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Concordia launches Pîkiskwêtân (Let’s Talk) — an Indigenous learning series for faculty and staff

Participants will gain a better understanding of First Nations, Métis and Inuit realities and the implications of reconciliation, decolonization and indigenization on higher education
January 11, 2021
By James Roach

The Indigenous Directions Leadership Council (IDLC) was established at the university in 2016 by Concordia President Graham Carr, who at the time was the university’s vice-president of academic affairs. The IDLC’s mandate is to explore, identify and recommend priority areas that Concordia can improve upon in its responsiveness to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s Principles for Reconciliation and Calls to Action.

IDLC consultations with Indigenous faculty, staff and students led to a host of recommendations reflected in the university’s Indigenous Directions Action Plan — a key element of which is providing training across the university.

Register for a Pîkiskwêtân* workshop

To advance that priority, an annual Indigenous learning series is launching this month and will run from January 25 to May 28.

“Participants have the opportunity to gain a better understanding of the experiences and challenges of First Nations, Métis and Inuit in postsecondary education as well as the meaning and implications of reconciliation, decolonization and indigenization,” says Manon Tremblay, senior director of Indigenous Directions at Concordia. 

Through workshops, learners will get the chance to develop self-awareness and build greater cultural competence.

“Pîkiskwêtân will provide a safe space for mutually respectful dialogue where participants can ask questions, voice concerns, address their unconscious biases and learn about the socio-political realities, experiences, perspectives and cultural diversity of the Indigenous Peoples of Canada,” Tremblay adds.

“This series is the foundation for Concordians to begin advancing their critical thinking, knowledge and awareness of Indigenous Peoples, with a focus on Indigenous values and traditional knowledge.”

*Pîkiskwêtân means “let’s talk” in Cree.

2021 Pîkiskwêtân workshop schedule





Decolonization, Indigenization and Reconciliation: What Does it Mean and How Does it Affect Me?

January 25

2 to 3:30 p.m.


Concordia’s Territorial Acknowledgment

February 12

2 to 3 p.m.


Building Cultural Safety

February 26

10 a.m. to noon


A Day in the Life of Indigenous Students

March 12

10 a.m. to noon


Hiring and Retaining Indigenous Employees

April 9

10 a.m. to noon


Working Effectively with Indigenous Peoples

May 7

10 a.m. to noon


The Politics of Indigenous Identity

May 28

10 to 11:30 a.m.


The Indigenous Directions Action Plan

June 9

3:30 to 5 p.m.


Register for Concordia’s Pîkiskwêtân (let’s talk) workshop series today.



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