Land-based Decolonization: Embodying Reciprocity and Responsibility

The Department of Educational Studies Presents the 2023 Buttedahl Memorial Lecture

May 25th, 2023

3 pm to 4:30 pm

Sty-Wet-Tan Hall, UBC First Nations House of Learning

Reception to follow

Download the poster

Registration deadline: Sunday May 21st.


Decolonization is about land. Two educators, one Indigenous, the other settler, discuss how their work decenters humans and affirms the interconnection with the more- than – human world as kin. In the context of ongoing White possessiveness and the devaluing of racialized lives, this presentation explores  how land-based and body – based approaches to relationships with the more – than – human world can inform our sense of both reciprocity and responsibility to the wider collective.

Welcome by Elder sʔəyəɬəq Larry Grant. Adjunct Professor, First Nations and Endangered Languages Program, Interim Manager xʷməθkʷəy̓əm Musqueam Language and Culture Department and Elder in Residence at First Nations House of Learning.

Alannah Young is Opaskwayak Cree/ PeguisAnishnabe.  Her graduate work was with Indigenous Elders and their pedagogy for land-based health education programs. Her postdoctoral work with Indigenous Research Partnership looked at how the Indigenous Elders applied the pedagogy they developed to the xʷc̓ic̓əsəm: Indigenous Health Research and Education Garden at UBC Farm. Her publications include: Decolonizing Framework for Land based Pedagogies (2019); Weaving Indigenous Womens’ Leadership Pedagogies, Protocols and Practices (2015) and many co-authored works with Denise Nadeau. She is a Senior Research Associate, Indigenous Community Research Partnerships, Faculty of Land and Food Systems.

Denise Nadeau ( ) is a grandmother, educator, scholar, and activist working at the intersection of somatic therapy, spiritual practice, decolonization, and racial justice. Her research is on how the body holds racist and colonial patterns of behavior and how we can unlearn these through paying attention to the body and our interactions with the more – than – human world.  She is of mixed European settler heritage from Quebec, and now resides in the homelands of the lək̓ʷəŋən peoples in Victoria. She is the author of Unsettling Spirit: A Journey into Decolonization (MQUP,2020) and is an Affiliate Assistant Professor in the Department of Religion and Cultures at Concordia University, Montreal.

The Paz and KnuteButtedahl Memorial Lecture was established in 2008 in honor of the Buttedahls who separately and together had an enormous impact on adult education, development and peace building.