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Cary Miller, Native Studies Department Head

Institute co-director Cary Miller. Photo credit: David Lipnowski

Summer Institute on Literacy in Indigenous Content open to UM faculty and staff

May 15, 2020 — 

This summer, University of Manitoba faculty and staff have the opportunity to explore the cultural and historical context of Indigenous peoples in Manitoba and across Canada – virtually.

Facilitated by the department of Native studies, the Summer Institute on Literacy in Indigenous Content was first created through an Indigenous Initiatives Fund in summer 2019. It is based on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC)’s Call to Action #57, which calls upon provincial employees to learn the history of Indigenous peoples through skills-based training in intercultural competency, conflict resolution, human rights and anti-racism.

The institute is intended to increase awareness and knowledge of Indigenous subjects and issues, and build capacity and expertise for delivering Indigenous content across curriculum, as outlined in the UM’s strategic plan. It will not only cover the histories, political status, rights and contemporary issues of Indigenous peoples in Manitoba, but also address how to manage discussion of racially sensitive topics in the classroom.

“This summer of social distancing is an opportune time to engage in professional development,” says Native Studies department head and co-director of the institute, Cary Miller. “The program will be useful to all whether you wish to enroll for the full 10 sessions and satisfy the TRC mandate, or dip in for the sessions most relevant to updating your courses.”

“In a university as diverse as UM, we hope that the sessions on building research relationships with Indigenous communities, Indigenous entrepreneurship, Indigenous Agriculture and Food Security, as well as understanding race, privilege and fragility in the classroom will appeal broadly across many disciplines,” she continues. “While history does not appeal to everyone, it is understanding fully our common history that puts the TRUTH in truth and reconciliation. Truth is the foundation upon which reconciliation must proceed to be successful.”

For the 2020 Summer Institute, participants will meet virtually on Tuesday mornings from May 19 to July 21. Each week, session participants will complete readings, hear from various speakers and be assigned assessments. You can attend single, multiple or all 10 sessions, though attendance at all sessions is encouraged. Registration is required. The institute is free.

UM faculty and staff can visit the webpage for more information and to view the syllabus and can contact cary [dot] miller [at] umanitoba [dot] ca to register.


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