Convocation Spotlight: Kelli Keegan
Kelli Keegan, chose to major in Indigenous Studies as a direct effort to connect with the teachings and stewardship principles of the Indigenous nations on whose land she lives.
Reflecting on her learning as a settler within Canada’s education system, Keegan says studying Indigenous Studies revealed and filled in many gaps she didn’t realize existed in the knowledge provided by her Canadian elementary and secondary schooling. She adds that “most lessons in the Indigenous Studies department center on the history of where you live, how to value and give back what you use.”
Keegan also credits her time at Indigenous Studies for teaching how to speak from her heart, better articulate Indigenous injustices and acknowledge her own privilege.
When asked what the key to her success during her studies was, she reports maintaining enthusiasm for learning and having a supportive cast of friends. That, and an ‘open’ sign at the nearest coffee shop, she jokes.
“If I could share a valued lesson it would be, the knowledge that you gain through relationships and how you relearn the things you know is most valuable,” she emphasizes. “I believe life is about perspective and the ability to let other perspectives hold just as much value as yours.”
Comparing the experience of finishing her degree during the pandemic to attending the Madhatter’s Tea Party--where the world feels turned upside down--Keegan says her instructors and peers helped keep her grounded and able to reach her goals.
Post-graduation, Keegan would like to complete an elementary school teaching program, and is especially interested in learning more about how to Indigenize pedagogy and her own teaching practices.