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Providence offers free lectures in Aboriginal Studies on March 26
Jordan Ketterer, a second-year Church Ministries student at Providence University College, has a desire to minister in northwestern Ontario, specifically with Aboriginal peoples. As a resident of Dryden, Ontario, he recognizes that nearly 10 per cent of the province’s smallest city affirms Aboriginal identity.
That was the main reason he enrolled in Providence University College’s third-year course called “Special Studies in Theology: Aboriginal Studies and Christianity.” By taking this course, Ketterer, 19, wants to have a better understanding of Aboriginal peoples, as well as be prepared to minister to them, both in urban and reserve settings.
“I believe that I am learning a lot about Aboriginal culture,” said Ketterer of course. “I believe that I am gaining a better understanding of everything and I am able to see Aboriginal culture clearer.
“This class allows students to get a clean-cut truth and understanding of the issues, history, culture, and impact of Aboriginal peoples. We are able to see where stereotypes are misleading and the potential and current achievements of Aboriginal peoples.”
One half of the course is taught by Marc-Nicholas Martin-Paulichenko, a Masters student of Providence Theological Seminary in his final year in Educational Studies. The other half of the course is taught by a handful of Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal guest lectures. Some of the previous lecturers included: Wendy Peterson (Metis), Howard Jolly (Cree), Dr. Christopher Trott from the University of Manitoba, Linda Martin (Cree), and Adrian Jacobs (Cayuga).
Martin-Paulichenko, who is not Aboriginal, recognizes the importance and value of bringing in Aboriginal peoples as well as those who work with Aboriginal peoples to teach the students.
“The goal of this course is to have students learn about Aboriginal peoples from the voices of Aboriginal teachers, pastors, counselors, and leaders,” he said. “But this is more than just a publicity stunt -- it’s actually the Aboriginal way of knowing, which is a shared knowledge.”
On Tuesday, March 26, Providence University College in partnership with this new course will host two evening lectures in Aboriginal Studies open to community. This free event will feature two Aboriginal speakers, Niigaanwewidom James Sinclair and Harley Eagle. The lectures begins at 7pm in the Lecture Theatre (Hanna Building).
Sinclair, an Anishinaabe originally from St. Peter's (Little Peguis) Indian Reserve, is a graphic novelist, writer, and columnist whose critical and creative work has been translated into several languages. He is the co-editor with Warren Cariou of the recently-published Manitowapow: Aboriginal Writings from the Land of Water -- the book chosen as by Manitboans as this year’s featured book for “On the Same Page,” a province-wide reading initiative that encourages Manitobans to read and talk about the same book at the same time.
Sinclair’s lecture is an homage to the traditional Anishinaabe story of the re-creation of the world after a great flood. It is also a commentary on the relationship between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples in Manitoba, the power of the many dynamic literatures of this place, and the possibilities of the place originally known as Manitowapow.
“It is a reminder of how Manitoba has been, and continues to be, constituted by stories that emerge from the water,” said Sinclair.
Eagle, a Dakota also of Anishinaabe heritage, is the co-coordinator of Indigenous Work for Mennonite Central Committee Canada, as well as a conflict management practitioner and dismantling racism/oppression trainer. His lecture will look at the recent and prominent Aboriginal movement “Idle No More” by providing context to the issues and exploring what might be essential skills needed for building authentic relationships with Indigenous People.
Admission to the evening lectures in Aboriginal Studies is free and no registration is required. For more information, please visit providenceuc.ca and search for the event in the Providence Events calendar or contact Marc-Nicholas Martin-Paulichenko.
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