Sínulkhay and Ladders—Squamish designer Michelle Nahanee helps to decolonize IDEA21
Every year our 2nd-year students take on a project to help them understand the challenges of reconciliation in Canada. It is an opportunity to ask ourselves how we can become stronger allies for Canada’s Indigenous peoples. This year we kicked things off for IDEA21 with a visit from Squamish designer and workshop facilitator, Michelle Nahanee. As part of her consulting business Decolonizing Practices, Michelle has created an 8-ft board game called Sínulkhay and Ladders.
She uses the metaphor of ‘snakes and ladders’ to explain how decolonizing is a nonlinear process—sometimes it can feel like going round in circles. It’s no surprise that the final square in the game is followed by "Grow, Fall Down, Rinse and Repeat”
We are very grateful to Michelle for coming in to share her wisdom and First Nations perspective with us. It was a great morning of learning and cultural understanding.
Hopefully Michelle’s insights will result in some great projects again this year. Among last year's project outcomes was a Jim Rimmer award winning app to help Vancouverites and visitors discover our region before colonization.
Also in 2018, Rebekah Maurice designed an ADCC award-winning game called SharED. Its goal was to help school kids develop a better understanding of Indigenous peoples and their culture.
Class instructor Judy Snaydon will be giving a talk on her experiences teaching this decolonizing project on Thursday, April 11 at the North Vancouver City Library. The topic is "Allies in Truth and Reconciliation”.
We respectfully acknowledge that Capilano University’s campuses are located on the territories of the Lil’wat, Musqueam, Sechelt (shíshálh), Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh Nations.