Language and Place: decolonizing our tongues and actions

A free, virtual series to unpack the complexity of decolonizing our tongues and actions. Led by Meagan Innes and Senaqwila Wyss with a weekly guest from our Artist in Residence Program (Jolene Andrew, Cease Wyss, Jaz Whitford and Tori Clark).

4 sessions

Thursdays, 7:00-8:30 pm PST

Nov 4, 25, Jan 14, 28

Registration is required for each event, all of which have a max of 20 spaces.

Events will be recorded for internal use only towards creation of a document that maps the learnings for future sharing.

Nov 4: A conversation about the challenge and complexity of returning language to place with respect and honour.  

Many Nations are directing great energy into language revitalization projects.  But what are the impacts of settler descendants having access to traditional languages before those whose land we stand upon are themselves able to return to these learnings? This conversation will unpack some of the complexity and begin the conversation around how those of us from other places can support this work.

Pre-work request: Squamish Language Revival (youtube video)

Nov 25 – Names of Plants and Decolonizing our Tongues

A part of how we can build relationships to place is through how we connect and acknowledge  plants as kin. Looking initially at Fireweed and Stinging Nettle which are both plants that have rich cultural traditions in many places, let’s look at how many other decolonized names we can collectively share for these plant relatives. Meagan and Senaqwila will share the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh sníchim for these plants and invite you to do your own research on these, or other plants from your own ancestral roots.

Pre-work request: 

-Bring plant names in your ancestral language forward to share with the group, have links etc ready to share if relevant

Knowledge Keepers Medicine Walk (youtube video)

Jan 14 – Language and Place: Pushing Beyond Territorial Acknowledgments

Meagan and Senaqwila will share with the group the Squamish map of place names so we can begin to understand how to deepen our sense of place and territorial acknowledgement- what village site do you live near? What are the true place names for the spots you frequent? Aimed at lower mainland participants, this session is an opportunity to unpack the complexity of geography, borders and regions.

Pre-work request: 

Land Acknowledgement | Baroness von Sketch Show (youtube video)

Territory Acknowledgement Protocol (youtube video)

Squamish Atlas 

Jan 28 – Honouring the Life of Plants

This final session will be part conversation and part workshopping the  creation of personalized prayers or intentional words and actions we can each imbed in our harvesting practice. How do we ask and honour the life of the plant from which we will make food, medicine and crafts?

What is our responsibility as a human in relation to that plant? What are words or offerings from our own ancestral lineage we can bring into this practice?

Meagan and Senaqwila share a conversation around teachings within the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Nation that may be brought into our  personal rituals and collectively the group will discuss other current practices and research into our own ancestral ways.

Pre-work request:

-Read the honorable harvest by Robin Wall Kimmerer

-Personal research into harvest and planting rituals for your own cultural roots, 

-Watch Spirit Doctors (film)

EartHand gratefully acknowledges the support of BC Arts Council resilience funds and City of Vancouver for making this program possible.