7: Indigenous worldviews with Brenda Wastasecoot


This call was on Monday, November 23 at 4 pm EST (1 pm PST) 

Our four mentors Jennifer, Samantha, Zihan and Marilie invited Brenda Wastasecoot from the Indigenous Studies program at University of Toronto to speak about indigenous worldviews and current issues in indigenous communities. 

Brenda Wastasecoot (Cree, Ininu) is a Toronto-based writer, poet and storyteller currently teaching in the Centre for Indigenous Studies and Faculty of Arts and Science at the University of Toronto. She is originally from Churchill, Manitoba and is a member of the York Factory Cree Nation.

Brenda completed her PhD in Adult Education & Community Development at OISE in 2016, where she delved into her childhood home and growing up Cree in the sixties. This developed into a journey of storytelling her arts-based auto-ethnography of “Nikis” and her families experience of the residential school policy.

Upon graduating from her Bachelor of Education degree in Manitoba she was hired not as a school teacher but as a counsellor in the Mental Health field in First Nations communities. Brenda continued her studies and researched “culturally appropriate ways of healing.” When she completed her Master of Education degree she was hired to teach in a counselling degree, the first of its’ kind in Canada: the First Nations & Aboriginal Counselling Degree program. In Toronto, Brenda taught in community programs at Anishnawbe Health Toronto for five years.

Brenda will be spoke about indigenous worldviews, providing a broad picture of the things indigenous people believe in.  She will also cover current actions indigenous peoples are taking to protect waters, speaking about the work of Deborah Macgregor's and Sylvia Plain in Indigenous Environmental Justice at York University, as well as Josephine Mandabin's movement in water protection. From her coursework, Brenda will also be covering contemporary challenges in indigenous communities such as recurrent water boil warnings, Grassy Narrows mercury poisoning and the flooding diversion from Winnipeg to the St. Martin's community. 


See the recording here

pw: Nov23call 

Learning Objectives

This national call is intended to demonstrate the listed learning objectives under climate change of the ocean literacy theories:

  •  Earth has one big ocean
  • The ocean made the earth habitable
  • Oceans and humans are inextricably connected

It also meets the following sustainable development goals:

  • 4: Quality education
  • 10: Reduced inequality
  • 11: Sustainable cities and communities
  • 17: Partnerships to achieve the goal

And the following biodiversity convention goals:

  • 1: Understand values
  • 11: Protected areas
  • 19: improve knowledge

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