Making use of an Okanagan lens on the trauma of colonialism on the native indigenous inhabitants has introduced nationwide recognition for Dr. Janet Armstrong of UBC Okanagan.
Dr. Armstrong admits that he by no means deliberate to dwell a life in academia. After graduating from college along with her bachelor’s diploma, she labored for native Indigenous organizations earlier than realizing that she may benefit from change from contained in the academy.
She returned to college, incomes each her grasp’s and doctorate, and Irving Okay. Barber started educating indigenous research on the School of Arts and Social Sciences. After serving as an affiliate professor for a number of years, writing, researching and being energetic in his group, Dr Armstrong was not too long ago elected to the Royal Society of Canada.
The Royal Society of Canada is a scholarly physique based in 1882 by John Campbell, ninth Duke of Argyll. Its goal is to advertise Canadian analysis and to acknowledge people who’ve made important contributions of their respective fields.
What does this approval from the Royal Society of Canada imply to you?
To be trustworthy, I’ve by no means been on the lookout for an id. I care deeply about my work and my focus has all the time been on how my analysis might help assist the Syilx Okanagan group. With that mentioned, I’m honored that my colleagues throughout the nation noticed the worth in my work and selected me. I’m actually wanting ahead to connecting with fellow students within the society. For individuals who do not know a lot in regards to the group—it has been very proactive in addressing an important points dealing with Canadians at present, and I am extremely excited to be part of it.
Society chooses solely those that have made outstanding contribution of their area. Are you able to talk about your space of analysis and the way it got here to be?
My analysis started systematically—after college, I started working with members in my group who weren’t teachers, however what elements of our historical past have been erased and what throughout these early years of colonization. There was a lot data about it. I actually needed to try to determine what was the legacy of this trauma from an Okanagan perspective, and work out what our folks misplaced.
I used to be persistent—I would not depart it alone. There was such an enormous hole between what non-Indigenous folks knew about us and what we knew about ourselves. I needed to ensure our college students have been studying the appropriate historical past, so it actually impressed me to return to college.
Along with my very own analysis, one other motivation was that I needed to draw Syilx and BC Inside Salish graduate college students to hitch me and analysis their very own histories, cultures, and languages. Growing these relationships is absolutely what I like most – working to advance data in our education and well being programs, and bringing consciousness to the authorized historical past associated to the administration and administration of our assets.
Along with being a researcher and an affiliate professor of Indigenous Research- you’re additionally the Canada Analysis Chair (CRC) in Okanagan Indigenous Data and Philosophy. How does this position match into your analysis?
It is extremely interconnected. To present somewhat background, the Okanagan Nation Alliance and the heads of our seven reserves at UBCO signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) and Indigenous Data Protocol Settlement in 2020—this, to me, was really the primary of its type in Canada. . , The settlement meant that something categorised as Okanagan or regarding our historical past, data or tradition could be honest and true.
My position as CRC serves as a bridge to make sure that the MoU is revered and applied appropriately throughout all disciplines, particularly when analysis is required for our nation. function. It is a dedication to reciprocity – we do our analysis and provides it again so the group can profit from it – a course of that is sacred to me. If nothing else I do in my life, it’s this concept of giving again data by analysis that I’m most happy with.
The disturbing occasions of 2021, together with the invention of 215 buried youngsters on the former Kamloops Indian Residential College, got here as a shock to many Canadians. Why is it necessary that we study the reality about Canada’s earlier years—and the way is public training linked to reconciliation?
Whereas I don’t communicate for anybody who’s a legacy of trauma, I do assume the general public ought to perceive the foundations of the oppression upon which our nation was based. Not solely colonization, but additionally socially and legally. There’s a persistently sturdy place by Canada that Indigenous rights are one thing that may be manipulated to extend their understanding of wider society. Shifting ahead, we have to elect leaders who can counter this narrative and assist educate the general public on our heritage.
I stay up for contributing to the dialog about how this may be completed with my new colleagues on the Royal Society of Canada. Reconciliation can’t be achieved with out the general public understanding and accepting the reality—regardless of how uncomfortable it could be.