March 15, 2019 Facebook Twitter LinkedIn

Written by Chantal Quagliara, King's Communications Intern

“I am a part of the King’s community to share my knowledge and speak the truth.” – Liz Akiwenzie

As an Indigenous Knowledge Keeper, Liz Akiwenzie represents a voice of this land. In an attempt to achieve truth and reconciliation, she aims to use her presence at King’s to make the world a better place for current and future generations through conversations and increased understanding of each other.

“Being a cultural educator feeds my spirit,” says Akiwenzie, “I’m inspired by the young people I see on this campus. This generation is ready to challenge tough topics and embrace difficult conversations. We are slowly starting to see social change and a shift in thinking. It’s up to the young people to wake up the older ones.”

Akiwenzie aims to create a universal understanding by sharing her knowledge about the interconnectedness of the four nations of man, what they bring to this earth, and how it unifies us all as human beings. It is through conversations that we can begin to understand and acknowledge the true history of this country, the social injustices that have happened, and how the complexities of these issues affect peoples of all nations, young and old.

Akiwenzie has over 30 years of experience as a social worker and a Traditional/Cultural educator. She calls on the King’s community to support social justice and use its collective voice for truth. “We need to stand each other up, not push each other down,” she says.

Akiwenzie encourages faculty to reach out to her and use her as a resource in their classes. She recently spoke to a first-year philosophy class about Indigenous ceremonies and spiritual practices. Her knowledge and experience can be applied to a number of different programs, including Social Justice and Peace Studies, Social Work, History, Religious Studies, and more.

King’s hosts Akiwenzie every month in the Student Life Centre. You can find her in Room KC 241A from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. March 19, 2019 and April 3 & 4, 2019. She invites and encourages all staff, faculty and students to drop by and join the circle. All are welcome to participate, whether it be by asking questions and engaging in conversations, or by simply sitting and listening. However you choose to participate, you will be greeted with a warm smile and welcomed by a kind spirit.