-Indigenous assumptions. Even well-intended researchers may be unaware of how such ideas continue to inform their assumptions about Indigenous peoples. Dr. TallBear calls attention to ongoing colonial ideas in the academy. To counter such ideas, she highlights precise definitions of inclusion, reconciliation and decolonization—ideas that are often conflated and their meanings and differences diminished—in everyday academic speak. Those precise definitions are then used to analyze new academic efforts that go beyond inclusion of Indigenous people to help transform research and learning for the benefit of Indigenous peoples. Such efforts also aim to return resources and space to Indigenous peoples. Finally, Dr. TallBear will highlight the role of academic research in helping promote Indigenous governance of science and other research.

About Dr. Kim TallBear

Kim TallBear (Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate) is Professor and Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Peoples, Technoscience, and Society, Faculty of Native Studies, University of Alberta. She is the author of Native American DNA: Tribal Belonging and the False Promise of Genetic Science. In addition to studying the implications of genomics for Indigenous peoples, Dr. TallBear studies colonial disruptions to Indigenous sexualities. She is co-founder of the Indigenous sexy storytelling and cabaret show, Tipi ConfessionsShe is also a regular panelist on the weekly podcast, Media Indigena. You can follow Dr. TallBear’s research group at IndigenousSTS.com. You can also find her on Mastodon @KimTallBear@mastodon.social.

Safe Space for White Questions (SSFWQ) YouTube community discussion with Dr. Ajay Parasram and Dr. Alex Khasnabish

In September 2023, Parasram and Khasnabish joined FCAT virtually for a live SSFWQ discussion on YouTube. Copies of Frequently Asked White Questions were sent to all FCAT faculty and staff in advance of this event. 

Learn more.

Community in Practice News

  • October 13, 2023

    October 13, 2023

    Faculty, staff, and students from across FCAT came together on September 8 for the first FCAT Community in Practice day. The day began with an online Safe Space for White Questions discussion led by Drs. Ajay Parasram and Alex Khasnabish, followed by afternoon programming unique to each school and program.