Robert L. Peters

23 November 2017

Decolonizing Community Engagement

Decolonizing_Derek_Kornelsen

Guest Blog by Dr. Derek Kornelsen

Recently, terms like decolonization and community engagement have become buzzwords in popular discourses about Indigenous health research. But what does decolonization actually mean? How can we really try to decolonize community engagement? If this is to make any sense, and provide any kind of realistic guide for action, we need to start by gaining some sense of how colonization has impacted — and continues to impact — Indigenous communities and Western academic/research institutions. Only then can we consider why community engagement matters and what a decolonized form of community engagement might look like.

Settler Colonialism in Canada

A good starting point for understanding colonialism in Canada is to recognize that there is a distinct form of colonialism at work here — both past and present. This form is called settler colonialism. Typical understandings of colonialism usually refer to a situation where a colonial entity oppresses and manipulates foreign peoples in order to extract wealth and resources — India and South Africa are key examples. In these cases, there is a point at which we see the colonial power officially leaving, and the colonized peoples achieving some level of independence. On the other hand, in cases of settler colonialism, the colonial entity doesn’t leave, but continues to bring in more and more settlers in order to reproduce itself in the colonized space — Canada, USA, Australia, and New Zealand are the usual suspects here. The particularly horrifying aspect of this practice — as scholars like Patrick Wolfe have discussed in depth — is that, in order to reproduce itself in a given place, the settler colonial entity must ‘destroy to replace’. In Canada, we’ve seen this through overt genocidal acts that morphed into the kinds of cultural genocide that have occured throughout the residential school era.

Read more here…

Dr. Derek Kornelsen is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Community Health Sciences at the University of Manitoba. His research focuses on examining/contrasting Western and Indigenous philosophies and institutional frameworks, with a particular emphasis on developing a theoretical framework grounded in an understanding of the dynamics and impacts of Settler Colonialism. This theoretical framework enables a sensitivity to 2 key under-researched areas in Indigenous health and wellness research: the impacts of the disruption of Indigenous peoples’ relationships with land and environment; and strategies for decolonizing key institutions that Indigenous peoples must access (health as well as political, legal, educational, economic institutions). Broadly speaking, this theoretical frame contributes to the development of robust Indigenous determinants of health and wellness. He is currently involved in developing a number of local, national, and international research projects and partnerships in areas of environmental health and Indigenous health and wellness.


20 November 2017

Seeking volunteers for brain MRI scans…

Neuer 3-Tesla-Scanner

Winnipeg, Manitoba

My partner Evelin‘s daughter Jennifer is literally a “brainiac” scientist, the head of Kornelsenlab.com (a laboratory involved with brain neuroimaging research re: the study of psychological well-being and chronic pain). Jen is looking for approximately 40 healthy adult volunteers (women or men, 21-75 in age) in the Winnipeg area.

Their brain scans would help figure out the neurophysiology underlying chronic pain, such as in trigeminal neuralgia and facial pain, in terms of the effect those conditions have on brain structure and function. She is nearly done collecting data from the patients with those conditions — now she needs to match each of those patients with gender-and age-matched healthy people to observe the differences. You’d be contributing to science — (and there’s an honorarium of $25).

What is involved?
1) Use the ‘contact us’ link on the website (and include your phone number in the message);
2) you will receive a telephone call that explains the study and what you as a volunteer would do, and, if you’re still interested, then a quick “phone screen” for eligibility would take place;
3) you would get a date/time for your MRI appointment at HSC (Health Sciences Center);
4) at the appointment you would fill out informed consent, MRI screening, and a few questionnaires and then hop in the MRI for an approximately 30-minute set of scans.

Visit here to sign up (use the Contact form) — you can also check out the lab’s ongoing research, publication record, etc. there.

Thanks in advance… (and please share)!


15 August 2017

Natural Reflections… our new book.

Natural_Reflections_RMB

Mike Grandmaison and I are currently proofing our new book, Natural Reflections, now in pre-production at Rocky Mountain Books. It’s a project we started on together back in the late 1980s… finally coming to fruition. More info here

An inspiring and highly original book of photography takes the reader on an unforgettable walk through the vast and wide beauty of “Natural Canada.”

Natural Reflections captures natural beauty from the exceptional viewpoint and unique perspective of Mike Grandmaison’s lens. A singular gallery of images is curated, amplified and informed by the observations of Robert L. Peters.

Filled with insightful musings, truisms and parallel quotations from some of the world’s greatest thinkers, this book is bound to inspire and truly engage both halves of the brain. Divided into five contemplative chapters – On Inspiration, On Seeing, On Intimacy, On Order, On Change – this lavishly produced volume comprises a rich and seamless interweaving of image and word.

This is a book not to be missed by anyone interested in the natural world (and its preservation), the art of outdoor photography, the creative process or this vast land called Canada.

The photographer and author, long-time friends and avid nature-lovers, share the humble view that, like a Mother, the Earth both bore us and sustains us, asking little in return but love and respect. This book is their reciprocal tribute and holistic offering.


15 March 2017

Solace House… has been sold.

