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AlterKnowledge provides a venue for so-called “alternative” knowledge to be shared and valued, and for dominant systems of “knowledge” to be altered. It focuses on critical engagement with the way colonialism continues to shape relationships and identities, and it aims to foster community-based knowledge-making, bringing people together to discuss, share, and (un)learn, as a practice of decolonization.

Upcoming events:

Film Screening and Panel Discussion - (Dis)placed Indigenous Youth and the Child Welfare System 

Friday, Feb. 23, 6:30 pm | Ki-Low-Na Friendship Society, 442 Leon Ave. 

Join us for a screening of this new documentary followed by a panel of youth who will discuss their experienced with the child welfare system.

About the film: Canada's colonial practice of forcibly removing Indigenous children from their families did not end with the closing of Indian Residential schools. It continues today in the form of provincial and territorial child welfare systems, which remove Indigenous children and youth at alarmingly high rates. Read more...

2017-2018 Diuscssions

Open Stickgames 

Friday, Dec. 8, 7:00 pm | Alternator Centre for Contemporary Art, 421 Cawston Ave. 

Join Krystal Lezard (spaxwawlm-northern lights) of the sylix people, for this interactive workshop in which participants will play stickgames, a guessing game used by sylix/Okanagan people, pre-contact, for handling business disputes.

Commemorating Pandosy: Why and How are Settler "Founders" Remembered? 

Saturday, Sept. 23, 2:00 - 3:30 pm | Father Pandosy Mission, 3685 Benvoulin Road

2016-2017 Discussions 

Told but Unheard: Racial and Cultural Barriers in Immigrant Settlement and Integration 

Friday, March 24, 7:00 - 8:30 pm | Alternator Centre for Contemporary Art, 421 Cawston Ave

The obligation to help...and have fun! 

Wednesday, February 8, 2:00 - 3:30 pm | UNC 200 (UBCO Campus Ballroom)

This participatory workshop will guide participants through a critical analysis of the visual and textual rhetoric of international development marketing on campus in a way that seeks to foreground our various experiences and social positions. The workshop will be facilitated by David Jefferess, who teaches Cultural Studies and English. 

Min Sook Lee - Film Screening & Community Forum | Migrant Dreams: Migrant Workers Resist

Friday, February 24, 6:00 pm | Mary Irwin Theatre, RCA, 421 Cawston Ave
Hosted by the AlterKnowledge Discussion Series and the Cultural Studies Annual Visiting Speaker Program.

Are We Really Helping?

Friday, January 20, 7:00 pm, Alternator Centre for Contemporary Art, 421 Cawston Ave

A discussion about humanitarianism and international development.

Global inequality is often described in terms of those who are fortunate and those who are unfortunate. Here in Canada, we are taught to recognize our good fortune and to give back, to help. But are we really helping? Kezia Elaschuk, Safeera Jaffer-Hirji, and Hailey Myers will initiate the discussion, providing critical reflections on their experience with, and research on, humanitarianism and development work. Why are we urged to volunteer? How are we supposed to feel? What does it mean to empower others or to feel empowered? How does the responsibility to help others produce a particular identity or status?

Paddle Together: Truth and Reconciliation in Education

Friday, December 9, 2016, 7:00 p.m | Salloum Rehearsal Hall, RCA, 421 Cawston Ave

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada has made recommendations for sweeping changes to the way people in Canada learn about Canada’s history, the relationship between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples, and the knowledge and lifeways of Indigenous communities. Recent changes to the British Columbia K-12 curriculum implement First Peoples Principles of learning across the curriculum. Join us for a discussion of education for reconciliation, initiated by Kevin Kaiser, proud member of Stellat’en First Nation, and Aboriginal Education Resource Teacher/Consultant for School District 23.

solidarity trumps hate. 

Friday, December 2, 2016, 3:00-5:00 p.m | SCI 247, UBCO Campus

The vitriol of Trump's hate-based campaign and the emergence of the Alt-Right white supremacist movement reflect a long history of white supremacy that has uneven effects in our daily lives. Join us for this Alterknowledge discussion focusing on the way our experience is shaped by colonial racism and how we can act to challenge injustice and engage in meaningful solidarity. 

Discussion addresses Colonial Settlement of BC
Friday, November 18, 2016, 7:00 pm |  Ki-Low-Na Friendship Society, 442 Leon Avenue

What is the colonial history of settlement in BC, and why is it important to present-day relations between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples? The next AlterKnowledge discussion focuses on the invasion and settlement of BC—and fosters a rethinking of our relationships to one another through this history.   

The discussion will be initiated by Pauline Terbasket (Executive Director, Okanagan Nation Alliance), and Mariel Belanger (MFA student at UBC’s Okanagan campus)—both members of the Syilx (Okanagan) Nation. Taking direction from historic accords and documents such as the Memorial to Sir Wilfrid Laurier (co-authored in 1910 by the Chiefs of the Syilx, Secwepemc, and Nlaka'pamux nations) this discussion explores the contemporary responsibilities of all citizens to the goal of just co-existence.

