Jun 1

Big Thinking at Congress

Leroy Little Bear, educator, academic, author, former chair of the Native American Studies Department, University of Lethbridge, and founding Director of Harvard University’s Native American Program

Big Thinking and rethinking: Blackfoot metaphysics 'waiting in the wings'

June 1, 2016 at the University of Calgary

All societies work to instill in younger generations a cultural metaphysic that includes key concepts, customs, practices and social values for the survival and continuation of the society. But is the dominant western academic cultural metaphysic still serving our needs? This keynote explored this question by comparing western academic metaphysics to an alternative one: a Blackfoot cultural metaphysic that has developed from unique relationships to land, the ecosystem and the observable cosmos over a thousand generations in the northern plains.

Leroy Little Bear is a long-time advocate for First Nations education, having served as Director of the Harvard University Native American Program, and helping to design the Bachelor of Management in First Nations Governance at the University of Lethbridge. Little Bear was born and raised on the Blood Indian Reserve (Kainai First Nation). He was one of the first Native students to complete a program of study at the University of Lethbridge, and completed a Juris Doctor Degree at the College of Law, University of Utah. In 2003, Little Bear was awarded the National Aboriginal Achievement Award for Education.

This lecture took place in English, with simultaneous interpretation in French.