The Research Chair in Indigenous Knowledge, Daqualama Jocelyn Joe-Strack, aims to create foundations of Indigenous knowledge, experience, and ways of being in education and governance, to nurture social transformation. This program is an interdisciplinary research collaboration between Government of Yukon, UAlberta North and Yukon University.
The Research Chair in Indigenous Knowledge strives to uphold Indigenous values and practices in research, training, and knowledge sharing. The Chair oversees the Yukon First Nations Climate Action Fellowship, is committed to the revitalization of storytelling, and supports research projects, while increasing student opportunities in all aspects of the program. The program explores Indigenous revitalization, reconciliation, and reconnection for Yukon, Earth, and generations to come. Our work begins with ceremony, acknowledgement, and honour. We create a safe space of respect to pursue inner direction for our inquiry.
Long Ago, Yukon First Nation’s people were raised to balance their whole person. Elders ensured young ones were strong in mind, body, spirit, and heart. They were emotionally competent, smart, tough, and every action was part of ceremony.
Today, our society prioritizes our intellect. Our systems of education and governance are structured for logic-based decisions. The result is that many of us walk each day with only half of our being. This state of spiritual deficiency and emotional detachment I believe is part of the cause of some of our greatest challenges today, such as climate change, inequity, and our mental health crisis.
In my research and community service, I strive to create space and opportunity that welcomes and nurtures the whole self. This includes opening with ceremony, sharing and healing circles, acknowledging the spirit of all things, self-situating, taking the time needed and reconnection with land, language, story, song and art. I strive to expand participates awareness of what is and what is possible. From this space we can come to know the foundation of our query and then seek the path forward.
Written by Research Chair Jocelyn Joe-Strack.