February 23, 2023

Reconciliation + Design series: Indigenous ways of knowing & being

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This reconciliation + design dialogue series is co-designed and led by UBC Civil Engineering Assistant Professor of Teaching Pam Wolf and Civil Engineering graduate student Danilo Caron.

The reconciliation + design series is supported by Applied Science Dean James Olson, and Associate Dean of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, Dr. Sheryl Staub-French. Participants include UBC Applied Science students from the faculties of Engineering, School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture, and School of Community and Regional Planning, as well as external guests. These dialogues are a scaled Indigenization complement to decolonization curriculum. Applied science invites anyone who reflects on reconciling their design processes to join the conversation. This is an interdisciplinary conversation on reconciliation and design.

The speakers are Indigenous change-makers. We amplify their voices and listen to understand. Students and faculty practice authentic, experiential learning in dialogue circles, learning to weave together these Indigenous perspectives, ways of knowing, and ways of being, with our own as designers. The breakout room facilitators are students. They will be practicing their skills leading dialogue circles.

The annual cycle of four topics spoken to by Indigenous leaders and elders is listed below.

Next session:

Dialogue 3: Indigenous ways of knowing and being

Speaker: Wanda Rockthunder

Woman with glasses and mortarboard

Wanda Rockthunder, Ph.D. Student, MBA, BBA
Sessional Instructor, Graduate Programs

Wanda is a Nêhiyaw Iskwêw (Cree Woman) with Treaty Status from Treaty 4 Territory and a registered band member of Piapot Cree Nation (under the Indian Act) in Saskatchewan, Canada. She has been married to her devoted husband, Lorne, for 31 years, and together they have five children and twelve grandchildren. Wanda has spent a lifetime learning, and her academic background is in philosophy, education, business, and Indigenous ways of knowing. She has an undergraduate degree in Business Administration (2012) from the Paul J. Hill School of Business at the University of Regina and a graduate degree in Master of Business Administration (2021) from the Beedie School of Business at Simon Fraser University. In addition, she is a Ph.D. student in the Civil Engineering program at UBC Okanagan and is in her second year of study.

For the past 25+ years, Wanda has worked in education, facilitation, government, and non-profit within the community. She is an academic, educator, facilitator, advocate, civil rights activist, and knowledge keeper. Wanda has several other pieces of training and certificates among her postsecondary degrees as a lifelong learner. Her consulting company, Asiniy-Piyesiw & Associates Inc., focuses on assisting the Indigenous community to live a healthier lifestyle by offering healing and professional development workshops. Her business also offers workshops and education to the non-Indigenous community on Indigenous life and current events and is always looking for ways of improving life for the Indigenous people. She has spent the last ten years combining contemporary and traditional knowledge to enhance education.

Currently, Wanda is a Sessional Instructor at the University of Regina and Simon Fraser University while completing her Ph.D. studies. She also does freelance contract work. Her overall goal is to assist Indigenous peoples in gaining a balance in their personal and professional lives while educating the non-indigenous community on how to work successfully and respectfully with Indigenous people.

More information about this series

Date & Time

Thu, February 23 : 4:30pm - 5:50pm


CEME 1203
6250 Applied Science Lane
Vancouver BC

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