From June 6-8, 2019, Tyndale was honoured to co-host the Annual Symposium of NAIITS (North American Institute for Indigenous Theological Studies) – An Indigenous Learning Community. This year’s theme was Land and Place: Indigenous Perspectives in an Era of Displacement and featured outstanding plenary speakers and academic papers from Indigenous and non-Indigenous scholars and practitioners in dialogue together. Over 200 participants gathered on Tyndale’s pristine Bayview Campus. Those present included First Nations, Inuit, Metis, and others from across North America, as well as Maori guests from New Zealand and Indigenous People from Australia, Philippines and other parts of the world.
This symposium offered an opportunity for open dialogue about various aspects of biblical and theological contextualization in Indigenous thought, history and experience. The focus this year was on overall health and well-being of people in relation to one another, the land, politics and all of creation. Topics and presentations described a holistic and corrective approach to dealing with justice, particularly in relationship with the land and a place for people of all walks of life.
Tyndale and NAIITS have a longstanding partnership. NAIITS Founding Chair and Director, Dr. Terry LeBlanc is an adjunct professor of Tyndale serving as the Master of Theological Studies - Indigenous Studies Program Director and Elder of the Bachelor of Education Program.