October 22, 2013 - 4:23am

The public is invited to a series of free speaking events at Vancouver Island University about Aboriginal research.

The first lecture in the series entitled Respectful Research: Its Meaning in Practice takes place Thursday, Oct. 24, from 7-9 pm, in VIU’s Library Boardroom (5TH floor), Nanaimo campus.

Dr. Lewis Williams, a Maori scholar-researcher, educator and social innovator, originally from Tamaki Makaurau (Auckland) and Danielle Alphonse, VIU's BC Regional Innovation Chair in Aboriginal Early Childhood Education, will speak on their ongoing research and practice.

Dr. Williams is editor of a recent book entitled Radical Human Ecology, which is receiving global recognition.

Human ecology - the study and practice of relationships between the natural and the social environment – is gaining prominence as scholars seek effective ways to engage with pressing global concerns.

In the past 70 years most human ecology has skirted the fringes of geography, sociology and biology, but Dr. Lewis Williams pioneers radical new directions.

In particular, the book explores the power of indigenous and traditional peoples' epistemologies both to critique and to complement insights from modernity and postmodernity.

Aimed at an international readership, its contributors show that an inter-cultural and transdisciplinary approach is required.

In the foreword of the book, Richard J. Borden, the Rachel Carson Chair in Human Ecology, College of the Atlantic and Past-President/Executive Director, Society for Human Ecology, states: 'Below the clamour of a bustling world, this volume imparts the seeds of a radical alternative for human ecology. They lie beneath the surface: amid the whispered voices at the margin, in the praxis of traditional spirituality, along the dusty road of post modernism, and from the ivy halls of science. This is not the human ecology of a prehistoric fireside or an academic symposium. It is an unconventional and timely pedagogy of hope.'

VIU’s Indigenous Teaching and Scholarship Series is intended to provide an ongoing forum for faculty, staff, students and interested members of the public to gain more familiarity with issues affecting Aboriginal Education approaches, especially related to teaching and scholarship.

The series will inform the framing of a VIU Aboriginal Education Plan, but perhaps more importantly, it initiates a helpful, authentic engagement with those who are teaching, learning, and researching in this region or with Aboriginal communities.

The free lecture, offered in partnership with VIU’s Research and Scholarly Activity Office, takes place at VIU’s Nanaimo campus, 900 Fifth Street, Nanaimo, in Building 305/Room 507 (fifth floor). Refreshments will be served.

For more information please contact



Janina Stajic, Manager, Vancouver Island University P: 250.740.6288

E: Twitter: @VIUNews

Tags: In the Community

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