Indigenous Awareness Week at McGill!

Relations between Black and Indigenous people and communities is an ongoing area of interest and building for many members of C-Uni-T. We are happy to share the program for the exciting program for this year’s Indigenous Awareness Week at McGill:
SEPTEMBER 21-25th, 2015

McGill University’s Indigenous Awareness Week is designed to increase awareness at McGill about Indigenous peoples in Canada. The week honours the many Indigenous cultures across the country including First Nations, Métis and Inuit. The week also offers an opportunity to collaborate with community partners and draws active participation from McGill students, faculty and staff.
The week is organized by the Social Equity and Diversity Education Office at McGill University.
For more information, please contact the Indigenous Education Advisor, Allan Vicaire, via email at allan.vicaire@mcgill.ca or by phone at (514) 398-3711.

=>Monday, September 21 2015

OPENING CEREMONY

12:00PM – 3:00PM, Ballroom, Thomson House, 3650 McTavish Street

The Opening Ceremony for the 5th annual Indigenous Awareness Week will begin with a welcoming address and blessing from Elders Jean Stevenson and Delbert Sampson. The warm welcome will be followed by a performance by Odaya. Professor Michael Loft will then welcome the crowd and our Keynote Speaker Commissioner Marie Wilson. Dr. Wilson will share with us her thoughts and experiences working on The Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

Opening Ceremony Schedule:
• 12:00PM – 12:30PM: Lunch Buffet
• 12:30PM – 12:50PM: Welcoming Address and Elder Blessing with Delbert Sampson and Jean Stevenson
• 12:50PM – 1:10PM: Performance by Odaya
• 1:10PM – 2:00PM: Keynote: The Work of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and the Role We Can All Play in Reconciliation Moving Forward by Commissioner Marie Wilson

About the Speaker:

Dr. Marie Wilson brings to her role as Commissioner more than 30 years of experience as an award-winning journalist, trainer, and senior executive manager. She has also been a university lecturer, a high school teacher in Africa, a senior executive manager in both federal and territorial Crown Corporations, and an independent consultant in journalism, program evaluation, and project management. As a journalist, Dr. Wilson worked in print, radio and television as a regional and national reporter. She was the first host of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation flagship television program, Focus North, and the corporation’s senior manager for northern Quebec and the northern Territories. As a Regional Director for the CBC, she launched the first daily television news service for northern Canada, and developed the Arctic Winter Games and True North Concert series. She delivered training through the South African Broadcasting Corporation during that country’s transition to democracy, and served as an associate board member of what became the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network, APTN. Dr. Wilson is the recipient of many awards including an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from St. Thomas University in Fredericton, NB. She speaks English and French. Dr. Wilson and her husband Stephen Kakfwi have three children and four grandchildren.

 

PANEL: RECONCILING SOVEREIGNTIES: COMBINING TRADITIONAL LAW AND CONTEMPORARY WESTERN LAW TO SEE TRUTH AND RECONCILIATION

5:45PM – 7:15PM, Maxwell Cohen Moot Court (Room 100), New Chancellor Day Hall, 3644 Peel Street

Join us with Elder Fred Kelly (Kizhebowse Mukwaa) and Professor Shauna Van Praagh.

The ALSA, CHRLP, and SEDE present a conference that aims to respond to the work of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. The conference will address how Traditional Law and contemporary western legal mechanisms can work together as part of reconciliation. Mohawk Elder John Cree will open the event with a prayer, after which Professor Van Praagh will contextualize the work of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

Fred Kelly: “The purpose of treaties is to reconcile sovereignties. By making a treaty with each other, the Crown and the Anishinaabe Nation acknowledged each other’s sovereignty. A nation-to-nation: government-to- government relationship was thus established between the parties. The Traditional Constitution of the Anishinaabe Nation that enables treaty making endures.

