Kathy Absolon, MSW, PhD
Director, Centre for Indigegogy: Indigenous Centred Wholistic Development
Associate Professor, Master of Social Work: Indigenous Field of Study*
Aaniin! I'm pleased to be a part of Indigenizing Laurier and the growing Indigenous academic community here. I am Anishinaabe kwe from Flying Post First Nation. My academic journey has been a pathway of unlearning, healing, re-learning and finding who I am as an Indigenous woman and what my place is in the academy. My Anishinaabe name is Minogiizhigo kwe which translates to mean Shining Day Woman, the one who brings goodness and beauty to the day.
In 2008, I received my PhD from the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto. "Kaandossiwn, this is how we come to know: Indigenous research methodologies in the academy" was my dissertation title with a focus on Indigenous research. I have had my feet in two canoes of learning. Education, for me, has been a process of building dual knowledge bundles: one as an Anishinaabe kwe and my teachings and the other is a critical knowledge bundle fuelled by my mainstream education. I carry dual knowledge bundles that are informed by the land, spirit, decolonizing, indigenizing and anti-colonialism.
In 2007 I came to the Aboriginal Field of Study in the Faculty of Social Work (now Indigenous Field of Study) at Laurier with a blending of teaching, practice and community work. Since I have been at Laurier, I have taught in the Indigenous Field of Study and provided leadership to our Program during much of my tenure. I am looking forward to my new role as Director of the Centre for Indigegogy in forging pathways for ongoing professional training for educators and practitioners across an array of settings.
Tawnshi! I am honoured to be working with the Centre for Indigegogy: Indigenous Centred Wholistic Development. I am an Anishinaabe kwe from the Metis Nation although my ancestors travelled from the four directions (India, Africa, Europe and Turtle Island) to ensure my presence in the world. I am a recent graduate of the Indigenous Field of Study* program at Laurier University and have experienced the personal and professional benefits that come when engaged in the learning and practice of Indigegogy. I am excited to be a part of development of the centre and having the opportunity to share this experience with other educators, practitioners and helpers.
I have been engaged in activism, community development and community organizing for the past 24 years. I have an undergraduate degree in Law and Women’s Studies, a master's in Sociology and am also a Registered Psychotherapist. As a helper I have focused on working with people in prison, people living with HIV/AIDS, and LGBTT2SQQI* communities. For the past 20 years I have also been engaged in restorative/transformative justice and healing work.
Raven Morand is an Anishinaabe/Metis Kwe from Thunder Bay. She grew up spending summers in her home community of Migisi Sahgaigan (Eagle Lake First Nation) and moved to Kitchener, Ontario with her family when she was 4. Raven is a dedicated pow wow dancer and has been dancing Fancy Shawl since she was a young girl. Raven has been the head female dancer at many pow wow’s and enjoys her culture through dance and beadwork. Raven actively engages with her community through sitting on pow wow committees attending community events. Raven is an activist and organizer and a strong advocate for Indigenous sovereignty and land defence.
*Formerly Aboriginal Field of Study. Name change subject to Senate approval.
Raven Morand, Administrative Assistant
Giselle Dias, MSW, Program Coordinator
Office Location: 120 Duke St., Kitchener
Kathy Absolon, MSW, PhD, Director of Centre for Indigegogy
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