New northern journal, a ‘campfire’ for ideas, prepares first issue

Last modified: November 25, 2022 at 11:19am


Northern-based journal Xàgots’eèhk’ǫ̀ will launch at the end of November, backed by Aurora College, research support group Hotiì ts’eeda and the Dechinta Centre for Research and Learning.

Xàgots’eèhk’ǫ̀, a word meaning campfire, will share stories, art, and philosophies written by Indigenous and non-Indigenous scholars, Elders and residents in two to three issues a year.

Funding for the journal was announced in 2021.

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The first issue, which focuses on the theme of education in the North, will contain review articles, interviews, personal experiences, program previews, artwork, and pieces that memorialize northerners who have recently passed away.

“It’s a space to exchange information and bring together voices from across the North,” said Dr Pertice Moffitt, an Aurora College research associate who has worked closely on the project.

“It’s meant to be collaborative. That’s where the name comes from. It was titled by Tłı̨chǫ Elder Rosa Mantla, and she chose the name because a campfire is where people gather to share stories, to seek warmth, and cook food.”

NWT residents are encouraged to submit their stories and propose themes for future issues. Each issue will have different co-editors, with Dr Sara Komarnisky from Aurora College and Dr Lois Edge from MacEwan University working as the first issue’s editors.

According to Moffitt, there is only one other journal based in the North – The Northern Review, from Yukon University. Unlike other publications, Moffitt says, the new journal’s team hopes to include more Indigenous voices to work toward a decolonized practice.

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“We have a history of colonialism here and colonial practices, and there needs to be a space for scholars and allies of Indigenous people, and Indigenous people and scholars, to meet and share their stories,” she said.

“We know that storytelling is really important and we know that residential schools affected the mobilization of knowledge, and we want to make sure that this project is a decolonizing effort.”

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The journal will be accessible online from November 28.

The journal’s launch takes place in three locations:

  • Fort Smith: November 28, 12-1pm at the college foyer
  • Yellowknife: November 29, 12-2pm at Dechinta Centre for Research and Learning, 233 Utsingi Drive
  • Inuvik: December 1, 11:45am-1:30pm at the college foyer