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Three men harvest potatoes in a field.

School of Agriculture shares two more Indigenous Voices films

September 20, 2023 — 

The University of Manitoba’s School of Agriculture has unveiled the second and third videos in the Indigenous Voices series, spotlighting Indigenous communities with rich agricultural traditions in Manitoba.

Building on the first video “Sharing our Agricultural History and Journey” released in 2022, these short films serve as a significant step towards building cultural awareness and understanding of farming practices and experiences by Indigenous alumni and First Nations communities into the School’s programming.

In the second video of the series, “Growing a Sustainable Agricultural Community”, members of the Peguis First Nation share their journey towards strengthening their food sovereignty through the preservation of traditional agricultural knowledge and practices within their community.

The third film, “Honouring Traditions, Sharing Awareness”, takes us on a journey of connecting with Mother Earth to encourage healing and preserve Indigenous teachings at Cedar Lake Ranch.

Sue Clayton, director of the School of Agriculture credits her predecessor and project architect Michele Rogalsky for her vision of creating a platform for the Indigenous community in Manitoba to convey their stories, heritage, and culture to University of Manitoba students, faculty, and the agricultural and food community in Manitoba.

“By incorporating these films into our curriculum, we hope to engage students and staff in a meaningful exploration of the intersection between agriculture and Indigenous heritage, creating a more inclusive and holistic educational experience.” said Clayton. “These films also promote greater respect and appreciation for the diverse cultures that shape the agricultural landscape in Manitoba.”

Dr. June Matthews, an associate professor in the School of Food and Nutritional Sciences at Brescia University College, Western University, has recognized the educational significance of the series. She has integrated the initial video “Sharing Our Agricultural History and Journey” as mandatory course material in her agriculture and food systems class.

“It is a beautiful film. While it acknowledges the traumatic past of Indigenous peoples, it also conveys a positive, uplifting message about Indigenous agriculture and the powerful and productive outcomes of collaboration. It was fascinating to learn about the interviewees’ past agricultural experiences, as well as their present successes,” she said.

Dr. Matthews intends to incorporate the two newest videos into a course called Professional Perspectives, which explores professional practices in the field of home economics.

“It is powerful to see Indigenous voices woven into the School of Agriculture’s curriculum. It’s important for Indigenous knowledges and ways of doing and being to be integrated into the fabric of the University of Manitoba; and it’s through the Indigenous Initiatives Fund that we’re seeing important work like this happening in every corner of the University,” said Dr. Catherine Cook, vice-president (Indigenous).

The video series has been generously supported by the UM Indigenous Initiatives Fund, which assists unit-based projects that advance the U of M’s Indigenous achievement and engagement goals as stated in Our Shared Future: Building on our Strategic Plan.

The School encourages the public to share the videos, which can be found below and on the Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences YouTube channel. When incorporating into curriculum or other public presentations, it is requested that you acknowledge the School of Agriculture, University of Manitoba. The School welcomes feedback and knowing of the ways you have shared this video and invite you to send them an email at agschool [at] umanitoba [dot] ca.



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