Talking Circle VII: Teaching anti-racism

July 14, 2022 from 2:30 pm to 4:00 pm

Room Number: TRS 1-075

Facilitator: Asma Sayed (Kwantlen Polytechnical U)

Questions to Consider:

  1. How do you understand these terms: racism, anti-racism, racial justice?
  2. How can we make racial justice a central tenet of all equity work in our institutions and communities?
  3. How can we best address racism, foster anti-racism, and dismantle structural and systemic hierarchies in our institutions and communities?
  4. How do we ensure that our anti-racist work is intersectional?

What is a Talking Circle?

Talking circles are inspired by Indigenous practice. These discussion circles will take the gathering outside the colonial frame by ceding the claim to knowing and authority presumed by the lecturer at the front of the room or by the panel of speakers who read papers and answer questions. Conversation or talking circles provide time for each participant to share. This slowed down pace of discussion creates an atmosphere of respect which also allows for emotional and spiritual ideas to enter into the discussion. 

In the circle, everyone is equal and interconnected. You have a right to pass in the circle, but are encouraged to share, because your voice, thoughts, ideas and opinions matter – this is how we learn to walk together in a good way. When sharing, use “I” statements. We honour lived experience. Focus your positive attention on the person sharing. Consider the possibility that there may be more for you to learn and benefit from, than what you’re currently aware of, or have experienced.

Based on the teachings of Dr. Willie Ermine – Cree Elder, Ethicist & Assistant Professor at First Nations University

Additional material provided by Jerri-Lynn Orr, Indigenous Curriculum Specialist, Lakehead University