Interdisciplinary Dialogue Project

Interdisciplinary Dialogue Project

In the winter term each year, the Interdisciplinary Dialogue Project brings together students and faculty from different disciplines to explore a social justice issue. Truth and reconciliation, refugee migration, Islamophobia—the topic changes each year, but the approach remains the same: interdisciplinary, collaborative, meaningful.

2019 Interdisciplinary Dialogue Project

Called the Spirit Bear Dialogues: ᐊᐦᒑᐦᐠ ᒪᐢᑲᐧ ᐅᓯᐦᒋᑫᐃᐧᓂ ᐋᐧᐢᑲᐦᐃᑲᐣ, the 2019 Interdisciplinary Dialogue Project focused on Indigenous research.

Students and faculty from MacEwan University and University nuhelot’įne thaiyots’į nistameyimâkanak Blue Quills, under the guidance of kihêw waciston, explored the history of colonial relationships and the impact of harmful research practices. As well, they learned about the ways that more respectful and reciprocal relationships between Indigenous communities and academic scholars are being forged



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IDP at a glance

The IDP uses a three-part format.  



Levels of involvement

Students can participate in the IDP by registering in a course that is associated with the IDP or by signing up through the co-curricular program.

If students sign up through the co-curricular program, they do not attend an associated course. They participate in the three activities described above and meet co-curricular record expectations. Students who are registered in an associated course choose one of the following three levels of involvement.


Number1 Letter of participation: If you attend a minimum of two educational forums and participate in the corresponding online discussions, you receive a letter of participation.


Number2 IDP certificate: If you attend a minimum of two educational forums, participate in the corresponding online discussions and present at the Celebration of Learning symposium, you receive an IDP certificate. Students who present at the symposium may have their work published in an online MacEwan journal.


Number3 Co-curricular record: If you have received an IDP letter or certificate, you can choose to participate in an additional 7.5 hours of experiential learning activities (or more) and receive co-curricular recognition on your transcript. 


Co-curricular record



Open to the public

All educational forums are open to the public, providing an opportunity for meaningful discussions about local and global issues while connecting MacEwan to communities outside the university.



IDP 2019

A visit to a former residential school near St. Paul, Alberta marked a poignant end to the Spirit Bear Dialogues, the 2019 interdisciplinary dialogue project that involved over 100 students and more than 20 faculty members.

IDP 2018

Students and faculty from nine disciplines learned about truth and reconciliation, the impact of residential schools on Indigenous people and related issues when they participated in a Blanket Exercise, attended a sweat lodge and watched the film Indian Horse, among other activities.

A quilt made by students honouring Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women