New book chapter: Raising Voices….

Laura Forsythe & Contributors — Book Launch

Saturday May 04 2019 7:00 pm – Grant Park in the Atrium, Winnipeg

Laura Forsythe & Contributors -- Book Launch

Launch of Research Journeys in/to Multiple Ways of Knowing (DIO Press) hosted by Niigaan Sinclair and featuring guests Dr. Robert Chrismas, Iloradanon Efimoff, Naithan Lagace, and Belinda Wandering Spirit Nicholson 

This book is an interdisciplinary collection of Indigenous research and scholarship that pushes boundaries of expectation and experience. While the topics are diverse there are many points of affinity across the issues including themes of identity, advocacy, community, rights, respect, and resistance. The authors present counter-narratives that disrupt colonial authority towards multiple ways of knowing.

Laura Forsythe, co-editor of this interdisciplinary and collaborative project, is a Métis Ph.D. student at the University of Manitoba in the Department of Native Studies working in Métis Educational Sovereignty with a University of Manitoba Graduate Fellowship. Forsythe works as the Métis Inclusion Coordinator for the University of Manitoba.

Iloradanon Efimoff is a Haida and European Settler from the North West Coast of BC and a 2018 Vanier Scholar. As a Ph.D. student at the University of Manitoba in the Department of Psychology Efimoff focuses on creating anti-racist educational interventions to reduce racism directed towards Indigenous people on campus

Naithan Lagace is a Métis Masters of Arts in the Department of Native Studies whose research focuses on the complexities of Indigenous Peoples and their representations in video games. Currently, Naithan is teaching Indigenous focused courses at the University of Winnipeg as well as the University of Manitoba and will continue their academic career in a Ph.D. program in September 2020.

Belinda Wandering Spirit Nicholson is an Indigenous Ally and Master student in the Department of Native Studies whose research focuses on deconstructing the coded messages of whiteness found in missionary’s texts used with Indigenous children in the Great Lakes area. Wandering Spirit Nicholson is a mother of five and a long-standing teaching assistant at the University of Manitoba.

Dr. Bob Chrismas completed a Doctorate in Peace and Conflict Studies at the Arthur V. Mauro Centre for Peace and Justice at the University of Manitoba focused on interrupting sex trafficking and exploitation of Indigenous women and girls in Canada. Chrismas was awarded the University of Manitoba Distinguished Dissertation Award. With over thirty-five years of law enforcement experience in Manitoba, Chrismas started his career during Manitoba’s Aboriginal Justice Inquiry and has published widely on Justice issues in Canada.

Host Dr. Niigaan Sinclair is Anishinaabe (St. Peter’s/Little Peguis), a Winnipeg Free Press Columnist, and associate professor in the Department of Native Studies at the University of Manitoba.

Thank-you Jennifer and Laura, for adding my chapter on violence the Canada’s strong Indigenous women have contended with.

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Research Journeys in/to Multiple Ways of Knowing is an interdisciplinary collection of Indigenous research and scholarship that pushes boundaries of expectation and experience. While the topics are diverse, there are many points of affinity across the issues including themes of identity, advocacy, community, rights, respect, and resistance. The authors present counter-narratives that disrupt colonial authority towards multiple ways of knowing.

Regardless of worldview or specialization, the chapters in this book have something to offer. Like the whorl of a spiral, the curve can be observed as traveling inward or outward. At different points in the conversations, the assertions may be congruent or disparate from the reader’s perspective. The discussions may resonate on individual or societal levels. While tensions may arise, the push and pull of competing constructs demonstrates that the ideas are connected and held in relationship to one another—negotiating alterity is a space of reconciliation. Together the pieces contrast, blend, and broaden the landscape of Indigenous research and decolonizing discourse.

“I hope you enjoy the critical and creative gifts here and witness and participate in the vibrancy, dynamism, and beauty of Indigenous scholarship.” – Niigaan Sinclair, Associate Professor, Department of Native Studies, University of Manitoba, from the Foreword of Research Journeys in/to Multiple Ways of Knowing.

Cover art by: Jonathan Chin. The spiral image was drawn to represent the seven sacred teachings and honours the artwork of Dr. Joane Cardinal-Schubert. The art piece was created in winter 2016, as part of a final assignment in the EDUC 530 – Indigenous Education course, within the undergraduate teacher education program in the Werklund School of Education, University of Calgary.

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PAYING IT FORWARD: teaching

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Staff Sgt. Bob Chrismas, a 30-year veteran of the Winnipeg Police Service, is the newly appointed instructor of RRC’s Justice and Public Safety program, available via part-time or online delivery.

“They (the College) reached out to me. They said they needed an instructor for a course called Policing in the 21stCentury,” says Chrismas, now 56.

“I called back and said ‘Are you kidding? I literally wrote the book.’”

He’s not joking. In 2013, McGill-Queen’s University Press published Chrismas’ book Canadian Policing in the 21stCentury: A Frontline Officer on Challenges and Changes. It was the runner up for best non-fiction at the 2014 Manitoba Book Awards.

Like the book, RRC’s Policing in the 21stCentury course will examine the history of policing and changes in policing philosophy, while also exploring what law enforcement may look like in the future.

“Some major issues are how we engage technology, centralizing versus decentralizing, and being proactive as opposed to reactive — community-oriented rather than just reacting to issues,” Chrismas explains.

“My passion that’s developed within the police service is trying to be more proactive and preventative. You get a much better bang for your buck out of crime prevention in the long run. With reacting, you’re often not addressing the root of the problem. You’re just reacting and arresting people.”

Currently, Chrismas is second in charge of the WPS’s Community Support Unit, overseeing such sections as Crime Prevention, Diversity Relations, Indigenous Partnerships, Victim Services, School Education and School Resource Officers, and the Cadet program.

“It’s all proactive, community engagement, community relations-type work,” Chrismas says.

“I guess mid-career, I took on a stronger interest in being more collaborative and community-oriented. I was a hardcore investigator. I worked in a lot of specialty areas, but when I started getting involved in counter-exploitation work and child abuse — eventually I ended up running our Missing Persons Unit — I really realized that the police can’t tackle any of these major social issues alone. We need to be only a part of a system, a collaborative effort.”

Last year, Chrismas earned a doctorate in Peace and Conflict Studies from the University of Manitoba. In 2009, he earned a Master of Public Administration jointly from the University of Winnipeg and University of Manitoba.

Chrismas’ dissertation, titled Modern Day Slavery and the Sex Industry: Raising the Voices of Survivors and Collaborators while Confronting Sex Trafficking and Exploitation in Manitoba, Canada, won the university’s Distinguished Dissertation Award for 2017.

Chrismas’ success in his studies is made all the more impressive by the fact that at age 16 he quit high school to enter the workforce.

“I wanted to be a good role model for my four kids. I wanted to exercise my full potential and try to self-actualize,” he says.

“I left school when I was young, but I knew it was important to eventually go back. When I had an opportunity to do it later as an older adult, I just couldn’t waste the opportunity. I always tell people not to flush an opportunity down the toilet. There are billions of people in the world who would give their right arm to go to school.”

In addition to being a police officer and a published author, Chrismas recently started a consulting company, writing and speaking on “policing trends, community collaboration, collective impact and governance,” according to his website, www.bchrismas.com

The Canadian Policing in the 21st Century course will run Thursday evenings starting in April.

“I’ve had the privilege of being able to go all the way through my MPA and PhD — and my career in policing — and I really feel compelled to give back to the community by teaching a course,” Chrismas said.

“I’m trying to pay it forward for all the opportunities that I’ve had.”

Profile by Jared Story (Creative Communications, 2005)

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