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Algoma U Hosts Talk on Indigenous and Afrocolombian Women

(SAULT STE. MARIE, ON – March 6, 2017): In honour of International Women’s Day, Algoma University will be hosting a special talk with Charo Mina Rojas and Associate Professor Dr. Sheila Gruner on March 9th from 5:00pm – 7:00pm in the Great West Life Amphitheatre. The talk will focus on Indigenous and Afrocolombian women, alternatives to development and conflict, and Colombia’s peace process.

The Havana Peace Accords, recently signed in Colombia, include an ethnic chapter achieved by the Ethnic Commission for Peace and Defense of Territorial Rights, representing indigenous and Afrocolombian communities and their collective territories. Racialized communities and women have been disproportionately affected by violence, displacement and development, and the internal armed conflict in Colombia, yet have been playing a pivotal role in peaceful resistance and social mobilization, the construction of peace and in building alternatives to conflict-ridden development, including cultural concepts for “living well” with the land and among people.

Canada and Algoma U have been invited to accompany the implementation of the peace accords in indigenous and Afrodesdendent collective territories over the next three years.

Charo Minas Rojas is an Afro-Colombian human rights defender. She is a member of the Black Communities’ Process in Colombia (PCN), a grassroots nation-wide movement comprised of over 100 local Afro-descendant grassroots organizations and community councils. Rojas is also a representative of the National Afrocolombian Peace Council, and the Ethnic Commission for Peace and the Defense of Territorial Rights which, supports the rights of indigenous and Afrocolombian communities affected by conflict. She is one of the activists who helped to write the ethnic chapter of the Havana Peace Accords and has long worked for Afrocolombian communities’ and women’s cultural and territorial rights and against gender-based violence in Colombia.

Coinciding with the talk, Gruner will be launching her recently edited collection of essays, Des/DIBUJANDO EL PAIS/aje: Aportes para la paz con los pueblos afrodescendientes e indigenas: Territorio, Autonomia y Buen Vivir, translated to Blurring/Drawing the Landscape/Country, Contributions to Peace with Afrodescendent and Indigenous peoples: Territory, Autonomy and Good Life.

Students and community members interested in learning more about territorial movements in the Americas, can enrol in the Community Economic and Social Development (CESD) International Spring Institute: CESD 3906/4906 Indigenous and Territorial Movements In the Americas: Conflict, Peace and Reconciliation, happening at Algoma U in Sault Ste. Marie from June 12 – 16. Instructors are from Colombia, Central America, and Canada. The University will also be hosting a Spring Institute in Timmins from June 19 – 23, focusing on Free, Prior and Informed Consent in First Nation and indigenous communities.

For more information, please contact Gruner at [email protected] or call 705.949.2301, Ext. 4375.

This event is sponsored by NORDIK Institute, the CESD program and the Sociology Department at Algoma University, with support from the Teaching and Learning Fellowship at Algoma U.

The talk is open to the public and free of charge.

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