Get to know UWaterloo’s Indigenous Community at RAISE x ISA

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Yvonn Yu
Communications Assistant
Thu, 06/27/2019 - 15:45

Racial Advocacy for Inclusion, Solidarity, and Equity (RAISE) has partnered up with the Indigenous Student Association (ISA) with monthly events that allow you to engage with members of the Indigenous community in a casual and friendly setting.

These events feature conversations centred around various themes focused on Indigenous culture and are led by members of ISA. The format for the events are very casual to encourage discussion and ISA members are very open to answering any questions that students may have. By allowing participants to engage with the stories and experiences of an Indigenous student, RAISExISA works toward decolonization by providing a first-hand resource to break down myths and stereotypes about the Indigenous community.

The collaboration between RAISE and ISA was formed to give ISA, an organization that is emancipated from Feds, a platform to speak to students of the UWaterloo community. Through these events, ISA aims to raise awareness on the continuing oppression of Indigenous peoples by the heteropatriarchal colonialist systems of power in place today.

By inviting [ISA] into the RAISE space, we stand in solidarity with them and allow a venue for their voices to be heard,” said RAISE coordinator Ayesha Masud. “In doing so, we hope to contribute to the dismantling of the colonial infrastructures while building a safe space.”

The first RAISE x ISA event took place on June 5, 2019 and Heather George, a PhD candidate in History from ISA, was in attendance along with 14 other students. George also brought beading materials and taught participants how to make their own art during the discussion.

Emma Smith, an Ojibwa Fine Arts and Business student, will lead the next discussion for the next RAISE x ISA event on July 3, 2019. The event will take place from 1 p.m. - 3 p.m. in the RAISE office in SLC 2141. The topic for this discussion will be on language and decolonizing speech. Similar to the last event, students will also get the opportunity to bead at this event and coffee, tea, and snacks will be provided.

If you would like to know more about this event, check out the Facebook event page [external link] or message the event hosts directly on Facebook!