Unreserved

'We come from the stars': Indigenous astronomy, astronauts, and star stories

Long winter nights are perfect for looking up at the stars, and that’s exactly what we’re doing on Unreserved this week. From Indigenous astronomy to the first Indigenous astronaut, find out how Indigenous people are reframing the way we look at the sky. 
(Stephanie Cram)

Long winter nights are perfect for looking up at the stars, and that's exactly what we're doing on Unreserved this week. From Indigenous astronomy to the first Indigenous astronaut, find out how Indigenous people are reframing the way we look at the sky. 

When you think about the night sky, what constellations come to mind? Chances are they're rooted in Western astronomy. But Indigenous astronomy and scientific knowledge have been here for millennia. It just hasn't been taught in schools, or considered important within universities. Hilding Neilson is working to change that. Neilson is Mi'kmaw and a professor in the department of astronomy and astrophysics at the University of Toronto

When Sharon Shorty sees the northern lights, she recalls a story her grandmother told her. 

Sandra Laronde created and directed Trace, a performance inspired by Anishinaabe sky and star stories. Laronde is the founder of Red Sky Performance, an Indigenous dance, theatre, and music company. Trace has been performed throughout Canada, and the international tour is scheduled to start in the fall of 2021. 

Métis filmmaker Shane Belcourt's latest film, Red Rover, is a romantic comedy about the search for meaning through space travel. The film also makes connections between space exploration and colonization.

Chickasaw astronaut John Herrington was the first Native American to fly in space. And he's dedicated much of his life to encouraging Indigenous kids to follow their dreams.

This week's playlist: 
Buffy Sainte-Marie

Anachnid - Sky Woman 

Willow Beats - Space Oddity

Buffy Sainte-Marie - America The Beautiful

 

 

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