The Pîkiskwetân (Let’s Talk) Sharing Circle Series returns to NAIT this semester, starting on January 17th. The series is hosted by the Nîsôhkamâtotân Centre, supporting NAIT’s Connecting the Four Directions document and continued efforts with Truth and Reconciliation. After the centre’s Blanket exercise was no longer possible because of COVID, Derek Thunder, manager of Nîsôhkamâtotân, designed the Let’s Talk series to continue the teachings.
There are 7 sessions in the series, each intended to give a general overview of important truths about Canada’s historical and current colonialism. The session topics range from Aboriginal 101, a general overview of the history of colonization, to Awîna Niyanân, Cree for Who are We?, where several speakers share their personal lived experiences as Aboriginal people.
Dawn Lameman, Nîsôhkamâtotân Centre support, describes ‘Let’s Talk’ as an “entry-level, but very impactful way to learn about the truth,” as the meaning behind the series is that “there needs to be truth before reconciliation can happen.”
Truth is also important in how the series is conducted. The speakers at each of the sessions share their own experiences to create a lasting impact on those that attend.
“We aren’t just reading off of a PowerPoint,” Lameman said. “It’s called ‘Let’s Talk.’ We share our personal stories, so that NAIT can see that people in our community are going through these things, have gone through them, and continue to go through them.”
The ultimate goal behind the series is for people to have more empathy towards First Nations (Status & Non-Status), Metis, and Inuit people. Lameman explains that when you hear the stories like the ones shared in this series, “they begin to change the way you see the world.”
The Pîkiskwetân Sharing Circle series starts on January 17th and continues every Monday from 12-1 pm. All NAIT students and staff are encouraged to attend and learn. For more information, and to register for each session, visit https://www.nait.ca/nait/life-at-nait/clubs-groups-community/nisohkamatotan-centre/events or email firstname.lastname@example.org.