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Indigenous Peoples and Settler Peoples: Immiscible World Views

Organizer: Schulich School of Engineering, University of Calgary

Indigenous STEM practitioners experience a collision of world views: traditional teachings of relationality or all my relations meaning human, non-human, living and what Western science calls “inanimate” entities with the Enlightenment perspective dominated by a deliberate separation of being (ontology) from knowing (epistemology). This dualist and positivist perspective is foreign to Indigenous understandings of reality. For us, knowing something is inseparable from its relationship with the knower. This collision implies having to make a choice, or having to live in two different realities. Indigenous STEM practitioners by necessity become “worldview bilingual”. Indigenous cosmologies mirror concepts in physics suggesting this collision is not universal.


Beginning with the history of the Métis Nation, a framework describing the worldviews in contrast will be developed. This looks at reports and media stories highlighting the contrasting perspectives through a narrative approach. The ultimate goal is to explore Indigenous cosmologies to leave listeners with a better understanding of why communication between those cosmologies can be challenging.

Meet the host
Deanna Burgart, Schulich Chair, Indigenous Knowledge and Perspectives in Engineering Education

Deanna Burgart is a Cree, Dene, Irish engineer who is passionate about creating culturally safe spaces to invite Indigenous perspectives into engineering and the energy sector. After 20 years in the oil and gas industry, she joined the University of Calgary as a Senior Instructor at the University of Calgary's Schulich School of Engineering and is the first of two, along with Jessica Bekker, Chairs focused on weaving Indigenous knowledge into engineering.

Meet the facilitator
Major (retired) Matthew Oliver, CD, M.Div., M.Eng., P.Eng., rmc

Matthew Oliver is the Deputy Registrar and Chief Regulatory Officer of the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Alberta, regulating engineering and geoscience in Alberta for 70,000 members. Oliver served in the military for 20 years as an aerospace engineer including fighter operations, explosives engineering, flight test and development, microwave engineering and accident investigation. Oliver served in the military for 20 years as an aerospace engineer including fighter operations, explosives engineering, flight test and development, microwave engineering and accident investigation. He holds degrees in computer engineering, electrical engineering, divinity, and a graduate certificate in restorative justice. Past work included appeal commissioner, church minister and forensic engineer.

Oliver is a citizen of the Métis Nation (Alberta and Manitoba). He is a descendent of the Anderson family from the Red River Settlement with ancestral linkages to the Saulteaux nation.
Outside of his day job Oliver frequently talks on the contrast between Western scientific understandings of reality and Indigenous cosmology. This included a book chapter identifying barriers to reconciliation arising from a collision of cosmologies.



 

Begins: March 2, 2022 - 11:30am MST

Ends: - 1:00pm MST

Language(s): English

Location: Virtual

Age Range: Post-secondary (18 and older)

Register Here