Many Africas | Talking about unheard stories

Friday, October 21, 2016, 7:00 pm |  Alternator Centre for Contemporary Art, 421 Cawston Ave

Why is a continent with over 50 different nation states, 2000 different languages and over a billion people represented as a homogeneous place, “Africa”? Why is this diverse continent constantly defined by singular stories: the story of poverty, the story of war, the story of aid? What comes to mind when you hear the name, Africa? Join us for a discussion initiated by UBC student Trophy Ewila about the stereotypes of Africa and the need to listen to the diverse unheard stories of the continent. 

The Social impacts of tourism
Friday, September 23, 2016, 7:00 pm |  Alternator Centre for Contemporary Art, 421 Cawston Ave

Adriana Piscitelli, an award-winning cultural anthropologist at the University of Campinas (Brazil), who studies sex tourism, will initiate the discussion. The discussion will focus on how contemporary tourism is connected to historical processes and systems of inequality and oppression. 

Alterknowledge 2015-16

The AlterKnowledge Discussion Series is a monthly forum for public dialogue, bringing university and community participants together to discuss issues of social concern for members of the Okanagan community. For UBC’s Centennial year, AlterKnowledge is offering a special calendar of events to explore themes of “Relation, Identity, and Place” in the Okanagan. Focusing on historical and present-day relations between Indigenous peoples and newcomers or settlers, the series asks: How do students and citizens participate in place-making activities, contributing to public memory on campus and in the community? And what does it mean to be a guest in traditional Syilx territory, particularly since the Okanagan Nation first welcomed UBC to the valley in 2005? One hundred years after UBC’s founding, and ten years after the Okanagan Campus officially opened its doors, the AlterKnowledge Centennial Series will lead our campus and community in public conversations about our relationships and responsibilities to place.

Events are free and open to the public. Join us September-May for monthly discussion events, held in downtown Kelowna at the Alternator Centre for Contemporary Art. Take part in three different site-visits to locations—including ECOmmunity Place on the Penticton Indian Band Reserve—where participants will receive hands-on, place-based workshop experiences. Or, attend public panel discussions—one downtown Kelowna, and one on campus—where community and university leaders will discuss how public memories of place are formed, and how we might enact more socially responsible relationships to place.

Information on the complete calendar of Centennial events, times, and locations can be found below. Visit our Facebook Page for updates, photos, and news related to the AlterKnowledge series. AlterKnowledge is organized by Allison Hargreaves and David Jefferess. 

Unsettling Canada: A Discussion with Arthur Manuel

Friday, September 18th, 7:00-8:30 pm | Salloum Rehearsal Hall, Rotary Centre for the Arts, 421 Cawston Ave, Kelowna

Join us in conversation with Arthur Manuel—internationally recognized activist, leader, and advocate for Aboriginal title and rights in Canada. Co-author (with Grand Chief Ronald Derrickson) of Unsettling Canada: A National Wake-up Call, Manuel will discuss with us the political struggles documented in his recent book, and how we might unsettle common Canadian conceptions of relationship, identity, and place.    

Reckoning with Colonial History, Now

Friday, October 16th, 7 to 8:30 pm | Alternator Gallery for Contemporary Art, 421 Cawston Ave

Colonization continues to shape our relationships to place, and to each other. Arguably, all Canadian citizens have a responsibility to understand the colonial histories of their home community. But what might this look like in practice, and how can we represent colonial histories responsibly? Join UBC visual arts lecturer Tannis Nielsen and fine arts graduate student Amberley John for a discussion about the possibilities of reckoning—in art and in activism—with colonial histories, now.

A Conversation with Grouse & Pamela Barnes, Wildrose Native Traditions 

Friday, Dec. 11, 2015, 7:00 pm | Alternator Gallery for Contemporary Art, 421 Cawston  Ave

What Does it Mean to be the Problem? Artists Respond to Racism and Unearned Privilege

January 15, 2016, 7:00 pm |  Alternator Centre for Contemporary Art, 421 Cawston Ave

Exhibition and Discussion - click here for more information on the exhibition.  

Residential Schooling and Memoir

February 19, 2016, 7:00 pm |  Ki-Low-Na Friendship Society, 442 Leon Ave
Discussion with Bev Sellars

What Does it Mean to be a "Settler" (Today)?

March 18, 2016, 7:00 pm |  Alternator Centre for Contemporary Art, 421 Cawston Ave

Traditional Ecology

April 22, 2016, 7:00 pm |  ECOmmunity Place
Site Visit and Discussion

Past Events

Last reviewed shim2/8/2018 11:14:38 AM


Dr. David Jefferess
Associate Professor, Cultural Studies

Dr. Allison Hargreaves
Assistant Professor, English

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