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Cultivating Respectful Relations: A Response to Leroy Little Bear


  • Acknowledgments: This article was originally presented at the World Humanities Symposium at Simon Fraser University, January 27–28, 2012. Thanks to Professor Ian Angus for organizing the symposium. I would like to acknowledge the helpful comments and responses of all the symposium participants.

RITA WONG, Associate Professor, Critical Studies, Emily Carr University of Art and Design. Specialties: contemporary poetics, social justice, ecology. E-mail:


This response to Professor Little Bear's lecture considers the role of language in acknowledging our interdependency with other living beings, and explores the possibilities offered by Indigenous humanities with regard to a deep valuing of the watery commons otherwise known as the planet earth. Questions of reciprocity, historical responsibility, decolonization, solidarity, and care for future generations are raised.