Dr. Kim Anderson (PhD '10)
Tell us about yourself
I am Métis, with Red River, Manitoba roots, but I have lived in Ontario most of my life. I am a researcher and Associate Professor, working out of the Department of Family Relations and Applied Nutrition at Guelph where I hold a Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Relationships. Most of my research work has to do with gender and Indigenenity and urban Indigenous peoples, but I have also recently begun to explore how to bring Indigenous ways of knowing and being into the academy.
What does National Indigenous History Month and National Indigenous People’s Day mean to you?
As a historian, I am really glad that people are encouraged to learn about Canadian/colonial history as well as the histories of Indigenous peoples living in Canada. This is the “truth” part of the truth and reconciliation process, and it is so important to connect what happened in our collective past to the lived experiences of Indigenous peoples today. For me, learning about Indigenous history is also a way to understand the genius of Indigenous cultures as we reclaim our ways and shape our Indigenous futures.
Can you tell us about your work on Nokom’s House?
Nokom’s House is a land-based research hub that I am building in the University of Guelph Arboretum with Dr. Sheri Longboat, in the School of Environmental Design and Rural Development and Dr. Brittany Luby in the Department of History. Our main research question is “What would happen if you created a space for engagement with “all our relations” – human, non-human/natural world and ancestral. Nokom means grandmother in Anishinaabemowin and we decided to build a grandmother’s house in the Arboretum to make space for all those relationships to flourish.
What is the impact you hope Nokom’s House will have at U of G and in the wider community?
I think Nokom’s House will give us insight about Indigenous ways of teaching, learning and creating knowledge. We will be able to explore what a land-based grandmother space does and consider how this is different from typical university environments. The wider Indigenous community will participate in activities that are part of this research, which will include creative work, land-based learning, language revitalization, and ceremony.
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