Pivot 2021 Virtual Conference July 22-23 2021
Dismantling Reassembling - tools for alternative futures

Methodologies for Metabolic Well-being in Uncertain Times

Cash Ahenakew & Sharon Stein

There are a growing number of efforts to support peoples’ “well-being” in the context of today’s intensifying social and ecological crises. However, many of these efforts are oriented toward (1) making individuals more functional within an inherently dysfunctional (harmful and unsustainable) system, and (2) enabling institutions to ensure the continuity of business as usual. These efforts therefore reproduce many of the colonial habits and dispositions that have led us to a point of crisis. In this talk, we draw on Indigenous knowledges and practices, and our work with the Gesturing Towards Decolonial Futures (GTDF) research/arts/ecology collective, to address the limits of these mainstream approaches to well-being and systemic change. We suggest the need to confront these limits and engage with possibilities for metabolic well-being in order to face systemic crises, and the possibility of systemic collapse, in more mature, generative, and accountable ways. Specifically, we will present examples of some practices and methodologies that can support development of the intellectual, affective, and relational capacities that can equip us to “compost” harmful colonial patterns of knowing, being, and relating, and nurture the soil for other possibilities for shared existence to grow.

About Cash Ahenakew

Cash Ahenakew is a Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Peoples’ Well-Being and an Associate Professor in the Department of Educational Studies at the University of British Columbia. He is Cree and a member of Ahtahkakoop Cree Nation. His research is based in a commitment to the development of Indigenous theories and mixed methodologies, and addresses the complexities at the interface between Indigenous and non-Indigenous knowledge, education, pedagogy, medicine, ceremony and healing.

UBC blog: https://blogs.ubc.ca/ahenakewcrc/

CRC video page: https://educ.ubc.ca/dr-cash-ahenakew/

About Sharon Stein

Sharon Stein is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Educational Studies at the University of British Columbia. Her work examples the complexities, paradoxes, and possibilities of social and global change in educational contexts. Through this work she seeks to support different communities to denaturalize the colonial logics, habits, and desires that keep us invested in harmful and unsustainable modes of existence, and to ethically encounter and engage other horizons of possibility. 

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