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Dr. Edward Doolittle (PhD) is an associate professor of mathematics at First Nations University of Canada.

Mathematics and Statistics Colloquium

Mathematics as a Spiritual Being


Date: Friday, March 22
Time: 3:30 pm
Location: Neatby-Timlin Theatre, Arts Building Room 241, 9 Campus Dr., Saskatoon

Free and open to the public

About this event

A talk by Dr. Edward Doolittle (PhD) of First Nations University of Canada, hosted by the USask Department of Mathematics and Statistics

For Indigenous learners of mathematics to be treated equitably and justly, there must be an Indigenous counterbalance to the massive global system of conventional mathematics; there must be a strong, flourishing Indigenous mathematics. Central to the development of Indigenous mathematics must be Indigenous spirituality. I propose we begin engaging with mathematics on the terms of a spiritual being, as vast and as old as the winds, the waters, and the earth. We must learn where to find mathematics as a spiritual being, how we may once again come to know and engage with it, and how we may develop a positive relationship with it. We know mathematics is as old as creation because we find it in our creation stories: first there was no one, then there was one, then there were two, and so on. We know mathematics permeates our life because we find it in our art, our culture, our games, and our ceremonies. But Indigenous peoples' mathematics has been repressed and displaced by residential schooling and other colonial practices, just as Indigenous languages and spiritualities have been. We must recover all that we can of our traditional mathematics, but more importantly, we must learn once again how to acquire new mathematical knowledge; in other words, we must rediscover our Indigenous research methods in mathematics. We will explore some of the experiences and ideas that I have encountered while coming-to-know Indigenous mathematics and coming-to-know coming-to-know Indigenous mathematics.

Sponsored in part by the Role Model Speaker Fund of the College of Arts and Science and the Pacific Institute for the Mathematical Sciences.


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