Indigenous scholars discuss resisting colonialism, cultural genocide to pursue postsecondary studies: Editorial

A recent article from the University of Manitoba’s students’ newspaper The Manitoban discusses how four Indigenous scholars have resisted colonialism and cultural genocide in order to pursue postsecondary education. Lorraine Seymour, who survived the residential school system and recently graduated from UManitoba with a Master of Social Work — Indigenous knowledges (MSW—IK), discussed her educational journey at Trent and UManitoba, including the aspects of campus that were triggering and the exceptional support offered by the Elders and Knowledge Keepers. UManitoba associate Vice-President Indigenous: Curriculum, Scholarship and Research Cary Miller discussed the challenges presented by bureaucracy, such as accommodating smudging and guiding meaningful change at the institution. Two leaders from student associations at UManitoba—Kayla Shaganash and Ishkode Catcheway—shared their experiences at the university and how the sense that “institutions were never meant for Indigenous people to be in” drove them to engage in student politics. “I’m going to make space for myself here,” said Shaganash. “The reason I’m in university is to face these issues and to have these difficult conversations head on, and not be taken down by them the way I was before.”

The Manitoban