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.
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.
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.
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)
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.
Ingenium recognizes that we are on traditional Algonquin Anishnaabeg territory.