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Valuing Heart Knowledge – A Teaching through Personal Story with Lynn Gehl

June 02, 2022
7:00 PM EDT - 8:30 PM EDT
Open To
General public

FCS Indigenous Resurgence invites you to join Lynn Gehl, PhD Algonquin Anishinaabe-Ikwe, as she talks about debwewin (truth). Debwewin (truth) is an Anishinaabeg tradition that values the connection of the circle of mind knowledge and the circle of heart knowledge when coming to know and achieving mino-bimaadiziwin (the good life). Through personal storytelling, Gehl will draw on Anishinaabemowin, traditional teachings and ancient scroll knowledge in a discussion of research methodology and the intelligence of the heart.

Moderated by: Lynn Lavallée, PhD - Strategic Lead, Indigenous Resurgence, Faculty of Community Services

Registration Details: Registration for the event is required. Links to this online Zoom event will be provided in advance of the event date to registered participants.

Please email Lynn Lavallée ( for questions or accessibility requests.

About Lynn Gehl

Lynn Gehl, external link, opens in new window is an Algonquin Anishinaabe-Ikwe and a member of Pikwàkanagàn First Nation. Her work encompasses both anti-colonial work and the celebration of Indigenous knowledge. She challenges Canada’s practices, policies, and laws of colonial genocide such as the land claims and self-government process, sex-discrimination in the Indian Act, the continued destruction of Akikpautik / Chaudière Falls – an Anishinaabeg sacred place, and Canada’s lack of policy addressing Indigenous women and girls with disabilities who are bigger targets of sexual violence. She weaves wampum belts, builds petro-forms and paints. She also has several professionally published peer reviewed books: “Gehl v Canada: Challenging Sex Discrimination in the Indian Act” (2021), “Claiming Anishinaabe: Decolonizing the Human Spirit” (2017), “The Truth that Wampum Tells: My Debwewin on the Algonquin Land Claims Process” (2014), and “Anishinaabeg Stories: Featuring Petroglyphs, Petrographs, and Wampum Belts” (2012). She has several academic contributions in journals and chapters in books; 140 community contributions in magazines, websites, newspapers, and op-eds; as well as 150 personal blogs. Gehl is frequently called upon as an expert by various media outlets to offer commentary on Indigenous issues.


When completing my doctoral dissertation research on the Algonquin land claims process in Ontario, I consciously decided I wanted to produce the outcome through Anishinaabeg ways of knowing and being. While initially I was reluctant to rely on heart knowledge because I felt my work would be viewed as inferior when compared to positivism and/or quantitative methods, after many oral teachings, readings, and through a long introspection period, I came to value the sophistication and legitimacy of the intelligence of the heart. From this place, drawing on traditional and ancient teachings, linguistics, and ancient Midewiwin scroll knowledge, I developed Debwewin Journey as an academic research methodology, where through a fluid set of methods, the circle of heart knowledge and the circle of mind knowledge come together to produce debwewin (truth).