Crown Governments have historically been unable to respect or have denied the inherent jurisdiction of the Anishinaabe Nation even as the courts in Canada have already been enforcing customary laws in numerous instances. From Midewin, the Traditional Law and Medicine Society of the Anishinaabe, Kizhebowse Mukwa (Kind Walking Bear) will explain that the harmonization of the administration of Anishinaabe law and Canadian law in workable and practical terms is the meaning of reconciliation of sovereignties. This is the most fundamental legal issue unresolved in Canada today.”

In Partnership With: Aboriginal Law Students’ Association & Centre for Human Rights and Legal Pluralism

 

FILM SCREENING: THE INDIANS, THE EAGLE, AND THE TURKEY

7:30PM – 9:30PM, Room W-215, Arts Building

The movie takes a look at what it means to be an ‘Indian’ today. Featuring Samian, Melissa Mollen Dupuis, Marie-Pier Ottawa, Kevin Papatie, and Raymond Caplin, we go on a journey with them and try to answer a simple question: how do you know who you are when you have been stripped of your identity?

In Partnership with: The Montreal Holocaust Memorial Centre and Wapikoni Mobile

Biography: Montreal Holocaust Memorial Centre
The Montreal Holocaust Memorial Centre is a museum dedicated to Holocaust education and Awareness. It was founded in 1979 by a group of Holocaust survivors and facilitated by the philanthropy of Steven Cummings. The centre’s mandate is to educate people of all ages and backgrounds about the genocidal murder of six million Jews by Nazi Germany and its collaborators between 1933-1945.

Biography: Wapikoni Mobile
Wapikoni Mobile film studios travel to Aboriginal communities providing workshops for First Nations youth that allow them to master digital tools by directing short films and musical works. During each stopover, “mentor filmmakers” welcome and train thirty young participants during all stages of implementation.

 

=>Tuesday, September 22nd 2015

 

KAIROS BLANKET EXERCISE with ALLAN VICAIRE & PAIGE ISAAC

10:00AM – 12:00PM, Room 200, Coach House, 3715 Peel Street

An interactive exercise on the relationships between the Crown and Indigenous peoples in Canada, from the settlers’ arrival to modern times. Participants are guided through centuries of denial of Indigenous nationhood and the gradual appropriation, relocation, and removal of Indigenous peoples and territories.
The exercise begins with blankets spread across the floor, which represent land occupied by Indigenous populations. As participants are guided through centuries of negotiations, treaties, decrees, and other interactions with European settlers, the blankets on which they stand are slowly removed, until only a few participants remain on a small area representing what little remains of Indigenous territory today. The exercise will then be followed by a talking circle.

Workshop will be given by Allan Vicaire, Indigenous Education Advisor, and Paige Isaac, Coordinator of the First Peoples’ House.
Spaces are limited. Register by e-mailing asp.sede@mcgill.ca.
Biography: Paige Isaac
Paige Isaac is Mi’gmaq from Listuguj, Quebec and is the Coordinator of the First Peoples’ House, a Student Services unit at McGill University.  She earned a Bachelor’s degree of Science at McGill in 2008 and has been working at McGill ever since, first as the Aboriginal Outreach Coordinator and then as Coordinator.  She works to promote and support Indigenous student success and well-being in a culturally welcoming environment.

Biography: Allan Vicaire
A member of the Mi’gmaq community of Listuguj, Allan Vicaire is SEDE’s Indigenous Education Advisor. His primary role is to build bridges between Indigenous and non-Indigenous students, staff, and faculty at McGill. Allan champions and encourages civic engagement through the promotion of community-based learning.

