An engaging panel discussion titled, ‘Indigenous and Muslim Perspectives on Colonisation, Treaties and Decolonisation’ was held virtually on Thursday, February 17th. The event was organized by Emmanuel College's Centre for Religion and Its Contexts, and co-sponsored by Justice for All Canada and Olive Tree Foundation.
The panel explored Indigenous and Muslim perspectives on the concepts and effects of colonisation, decolonisation and treaties and was moderated by Katherine Bullock and featured three speakers - Susan Hill, John Andrew Morrow, and Salman Sayyid.
“Today the conversation is around treaties,” said Dr. Katherine Bullock. “While today’s topic might seem very abstract, thought leadership is crucial in helping shape the way and language helps shape our understanding of the past, present and how to move forward.”
Susan Hill is the director of the Centre for Indigenous Studies, University of Toronto and has a joint appointment with the Department of History and the Centre for Indigenous Studies. Hill’s academic training includes a PhD in Native Studies from Trent University, MA in American Studies from SUNY-Buffalo, BA in history from the University of Michigan.
John Andrew Morrow received his PhD from the University of Toronto where he studied Hispanic, Native, and Islamic Studies. He worked as a university professor for two decades and has published hundreds of scholarly articles and dozens of academic books, including The Covenants of the Prophet Muhammad with the Christians of the World.
Salman Sayyid is a professor of rhetoric and decolonial thought at the University of Leeds, and head of the School of Sociology and Social Policy. He is the author of numerous works on Islamism, Islamophobia, critical Muslim studies, decolonial thought, and the founding editor of ReOrient: The Journal of Critical Muslim Studies.
“Many of us don’t understand what happened in the past - ‘I wasn’t there’ is a common phrase and many are resentful for being held accountable for something that happened in the past,” said Dr. Katherin Bullock in her opening remarks. “What we need to understand is that we weren’t there in those eras when treaties were signed or not signed. But we are here now and we are the beneficiaries of what happened.”
“We live on an injustice - it is a very hard thing to grapple with and to come to terms with. We must play our part in bringing about justice and reconciliation.”
The event is the third in a series of very successful panels organized by Emmanuel College's Centre for Religion and Its Contexts exploring Indigenous-Muslim perspectives on common issues of importance to the contemporary world.
The previous two panels engaged in conversations around “Indigenous and Muslim Traditional Healing Practices in a Modern Context” (2019) and “Indigenous-Muslim Perspectives on Climate Change" (2021).