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Workshops & seminars

Enacting Decolonial Contemplative Mentorship: Meditations on the legacy of Plenty Fox

Date & time
Monday, October 23, 2023
10 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

Registration is closed


Dr. Michael Yellow Bird, Dean, School of Social Work, University of Manitoba


This event is free



In this presentation, Dr. Michael Yellow Bird describes how he enacted a decolonial contemplative/mindfulness mentorship with a young white settler woman that has included Indigenous perspectives on colonization and decolonization, Indigenous ways of knowing and being, how Indigenous scholars have navigated racism and oppression in the academy, and how contemplative practices can be used to disrupt settler power and logic in the academy. In this talk, he will share what inspires his contemplative life, the practices that are meaningful to him, how his contemplative life has enabled his work in higher education, and has sustained his resolve to confront racism, marginalization, the misuse of power, and other forms of colonization.

Format: Presentation
Participants: Open to all Concordia community and external participants – Max 300 participants

Portrait of Dr. Michael Yellow Bird

Speaker bio

Michael Yellow Bird, MSW, PhD, is Dean and Professor of the Faculty of Social Work at the University of Manitoba. He is an enrolled member of the MHA Nation (Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara) in North Dakota, USA. He has held faculty and administrative appointments at the University of British Columbia, University of Kansas, Arizona State University, Humboldt State University, and North Dakota State University. His research focuses on the effects of colonization and methods of decolonization, ancestral health, intermittent fasting, Indigenous mindfulness, neurodecolonization, mindful decolonization, and the cultural significance of Rez dogs. He is the founder, director, and principal investigator of The Centre for Mindful Decolonization and Reconciliation at the University of Manitoba. He serves as a consultant, trainer, and senior advisor to several BIPOC mindfulness groups and organizations who are seeking to incorporate mindfulness practices, philosophies, and activities to Indigenize and decolonize western mindfulness approaches in order to address systemic racism and engage in structural change.

He is the author of numerous scholarly articles, book chapters, research reports, and the co-editor of four books: For Indigenous Eyes Only: The Decolonization Handbook, 2005; For Indigenous Minds Only: A Decolonization Handbook, 2012; Indigenous Social Work around the World: towards Culturally Relevant Education and Practice, 2008; and Decolonizing Social Work, 2013. Choice Magazine, selected Decolonizing Social Work as a 2014 Choice Outstanding Academic Title. Choice Outstanding Titles are given extraordinary recognition by the academic community and are designated to be “the best of the best.” He is the co-author of two recent books,: A Sahnish (Arikara) Ethnobotany (2020), and Decolonizing Holistic Pathways Towards Integrative Healing in Social Work (2021). His most recent co-authored mindfulness article, Defunding Mindfulness: While We Sit on Our Cushions, Systemic Racism Runs Rampant (October, 2020), can be found here.


This online conference is funded in part by the by Quebec’s ministère de l’Enseignement supérieur, through contributions from the Canada-Québec Agreement on Minority-Language Education and Second-Language Instruction.

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