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Two-Eyed Seeing and Astronomy

Monday, January 20, 2020
1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Western Student Services Building (WSS)
Room: Room 3134

A New Course at Western University That Blends Indigenous and Eurocentric Astronomy

Robert Cockcroft, Sasha Doxtator, Brianne Derrah

Indigenous students and faculty members are underrepresented at Western University (and across Canadian higher education institutes in general), and those few who are on campus are overburdened with requests to help fulfill the university’s drive to “Indigenize the academy.”  By working on the astronomy project phases below, we hope not only to help increase Indigenous content in the university’s curricula, but I also aim to make the university more attractive and inclusive for all students including Indigenous students - and, ultimately, therefore enabling an increase of Indigenous peoples throughout all academic levels, including Indigenous faculty members who can then teach Indigenous courses such as these (should they want to do so).

Phase 1: Indigenous astronomy workshop (January 2019)
Phase 2: Indigenous astronomy course A2020: Two-Eyed Seeing and Astronomy (first offering Sep-Dec 2019)
Phase 3: Indigenous astronomy outreach program (work in progress)

In this session we will describe the collaboration and partnership between one non-Indigenous faculty member (RC) and two Indigenous undergraduate students (SD and BD) and focus on details of and reasoning behind the first offering of A2020, the new course at Western University that blends Indigenous and Eurocentric astronomy.

Rob is from the UK with heritage from northern England, around Yorkshire and Lancashire, and moved to Turtle Island in 2005.  We must further help the upward spiral to address the under-representation of Indigenous peoples in academia and he would like to use his current privilege as a faculty member in the Department of Physics and Astronomy in the field where he thinks he can contribute the most: astronomy.

Sasha is Wolf Clan from the Oneida Nation of the Thames and an undergraduate student majoring in Indigenous Studies and minoring in Astronomy.  Sasha is currently a certified language teacher and hopes to continue her education by obtaining a Master's degree in Language Revitalization.

Brianne is Bear Clan from Flying Post First Nation and is a Double Major in Linguistic Anthropology and First Nations Studies.  She affirms that language is both the lens through which sciences are viewed and the medium through which they are transmitted, regardless of whose sciences they are.

This session is part of Western’s Annual Indigenous Awareness Week - January 20-28, 2020. Events are free and open to the public.  #WesternuIAW

Western is committed to accessibility for persons with disabilities.  Please contact us in advance if you have any particular accommodation requirements.

Indigenous Student Centre
Ashley Kewayosh Samuel - Program Coordinator
519-661-2111 ex 85731
Event Type:

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