TRUFA Equity Committee Report, February 2018

Equity Committee Report February 2018

by Jenna Woodrow, Co-Chair

Recent Events

“What We Talk About When We Talk About Equity” Art, Access, and Visual Inspection” with Matt Rader (UBCO) was held on January 26. This interactive art-making workshop forefronted Matt Rader and Carmen Papalia’s “Radical” or “Open” Access Theory, which promotes thinking of accessibility as a creative, long-term process. Open Access Theory does not focus on built environments but centres on ideas about agency and power.

The Five Tenets of Open Access

  1. Open Access relies on those present, what their needs are and how they can find support with each other and in their communities. It is a perpetual negotiation of trust between those who practice support as a mutual exchange.
  2. Open Access is radically different than a set of policies that is enforced in order to facilitate a common experience for a group with definitive needs. It acknowledges that everyone carries a body of local knowledge and is an expert in their own right.
  3. Open Access is the root system of embodied learning. It cultivates trust among those involved and enables each member to self-identify and occupy a point of orientation that is based in complex embodiment.
  4. Open Access disrupts the disabling conditions that limit one’s agency and potential to thrive. It reimagines normalcy as a continuum of embodiments, identities, realities and learning styles, and operates under the tenet that interdependence is central to a radical restructuring of power.
  5. Open Access is a temporary, collectively held space where participants can find comfort in disclosing their needs and preferences with one another. It is a responsive support network that adapts as needs and available resources change.

“INCLUSIVE EDUCATION: The Power of Diversity

The TRUFA Equity Committee, together with School District 73, presented “Inclusive Education: The Power of Diversity” on February 22, 6:30-8:30 pm, in the Mountain Room of the Campus Activity Centre.  Four distinguished panelists shared their personal stories and best practices for advancing inclusion in our community.

Chris Mosier

First transgender man to make the men’s US National Team and passionate advocate for the inclusion of LGBTQ+ people in sport

Elisabeth Walker-Young

Four-time Team Canada Paralympian and champion for inclusion and accessibility in sport

Dr. Nan Stevens

Teacher educator and inclusive education academic committed to celebrating and educating about difference

Michelle Webster

Gold medal Team BC coach at the 2014 NAIG, ISPARC Regional Coordinator, and Program Director at Splatsin First Nation

šxʷʔam̓ət (home)!

The TRUFA Equity Committee helped to bring Theatre for the Living’s interactive play šxʷʔam̓ət (home)! to our community February 25, 7:30 pm, where it was presented in the Grand Hall, CAC at TRU. The play was created and performed by Indigenous and non-Indigenous cast members. Terryl Atkins and Jeffrey McNeil-Seymour, with the organizational help of Jeffrey’s Social Work Students, modeled the intersections of social justice advocacy and action toward reconciliation through art as praxis for social consciousness raising.

Upcoming Events


Dr. Manulani Aluli Meyer, International Indigenous Scholar-Practitioner- UH West

Oʻahu Konohiki – Kūlana o Kapolei Will be presenting “HOLOGRAPHIC EPISTEMOLOGY: NATIVE COMMON SENSE” March 7, 2.30 3.45 pm, as a Guest Scholar for IDays. Her presentation will be in rooms: OM 3732, 3752 & 3762 (conjoined). We warmly welcome everyone and hope you will encourage your friends, colleagues, and students to attend.

Manulani Aluli Meyer will also be providing an early morning address on International Women’s Day, organized by the SoWC, and co-sponsored by the Equity Committee.

Masuma Khan

The Equity Committee is applying to bring Masuma Khan to TRU to speak on International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination March 21st, 2018.

Born and raised in unceded unsurrendered Mi’kmaq Territory, Masuma is a twenty-two-year-old Muslim Afghan Settler. Now in her fourth year of International Development Studies at Dal, Masuma is currently Vice-President Academic and External of the Dalhousie Studnet Union. Masuma also works with the school’s Sexual Harassment and Assault Resource Group, organizes public lectures to combat Islamophobia and is the Outgoing-President of Dal’s Muslim Student Association. Masuma is also a determined, engaged activist in her own right. Over the last year, she has led thousands of students into the streets to protest high tuition fees, spoke at the local Women’s March on Washington and organized a public vigil after the deadly Quebec City mosque shooting. Most recently Masuma has challenged Dalhousie University in their action to discipline her based on her stance on recognizing the whitewashing of so-called Canada’s history, the ongoing colonialism within the Canadian state nation, and calling out whiteness that has perpetuated from such colonial structures.Propelling her into activism is the constant frustration that comes with being an Afghan woman, a Muslim woman, a racialized woman and a disabled woman.

INDIAN HORSE Saturday, March 10 at 6 pm

We will be sponsoring the screening of Richard Wagamese’s Indian Horse in the Kamloops Film Festival on March 10, 2018. Canada Directed by Stephen S. Campanelli, In English and in Ojibwe with English subtitles, Drama, 100 minutes, Rated 14A: sexual violence


Based on the bestselling book by award-winning author Richard Wagamese (1955-2017), a Kamloops resident until his death in March of last year, this film sheds light on the dark history of Canada’s Residential Schools and the indomitable spirit of the Indigenous people. In the late 1950’s Ontario, eight-year-old Saul Indian Horse is torn from his Ojibway (Anishnaabe) family and committed to one of Canada’s notorious Catholic Residential Schools. In this oppressive environment, Saul is denied the freedom to speak his language or embrace his Indigenous heritage while he witnesses horrendous abuse at the hands of the very people entrusted with his care. Despite this, Saul finds salvation in the unlikeliest of places – hockey.

Indian Horse: Circle Discussion

On March 9, the final day of IDays, together with the Indigenous Health Committee, we will be sponsoring a circle discussion as a prelude to the screening of Indian Horse in the Film Fest (March 10). The event is meant to highlight the impact of the late Richard Wagamese’s work. The film producers, as well as Richard Wagamese’s relation Edna Manitowabi, Anishnaabekwe, is Bear Clan, a Grandmother, and Great-Grandmother, of Ojibway/Odawa ancestry originally from Wikwemikong, Manitoulin Island. A fifth-degree Midewewin teacher and seeker of Indigenous knowledge, Edna is one of the founders and teachers of Minwaywaygaan Midewewiwin Lodge, Rosseau River, Manitoba. Her role within the Lodge includes translation/interpretation of stories, direction, teachings, and songs – Ojibway to English.



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