SolaceHouse_SouthEast

Solace House, along with a beautiful 40-acre parcel of woodland in Eastern Manitoba, is now home to a new young family. It’s been hard to “let go” of this low-energy passive solar “retreat” that we designed and built 37 years ago… but there’s also much to say about achieving closure, and as they say, “the time had come.” I feel blessed to have been able to spend those three-and-a-half decades living in the forest, accutely aware of the sun’s power, and being intrinsically engaged in a “real-time experiment” in conservation and sustainability.

Congratulations and best wishes to the home’s new owners!


13 August 2016

Solace House… a place under the sun, naturally.

Solace_House_Squarespace

Solace House, the low-energy passive solar house that I designed and built in in the woods of Eastern Manitoba in 1980, (together with my wife and numerous family members, friends, and volunteers) has undergone a year of extensive renovations and has now been “put on the market.” Huge thanks to Evelin and my steadfast brother Jim for their tireless help in the past year.

You can learn all about Solace House at an informational/marketing website I’ve created here.

Watch a TEDxManitoba talk about Solace House (now viewed over 5000 times on YouTube) here.


11 August 2016

A podcast interview… on Oots.

Robert_L_Peters_blog

“In order to capture some of the disappearing history in the graphic design industry in Manitoba, with the support of GDC Manitoba, we decided to create a podcast series where we could interview many of the designers who have shaped the design landscape in Winnipeg and beyond. It was decided to keep it simple – conduct interviews with individuals with a set list of questions to capture their thoughts and reflections that might inspire others, and then post the interviews as podcasts. The series is called Out of the Studio (Oots) and new interviews and designer profiles will be added every couple of weeks. Enjoy the podcast series, there is much to be celebrated with Canadian graphic design!”

Listen to the interview here.


8 March 2016

Our new stamp… commemorating 100 Years of Women’s Suffrage

Canada_Suffrage_Centennial_Stamp

VOTE_stamp_booklet_cover

VOTE_OFDC

Winnipeg, Canada

Our latest stamp design launched in Canada today, on International Women’s Day. As a feminist, I found it particularly gratifying to be able to have a hand in this issue.

Read all about the stamp’s design here. Access information of interest to philatelists and collectors here. Watch news reportage of Canada’s Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, unveiling the stamp in Ottawa earlier today here

Trudeau_Suffrage-Stamp-Launch


10 January 2016

That’s what friends are for…

friends

Kenora, Ontario

My friend Cuyler Cotton snapped this on his way back from Thunder Bay…

(-:


8 January 2016

Coexistence…

Coexistence_Bantjes

Bowen Island, British Columbia

This is a 24 x 36 inch poster created last year by my über-talented friend Marian Bantjes, composed of sand and dirt from around the world. Coexistence is printed on thick, durable, archival Epson Enhanced Matt paper using Epson UltraChrome HDR ink-jet technology.

Coexist_Bantjes

Copyright © 2016 Marian Bantjes, All rights reserved.

 


18 July 2015

R.I.P… Walter Richter

Walter_Richter_1935-2015

Winnipeg, Canada

It’s been a difficult week — three days ago, Ev’s father Walter Richter passed into the next realm. The obituary (below) was penned by Ev’s two daughters, Jen and Nicki.

++++++++++++++++++++++++

WALTER RICHTER

3 June 1935 – 15 July 2015

Eighty years ago in Bremen, Germany, Max Walter Richter opened his sparkly eyes to become Max and Charlotte Richter’s first-born son. At age 20, he married the love of his life, Elfriede, and they completed their family with the birth of their cherished daughter Evelin (Robert). In 1957, Opa got off the train in Winnipeg while en route to Vancouver, concerned that the weather seemed to get colder and colder the farther west he traveled. Thank goodness for that, he always said, because it was here that his granddaughters Jennifer (Derek) and Nicki (Jayson) were born. Opa and Oma bought their first house on Sark Crescent in 1966. We had so many good times there hearing him singing his silly German songs with his cousins Heinz (Christa) and Fritz (Anne) and, later, with the great grandkids playing with Opa’s train set. Opa and his brother Kurt (Erna) started their woodworking business, Richter’s Woodcraft, in 1984. A skilled cabinetmaker, Opa lovingly crafted our beds, tables, desks, shelves, toys and treehouses. Most impressive, in the 1960s he built our cottage at Hillside Beach by hand. So many good memories were made at Hillside Beach with Opi and Omi, Kurt’s family, the cousins and nieces and nephews. Retiring at age 61, Opa had all his time for his family. Whether travelling to Banff, Hawaii, and Germany, or to Tim Horton’s for coffee and chili, Opa and Oma were rarely seen apart. Opa was so proud of his Evi – he loved going to Winnipeg Beach to pop into her studio to see what she was creating, going to her art shows, and puttering around her yard. He was always there to take Jayden and Sam to Tinkertown and on the Prairie Dog, Haylee to her dance classes, and to joke around with his Maxi-million and Maci. Opa was a kid at heart; he was always getting us in trouble with Oma. Leading us in games of “jumping off the fence into Oma’s snow-covered hedges,” “flipping the kids in the hammock,” “jumping off the boat with our umbrellas,” “treehouse ziplining”… Opa spent his last 24 hours surrounded by his loved ones. For the last time, we marveled at the strength of his heart, we played that game where we count how long he can hold his breath, and we held the hands that had so lovingly built our homes. Ach-ja, Opa. Sleep well. Love Jenny and Nicki.

As published in the Winnipeg Free Press on July 18, 2015

 


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