Red Talks presenters discuss ways to reclaim Indigenous knowledge

November 15, 2019 | Society

On November 13, MacEwan University hosts Think Indigenous Red Talks, where presenters will discuss reclaiming Indigenous knowledge.

This event is also part of kihêw waciston’s ahcâhk maskwa osihcikêwina – Spirit Bear Dialogues, which explores Indigenous truths, history, culture and ways of knowing and being while engaging the local community. Participants are invited to discuss topics, build respectful relationships and create safe spaces for Indigenous education and learning.

Presenters from MacEwan include Elder Francis Whiskeyjack, Assistant Professor Amber Dion from the Bachelor of Social Work program and Ashley Albert-Hunter, a sociology student and peer advisor who will speak about understanding cancer from an Indigenous perspective.

“What people take away from my talk is going to look different for everybody,” she says. Not wanting to give too much away, she hints, “It’s going to be about understanding cancer and healing, and it’s going to be very truthful and honest.”

Ashley’s presentation includes not only her research, but also her own experience being diagnosed with cancer.

“As hard as my situation has been, there is a lot of beauty and strength that has come from it,” she says.

In September, Ashley presented an autoethnography (a free expression of her story) at the World Indigenous Cancer Conference to delegates from around the world. She says there is power in being able to bring her perspective to people who have the ability to change policies in health care. As a result of that conference, her presentation has received interest from researchers and medical professionals in the U.S. and as far away as New Zealand.

When Ashley began at MacEwan, she knew she wanted to help Indigenous people, and through her work and her own experience, she is motivated to inform others of the importance of creating space for Indigenous knowledge and healing in a health-care environment.

“I wouldn’t be here today if I didn’t reclaim those ways.”


New kihêw waciston Indigenous centre opens

Enhanced space a place for students, faculty, staff and community members to come together in search of truth and in the spirit of reconciliation.

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