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Indigenous programming

  • From Contact 'til Now

    Back by popular demand, From Contact 'Til Now is an interactive session that will provide participants with an experiential learning opportunity designed to strengthen their knowledge and understanding of the history of colonization and how it has affected and continued to affect Indigenous peoples today.

    This presentation will include a smudging ceremony. A debrief about the exercise will follow to explain its importance and relevancy.

    After attending, participants will be able to: 

    • Explain how colonization contributed to the conditions that led to three Indigenous stereotypes.
    • Compare various roles in Indigenous communities prior to and after contact.
    • Describe how the experiences of residential school survivors led to multi-generational trauma in Indigenous communities.
    • Articulate one way they can contribute to reconciliation in their role at the university.

    Register for one of the following dates:

    Tuesday, October 22

    Register

    Tuesday, November 12

    Register

    Wednesday, December 11

    Register

  • Sweat lodge ceremony
    • When: Friday, October 25 from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
    • Target audience: All faculty and staff

    Note: If the weather includes a lightning/rain storm and/or high winds, the ceremony will be postponed. If we only experience light showers, we will proceed.

    A sweat lodge ceremony is a custom Indigenous people have practiced for thousands of years. It is a cleansing and healing ceremony. Every aspect of the ceremony, from the preparation of the lodge itself to the prayers offered, is inspired with deeply spiritual symbolism. The shape of the lodge is intended to represent the womb of Mother Earth, which renews and purifies those within it.

    This is an experience you will never forget. Non-Indigenous people are welcome to take this opportunity to experience the ceremony's many physical and spiritual benefits.

    During the ceremony, we ask participants to respect the following important customs:

    • In Indigenous culture, it is believed that a woman on her moon time (menstruating) is experiencing her own special ceremony and is thought to be at her most powerful. The power of a woman experiencing her moon time may interfere with the sweat lodge ceremony. As a result, women experiencing their moon time are not to enter the lodge. Women can still fully participate in this fascinating ceremony by sitting outside of the lodge.
    • As life-givers, women have a stronger connection to Mother Earth. Women entering the lodge are expected to wear a long skirt to symbolize this connection.
    • All body piercings that cannot be removed should be wrapped in red cloth.
    • All participants are asked to wear modest, comfortable, breathable clothing.
    • Participants should avoid eating a heavy or spicy meal before entering the lodge.

    Participants are encouraged to bring a water container, small hand towel to take into the lodge, and a large towel to dry off with after the sweat.

    Sweat lodge ceremony leader:

    Rick Bourque, Traditional Knowledge Keeper

    REGISTER

  • Medicine bag workshop
    • When: Monday, November 4 from 2 to 4 p.m.
    • Target audience: All faculty and staff

    Rick Bourque will share the meanings behind the medicine pouches and why they are an important part of Indigenous traditional customs. Medicine pouches are a spiritual pouch made of leather, which can be filled with just one or several sacred objects and worn around the neck in order to keep them close the wearer’s heart. You will have the opportunity to make your own medicine pouch.

    Facilitator:

    Rick Bourque, Traditional Knowledge Keeper

    Register

  • Choker workshop
    • When: Tuesday, January 28 from 2 to 4 p.m.
    • Target audience: All faculty and staff

    Rick Bourque will explain the importance and traditional uses of Indigenous chokers. Have some fun and learn how to make these chokers while Rick walks you through the steps.

    Facilitator:

    Rick Bourque, Traditional Knowledge Keeper

    Register

     

  • Dream catcher workshop
    • When: Thursday, April 23 from 2 to 4 p.m.
    • Target audience: All faculty and staff

    Rick Bourque will share teachings behind the dream catcher and their meanings. Everyone will have the opportunity to make their own dream catcher inspired by these teachings.

    Facilitator:

    Rick Bourque, Traditional Knowledge Keeper

  • Medicine walk and storytelling
    • When: details coming soon
    • Target audience: All faculty and staff

    Explore Indigenous culture as it relates to spirituality and nature. Rick Bourque will lead a walk along the Oshawa Creek and share the history of the Indigenous peoples and their connections to the land in this area. Learn about the medicine that grew along the banks of the Oshawa Creek and its uses.

    Facilitator:

    Rick Bourque, Traditional Knowledge Keeper