Racism is a serious world-wide issue and recently it was on display in Lethbridge, proving that racism is still alive in this community, despite efforts on many fronts to the contrary. Grad students from a local high school organized a “Cowboys and Indians” themed graduation party held off campus and images of students wearing headdresses, war paint and feathers was shared on social media.
Many indigenous peoples were upset by the theme and event, which they say illustrates the brutal history of colonization and minimizes the importance of indigenous cultures. Some of the students involved apologized for the theme saying that the event was not intended to be a racist party and that they were very sorry about their actions while apologizing to the aboriginal communities.
Although the event was privately held and only attended by some grad students, the school later called an assembly to address the concerns. Dialog among the school and students are continuing, but what is the take-away from this incident?
Are children and young adults being conditioned that racism is acceptable? Should parents largely be responsible for their children’s cultural behavior or should schools also play a prominent role? How can schools and the wider community use this incident to further cultural understanding and inclusion? In the context of racism, the speaker will offer hope that this incident may be an opportunity to grow respect for indigenous and other cultures by all Canadians.
Speaker: Dr. Linda Many Guns
Linda Many Guns received her Ph. D. from Trent University Faculty of Indigenous Sturdies in 2013. Previously, she had earned her MA at Carleton University and her BA at Saint Thomas University, New Brunswick as well as a Baccalaureate of Laws (LLB) in 1996 at Common Law University of Ottawa.
Linda Many Guns has been teaching at the University of Lethbridge since 2008 in the Native American Studies Department. Her areas of expertise are: Indians & the Criminal Justice System, Native American Women, Family and Community Development, Aboriginal Law and Aboriginal Development.
Moderator: Kristin Krein
Date: Thursday, June 22, 2017 Time: Noon - 1:30 PM (30 minutes each for presentation, lunch and Q & A) Location: Country Kitchen Catering (Lower level of The Keg) 1715 Mayor Magrath Dr. S
Cost: $12.00 (includes lunch) or $2.00 (includes coffee/tea) RSVP is not necessary