On June 27th, Dr. Jo-Ann Episkenew, Director of the Indigenous Peoples’ Health Research Centre, was featured on a special episode of CBC Radio’s The Next Chapter. She was one of several Saskatchewan award-winning authors who were recorded together over a “prairie feast” lunch for the episode.
You can listen to the complete episode of CBC Radio's The Next Chapter featuring Jo-Ann's interview here. Her interview begins around the 33:00 mark.
If you would like to learn more about her book Taking Back Our Spirits: Indigenous Literature, Public Policy, and Healing, read an excerpt below.
Chapter 1, “Myth, Policy and Health” (p.1) in Taking Back Our Spirits: Indigenous Literature, Public Policy, and Healing by Jo-Ann Episkenew
In my second year as an undergraduate student, I had an epiphany. I realized that all knowledge worth knowing – or, more specifically, knowledge my university considered worth teaching – was created by the Greeks, appropriated by the Romans, disseminated throughout western Europe, and through colonialism eventually made its way to the rest of the people of the world, who apparently were sitting on their thumbs waiting for enlightenment. This was the subtext of the curriculum in all classes with the exception of Indigenous Studies. Given that my experience does not differ substantially from that of students at other universities in the West, I consider myself lucky to have attended a university that offered Indigenous Studies.
What an assault! As a Metis woman, I knew that Indigenous communities had created a body of knowledge that enabled our ancestors to survive for millennia before the Johnny-come-lately new nation-state of Canada established itself on top of Indigenous peoples’ lands. Because I was painfully aware of the injuries that colonialism and racism had inflicted on Indigenous communities, I was hell-bent to discover where these arrogant attitudes originated and establish who was to blame. (Although I was not young, I was still naïve at the time.) The best way, I thought, to accomplish this monumental task was to study stories.
For more information about any of Dr. Jo-Ann Episkenew's work, please contact:
Cassandra J. Opikokew
Knowledge Translation & Communications
Indigenous Peoples' Health Research Centre (IPHRC)
CK 115 University of Regina
3737 Wascana Parkway
Regina, SK S4S 0A2
Ph: (306) 337-2510
Cell: (306) 537-2043
Fax: (306) 585-5694