This story is long overdue and has been a long overdue project of restoration and reclamation. It’s a story of resurgence. Our Centre for Indigegogy is emerging out of contexts of colonizing educational institutions. Education has played its detrimental role through the Indian Residential School eras. Today Indigenous peoples are re-emerging as educating agents in our own education and in control of our wholistic curriculum, research and Indigegogy.
The centre is emerging out of the Master of Social Work (MSW) Indigenous Field of Study* and the team of good minds that envisioned how we could share Indigegogy with other educators and practitioners. The vision for this centre has been waiting to be actualized for many years in the minds, spirits and hearts of each Indigenous educator across the country.
In 2015, the Indigenous Field of Study team members began to give voice to their visions of restoring Indigenous ways of knowing, being and doing in the form of a professional training and learning centre. The team worked together and met with the presence of the medicines and in ceremony to share, contemplate and breathe life into their visions. Through circle sharing, each team member put their prints into the centre’s overall vision, goals and purpose. Each team member informed its design and programs. Collectively and collaborative, the Indigenous Field of Study team had input into the proposal and eventual development of the first "train the trainer" model. The MSW Indigenous Field of Study program already offers a unique and transformative graduate learning experience. The Centre for Indigegogy will also offer a unique learning opportunity for professionals through certificate and professional development programs. There are very few Indigenous centred wholistic development training programs in Canada and this centre will begin to fill a void for educators and practitioners seeking Indigenous centred training and development.
With the support of the Faculty of Social Work at Laurier, the Centre for Indigegogy is emerging as a tool to restore the Truth of Indigenous peoples’ history and knowledge. With the Truth and Reconciliation Calls to Action, we are now moving forward to support our vision and presence of the Centre for Indigegogy. This story is a story of survival, resistance and resilience. It represents the tenacity of Indigenous knowledge and peoples.
In order to understand this, imagine the strength of Creation and the forces of nature that transcend being oppressed or crushed. Have you ever seen tiny beautiful flowers emerge from the cracks in pavement? Have you ever seen trees growing out of rocks? Have you ever witnessed the resilience of people who have been wounded, oppressed or paved over get up? We have! Our presence as educators, students, teachers and learners tell a story of our survival and strength as peoples and as nations. The Centre for Indigegogy has been a long time coming and is now here. It represents a powerful story of recovering, healing and restoration of Indigenous knowledge within Creation.
Laurier's support of the Centre for Indigegogy represents a positive change in the face of the academy. Historically, education played a role in colonizing Indigenous peoples and miseducating Canadians. Today, Laurier is supporting our Centre for Indigegogy to offer experiential and wholistic professional training development steeped in Indigenous knowledge, Indigenous perspectives and Indigenous culture. We guarantee, through these certificates, wholistic learning experiences that will lead to transformation and will change how you think and do your own teaching and learning.
Kathy Absolon King, director of the Centre for Indigegogy
*Formerly Aboriginal Field of Study. Name change subject to Senate approval.
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