The Indigenous Learning Series
Pîkiskwêtân is a Cree word that means “let’s talk.” It reflects the vision behind the Indigenous Directions Learning Series as a safe space to foster earnest discussion and engage participants in reflecting on and sharing their experiences living and working alongside Indigenous peoples.
Pîkiskwêtân, the Indigenous Directions Learning Series, is a continuous series of decolonizing and anti-racist Indigenous awareness training and professional development workshops. It is intended for members of the Concordia community who wish to build cultural competence and gain the necessary skills and knowledge to work effectively with members of the Indigenous community and provide culturally safe services and programs to Indigenous students.
The goal of these workshops is to address a need to provide better awareness and understanding of the diverse cultures and socio-political realities of Indigenous peoples in a safe space and in a manner that accurately and truthfully conveys the experiences, perspectives and cultural diversity of the Indigenous Peoples in Canada.
The series takes a scaffolded learning approach that slowly introduces topics and concepts. It will help learners progressively develop critical thinking on Indigenous matters over a period of time. Learners will be provided with opportunities to learn about First Nations, Inuit and Métis and gain a better understanding of the meaning and the implications of reconciliation, decolonization and indigenization.
Companion Resource Guides
The library created the Companion Resource Guides for the Pîkiskwêtân series. The guides aim to highlight and enhance workshop content by offering opportunities for further learning and thinking via relevant books, reports, articles, web sites, podcasts and videos or films. The guides were prepared by Chloe Belair Morin and Sarah Monnier, library team members hired as part of the Indigenous Student Librarian program.
Workshops offered Winter 2024
These webinars are open to Concordia staff, faculty, students and alumni. Alumni interested in registering are invited to contact email@example.com.
Please note that in order to foster a safe space for earnest discussions, the webinars are not recorded.
Thursday, January 18, 2024 from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m.
New this year in our Pîkiskwêtân Learning Series, the Office of Indigenous Directions is excited to launch a workshop on the Cree language. Learning an Indigenous language is a great way to gain a unique insight on Indigenous perspectives and worldviews.
Structured like a fun and interactive introductory language class, but without the hassle and anxiety of exams and term papers, this not-for-credit workshop is for students, staff, and faculty who are interested in learning how to speak Cree and learning a bit more about what makes Indigenous people tick.
Please take note that the language taught is what is known as Western Cree, spoken west of the Ontario border. This is a markedly different dialect than the Cree spoken in Eeyou Istchee (Northern Québec). Of course, speakers of Eeyou/Eenou who want to find out how the other half speaks are more than welcome to participate and compare notes!
Who is this for:
- Cree and Métis individuals seeking to reclaim their language.
- Inquiring minds who want to know.
Date and time: First course on Thursday, January 18 that noon and every Thursday noon after that. Bring your lunch!
Place: Henry F. Hall Building, Room H655.2. Please note that this is an in-person workshop. There will be no recording and no remote alternatives. Spaces are limited and Indigenous students, staff and faculty will be given first priority.
Friday, January 19, 2024 from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
This workshop is designed to help participants examine their personal values and biases and learn to interact respectfully and effectively with Indigenous peoples. The four components of cultural competence will be explored:
- Awareness of one’s own cultural worldview
- Attitude towards Indigenous peoples
- Knowledge of Indigenous peoples’ cultural practices and worldviews
- Cross-cultural skills
Facilitator: Carole Brazeau and Allan Vicaire
Friday, February 2, 2024 from 10:30 a.m. to 12 p.m.
This workshop helps participants gain a better perspective of the many additional hats that Indigenous faculty and staff are expected to wear by their institutions and the toll that the additional workload can take on their health and well-being. The workshop will be dedicated to issues that primarily affect Indigenous faculty but that are also experienced by Indigenous staff.
Discussions will focus on:
- underrepresentation and university hiring practices;
- balancing community expectations vs. institutional commitments;
- tokenism, pigeonholing and the suppression of cultural values and ethics;
- additional duties without compensation;
- mentorship and supervision of Indigenous students;
- institutional support and promotion concerns; and
- obstacles to research funding.
Facilitator: Allan Vicaire and Cheyenne Henry
Friday, February 16, 2024 from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m.
This workshop introduces participants to Concordia’s territorial acknowledgment and explains the importance of recognizing the land which Concordia is built on. The wording of the Acknowledgment is explained and participants are provided with the necessary knowledge and skills to understand when an Acknowledgment is appropriate and needed. Participants will also learn how to deliver a Territorial Acknowledgement that is honest, respectful and meaningful.
Facilitator: Donna Goodleaf
Friday, March 8, 2024 from 10:30 a.m. to 12 p.m.
This workshop seeks to clarify the concepts of decolonization, indigenization and reconciliation, how they are different from each other while at the same time are mutually supportive of the goals in the Action Plan. It will explore ways that the Concordia community can positively contribute to Concordia’s decolonization, indigenization and reconciliation goals.
It presents Indigenous perspectives and discusses obstacles to decolonization, indigenization and reconciliation such as resistance to change, racist attitudes towards Indigenous peoples, academic freedom, power and privilege. It also provides a detailed explanation of the territorial acknowledgement and discusses the protocols for a respectful and effective delivery.
Facilitator: Manon Tremblay
Friday, April 5, 2023 from 10:30 a.m. to 12 p.m.
This workshop is designed to provide historical and contemporary perspectives on the politics of being Indigenous.
- government assimilation policies;
- treatment of Indigenous people in the justice system;
- cultural appropriation;
- representation in the media; and
- the misappropriation of Indigenous identity.
Facilitator: Manon Tremblay