This is just a quick post to thank the 70+ people who participated in our Trudeau Scholars’ Workshop on Aboriginal Housing, Homelessness, Identity and Space last week. I am incredibly grateful to Susan McGee, Dave Ward, Kamala Todd, Nathalie Kermoal, Marshal German Johnson, Dwayne Donald, Daniel Johnson, Lisa Freeman, Julia Christensen, Michael Anhorn, Chris Andersen and Claris Harbon for the presentations that they made.
I would also like to thank the participants from a diverse set of communities – academics, advocates, community members, Elders, service providers (social workers, police officers, nurses) and members of the Trudeau Foundation community who participated in the event. I would also like to formally thank Homeward Trust Edmonton, the University of Alberta Faculty of Native Studies, the University of Alberta Intertional’s Global Education Program and the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation for sponsoring the event.
The biggest fear when planning an event is that nobody will come, or that it will be irrelevant. However, I am pleased that there were many points throughout the event where social connections were made and rich, nuanced ways of thinking about the issues of homelessness in the context of dispossession and historical/continued colonialism were fostered. I have a renewed respect for the work that people are doing to challenge dominant discourses that erase our complex, rich Indigenous and non-Indigenous histories and how they shape the cities that we live in.
I will leave you with a link to the film that Kamala Todd produced for the keynote on Wednesday, November 21. It is entitled “Know your Place: reflections of the indigenous city”. You can check out her website at http://indigenouscity.com/