Indigenous Excellence 2022

Every spring, Brandon University makes a special effort to acknowledge and celebrate Indigenous Excellence in the community. The spring season marks a ‘new year’ for Indigenous people, as it is the time of awakening/returning of animals and the growth of our plants and forests. This time of year brings students, staff, Faculty, alumni and the wider community together to learn about Indigenous culture and build relationships.

Indigenous Excellence: A Call To Action

Although most of our gatherings are virtual, we encourage everyone to think beyond the screen. This means creating opportunities for sharing with your family and friends. It means continuing self-education through books, podcasts, films and courses. Showing support can also mean contributing financial donations and/or volunteer time to local Indigenous-led community organizations.

Follow along on social media to participate in fun weekly contests and information sharing. Find us on Facebook @BrandonUIPC or on Instagram @bu_ipc

Gatherings 2022 Schedule

Commitment to Education

The BU community can continue to engage in self-education by accessing the following resources.

* Pulling Together: Manitoba Foundations Guide – commit to a self-study, creating a self-organized group or join an ongoing cohort at BU.
* Indigenous Education Resources
provided by the John E. Robbins Library.
* Indigenous Canada – University of Alberta — this free, 12 week Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) from the Faculty of Native Studies at the UofA explores Indigenous histories and contemporary issues in Canada. From an Indigenous perspective, this course explores key issues facing Indigenous peoples today.

Indigenous Excellence Gatherings

BU Teaching House: Spring Equinox

Monday, March 21 10:30am-12pm

The BU Teaching House brings community together to learn from one another, with initial teachings and circles led by local Indigenous Knowledge Keepers and Elders. We will acknowledge the change in seasons and set intentions for spring.

Zoom Link:

Zoom Meeting ID: 913 8712 0087

Creating Non-Linear Webs Between Dreams and Realities

Tuesday, March 22  2:30pm-3:30pm

IshKaabatens Waasa Gaa Inaabateg Department of Visual Art

In this presentation, Audie Murray will be focusing on her most recent works and methods that explore dreams as research, working with animate materials, and intergenerational acts of care and collaboration.

Audie Murray is a relative, dreamer, skin-stitcher and Michif visual artist based in Oskana kâ-asastêki (Regina, Saskatchewan; Treaty 4 territory). Her practice is informed by the process of making and visiting to explore themes of contemporary culture, embodied experiences and lived dualities. These modes of working assist with the recentering of our collective connection to the body, ancestral knowledge systems, space and time. She has exhibited widely, including at the Independent Art Fair, NYC; The Vancouver Art Gallery; Centre for Contemporary Arts, Glasgow; and the Anchorage Museum. Murray is represented by Fazakas Gallery on Sḵwx̱wú7mesh, Səl̓ílwətaʔ, and xʷməθkʷəy̓əm territory (Vancouver, B.C.).

Join Zoom Link:

Zoom Meeting ID: 923 7000 8081

Women’s Teachings: Connecting to the Cycle of Life

Thursday, March 24 1:30pm

Health Studies

Join Cree Grandmother Deborah Tacan and Host Karen Batson for a knowledge-sharing session. Teachings shared will include: Coming of age for young women, Cycle of Moontime, pregnancy, life-givers, birth, connecting to the land, Mother Earth & Water Carriers.

Zoom Meeting ID: 963 1690 6640

Passcode: 248993

Resurgence of Anishinaabe Manoomin* Practice

*Manoomin = Wild Rice
Monday, March 28 2:30pm – 3:30pm

Join BU Professor Melody McKiver in a presentation on the Resurgence of Anishinaabe Manoomin Practice. Melody will share their experiences with manoomin (wild rice) including the history within their homelands of Lac Seul First Nation, harvesting and the importance of this land-based practice for their cultural identity and food sovereignty.

Melody McKiver  is an Anishinaabe composer, violinist/violist, drummer/percussionist, and producer. They are an Assistant Professor of Composition with the Brandon University School of Music.

Zoom Link:

Zoom Meeting ID: 978 8127 0697

The Role of Women in Reclaiming Power and Spirit

Friday, April 1 at 10:40am-11:45am
****Originally scheduled Wednesday, March 30, rescheduled to Friday, April 1

Senator Mary Jane McCallum will discuss the role of women in reclaiming power and spirit as it relates to the creation of Bill S-219 “An Act respecting a National Ribbon Skirt Day.” This bill was inspired by a student in Saskatchewan who was shamed for wearing her ribbon skirt to her school’s formal day in December 2020. Isabella Kulak received an outpouring of national support following the event including the first and second reading of a bill to mark January 4th as National Ribbon Skirt Day.

James Campbell, Director of Parliamentary Affairs for the Office of the Honourable Mary Jane McCallum will join the discussion to review how a bill goes through the legislative process. Q&A to follow.

Dr. Mary Jane McCallum is a First Nations woman of Cree heritage and an advocate for social justice who, over the course of her distinguished career, has provided dental care to First Nations communities across Manitoba. Complete Biography of Senator McCallum.

Zoom Meeting Link:

Zoom Meeting ID: 982 5587 1111

Paint with BU Alumn, Jessie Jannuska

Take a study break and join a virtual IPC friends and family paint activity. No cost for participation, but registration is required! To sign up, please email: please indicate how many canvases you will need, and if you need paint/brushes or plan to use your own.

Wednesday, April 6 from 7pm-8:30pm
Thursday, April 7 from 2pm-3:30pm

Local students/participants, paint supply kits will be available for pick up April 4, 5 and 6th.

BU CARES Research Centre

Visit the BU CARES website to learn about research projects and opportunities. Highlights include the anti-racism tool kit, the Doc Talks Speaker Series that highlights researchers from the Faculty of Education at Brandon University, and podcast that addresses topics like Indigenous language revitalization.

For more information about BU CARES contact:
Michelle Lam, M.A., Ph.D
Director, BU CARES Research Centre
Faculty of Education, Brandon University
Phone: 204.727.7331

Change your Zoom background:

One way to show your support is to change your video conferencing background.

Students, staff and faculty are encouraged to use this background in all of their video conferencing.

Share a Story:

Brandon University and the BU Indigenous Peoples’ Centre are always looking for stories of Indigenous Excellence. We invite you to share with us on social media. Tag the IPC on Facebook @BrandonUIPC or on Instagram @bu_ipc or the Brandon University Twitter account @BrandonUni.


Michelle Bessette
Indigenous Student Success Officer
Indigenous Peoples’ Centre, Brandon University
Phone: 204-570-1427 (call or text)