September 21, 2023 Facebook Twitter LinkedIn

The King’s community will have the opportunity to explore Indigenous world views, examine the history of colonization, and consider the topics of righting relationships, decolonization, and indigenization. Listening to Indigenous Voices is a seven-part series that will take place every Wednesday, beginning on September 27, 2023, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. in the Alumni Court Common Room.

“We’re going to be looking at the past, and we’re going to be looking at the future,” says Annette Donovan, Campus Minister. “I think it’s what we need to learn right now at this time.”

This is a co-sponsored event between King’s Campus Ministry and Social Justice and Peace Studies (SJPS).

“SJPS is committed to creating events and spaces where the King’s community can engaged in conversation with Indigenous elders, to deepen their understanding of reconciliation and to explore ways to become more knowledgeable and involved. Too often, I hear students say they really care about reconciliation and they want to learn more but do not know how to start. I hope these evenings will be one way that students can begin to deepen their involvement on reconciliation,” says Dr. Allyson Larkin, Department Chair/Associate Professor of SJPS.

Sessions will begin with a shared meal, and then follow the listening circle format based on readings prepared in advance of each week. Participants will learn more through the writings of authors including Lee Maracle, Niigaanwewidam James Sinclair, Sylvia McAdam Sayswewahum and Robin Wall Kimmerer, and Indigenous artists including Christi Belcourt and Kent Monkman.

Mary-Anne Kechego, an Indigenous Knowledge Keeper, will be present.

“I’m so filled with gratitude that Mary-Anne has agreed to participate with us. She really likes King’s, and she values the work that we’re trying to do in terms of building a relationship with the Indigenous people,” says Donovan.

Donovan says that the program ties in with King’s mission as an institute of higher learning in the Catholic tradition. “This is what we’re called to do,” says Donovan.

“A desire to learn and seek a new vision of how we can live in harmony with people, and ourselves and the Creator and Creation” is what Donovan believes will bring people out to the event. “It’s going to offer a holistic way of being, and will create opportunities to forge a new and meaningful relationship,” she adds.

Donovan became aware of the dialogue guide, Listening to Indigenous Voices: A Dialogue Guide on Justice and Right Relations, edited by Mark Hathaway, Victoria Blanco, Jayce Chiblow, and Anne-Marie Jackson, through the Jesuit Forum. She had ordered the books in January 2020 but with COVID-19, the event had to be delayed.

 “It’s been in the works for three years. This was the right year. Being in person and being able to share our meal is going to help facilitate better conversation. It wouldn’t have been the same to do it online,” says Donovan.

Participants are asked to attend all seven sessions of the series and to pre-register to ensure appropriate food is available.