Indigenous Star Knowledge, an International Symposium

Image: Star Medicine Celebration, painting by Annette S. Lee

Ottawa, On. March 26, 2020

COVID-19 Notification and Update

Dear Indigenous Star Knowledge Symposium Participants and Supporters:

As the COVID-19 crisis deepens worldwide, and uncertainly looms about travel and conferences, we wanted to update you on the status of the Indigenous Star Knowledge Symposium in Ottawa, which is scheduled for September 15-18, 2020.

At this time, the ISK symposium committee, UOttawa, and Ingenium - Canada's Museums of Science and Innovation are monitoring the situation. In order to be prepared for many possible outcomes, we are developing conference contingency plans in order to be responsive to the situation. This may involve significant changes to the program as well as timing. In addition, we will not be activating registration until this situation becomes more clear.

Please check our website for updates, and we will keep you posted on major developments.

Thank you for your patience and support.

Sept 15-18, 2020
Sacred fire starts Monday, September 14


  • Indigenous led; all welcome 
  • Spiritual focus Day 1 and 2: Research focus Day 3; Education focus Day 4 
  • Special public events 
  • Community Building and Wellness 
  • Two-eyed seeing / Dual Learning 
  • Indigenous STEM; Interdisciplinary STEM 

September 15:
Starts with pipe ceremonies, sacred fire, introductions, sweat lodges and a community feast followed by viewings of the local sky and sharing of knowledge led by local elders and knowledge keepers. 

September 16:
Begins with a sun rise ceremony followed by communal breakfast and speakers. Interpreters, audio visual and portable planetariums will be utilized for sessions. Night sky viewing. Sweat Lodges will be available. Two-eyed seeing / Indigenous cosmologies / teaching presenters.

September 17:
Dedicated to a more formal type of presentation with astronomers, scientists and academics with ties to the acknowledged space agencies, universities and academic centers. Ceremonial grounds will be available as well as night sky viewing.

September 18:
Final Wrap Up of activities and sessions. Focus on education and dissemination. Announcements, distribution of documents produced. Feast. Closing ceremonies. Sacred fire is allowed to go out.


Organising Committee:

Wilfred Buck | Peter Decontie | Carola Knockwood | Michel Labrecque | Annette S. Lee | Lindsey McGregor | David Pantalony | Daniella Scalice

*We are currently applying for funding for travel support. If successful, funding for travel will be supplied for invited Knowledge Keepers.

OttawaU logo

Ingenium recognizes that we are on traditional Algonquin Anishnaabeg territory.