Attendees at the 2016 symposium participating in a drum group as part of an evening of cultural sharing. Photo Credit: IGS 2016.

Symposium showcases impact of TRC on Indigenous research

March 08, 2017

By Kamilah Charters-Gabanek

The 15th Annual SFU/UBC Indigenous Graduate Symposium, “Revitalizing, Remembering, and Retelling for Reconcili-Action,” takes place March 10-11 at SFU’s Vancouver campus.

The event is the third installment in a four-year pilot partnership between the two universities to showcase Indigenous students’ research and scholarship. For the first 12 years, the event was hosted by UBC.

The symposium features keynote speaker Chief Robert Joseph of Reconciliation Canada, and Squamish language teacher Khelsilem, who has launched the first Squamish language adult immersion program, at SFU.

William Lindsay, director of SFU’s Office for Aboriginal Peoples, says the symposium will also feature cultural activities, including an evening of cultural sharing on Friday evening, and presentations from graduate students.

“All attendees are welcome to bring their talents to a share,” says Lindsay.

“The SFU Harbour Centre big drum will be there along with some drummers. All are welcome to join in!”  

This year’s theme addresses how research interacts with the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action, and how this process shapes research and experiences in academia.

“The two guest speakers will speak to First Nations language and culture preservation and to 'reconciliation' and what it should mean in the University,” says Lindsay.

“We look forward to attendees taking something personal away from this that they can apply in their own work and lives.”

According to official SFU Institutional Research and Planning data, the University has 165 Indigenous graduate students. More than 15 from SFU will be participating in the symposium.

To register for the 15th Annual Indigenous Graduate Student Symposium please visit the registration page.

This story originally appeared in SFU News.