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17th annual Widening the Circle Indigenous Education Symposium 

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Forrest Brooks

Monday May 10th, 2021 at 7:00pm - 8:30pm CST

Forrest Brooks is a Senior Lecturer at the University of Wisconsin Green Bay. He teaches in both the First Nations Studies undergraduate program and the First Nations Education Doctoral program. He is member of the Oneida Nation of Wisconsin. The session will give a brief description of Historical and Generational Trauma to outline issues in communities of people of color. Indigenous peoples have original ways of being which prescribe relationships that connect everyone in sacred ways. The majority of the discussion will center on seeking and carrying out healthy ways of being.

Missed the talk? Click here to watch the recording


Neng Now

Monday June 14th, 2021 at 7:00pm - 8:30pm CST

Neng Now is a HMong artist and researcher. He was born in Chiang Kham Refugee Camp in Thailand and grew up in Wisconsin. He graduated from Harvard University with his degree in Human Developmental and Regenerative Biology. Additionally, Neng has traveled extensively throughout the world, including Southeast Asia, where in 2020, he received a Fulbright Research Grant to research HMong whistled and musical linguistics in Laos. 


Neng will share his exploration into HMong ways of thinking, and in particular, how HMong music and language have helped, and continue to help, the HMong community deal with sadness and diaspora, and enable individual and communal healing.

Missed the talk? Click here to watch the recording

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Hey Billy

Monday September 13th, 2021 at 7:00pm - 8:30pm CST

Hey Billy is a content creator and traditional Hmong healer specializing in shamanism and Hmong spirituality. As a young Txiv Neeb Billy has performed hundreds of ceremonies for local Hmong communities to national ones. Along with ceremonies he constantly works with the community on systemic cultural reform and cultural preservation through a critical lens.


Billy will share his journey of self-discovery and wellness through being a Hmong shaman. The discussion will dive into his experiences being a modern spiritual healer and explore how the Hmong community uses arts and spiritual beliefs to express emotions and cultivate healing.

Missed the talk? Click here to watch the recording

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Dr. Prasit Leepreecha

Monday October 11th, 2021 at 9:00am - 10:30am CST

Prasit Leepreecha (Tsav Txhiaj Lis) completed his doctoral degree in cultural anthropology at the University of Washington, Seattle. Presently, he is a faculty member at the Department of Social Science and Development, Faculty of Social Sciences, Chiang Mai University. He teaches courses on ethnicity, highland ethnic groups and indigenous peoples. His research interest covers Hmong and other ethnic groups in northern Thailand and nearby countries, in various aspects.

Education for Being Thai among Highland Ethnic Groups in Thailand

The Thai state has launched an educational policy and implementation for highland ethnic groups in northern Thailand for more than a half century. Based on documentary and field work research during the past few years, I find out that state’s education for highland ethnic groups is based on Thai nationalism which integrates peoples with diverse ethnic and cultural backgrounds to become Thai as part of its national building project. State’s educational implementation toward ethnic minorities has had tremendous achievement. Ethnic youths who had gone through schooling gradually adopted this consciousness of “Thai-ness” and adapted accordingly, thus, altering their ethnic identity. In addition, this presentation shows how highland ethnic peoples respond to such domination.

Missed the talk? Click here to watch the recording

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Monique Gray Smith

Monday October 11th, 2021 at 3:30m - 5:00pm CST

Monique Gray Smith is a proud Mom of teenage twins and an award-winning, best-selling author. Her first published novel, Tilly: A Story of Hope and Resilience won the 2014 Canadian Burt Award for First Nation, Métis and Inuit Literature. Since then, Monique has had 6 books come out that cover a broad spectrum of ages, topics and emotions. Woven into all of Monique’s writing, speaking engagements and online courses is the teaching that Love is Medicine. Monique’s novel, Tilly and the Crazy Eights was longlisted for Canada Reads 2021. Monique is well known for her contributions to the journey of Truth and Reconciliation, including being honoured with the 2019 City of Victoria Leadership Award for Reconciliation. She is an appointed member of the Board of Directors of Royal Roads University and the Minister’s Advisory Council for Indigenous Women for the Government of BC. Monique is Cree, Lakota and Scottish and has been sober and involved in her healing journey for over 29 years. She is well known for her storytelling, spirit of generosity and focus on resilience.

Fostering Resiliency with Indigenous Children and Families

In this dynamic and inspiring session, Monique will share her personal journey, offer readings from her various books and provide stories of hope and resilience. She will begin with an overview on how stress & trauma may be impacting us and those we work with; including an exploration of what happens in our bodies when we experience trauma. Monique will share her Cultural Resilience model and strategies for weaving aspects of it into your work. Through our time together, we will explore the integral role love and joy have in our various ways of working and contributing.

Missed the talk? Click here to watch the recording

Revitalizing Indigenous Healing Speaker Series

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