​​Indigenous Thoughts Network 



PHILOSOPHY AND RELIGION

PHILOSOPHY BY REGION

BRUCE FERGUSON'S

PROJECTS

​Where the Rivers Meet (WTRM) Website

APPENDIX 4 - Representational Answers for Question 4
RATIONALE FOR QUESTION 4


​QUESTION # 4 - Do you work with any other faculty members in an inter-disciplinary manner who focus on indigenous thoughts or issues (i.e. Native Studies, English, Social Science departments in regards to indigenous issues?

This question's simple goal was to explore inter-disciplinary approaches and partnerships that include philosophy and Indigenous Studies, or other departments (history, anthropology, psyschology, science, ETC.)



COMPARATIVE PHILOSOPHY - Models to look at.

  • philosophy which make links between philosophical ideas in different cultures. The journal *comparative philosophy*edited by Bo Mou ​is an example.


CHALLENGES TO INTER-DISCIPLINARY APPROACHES LINKING PHILOSOPHY AND OTHER DEPARTMENTS.

  • In the 1980s ... , but disciplinary boundaries were pretty strict in those days. Late in my career, before I retired, the University was trying to promote that sort of thing, but what interest there was was limited to the pragmatic areas you mentioned.


RELATIVE LITTLE IN THE WAY OF INTER-DISCIPLINARY COMMUNICATION ON THE PART OF PHILOSOPHERS.  (the answers here are a bit disturbing)

  • These questions are either answered above, or pertain to folks who are still teaching in the university.
  • No, unfortunately, there is no such connection.
  • I don’t do this much, but others in the department do so. 
  • I don't do any inter-disciplinary work, except for reading.
  • No
  • No.  But I do consulting on organizational ethics and have had opportunities to meet indigenous peoples on reserve in the past.  Today I work with police agencies but would be interested in working with indigenous police services.
  • [A professor] teaches a course in Native Philosophy, which counts towards credit in the Philosophy program.  But that's not a matter of me working in an interdisciplinary way with him."
  • I don't work with any other faculty in any interdisciplinary capacity on indigenous thought. It doesn't help that [name of university]does not currently have an Indigenous Studies programme.
  • No, I don't work with anyone on these issues.
  • No
  • I don’t work with other faculty on interdisciplinary matters having to do with IT.
  • ​No
  • Not currently.
  • I am often engaged in discussion with members of our Indigenous Studies program, though I have not done formal research with them.
  • no, sadly


DIFFICULTY IN FINDING SPEAKERS IN SPECIFIC FIELDS -

  • My main experience so far is that it is difficult to get people to do this, or in some cases even to respond. I do have a guest speaker this year who identifies as an indigenous person, but from Africa, not North America. 


ABORIGINAL PARTICIPATION IN UNIVERSITY DECISION MAKING -  WHEN ABORIGINAL POLITICS INTERFERES IN EDUCATION - A MAJOR CRITICISM OF INDIGENOUS ACADEMICS

  • One problem is that, at least at my university, to develop any courses or to pursue any projects whose focus is explicitly on or about or with indigenous people means agreeing to have such projects vetted by what is here called the [name of indigenous governance council], an advisory body composed of University Management, Aboriginal Students, and several external Aboriginal organizations.
  • I am not willing to submit any project to this sort of vetting (in no other area of study is any external body empowered to intrude upon academic freedom in this way,)  and so i don’t pursue such projects. 
  • Other problem I have encountered is that I have on several occasions proposed courses on Aboriginal Thought (both contemporary and historical), and have seen others propose courses geared explicitly to indigenous  students (such as critical thinking through traditional stories or narratives), only to see such courses shot down as intruding on aboriginal prerogatives or because i am not myself [aboriginal]
  • Too many of my colleagues shy away from anything that smacks of anything indigenous for fear of being labelled insensitive or arrogant or racist. The field is therefore left open only to the very few IP faculty members that we have.


INTERDISCIPLINARY PHILOSOPHY

  • I am an interdisciplinary philosopher and work with a wide range of both academic and non-academic people. Social Justice Studies and Indigenous Learning at Lakehead are two academic units that I work with, but the women who run the traditional medicine and foods program at the Meno Ya Win Health Centre I also count as colleagues. The two healers that I spent time with are teachers, although I try to support them if ever they ask.


UNIVERSITY-COMMUNITY PROJECTS - INTERDISCIPLINARY APPROACHES IN INDIGENOUS COMMUNITIES

  • "You know of Philosophy for Children Alberta, Eurekamp, and of EugenicsArchive.ca , I think, which are three projects with promise here ....

STUDENT LED RESEARCH PROJECT


APPENDIX 4- Range of Answers Provided for E-mail questionaire - Question 4