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New Lunch & Learn series focused on Indigenous Community Engagement

January 10, 2020 — 

Community Service-Learning (CSL) is hosting a new Lunch & Learn series to share principles, practices and questions emerging from consultations on how to work in good ways with Indigenous communities.

“We spent time visiting with our partners, both locally and internationally, over the course of two years,” shared Nicki Ferland, CSL Coordinator, Indigenous. “We were interested in how postsecondary institutions have developed opportunities for students to learn from and within Indigenous communities, both the good and the not-so-good.”

In addition to visiting partners in Winnipeg, Northern Manitoba, Belize, Ecuador and Chile, Community Service-Learning also met with numerous staff, faculty and students at the University of Manitoba to learn about their experiences, best practices and recommendations.

Now, CSL is inviting graduate students, staff and faculty members who work with Indigenous communities to share their feedback on the consultation’s findings.

Each Lunch & Learn will begin with a meal and introductions, followed by an overview of a principle or practice, and related stories and questions shared by community partners. Attendees will then be invited to share their understanding, experiences and questions, helping to create an accessible framework and address any gaps that may exist.

“Any project like this risks pan-Indigenization,” cautioned Ferland. “We do not want to prescribe a step-by-step task list. Instead, we hope to create a descriptive framework that shares guiding principles and helpful stories, but in the end, puts the responsibility on the reader to do their homework.”

“This starts with ‘The Work Before the Work,’” added Anny Chen, Lead CSL Coordinator, “which is the first topic of the series. People shared clear expectations about what kind of training and preparation is needed before you start working with Indigenous communities. Do you know yourself and your motivations, or how you might be perceived? Do you know the community? Have you done research on the local protocols, histories and lived realities?”

Lunch & Learns will take place every second Thursday from 12 to 2 p.m. in the Native Studies Boardroom in Isbister, starting on January 23. Visit the CSL website for a full schedule and to read more about the methodology, framework and resources.

Lunch & Learn: Indigenous Community Engagement

207 Isbister (Native Studies Boardroom)
University of Manitoba, Fort Garry campus

Thursdays, 12 to 2 p.m.
January 23 – April 30, 2020


Nicki [dot] Ferland [at] umanitoba [dot] ca


Community Service-Learning, a part of Student Engagement and Success, offers programs, workshops and events that help students develop the knowledge, skills and attitudes for working well with community.

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