Indigenous Star Knowledge Symposia: A series of local and international gatherings, on the land and online

Indigenous Star Knowledge Symposia: A series of local and international gatherings, on the land and online

A tipi in the distance at sunset.

PHOTO CREDIT: Lindsey Kirby-McGregor
Wilfred Buck’s ‘Tipis and Telescopes’ event near East Selkirk, Manitoba, supported by the Manitoba First Nation’s Education Resource Centre.

Organised by Ingenium in collaboration with the Institute of Indigenous Research and Studies at the University of Ottawa, and hosted on traditional Algonquin Anishnaabeg territory, this series of symposia (chosen on the dates of the Fall equinox, Winter solstice, Spring equinoxes and Summer solstice) will combine spiritual ceremony, presentations, activities and dialogue, both online and on the land. The symposia will feature gatherings of Indigenous Knowledge Keepers, Elders, educators and scholars to share and exchange towards reclaiming, preserving, and revitalizing Star Knowledge with Indigenous communities worldwide.

Our original plan was to have a symposium in September 2020, but due to Covid-19 we have reshaped the entire program to spread out the timeline while combining physical and digitally-inclusive experiences. This blended format greatly expands our original intent to offer a space for teaching and learning, while bringing hope and healing through the Indigenous Star Knowledge and our work.


Fall Equinox: Protocols before Knowledge, Seasonal and regional themes

September 21, 2020 (7 p.m. Est Ottawa, Canada); September 22, 2020 (9:00 a.m. Lismore, Australia)

For Indigenous people astronomy and cosmology are intricately intertwined. Star Knowledge, like everything else, is all about relationships and teaches us our place in the universe.

DETAILS AND BIOS

RECORDING OF THE SEPTEMBER 21 EVENT

Adisokan: Winter Solstice, Stars and Storytelling

December 21, 2020 from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. EST

Adisokan is the Algonquin word for storytelling with special cultural meaning. Join us for stories about the stars from three Indigenous nations - Mapuche (Chile), Algonquin  (Quebec), and Dene (Northwest Territories). Indigenous teachings, spirit, language, world views and an exploration of the word and role of stories in Indigenous culture.

DETAILS AND BIOS

RECORDING OF THE DECEMBER 21 EVENT

Spring Equinox Celebration with the Heiltsuk Nation

April 28, 2021, 4:00 p.m. Eastern  | 1:00 p.m. Pacific

N̓ála & Bákvḷa

In the Haíɫzaqv language, n̓ála means cycle, season, firmament, day and weather. The Haíɫzaqv are governed by and live our lives in seasons. The sky and weather are supernatural beings intertwined with our bákvḷa cycle. Bákvḷa means to harvest and preserve food for the winter, in line with Haíɫzaqv laws to maintain the natural balance of the world. Learn how the sky, land, and ocean are connected in Haíɫzaqv ways of knowing through the herring, a cultural and biological keystone species.

DETAILS

RECORDING OF THE APRIL 28 EVENT

Summer Solstice, Celebration of Star Knowledge from Africa and Rapanui (Easter Island)

June 22, 2021, 3:00 p.m. Eastern

  • Featured Speakers: Edmundo Edwards Eastman (Rapanui) and Jarita Holbrook (African culture)
  • Welcome from: Anita Tenasco, Kitigan Zibi, Quebec (Algonquin)
  • Opening Prayer: Wilfred Buck, Manitoba (Ininew)
  • Moderated by: Yasmin Catricheo, Chile (Mapuche)

DETAILS AND BIOS

RECORDING OF THE JUNE 22 EVENT

Indigenous Star Knowledge Committee:

Wilfred Buck, Annette Lee, Carola Knockwood, Peter Decontie, Anita Tenasco, Daniella Scalice, David Pantalony, Lindsey McGregor, and Michel Labrecque.

Major Supporters and Partners:

  • Ingenium - Canada's Museums of Science and Innovation / Musées des sciences et de l’innovation du Canada
  • UOttawa. Faculty of Arts and Institute of Indigenous Research and Studies.
  • Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC)
  • National Research Council
  • Funding provided by the United States Government
  • Canadian Science and Technology Historical Association
  • Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg Cultural Center

"The ancient ones [star beings] remind us of our deep interconnectiveness with the universe and the gift of transformation when we choose to allow it."
- From the story of Kakwet, the 8-legged starfish, Mi'kmaw Educator, Carola Knockwood.

Indigenous Star Knowledge Symposia are supported in part by funding
from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council.
 

Ingenium – Canada’s Museums of Science and Innovation
 

Ingenium recognizes that we are on traditional Algonquin Anishnaabeg territory.