 

In Partnership With: The First Peoples’ House & The Social Equity and Diversity Education Office

 

TRADITIONAL DANCING WORKSHOP

1:00PM – 2:00PM, Lower Campus, Lower West Field

The Indigenous Student Alliance invites the McGill community to join them on the Lower West Field for an interactive showcase on Indigenous dance and music. This will be an opportunity to get moving and experience some First Nation traditional dancing first-hand.
In Partnership With: Indigenous Student Alliance

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE CREATOR’S GAME: AN INDIGENOUS HISTORY OF LACROSSE with DR. ALLAN DOWNEY

5:00PM – 7:00PM, Room 232, Leacock Building

A gift from the Creator, that’s where it all began.  In the Haudenosaunee worldview the game of lacrosse is believed to be a gift from the Creator and it has been a central element of North American Indigenous cultures and traditional worldviews for centuries.  However, the sport of lacrosse has undergone a considerable amount of change since the introduction of non-Indigenous players in the 1840s. Following their introduction to the game by Indigenous athletes Canadians appropriated the Indigenous game as their own and manifested it as an expression of their national identity while it continued to be an integral part of Indigenous societies, culture, and epistemologies.  The Creator’s Game: An Indigenous Lacrosse History offers an intriguing case study of Canadian Native- Newcomer relations through the game of lacrosse and demonstrates how, at times, competing interest groups attempt to claim a source of identity as their own.
About the Speaker: Dr. Allan Downey

Allan is Dakelh from the Nak’azdli First Nation and an Assistant Professor in the Department of History and Classical Studies at McGill University where he also teaches in the Indigenous Studies Program. His most recent research has focused on the history of lacrosse, and sport more generally, in Indigenous communities as a lens to view Indigenous identity formation and his forthcoming book, The Creator’s Game, is currently under contract with UBC Press.  Beyond teaching, Allan splits his time volunteering for Indigenous communities and youth organizations.

FILM SCREENING: TRICK OR TREATY? AND TALK with PAKESSO MUKASH

7:00PM – 9:00PM, Room 26, Leacock Building

A screening of Alanis Obomsawin’s film “Trick or Treaty” will be shown, which explores whether or not First Nations signatories of Treaty 9 in 1905 were deceived by treaty commissioners about their land sovereignty rights in Northern Ontario, as well as the contemporary ramifications of and mobilization in response to this Treaty. Media personality and musician Pakesso Mukash will provide commentary on his experiences as an aspiring “Cree cultural ambassador” as well as movements he has taken part of around resistance and revitalization.
About the Speaker: Pekasso Mukash

Pakesso Mukash is a Cree/Abenaki Juno award winning musician, TV personality and passionate orator. Born in Whapmagoostui in the James Bay region of Quebec, some past projects are the band CerAmony and hosting Maamuitaau on CBC. Current endeavors include the music project KZO as well as traveling around the globe connecting the stories of Indigenous Peoples for a new APTN show titled Konnected.
In Partnership: KANATA

 

=>Wednesday, September 23 2015

DREAMCATCHER MAKING WORKSHOP (STAFF AND FACULTY ONLY)

12:00PM – 1:00PM, Room 5001, Brown Building, 3600 McTavish Street

Explore your creative side and discover a part of First Nations traditional craft: the Dreamcatcher. The workshop will be led by Marie-Celine Charron from the Naskapis First Nation of Kawawachikamach.
Spaces are limited. Register by e-mailing asp.sede@mcgill.ca.

 

 

 

 

DREAMCATCHER MAKING WORKSHOP (MCGILL STUDENTS ONLY)

1:00PM – 3:00PM, Room 5001, Brown Building, 3600 McTavish Street

Explore your creative side and discover a part of First Nations traditional craft: the Dreamcatcher. The workshop will be led by Marie-Celine Charron from the Naskapis First Nation of Kawawachikamach.
Spaces are limited. Register by e-mailing asp.sede@mcgill.ca.

 

 

 

 

 

FILM SCREENING: HONOUR YOUR WORD with NORMAN MATCHEWAN & MICHEL THUSKY

2:30PM – 4:30PM, Room 102, New Chancellor Day Hall, 3644 Peel Street

More information to come.

