The Embassy of Canada in Chile has once again provided support for the VI Annual Symposium entitled “Ancestral Knowledge and Interculturalism”. It took place on August 26 & 27 at the University of Chile’s La Pintana Campus.
The symposium is the result of ongoing collaboration between Santiago’s Taiñ Adkimn Mapuche Indigenous Association and the International Indigenous Prior Learning Collective. This project demonstrated the diverse application of the “Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition” (PLAR) process– pioneered in Canada by Paul Zakos and other educators.The project spearheaded by Taiñ Adkimn has adapted the PLAR process for use by indigenous peoples in order to recognize their cultural knowledge and have it accepted by mainstream educational institutions. The exchange of knowledge and practice resulting from the implementation of this process was a key factor in the formation of the International Indigenous Recognition of Prior Learning Collective(2009) uniting members from Chile, United States, Mexico, Ecuador,South Africa, Peru and Canada.
This year, Canadian participants included: Paul Zakos, Director of the Collective, Glen Brouwer, Director of four adult learning centers in Manitoba’s Sunrise School Division , Banakonda Kennedy-Kish Bell, Elder at Wilfred Laurier University, Sharon Hobenshield, Director of Aboriginal Education, and Elders,Geraldine Manson and Florence James, of the Vancouver Island University, Karihwakeron Tim Thompson of Wahta Mohawk Territory President of Hiawatha Institute for Indigenous Knowledge and Audrey Roodvoets, graduate of Soka University of America.
Taiñ Adkimn has a mutually beneficial relationship with the University of Chile’s Faculty of Veterinary and Animal Sciences.This Faculty hosts the symposium regularly and is home to the Mapuche“Ruka”, a traditional ritual house for the community. Taiñ Adkimn also works closely with the Health Services Branch of the Southwest Region of the Capital in order to incorporate traditional Mapuche healing practices as part of services offered to the Indigenous community and others living in the southern portion of Santiago’s metropolitan area.
The Embassy of Canada supports this initiative as part of its commitment to share with Chile best practices on rights of indigenous peoples, to promote exchanges on education, and to promote cooperation between educational institutions.