Indigenous Research and Epistemology - a discussion

Friday, May 26, 2023 10:30 am - 12:00 pm EDT (GMT -04:00)

A Discussion on Indigenous Research and Epistemology poster

How should we conduct research in cooperation and partnership with Indigenous communities? What does it mean for Indigenous scholars and students to do research within the colonial structures and settler epistemologies of Western universities? The panelists, consisting of Indigenous students and researchers as well as settlers working with and for Indigenous communities, will share their perspectives and experiences on these questions. They will begin a conversation to help us consider these and other issues related to Indigeneity in the context of Western academic cultures and practices, and invite questions and discussion to develop our capacity to Indigenize research and scholarship.   

About the Speakers:

Jaydum Hunt is Mohawk on her father's side and mixed European on her mother’s side. She is currently the Director of Indigenous Initiatives at Laurier University. Jaydum has 8 years experience of progressive leadership and community engagement with the Indigenous community within the Waterloo Region and at the University of Waterloo. Has a passion for organizational change, wholistic evaluations, community based research, Indigenous leadership, Indigenous entrepreneurship, strategic planning, Indigenous initiatives, and Indigenous research.

Kelly Laurila is an Indigenous Sámi and Irish woman with close to 30 years of Anishinaabe knowledges and experiences; songcarrier of an Indigenous women and girls’ drum circle in community and in a federal penitentiary; social worker, and educator. She is also an advocate for ideological and social policy change pertaining to systemic social and justice practices impacting Indigenous peoples. Dialogue, decolonization, and movement towards action is at the forefront of her work with reconciliation initiatives.

Hector Perez is a postdoctoral fellow in the Faculty of Health at the University of Waterloo. He works under the supervision of Lili Liu and Antonio Miguel-Cruz. Supported by the Games Institute, Hector is co-developing gamified training materials for Indigenous First Responders in collaboration with two First Nations Communities. Hector’s current research explores data from police and search and rescue organizations across Canada to determine risk factors associated with missing incidents involving persons living with dementia. His research employs Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence to determine models to predict risk and inform prevention. Hector’s interests include exploring the acceptance and adoption of innovations and digital health technologies for older adults and caregivers.

Marisa Benjamin is a JD student at the University of Toronto Faculty of Law, Class of 2024. She is a Senior Associate Editor for the Indigenous Law Journal and a Research Assistant with the David Asper Centre for Constitutional Rights. From the University of Waterloo, Marisa obtained her BA in Psychology and Business, and her MA in Rhetoric and Communication Design. Last year, Marisa worked in the Ministry of Northern Development and Mines at the Ministry of the Attorney General, preparing legal research about the government's obligations to consult and accommodate Indigenous land interests in Northern Ontario. Starting in May, Marisa will be working at Torys LLP in Toronto. (Optional to read: Of course, and most importantly, Marisa is the former Research Communications Officer at the Games Institute, and is happy to be back for this event!)