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How do we think about the land we live on?

This week we hosted a webinar, “Learning and Teaching about Indigenous Cultures, Languages, and Territories,” with Christine McRae from Native Land Digital. We were excited to learn that close to 900 people registered!

If you were unable to attend or if you had to leave the webinar early, the recording is available to view on our website. Thank you for all of your questions! We didn’t get to all of them, but we will follow up with you individually as well as post suggestions and responses to your questions in another follow up newsletter to come in the week ahead. 

Christine shared ways to engage with the mapping tool Native Land and communicated that there are complexities when mapping Indigenous territories. She said, “When we think of maps in the modern context, they often represent colonial boundaries or colonial understandings of the world. It’s a balance to communicate Indigenous relationships to land, which are so much deeper than shapes.” Christine said that we need to bring in an awareness that we live on Indigenous territory and lands in a deeper way. How can we teach students that we are living on Indigenous territories? One way that we can bring about change in our communities, she said, is by inviting Indigenous people into our work.   

The webinar also included a surprise special guest. Thirty minutes before the webinar, Christine called me to say that Margaret Noodin, Obijwe poet and linguist, would be happy to join us to read one of her poems that we included in the slides. This was a powerful moment when Margaret shared her poem, “Babejianjisemigad/Gradual Transformation,” which she read in Anishinaabemowin and in English. She said, “I think one of the things I got from my dad and his mother was the ability to listen to the world singing around me and the desire to sing back to it.” Margaret read a second poem, “Gijigijigaaneshiinh (Chickadee),” which she says comes out as a song. View Margaret singing this beautiful poem at the 1:09:16 mark. 

We compiled resources shared during the webinar in this Google Doc. This document includes quotes, websites, books, articles, films, curricula, and podcasts, all of which provide ways to learn from Indigenous voices around the world.

And lastly, for podcast lovers, our sister organization, Emergence Magazine, recently released Language Keepers, a six-part podcast series documenting the struggle for Indigenous language survival in California. In this series, they delve into the current state of four Indigenous languages which are among the most vulnerable in the world: Tolowa Dee-ni’, Karuk, Wukchumni, and Kawaiisu. Along this journey, we meet and learn from dedicated families and communities across the state who are working to revitalize their Native languages and cultures in order to pass them on to the next generation. Start with the first episode: “Colonizing California.” 

It’s always a pleasure to learn with you. Please do reach out with any questions. 

All the best,
Cleary Vaughan-Lee
Executive Director 
Global Oneness Project 

View Webinar Recording

SheVille Team

We are a one-of-a-kind magazine that provides local, regional, national and international information about women’s lives and education, performing and visual arts and writing, the environment, green living and sustainability and regional Western North Carolina business, people and events.

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