"Land as Pedagogy" : an intimate story-telling experience

 

Thursday, January 31, 2019

On the evening of Friday, January 18th, the Faculty & Curriculum Development Centre (FCDC) proudly hosted renowned Michi Saagiig Nishnaabeg scholar, writer and artist Leanne Betasamosake Simpson who has been widely recognized as one of the most compelling Indigenous voices of her generation. Simpson, who is a member of Alderville First Nation, came to OCAD U to present a talk on “Land as Pedagogy,” followed by a question and answer period with students, faculty and staff in attendance.

Over 250 people filled the OCAD U auditorium, and listened intently as Simpson transformed the space into an intimate story-telling experience. Simpson’s work is known to break open the intersections between politics, story and song—bringing audiences into a rich and layered world of sound, light, and sovereign creativity. Simpson’s talk Friday evening did just that. Audience members cheered as Simpson dropped, in her words, “truth bombs” amidst her animated re-telling of three adaptations of a Nishnaabeg story about maple sugar.  

FCDC’s Nadia McLaren opened the event with a land acknowledgement and shared “I wish to also acknowledge there is still much work needed to be done to uncover the history and original names of this Land. I stand here, grateful for the wisdom of all who came before me, keeping in heart and mind our relations from the North – Giiwedinong, East – Waabanong, South – Zhaawanong and from the West – Ningaabi’anong.”

The evening culminated with a mesmerizing screening of Biidaaban (The Dawn Comes), a 19-minute stop-motion animation film, inspired by the poetic words of Leanne Simpson and directed by Vancouver based filmmaker, Amanda Strong. The short film, which made its screen debut at TIFF 2018, tells the story of Biidaaban, a non-binary character, who is accompanied by a 10,000-year-old shapeshifter and guide known as Sabe. Together they set out on a mission to reclaim the ceremonial harvesting of sap from maple trees.

All three stories shared by Simpson during the evening centered around this harvesting of sap from trees (something that Indigenous people have done since time immemorial) and all three centered Indigenous knowledges and relationships to land; a reclamation of land as pedagogy.

In an effort to facilitate respectful knowledge engagement and build meaningful and lasting relationships, Simpson’s lecture was part of a series of public education events being organized by the FCDC during the 2018-19 academic year to foster important and necessary dialogue across the university and support its goals around Indigenous curriculum development. The next event in the series is a screening of Muffins for Granny 

 

 

 

Auditorium, people looking at a projection
Screening of Biidaaban, photo by Arash Safavi

Shot of the audience, including President Sara Diamond
Audience, photo by Arash Safavi

People looking at a film projection
Screening of Biidaaban, photo by Arash Safavi

Floor plate diagram of new Fabrication Studio layout
Read on for all the details on the renovations happening in the Fabrication Studios until December 31, 2019. 
Storytelling Co-design Workshop with ESL high school students - Spring 2019
The Inclusive Design Research Centre (IDRC) at OCAD University has received a $1.2 million grant from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation for advancing diversity, equity and inclusion in open education. The grant will support the IDRC’s Flexible Learning for Open Education (FLOE) project, which pushes the understanding and practice of equitable inclusion within open teaching and learning by providing resources to personalize how students learn and to address barriers to learning. 
Located in Kensington Market, Ignite Gallery is currently recruiting IWSP-eligible Student Monitors for the Fall/Winter term to serve as front-line staff informing visitors about exhibitions and public events, to supervise the gallery, responsible for opening and closing procedures and assist with install takedown and special events programing. 
11 of Revision Path's podcasts were selected for the permanent podcast collection of the Smithsonian’s African American Museum
 Hey OCADU! Financial Aids & Awards (FAA) and Centre for Students with Disabilities (CSD) are launching a note-taking pilot program starting this Fall. Students will have the opportunity to earn up to $1000 for the academic year. 
The Black Sparks fundraising campaign will support Black artists and designers by funding OCAD U’s Black Youth Design Initiative.
Dragula
MAAD graduate, Yovska Martinez Moreno (2018), will be featured on Season 3 of Boulet Brothers Dragula, a web-based series that can be accessed via Amazon Prime.
Universities Canada announced today the nine student winners of the national 2019 Innovative Designs for Accessibility (IDeA) competition, who were recognized for their work in breaking down accessibility barriers on their campuses and in their communities.
Woman at a podium facing an audience
Thursday, January 31, 2019

On the evening of Friday, January 18th, the Faculty & Curriculum Development Centre (FCDC) proudly hosted renowned Michi Saagiig Nishnaabeg scholar, writer and artist Leanne Betasamosake Simpson who has been widely recognized as one of the most compelling Indigenous voices of her generation. Simpson, who is a member of Alderville First Nation, came to OCAD U to present a talk on “Land as Pedagogy,” followed by a question and answer period with students, faculty and staff in attendance.

Over 250 people filled the OCAD U auditorium, and listened intently as Simpson transformed the space into an intimate story-telling experience. Simpson’s work is known to break open the intersections between politics, story and song—bringing audiences into a rich and layered world of sound, light, and sovereign creativity. Simpson’s talk Friday evening did just that. Audience members cheered as Simpson dropped, in her words, “truth bombs” amidst her animated re-telling of three adaptations of a Nishnaabeg story about maple sugar.  

FCDC’s Nadia McLaren opened the event with a land acknowledgement and shared “I wish to also acknowledge there is still much work needed to be done to uncover the history and original names of this Land. I stand here, grateful for the wisdom of all who came before me, keeping in heart and mind our relations from the North – Giiwedinong, East – Waabanong, South – Zhaawanong and from the West – Ningaabi’anong.”

The evening culminated with a mesmerizing screening of Biidaaban (The Dawn Comes), a 19-minute stop-motion animation film, inspired by the poetic words of Leanne Simpson and directed by Vancouver based filmmaker, Amanda Strong. The short film, which made its screen debut at TIFF 2018, tells the story of Biidaaban, a non-binary character, who is accompanied by a 10,000-year-old shapeshifter and guide known as Sabe. Together they set out on a mission to reclaim the ceremonial harvesting of sap from maple trees.

All three stories shared by Simpson during the evening centered around this harvesting of sap from trees (something that Indigenous people have done since time immemorial) and all three centered Indigenous knowledges and relationships to land; a reclamation of land as pedagogy.

In an effort to facilitate respectful knowledge engagement and build meaningful and lasting relationships, Simpson’s lecture was part of a series of public education events being organized by the FCDC during the 2018-19 academic year to foster important and necessary dialogue across the university and support its goals around Indigenous curriculum development. The next event in the series is a screening of Muffins for Granny 

 

 

 

Poster: 
Auditorium, people looking at a projection
Shot of the audience, including President Sara Diamond
People looking at a film projection