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College of the Rockies to host Indigenous Speaker series

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In honour of Indigenous History Month in June, the College of the Rockies will host virtual presentations with three Indigenous speakers.

The college said the three speakers are Alfred Joseph, Michele A. Sam, and Marlin Ratch.

“We look forward to this opportunity to learn from the insights and perspectives Alfred, Michele, and Marlin will bring to this Speaker Series,” said Robin Hicks, Vice President, Academic.

National Indigenous History Month was first established in 2009 to honour the history, heritage, and diversity of Indigenous peoples across Canada.

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Each presentation will be free to the public, with details and registration online.

A short biography and details about each speaker’s event follows.

Alfred Joseph – June 2nd, 2 p.m.

Albert Joseph, Ktunaxa Elder, will lead a talk about reconciliation. (Supplied by College of the Rockies)

Alfred Joseph, a Ktunaxa Elder will lead a conversation about reconciliation. He was born in Invermere and lived his entire life in the region.

Joseph attended St. Eugene Residential School and completed middle and high school in Cranbrook.

After he graduated in 1970, he attended Olds Agricultural College and completed the Livestock Production Technology program before moving back. Joseph was elected onto Band Council and elected chief several times.

Joseph has lived in the community and has been involved in the preservation of the Ktunaxa language for the last 10 years.

Michele Sam – June 7th, 11 a.m.

Michele Sam, member of ʔaq̓am, will conduct a conversation about Indigenous peoples’ intellectual sovereignty and cognitive justice issues. (Supplied by College of the Rockies)

Michele Sam’s talk will explore Indigenous peoples’ intellectual sovereignty and cognitive justice issues inherent in ‘indigenizing’ and ‘decolonizing’ approaches.

The talk will look at the subject from a Ktunaxa perspective, and according to Ktunaxa knowledge systems, relationships and roles, and structures as she experiences them.

The college said Sam has familial ties across all six Ktunaxa/Ksanka communities and is a member of ʔaq̓am.

She returned to the Ktunaxa homelands a survivor of the 60s scoop.

Sam has earned graduate and undergraduate degrees in Social Work, English Literature, and Indigenous Learning. She is also working on a Ph.D. with a focus on Indigenous Peoples’ place-based reattachment to landscapes and waterways in light of intergenerational trauma and stress.

She was also elected to the Native Courtworkers and Counselling Association of BC’s Board and sits as the vice-president of the Executive Committee and the Governance Committee.

Marlin Ratch – June 15, 6:30 p.m.

a citizen of the Métis Nation and Red Seal Chef, will lead a discussion on Métis culture, traditions, and history. (Supplied by College of the Rockies)

Marlin Ratch, a Métis Nation citizen, Red Seal Chef, Career Counsellor and Apprenticeship Specialist, will discuss Métis culture, traditions, and history and explore how the Métis people are unique from First Nations and Inuit people.

Ratch has been involved in the cultural, political, and operations of the Métis Nation BC since 1995. He first worked as a career counselor and as the community’s executive assistant.

“He worked his way up to the top job of provincial director while simultaneously holding the role of manager of the Métis Skills Employment Centre trade school. For the past seven years, he has been employed as an Apprenticeship Advisor with the Industry Training Authority while remaining a volunteer in the Métis community as president and secretary/treasurer,” said the College of the Rockies.

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