In Partnership With: Aboriginal Law Students’ Association & Centre for Human Rights and Legal Pluralism

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

REFLECTIONS ON THE TRUTH & RECONCILIATION with PROFESSOR MICHAEL LOFT

5:00PM – 6:00PM, Room 216, Education Building. 3700 McTavish Street

As the title implies, the TRC’s overarching mandate focuses on two primary goals: the “truth” aspect which attempts to establish an understanding of the harm done to Aboriginal People, specifically how their history, culture and identity was repressed; the second factor,  “reconciliation”, focuses on the reestablishment of good relations that were disrupted between Aboriginal People and Canadians. In this talk, the presenter (an inter- generational survivor) will focus on the latter and specifically, will offer suggestions how to bridge the gap. A short video clip will be shown as well as some additional insights from a survivor who spent 7 years in Shubenacadie residential school.

About the Speaker: Michael Loft is an enrolled member and life-long resident of the Mohawk community of Kahnawake. He was born in 1952 in Montreal and attended Kateri Indian Day School in Kahnawake. In the late 1960’s, he worked briefly as a high-steel construction worker before enlisting in the U.S. Marines in 1969. Michael is a Vietnam-era veteran. He married Ruth in 1974 and has 3 children- Tassisiak, Tanaieta & Skahentati, and 4 grandchildren- Tanaieta Jr., Daylon, Sianna & Evangelina.
What is perhaps unique about Michael’s life is how he was able to overcome a challenging upbringing and go on to develop a rewarding career for himself. He accomplished this by working hard in social work at both the front-line level and in academia for almost three decades. Michael’s late father Mitchell, had a role in this success. Although Mitchell attended Indian residential school for 11 continuous years, he had many positive powerful teachings he shared with Michael: respect, responsibility, and cooperation. In the talk today, Michael will discuss how these concepts can form the basis of how reconciliation can be reached between Aboriginal people and Canadians today.

=>Thursday, September 24 2015 => Symposium: Resisting Gendered and State Violence:  Indigenous Women’s Activism

“WE ARE NOT RED INDIANS” (WE MIGHT ALL BE RED INDIANS): THE GENDER OF ANTICOLONIAL  SOVEREIGNTY ACROSS THE BORDERS OF TIME, PLACE AND SENTIMENT with DR. AUDRA SIMPSON

1:30PM – 2:45PM, Ballroom, Thomson House, 3650 McTavish Street

Information to come.

RESISTING GENDERED VIOLENCE AND INDIGENOUS SOVEREIGNTY with HAIDEE LEFEBVRE, KRYSTA  WILLIAMS, WIDIA LARIVIÈRE, IEHENTE FOOTE, MEGAN KANERAHTENHÁWI WHYTE, SKÁTNE IONKWATEHIAHRÓNTIE’, AMANDA LICKERS & MOLLY SWAIN

3:15PM – 5:00PM, Ballroom, Thomson House, 3650 McTavish Street

Information to come.

=>Friday, September 25 2015 => Symposium: Resisting Gendered and State Violence:  Indigenous Women’s Activism

INDIGENEITY: A BRIEF INTRODUCTION with PAIGE ISAAC & ALLAN VICAIRE 

10:30AM – 12:00PM, Ballroom, Thomson House, 3650 McTavish Street

Information to come.

LIVING HISTORIES, ACTIVIST FUTURES with CHELSEA VOWEL & BRIDGET TOLLEY

1:00PM – 2:15PM, Ballroom, Thomson House, 3650 McTavish Street

Information to come.

MOBILIZING COMMUNITIES with DR. AUDRA SIMPSON, SHEILA SWASSON & MELISSA DUPUIS

2:30PM – 3:45PM, Ballroom, Thomson House, 3650 McTavish Street

Information to come.

DECOLONIZATION AND UPLIFTING INDIGENOUS WOMEN AND THEIR ROLES IN CONTEMPORARY SOCIETY with ELLEN GABRIEL 

4:00PM – 5:30PM, Ballroom, Thomson House, 3650 McTavish Street

Information to come.

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