Events Calendar

Congress Event

Conference of the Indigenous Literary Studies Association (ILSA)



Saturday, May 28, 2016 to Sunday, May 29, 2016


See pages 46-47 in the Congress Guide

Who can attend:

Hosted by:

Event series:

Add to calendar:

Add to calendar

About the conference

Our gathering brings together scholars, knowledge-keepers, artists, and community members to consider the sometimes conflicted relationship between alliance and autonomy in decolonial struggles as imagined, illustrated, and interrogated through Indigenous literary arts. While terms like “solidarity” and “alliance” tend to be valued as inherently positive, their often vague and uncritical application risks masking and thereby sustaining settler colonial power in ways that might threaten Indigenous self-determination. In particular, participants will reflect on the ways in which Indigenous literary arts provide tools for imagining and enacting solidarities with genuinely decolonizing potential, while laying bare the ethical dimensions such solidarities demand.

The theme of this year's conference will be "Storying Solidarities: Sites of Autonomy and Alliance in Indigenous Literary Arts". 

  • Conference website:
  • Subject areas: Autonomy and Alliance in Treaty 7 Territory; The Terrain of “Solidarity” in Community-Based Participatory Research; Land-based Solidarities and the Literary Arts; Intimacy and Erotics as Expressions of Alliance
  • Final program (PDF): download it here (updated 2016-04-22)
  • President's reception: Sunday, May 29, 2016


Featured speakers

Eldon Yellowhorn is Piikani. He was born and raised on the Peigan Reserve (now known as the Piikani First Nation) in Alberta, and grew up speaking Blackfoot and English. He holds undergraduate degrees in geography and archaeology, an MA in archaeology from Simon Fraser University and a PhD in anthropology from McGill University. A faculty member at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, he teaches archaeology and First Nations studies. His current research works toward defining the tenets and objectives of indigenous archaeology and examining its contributions to archaeological theory. Guided by his strong interest in traditional knowledge, Yellowhorn examines its meaning and signifigance to better understanding the archaeological record. He argues that traditional knowledge has much to offer archaeology as a method for identifying archaeological sites and for interpreting sites that lack artifacts. Yellowhorn views traditional knowledge as a system of knowing about the environment and investigates it within the context of ethnoscience.

Featured events

The "Aboriginal Roundtable" has been a staple at Congress for over 15 years. Established by Jo-Ann Episkenew and the late Renate Eigenbrod at Congress in Edmonton in 2000, the "Aboriginal Roundtable" brings together Indigenous and settler scholars, writers, and community members to discuss issues related to the study of Indigenous literary art. This year’s “Aboriginal Roundtable” will bring together artists, activists, and academics to engage with the theme: “Decolonial Solidarities: Ecology, Gender, and Ethical Calls to Action.”


Only those people who are registered for Congress 2016 and have added the Indigenous Literary Studies Association (ILSA, #307) to their Congress registration may attend this conference. Please note that conference registration fees are separate from the association's membership fees.

About the association

For more information about membership or this conference, please contact the association directly at the contacts listed below.

  • Program Chair: Sam McKegney, Queen's University
  • Local Arrangement Coordinator: Aruna Srivastava, University of Calgary
  • Association website: