Sport is widely recognized as a site for social change. During the “Canada 150” celebration in 2017, a number of First Nations in Alberta hosted the second World Indigenous Nations Games (WIN Games). Apart from the support from local Indigenous communities, the event also attracted a group of well-intended settler volunteers to contribute to its preparation and staging. What were their experiences in this unusual volunteering setting? Did they feel frustrated when facing different understandings of volunteering, events, and ways of organizing in Indigenous communities? How did they make sense of the frustrations? This presentation explores some important takeaways on settler responsibility (in building accountable relations with Indigenous Peoples) from these volunteers’ experiences.
Chen Chen is a grateful visitor from China to Treaty 6 Territory since 2014. Chen describes himself as a settler of colour who initially aspired to receive a more “advanced” education in the West. With no substantial knowledge about Indigenous Peoples prior to his arrival in North America, he struggled to make sense of the “Indigenous issues” of the settler state as well as his relationship to Indigenous Peoples. With the support and guidance of many Indigenous and non-Indigenous community members, he has started to unlearn the taken-for- granted colonial narrative, reflect on his unwitting participation within the settler colonial structure, and is endeavored to engage in an ethical and accountable relationship with Indigenous Peoples whose land he resides upon.
On the Edge: Emerging Scholars is a speaker series featuring cutting edge research presented by emerging scholars and researchers from Edmonton's academic community. Presented in partnership with the University of Alberta's Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research.