Truth & Reconciliation, Indian Residential Schools | Keynote with Dr. Kathy Absolon

Online Only
Wednesday, Sep 29, 2021 at 1:00 PM  - 2:30 PM EDT 

Event Details

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In honour of The National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, join the Indigenous Initiatives Office and the President's Anti-Racism Taskforce (PART) for a special keynote presentation with Dr. Kathy Absolon on Truth & Reconciliation, Indian Residential Schools.

Kathy Absolon will be speaking from a personal and passionate place about how the legacies of Indian Residential School genocide projects impacted her family, community and Nation. Blending in personal stories with truth sharing Dr. Absolon will be speaking about the history of Indian Residential Schools from a spiritual, emotional, intellectual and physical place.  She shares truths about colonial history. Within these stories are truths about legacies of trauma AND legacies of resilience. In light of all the children who have been unearthed: how does one respond to truth?  How does one begin to reconcile truth sharing and listening? How do we move toward reconciliation? Through this keynote presentation, Dr. Absolon weaves stories of pain and hope leaving the audience in deeper contemplation of responsibilities in understanding what truth and reconciliation means individually and collectively.

About Dr.  Kathy Absolon

Kathy Absolon (Minogiizhigokwe – Shining Day Woman) is Anishinaabe kwe who is a community helper, knowledge carrier, seeker, educator, researcher and writer. Kathy is a member of Flying Post First Nation Treaty 9. At the age of 60, Kathy carries truth stories about both a rich cultural history and Canada’s colonial history. Her lifetime of work in decolonial stories and Indigenous education has been informed by her land based philosophy. Currently, Kathy is a Professor in the Indigenous Field of Study, Masters of Social Work Program in the Faculty of Social Work and the Director of the Centre for Indigegogy at Wilfrid Laurier University. She spent the first 20 years of her life in the bush in Cranberry Lake.  The land, she says, taught her so much about life and she continues to reflect and draw on her land based teachings. 

Her passion for wellness among her peoples and the restoration of Indigenous knowledge in Creation has been one of the driving forces in her life work as an Indigenous wholistic practitioner in child welfare, Native mental heath, youth justice and community work.  Her academic and cultural work has been in restoring, reclaiming, re-righting Indigenous history, knowledge, cultural worldviews and making the invisible visible.  She promotes this through Indigenous research methodologies and published “Kaandossiwin, How we come to know” (2011).  She has authored other works in wholistic practice, social inclusion, reconciliation, community healing and wellness and Indigenous knowledge. Her most recent project is in gathering stories of resistance and resilience from her mother, a survivor of the St. John Anglican Residential School in Chapleau, ON.  



Dr. Kathy Absolon
Wilfrid Laurier University
Keynote Speaker


Available Online Only
Instructions will be sent out via email after registration.



Organizer Details

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University of Waterloo

Human Rights, Equity, and Inclusion 

Human Rights, Equity and Inclusion (HREI) supports, educates, and brings members of our campus community together to facilitate understanding, address discrimination and harm, influence and advance systemic changes towards making the University of Waterloo an equitable and safe(r) place where everyone can thrive. For more information and to explore the five intersecting portfolios that support the work we do, please visit our website