By Jensen, Randy on October 21, 2020.
Lethbridge College kicked off three days of thoughtful discussion on Tuesday, and other special events, reflecting the local Indigenous experience for “Stone Pipe Days.”
In the past Lethbridge College has hosted a one-day event called “Indigenous Celebration Day.” Stone Pipe Days not only tips its hat to the college’s Indigenous name, “Ohkotoki’aahkkoiyiiniimaan,” which means Stone Pipe, it also allows for a broader consideration of the issues facing Indigenous students and peoples in the region, says event organizer Shanda Webber, who is also the college’s Indigenous Services manager.
“Stone Pipe Days is about coming together to celebrate the pride, history and knowledge of Lethbridge College’s Indigenous community,” she explains. “It’s about Indigenous and non-Indigenous students, staff and communities coming together to discuss the current issues of Indigenous peoples as well as looking and reflecting on the past histories, and then moving forward together in the act of reconciliation.”
On Tuesday, the college started Stone Pipe Days with a special announcement that the RBC Foundation’s Future Launch program would be renewing its support for the school’s cultural support and Elders program, Indigenous mentorship program and ongoing efforts to create awareness of Indigenous culture on campus by making a $75,000 donation.
Over the next two days, the college will host a Virtual Open House today, and virtual fireside chat called “Indigenous Cultural Support Program – Navigating Success Through an Indigenous World View,” which is open to everyone who wishes to sign in to attend.
On Thursday, Stone Pipe Days will present a viewing of the powerful National Film Board documentary, “Nîpawistamâsowin: We Will Stand Up,” which tells the story of young Cree man Colten Boushie who died from a gunshot to the back of his head after entering Gerald Stanley’s rural property in Saskatchewan with his friends. A jury subsequently acquitted Stanley of the crime despite there being no evidence Boushie or his friends ever offered any threat to Stanley. The documentary is intended to raise questions about racism in Canada’s legal system.
“The highlight for this week is we are actually showing a screening of the documentary about Colten Boushie, ‘We Stand Up,'” confirms Webber. “At 6 p.m. on Thursday (after) we will actually have a panel discussion with Colten’s cousin sister, Jade Tootoosis, as well as the film director from the documentary, Tasha Hubbard. It is going to be a very impactful panel discussion to talk about the social injustices in Canada’s legal system, and how we can move forward together and really prepare our students to have Indigenous cultural competency when they are moving and graduating, and going into the workforce.”
The screening starts at 3:30 p.m. followed by a panel discussion at 6 p.m. The event is free, but can only be attended by pre-registration by going to https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/nipawistamasowin-we-will-stand-up-screening-and-panel-discussion-tickets-123191516141.
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