Politics, Knowledge, Ecology, Culture

April 8, 2019
Kaneff Tower, York University
Written by: Abdeali Saherwala

Politics, Knowledge, Ecology, Culture was conducted by The Centre for Feminist Research Projects and it was part of their 2nd annual Indigenous Women’s Speakers’ series, where multiple Indigenous scholars presented their work. Dr. Karyn Recolet, an Assistant Professor in the Women and Gender Studies Institute at the University of Toronto, presented her work on urban Indigenous arts, understanding of land pedagogies that exceed the terrestrial and the interconnections between the concepts of landing and land. Furthermore, she emphasized how Indigenous peoples have had their own survival kits and protection devices, when they are landing. These tools were taken away from them through oppression, suppression, repression, forced migration, and residential schools. Despite these acts conducted by colonizers and the Canadian government, they are learning to repossess their tools back through reconnection with their knowledge systems. Afterwards, Dr. Cheryl Suzack who is an Assistant Professor in the Department of English at the University of Toronto presented her research, which is focuses on Indigenous law and literatures with a particular emphasis on writing by Indigenous and marginalized women. She stated that old “buildings in Toronto are literally infused with Indigenous bones” and talked about the trauma that Indigenous peoples, in particular Indigenous women carry within themselves. Finally, Dr. Deborah McGregor who is an Associate Professor and Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Environmental Justice presented her research on Indigenous knowledge systems and the concept of Indigenous Environmental Justice through her project called The Indigenous Environmental Justice (IEJ) project. The challenges faced by Indigenous women in the field of academia and the potential ways of navigating these hurdles in academic for Indigenous or marginalized women was discussed. In conclusion, this was an insightful event which brought Indigenous female scholars together from a variety of fields to the forefront in order to discuss their work with a diverse audience.