Friday, January 17, 2020 - 11:00

Fri, January 17, 2020 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM AQUATIC ECOSYSTEMS RESEARCH LABORATORY (AERL). IOF Seminar Series

We all have deep personal relationships with the earth and to the sea. Here in BC, Aboriginal spiritual connections spring first to mind. Nigel suggests that while Aboriginal relationships are older, deeper, and more articulate, they are not qualitatively different from our personal commitment to special places and species. Ascribing excess spirituality to Aboriginal people grants them audience in the corridors of power, industry, and science, but excludes them from the practice of management where, of course, spirituality does not belong. Meanwhile, those charged with resource policy and practice, are strongly discouraged from expressing their deep spiritual and emotional commitments. This double cognitive injustice excludes entire dimensions of value and commitment.

Nigel’s informal seminar will invite people of all cultures and backgrounds to tell the story of how they came into their passion, and explore aspects of their knowledge and being that they feel they cannot express in their work. Some rough ideas to begin:

* Describe how you came to your field. Was it a personal encounter/relationship formation with something non-human?
* What difference would it make to describe your experience as a ‘career-forming moment’, a religious call, or something similar to the popular notion of a vision quest, where a non-human claims you as a lifetime companion?
* Have you encountered anything in your chosen field that is outside of the acceptable frame of reporting?
* If so, how did you deal with it? What might have helped?

Speaker: Nigel Haggan MA, MSc, PhD
Nigel grew up between the polite streets of middle class protestant Belfast, the tidepools of Belfast Lough, and the predominantly Roman Catholic borderlands between the North and South of Ireland. Exposure to diverse cultures, notably work with Aboriginal people, opened his eyes to different ways of understanding and being in the world. He is assembling a crew to unsettle environmental assessment with the values and commitments of art, Indigenous spirituality, religion and grassroots conservation that reflect love as well as need.

Location: AERL Theatre