Talking Circle II: Pedagogy in the Anthropocene

July 12, 2022 from 13:00 to 14:30

Room Number: TRS 1-073

Facilitator: Susie O’Brien (McMaster U)

Questions to Consider:

  1. How do you feel about the Anthropocene as a concept? What lines of thought does it open up or shut down?
  2. What teaching methods have you developed (or would you like to develop) to engage with questions emerging from the postcolonial environmental humanities?

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