Truth and the Role of Engineers in Decolonization

Truth and the Role of Engineers in Decolonization
Date: Nov 5, 2020 - 5:00 PM to Mar 23, 2021 - 5:01 PM

A Four-Part Dialogue Series Set in the Engineering Context

Join us for a speaker series which will introduce our UBC Engineering community to Indigenous knowledge keepers, industry professionals and faculty from across Canada. Explore our colonial history, learn about the intersection of the engineering industry and Indigenous peoples of Canada and discover more about the role engineers can have in reconciliation in Canada. We’re happy to bring our two UBC campuses together around these important topics.

The dialogue series was developed in collaboration with our Tahltan Nation partners and is divided into four topics, each including two presentations followed by small Sharing Circles where participants can further discuss, inquire and share.

  • Colonialism and the Intersection with the Engineering Industry — Oct 1, 2020 @ 5:00 pm
    • Speakers: Curtis Rattray and Ska-Hiish Manuel
  • Indigenous Ways of Knowing — Nov 5, 2020 @ 5:00 pm
    • Speakers: Elder Albert Marshall and Curtis Rattray
  • Indigenous Design Principles — TBA, 2021
  • The Role of Engineers in Decolonization and Reconciliation — TBA, 2021

Please RSVP





Ska-Hiish Manuel

Ska-Hiish Manuel is a member of the Secwepemc Nation. He grew up on the Neskonlith Indian Reserve #2. Ska-Hiish comes from a family of internationally recognized Indigenous leaders committed to the self-determination of Indigenous Peoples. He learned Secwepemc laws and history around the kitchen table growing up and from Secwepemc Elders at community gatherings. He is one generation away from Canada’s Residential Schools which have a legacy of intergenerational trauma. He has represented Indigenous Peoples’ at various UN human rights bodies and the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues.

Ska-Hiish is committed to applying science and technology to improve the standard of living of Indigenous Peoples. He graduated from UBC Okanagan in 2011 with a Master of Applied Science. Ska-Hiish is a Registered Professional Engineer in BC and is presently a Senior Engineer at BC Hydro where specializes in real-time, hardware-in-the-loop electromagnetic transient simulations for power system studies.


Curtis Rattray

Curtis Rattray is a member of the Crow clan and Nalokoteen (end of the ridge nation) of the Tahltan Nation and his Tahltan name is ‘Nenh glun adz’. 

An experienced backcountry leader, hiker and camper with twenty plus years’ experience on Tahltan territory, Curtis owns and operates his own business called Edziza Trails, and provides guide aboriginal adventure tours, Wholistic Indigenous Leadership Development and capacity building services. 

He also is a community leader who has focused on land-based leadership development for Indigenous youth. He co-founded a Tahltan NGO that facilitates land-based youth leadership, community-led monitoring, documenting Tahltan knowledge, and developing climate change adaption strategies through food sovereignty and traditional way of life.

Curtis was the elected Chairman of the Tahltan Central Council and was responsible for representing the Tahltan Nation on the reconciliation of inherent Tahltan sovereign rights with the assertion of Crown sovereignty. 


Albert Marshall

Albert Marshall (Elder, LLD) is from the Moose Clan of the Mi'kmaw Nation. He is a passionate advocate for the preservation, promotion, and revitalization of Mi'kmaw Traditional Knowledge, including language, spirituality, stories, practices, and ways of knowing. In 2009, Albert and his late wife, Murdena Marshall, were awarded honorary doctorates in recognition of their devotion and commitment to this work. Their energy, wisdom, and knowledge helped create the innovative integrative science academic program at Cape Breton University in the 1990s. Together, Albert and Murdena developed KECCA (Knowledge Education & Culture Consultant Associates) to better enable their work and to encourage a strong future for the Mi’kmaw Nation and its peoples.

Albert is a passionate advocate of cross- cultural understandings and healing and of our human responsibilities to care for all creatures and our Earth Mother. He a fluent speaker of Mi'kmaw and the designated voice for the Mi’kmaw Elders of Unama’ki with respect to environmental issues. He coined the phrase “Two-Eyed Seeing” / Etuaptmumk, as a guiding principle for collaborative work which encourages learning to see from one eye with the strengths of Indigenous knowledges and ways of knowing, and from the other eye with the strengths of Western knowledges and ways of knowing ... and learning to use both these eyes together, for the benefit of all.

In 2009, Albert was awarded the Marshall Award for Aboriginal Leadership as part of the Eco-Hero Awards delivered by the NS Environmental Network.