The Proclaiming Our Roots project is the culmination of the histories, stories and experiences of mixed Black and Indigenous Peoples on Turtle Island. This project cultivates a space to create written, visual and narrative archives of the geographies, histories, and contemporary realities of Afro-Indigenous Peoples. With over 400 years of African diasporic presence in Canada, relationships between Black and Indigenous Peoples offered a form of resistance against colonial oppression and afforded these communities an opportunity for survival. In this webinar, Dr. Ciann L. Wilson and Ann Marie Beals explore how such a space is created to enable equitable participation with community members in decentering whiteness and revisionist histories, while moving beyond the white gaze. As well, they discuss challenges and dangers within community-based research in understanding how privilege and colonial forces shape the research process as community is excluded from the benefits of the work.
Ann Marie Beals
Ann Marie Beals is a Two-Spirit Indigenous-Black L’nuwey – a mixed-blood African Nova Scotian and First Nation Mi’kmaq. Ann Marie is a graduate student at Wilfrid Laurier University and a storyteller working on the ProclaimingOurRoots.com project. Stories from this project revolve around Afro-Indigenous identity and relationships with Indigenous and Black communities. Ann Marie’s research explores the health and wellbeing of these communities in looking at the effects of colonial legacies of oppression and violence, and lack of acknowledgment of Indigenous-Black identity in the canadian settler nation-state. Ann Marie shares Afro-Indigenous voices in uplifting the sacred stories of resilience, strength, self-assertion, and consciousness-raising, through the lived experiences and knowledges loudly resonating in Indigenous-Black communities.
Ciann is an Associate Professor of Wilfrid Laurier University who is of Afro-, Indo- and Euro- Jamaican ancestry. She has over a decade of experience working within African, Caribbean and Black communities across the greater Toronto area first as a youth programmer and now as a health researcher. Her research interests build off her community-engaged work to include critical race theory, anti-/de-colonial theory, African diasporic and Indigenous community health, HIV/AIDS, sexual and reproductive wellbeing and community-based research. Her body of work aims to utilize research as an avenue for sharing the stories and realities of African diasporic, Indigenous and racialized peoples, and improving the health and wellbeing of these communities