What a year we’ve had. Halfway into our second ever Walls to Bridges course, the pandemic hit, and we couldn’t say goodbye to our students in person. We were again confronted with the precarity of contact with inside students. Without internet and increased covid protocols, our communication to the inside ceased. It was difficult but mostly, we worried about the physical and mental health of those women on the inside. Putting our feelings into action, we hosted a fundraiser to assemble individual packages for every woman on the inside. The packages included art supplies, Indigenous lit, colouring pages, soap, paper, envelopes, and journaling prompts.
We also continued our advocacy for increased access to online learning opportunities within the prison, highlighting that the pandemic has demonstrated the need for diverse and strategic planning within prison education and well-being programming. Though our calls have yet to be answered, we’ll keep applying pressure whenever possible.
The next Walls to Bridges course is scheduled to take place in the Winter 2022. It will be a Women’s and Gender Studies course, WGS280 Indigenous Women, Autobiography, and Life-Writing. For more details, follow the WGS website and social media for more information.
It’s with great excitement as well as sadness that Dr. Tracy Bear and I announce our leaving the University of Alberta and the Resilience Project. Dr. Bear is the new Director of the McMaster Indigenous Research Institute in Hamilton, Ontario and I have signed on as her Assistant Director. This website will soon be removed so make sure to follow us on twitter and subscribe to our website for new programming as we continue to push for post-secondary within prisons.
Thank you so much for being a part of the Resilience Project over these past four years, it’s been a pleasure to work with such incredible students, knowledge keepers, Elders, as well as Indigenous faculty and admin at the University of Alberta. Ekosi. -Tracy and Sara
Tracy Bear: firstname.lastname@example.org
Sara Howdle: email@example.com