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From Bystander to Ally: let's have a talk - Emanuel Lowi

2:15 PM, Sunday 6 Oct 2019 (30 minutes)
Why do university undergraduates choose to take a course about the Inuit? What motivates students who may not be pursuing degrees in Indigenous studies to consign precious time and money towards learning about the people of the Arctic?

What pedagogical strategies function well towards making what is usually a hitherto unknown subject most accessible to such students?

Furthermore, what kinds of course content – including readings – work best in the effort to inspiring students to go beyond mere casual curiosity about Inuit and move them into the realm of allies of the Inuit?

I propose a highly personal account, in English, of my experiences gleaned as an adjunct professor in Concordia University’s First Peoples Studies program, where my specialty is teaching about Inuit in general but with an emphasis on the Inuit of Nunavik.

I have spent many years living in Nunavik, working for Makivik, Avataq, Kativik School Board and the FCNQ. My professional background is in journalism. Through personal relationship, I am part of an Inuit family, the Inukpuks, of Inukjuak. All of this may sound mildly interesting, but clearly it is an insufficient basis for the vital task of motivating students to see themselves as potential allies of the Inuit, in a time when general concern about Indigenous-Settler relations in Canada must be more than anguished hand-wringing and instead become a call to action.

My aim is to present a practical yet enjoyable interactive look at what goes on in the classrooms where I do my work.

Concordia University
First Peoples Studies program
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