Keynote presentation and Q&A by Dr. Lorna Williams, Professor Emerita of Indigenous Education, Curriculum and Instruction, University of Victoria
A Keynote presentation and Q&A by Dr. Lorna Williams, Professor Emerita of Indigenous Education, Curriculum and Instruction at the University of Victoria and Canada Research Chair in Education and Linguistics, entitled: “Ti Wa7 Szwatenem: What We Know. Indigenous Knowledge And Learning In The Academy”
The title is in the Líl̓wat language, Zwaten’ describes what a person knows. It is a struggle today to try to define Indigenous knowledge because of the disruption of the languages and lives of Indigenous peoples due to colonization and the need to discuss the term in another language and worldview. The knowledge of Indigenous peoples is of value today as Indigenous peoples rebuild their lives from near annihilation and furthermore all people can learn from the knowledge of Indigenous peoples. Indigenous knowledge is diverse; there is no “one definition”. Indigenous knowledge is connected to the land where it emerged; it comes with the people, animals, plants, water, earth, sky and trees. Indigenous knowledge is connected to the spirit and sacredness, it is both thinking and feeling, and reveals itself in the physical actions. This view of Indigenous knowledge is reflected in the languages of the land. Indigenous worldviews have developed over millennia and are expressed and shared in the vast web of stories, songs, dances, art designs, symbols and images. Bringing Indigenous knowledge into the world of the academy is both challenging and celebratory. We can learn from the story of the experience of bringing Indigenous knowledge into the academy.