U of G Celebrates Aboriginal Awareness

October 11, 2007 - News Release

You can sample venison and bannock, learn about emerging trends in aboriginal research or be entertained by powwow-style dance performances.

Those are just some of the highlights of U of G's third annual Aboriginal Awareness Week running Oct. 15 to 18.

Organized by the Aboriginal Resource Centre and the Aboriginal Student Association in collaboration with various academic and administrative departments, the four days of events are free and open to the public.

"This week gives faculty, staff and students opportunities to understand aboriginal issues and people," said Jaime Mishibinijima, aboriginal student adviser and manager of the Office of Intercultural Affairs. "The more the University community understands aboriginal issues and people, the more effectively faculty and staff can work with aboriginal students."

The week kicks off Monday with the Centre for Families, Work and Well-being launching new resource materials based on recent research on indigenous fatherhood. The materials are the result of the Indigenous Fathers Project carried out by the Father Involvement Research Alliance based at U of G. This is the first research project in Canada to explore First Nations and M├ętis fathers' experiences. The session runs from 9:30 to 11 a.m. in Room 103 of the University Centre.

This session will be followed by a food sampling and dance exhibition in the University Centre courtyard from noon to 1 p.m. The White Pine Dance group will perform powwow-style dances, and there will be samples of aboriginal food from across Canada including, rabbit, venison, wild rice and bannock.

On Tuesday, students will be able to hear first-hand about health careers from Jessica Dunkley, a physiotherapist who is a part of the National Aboriginal Role Model Program. Dunkley will share her experiences and talk about scholarships, challenges and opportunities for aboriginal people in the health care field. This session runs from 5 to 6:30 p.m. at the Aboriginal Resource Centre.

A session on aboriginal research ethics will be held Wednesday from 10:30 a.m. to noon in Room 103 of the University Centre. Lenore Manitowabi of the Noojmowin Teg Health Centre in Manitoulin Island will discuss, "Guidelines for Ethical Aboriginal Research: The Development of Community-Based Aboriginal Research Guidelines."

The week wraps up Thursday with a talk by Mark Solomon, manager of Aboriginal Student Services at Seneca College, on understanding how aboriginal students make the transition from their community to university, identifying their different learning styles and recognizing what they contribute to the classroom, residence life and co-curricular activities. It runs from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. in Room 103 of the University Centre.

For more information on Aboriginal Awareness Week.

For media questions, contact Communications and Public Affairs: Lori Bona Hunt, 519-824-4120, Ext. 53338, or Deirdre Healey, 519-824-4120, Ext. 56982.

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