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Workshops & seminars, Conferences & lectures

Building campus culture through mindfulness

Presentation & half-day symposium

Date & time
Friday, May 12, 2023
10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Registration is closed


Michael Yellow Bird, Dr.


This event is free


ER Building
2155 Guy St.
Room 1431 and Online

Wheel chair accessible


We will be holding a FREE hybrid presentation + symposium (Journée d’échange ) on Friday, May 12 (10 am – 5 pm EST) where we will bring together researchers and staff who are interested in or are running mindfulness programs on their university campuses.

The invitation

In the last ten years there has been a growing interest in mindfulness practices, techniques, and programs for use across many university campuses as an evidence-based approach to reducing stress, increasing presence, and for improving overall well-being in students, faculty and staff

The symposium is a call to researchers, program designers and staff committed to well-being to come together to take stock of the kinds of mindfulness initiatives that are being offered on our campuses and the audience(s) they target. The symposium seeks to adopt a systems approach to encourage learning by bringing together colleagues who work in teaching & learning, faculty development, and student support. The goal of adopting this approach is to think about the wellness of a whole campus and how best to support its health.

The main objective of the symposium is to spark dialogue about using mindfulness and allied techniques (i.e., compassion cultivation) as a mechanism for changing campus culture to support well-being by bringing greater connection amongst community members on campus, linking the work we do in our respective silos. We hope to organize our thinking around three central concerns:

  • What are the characteristics, qualities and/or practices of a campus that is “mindful,” one that supports greater self-awareness, connectedness, and cultural sensitivity?
  • How could a contemplative or mindful campus change the lived experiences of faculty, students, and staff in a higher education context? What has worked on your campus? How have you collected evidence of this?
  • In what ways can we encourage and sustain a mindful campus?

Confirmed speakers / Tentative Agenda

10 – 11:30 am EST — Presentation

Dr. Michael Yellow Bird, Dean, School of Social Work, University of Manitoba, CANADA
“The Power of Ceremony: Indigenous Contemplative Practices, Neurodecolonization, and Indigenous Mindfulness” 

Abstract: In this presentation, Dr. Michael Yellow Bird will discuss colonization, decolonization, and neurodecolonization, and their role in Indigenous Peoples health. He will share how he uses western science to suggest what is happening to the chronically stressed, traumatized colonized mind and body of Indigenous Peoples. He discusses some traditional Indigenous contemplative practices and what’s happening in the brain and body according to western science and how Indigenous contemplative practices create resilient coping in the brain and body. 

1 – 5 pm EST — Research Presentation & Participant Exchange

Roundtable presentations of campus initiatives

1. OCADU will present their Mindful Campus Initiative
2. State University of New York will present their SUNY Mindfulness Institute
3. University of Massachusetts Amherst will present their Contemplative Pedagogy Group
4. Concordia University student Mehrnaz Mirzaei will present their work as a Peer Wellness Ambassador
5. Concordia University will present their Contemplative Pedagogies Initiative

Brainstorming / Dialogue for all participants

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