Perspective on the new Indigenous Knowledge and Learning Working Group at RMC
Article by 27472 OCdt (IV) Eliza Bruce, CWBO, & e-Veritas correspondent
Last Tuesday, I had the happy side effect of happening to sit in on the first yearly meeting of the newly formed Indigenous Knowledge and Learning Workshop Group, first of its kind at RMC.
I went to the meeting with the intent of meeting someone who might be a source of information for my thesis, and ended up completely on board with the group’s manifesto and joining the ranks.
What the intent of the group has at its heart will hopefully resonate strongly with the student body at RMC once it is fully fledged. Just after one session I learned that RMC is built on territory that was once inhabited by the Haudenosaunee and Anishinaabe Peoples, and that there is still a gap between the student and faculty body at the college and their awareness of the traditions of these people and other cultures present at the college.
This group intends to close this gap, highlight the “visibility and integration” of these representative peoples and histories at the college, and expose those interested to the many avenues of cultural experiences each has to show.
Things that the group has already advocated for and had come to fruition is the introduction of a Director of Indigenous Knowledge and Learning Initiatives position in the new College Success Centre, the beginning stages of forming a Student Indigenous Mentor position, and drawing on the wisdom of community Elders for direction and support.
Its principle of cultivating a multi-lingual (Indigenous, French, English, etc.) setting built on mutual respect and openness to learning about the traditional/current cultures inhabiting the peninsula is a positive foot forward for the future of RMC, giving it a strong push to being not only an illustrious educational institution, but a model of celebrating Canada’s history.
I eagerly await whatever this year brings for the group.