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ELEVATE EDI WEBINAR SERIES: Aging and Indigenous Wisdom: Intercultural Perspectives on the 4th Hill of Life

January 25 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm EST



  • Catherine Davis, Adjunct Professor, Queens University
  • Marisol Campos-Navarrete, Scientific Associate Research, KITE Toronto Rehab, University Health Network


Description: This partnered EDI webinar series between EPIC-AT, AGE-WELL and UHN focuses on diverse programming of health researchers, advocates and healthcare professionals delivering webinars on ageism, gender, and allyship.

In this session, Doctors Catherine Davis and Marisol Campos-Navarrete will share insights about their experience and studies working in Indigenous communities to deepen our understanding of diverse cultural narratives surrounding aging and death, with a special emphasis on Indigenous perspectives. We will explore the profound meanings and traditions associated with elderhood wisdom and the transition from physical existence in Indigenous cultures. Through this webinar, participants will gain invaluable insights into the holistic view of life and death, as conceptualized in Indigenous knowledges, particularly focusing on the Ojibwe’s ‘Four Hills of Life.’ This understanding is crucial for professionals seeking to enhance their cultural competency in their work with elderly populations.


Learning objectives:


  • Become acquainted with practical realities and influences within Indigenous communities and understand that Indigenous communities are rebuilding among moments of resurgence and reconciliation.
  • Explore diverse Indigenous stories about aging and mortality.
  • Learn how to foster sensitivity and respect for varying beliefs about aging and death in all aspects of life.
  • Delve into Indigenous concepts of the life course, specifically the Ojibwe’s teaching of The Four Hills of Life, with a focus on the Fourth Hill’s significance.
  • Learn about Indigenous intercultural holistic perspectives of life and death as a continuous journey, gaining insight into elderhood and the spiritual preparation for life’s transition.


Speaker Bios:

Dr. Catherine Davis, Adjunct Professor, Queens University.

Dr. Davis is an Alderville First Nation member who earned her doctorate in Indigenous Studies through Trent University as an awardee of the President’s medal for academic excellence. Her doctoral dissertation focuses on the experiences of Indigenous members in the education system. Her community-based research explores the dynamics of Anishinaabe learning juxtaposed with Western education methods. Catherine’s research continues to consider the impact of education and how it can better reflect the rich contribution of Indigenous knowledge. In this webinar, Catherine will share her understanding of the Anishinaabe Four Hills of Life. As it pertains to aging, she will discuss how the Four Hills of Life is a powerful paradigm for understanding the path of life. Within Indigenous culture, the elderly have much wisdom and knowledge to share; they provide a compass, helping us navigate our challenging lives. To our great disadvantage, in modern culture, we have dismissed the value of Elders. This seminar will consider the value of seniors and the Elderly on that final fourth Hill. As a preliminary reflection about this topic, she shares the following quote: “Where adulthood ends, old age begins. There is continuity, there is no break…By living through all the stages and living out the visions, men and women know something of human nature and living and life. They have come to know and abide by its wisdom. This is what they pass on to those still to traverse the path of life and scale its mighty hills” (Johnston, 1977, p. 117-8).

Dr. Marisol Campos-Navarrete, Scientific Associate Research, KITE Toronto Rehab, University Health Network.

Dr. Marisol Campos-Navarrete brings over two decades of dedicated experience in fostering intercultural dialogue and cross-sector collaboration. With a PhD in Indigenous Studies, a Master’s in Sustainability Studies, and a Bachelor’s in Engineering, Marisol has been at the forefront of integrating Indigenous values and mixed methodologies into sustainable growth strategies in Indigenous communities across AbiaYala (the continent of the Americas). Her work is deeply rooted in the principles of Indigenous wisdom and sustainable development emphasizing community wellbeing. As an advocate for holistic community welfare, Marisol has developed and managed collaborative teams and projects that span across disciplines and cultures, always with a focus on co-creating solutions that honor the social, cultural, spiritual, economic, and environmental dimensions of Indigenous communities’ wellbeing. Her current work at KiteUHN is oriented to co-develop patient-centered health approaches with Indigenous organizations and health scientists. Her research delves into Indigenous-led research methodologies, aiming to advance local sustainable development while nurturing the intricate tapestry of Indigenous community life. In this webinar, Dr. Campos-Navarrete will share her wealth of knowledge and insights into the rich, cultural narratives surrounding aging and the lifecourse from an Indigenous perspective, drawing on her background as a Mestiza Mexican woman (carrying mixed Ñuu Savi, Nahua, and Basque heritage) and her experience in Indigenous-guided intercultural practices for wellbeing.


Register Here!


January 25
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm EST