As the pandemic evolves and we all seek ways to stay connected while apart, the First Peoples House of Learning (FPHL) has found a way to help Indigenous learners continue to build a sense of community.
The Facebook group ‘Ishkodehwin Live’ offers a virtual space for Trent’s community of Indigenous learners to converse while finding support, inspiration, access to knowledge and new learnings.
Bringing Indigenous history and culture online
Trent’s Peterborough campus has several dedicated spaces for gathering and learning about Indigenous history and culture. These spaces are important to cultivating empathy, respect and positive connection between students, faculty, staff, and the public and include the Tipi, Medicine Garden, Gathering Space, Cedar Room or Traditional Area in Peterborough, as well as the Tipi at the Trent Durham campus.
In bringing Ishkodehwin to a virtual platform, the goal is to bring some of the best qualities of these spaces and continue to support a community of Indigenous scholars. With the help of collective discussions, informative graphics, entertainment, visuals and reflective posts, the new virtual space can sustain a sense of closeness and a desire to share with one another.
The hope is also that students can find a sense of belonging and joy in the little interactions and pieces of the FPHL home. Discussions and interactions are meant to be welcoming, inclusive, gentle, yet impactful.
FPHL is spending the summer developing programming for the fall that may including virtual social fire hang outs, craft nights, cooking sessions, pow wow dance offs, Q&As, storytelling evenings and more.
This fall, Ishkodehwin Live will be a place of resources, programming, community and an overall hub of warmth for any Indigenous student to join. This new way of building community is meant to ensure students feel acknowledged and supported anytime, from wherever they are.