On Wednesday, April 26, high school students and community members, along with York undergrads, faculty, and staff, will gather at Vanier College to learn about one of Canada’s fastest growing demographics: Indigenous youth.
“Indigenous Youth, Indigenous Voices” will highlight issues of relevance to young Indigenous people in contemporary Canadian society and examine how all Canadians can contribute to advancing equity for Indigenous peoples in Canada.
“We are honoured to welcome the community to this important event,” said Ananya Mukherjee-Reed, dean of the Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies. “The Department of Equity Studies continues to show great leadership in this area, and it is my hope that through such engagements with the community we will be able to respond proactively to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Call to Action.”
Megan Scribe (BA ’11, MA ’13) will provide the keynote speech, “Betty, Robyn, and Thousands More,” exploring the connections between violence against Indigenous girls and Canada’s ongoing settler colonial project. Originally from Norway House Cree Nation, Scribe is a 2spirit Ininiw iskwew currently pursuing doctoral studies in Social Justice Education at the University of Toronto.
“We are excited about the opportunity to host high school students from all communities,” said Department of Equity Studies’ Professor Bonita Lawrence, who will be speaking at the event and who was instrumental in the development and expansion of Indigenous curricular offerings at York. “Our Indigenous students and alumni from York will provide us with a unique opportunity to learn about the power and promise of Indigenous youth.”
Running from 8:30am-2:30pm, the symposium will give attendees the chance to participate in two workshops featuring York students and alumni:
- Learning from the Land, facilitated by Chelsie John, Candice Jacko, and Onika Forde;
- Indigenous Identities, facilitated by Ryan Neepin;
- Pipelines 101, facilitated by Samantha Craig-Curnow; and,
- Criminal Injustice, facilitated by Stephanie Pangowish.
All members of the York community are welcome to attend the symposium: registration is required and is available here. Morning snacks and a lunch will be provided.
“Indigenous Youth, Indigenous Voices” is the latest installment in the Department of Equity Studies’ annual “And Social Justice for All” symposium series. Past themes have included “Human Rights in the Age of Surveillance” in 2016 with a keynote address by Desmond Cole, and “Student Voice, Student Action” in 2014. The Department of Equity Studies is home to the University’s Multicultural & Indigenous Studies and Human Rights & Equity Studies degree programs.
This year’s “Indigenous Youth, Indigenous Voices” symposium was made possible with support from Canada 150@York, the VP Academic’s Indigeneity in Teaching and Learning Fund, LA&PS’ Global Community Engagement Events & Outreach Fund, and the Centre for Feminist Research.