National Indigenous History Month

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National Indigenous History Month

Dr. Carmen Sicilia
Associate Professor and Director of Indigenous Relations Initiative

Kwe, Tansi, Ullukkut, Hawa’a, Bonjour, Hello.

In the spirit of reconciliation, it is my pleasure to announce and welcome you to this year’s School of Continuing Studies National Indigenous History Month event series. This year our series will include talks and presentations from remarkable Indigenous speakers, educators, scholars, and professionals from across the country, who will share with us the history, culture, and stories of the Indigenous Peoples of Canada. I encourage you to join us and take this opportunity to learn more about First Nations, Inuit, and Métis Peoples. It is through learning and understanding that we can create change, envision new opportunities, and experience personal growth.

Nia:wen, Meegwetch, Nakurmik, Merci, Thank you



Weaving Reconciliation into your Course with Indigenous Pedagogy and Heutagogy

Presented by Dr. Stryker Calvez & Mrs. Nazreen Beaulieu

Date Time Description
June 1 (Part 1) 11:00 a.m.
12:00 p.m. EST
Reconciliation is a journey or learning path that supports a future that is inclusive, equitable and prosperous for all. All that is asked of you is a willingness to understand and rewrite the colonized truths that are harming society today. We invite you to join three 1-hour experiential learning workshops over lunch to explore your teaching philosophy as we consider how to rewrite it in relation to Indigenous pedagogy and Western heutagogy, two approaches that support student-centred learning. We will help you find your own path for supporting the Indigenous Peoples and the future generations of youth in Canada.

Workshop is Full

June 3 (Part 2)
June 8 (Part 3) 10:30 a.m.
12:00 p.m. EST

A Look at the Truth & Reconciliation Commission

Presented by Professor Wanda Gabriel MSW

Date Time Description
June 2 10:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. EST The residential school era in Canada lasted over 100 years. Thousands of Indigenous children were harmed psychologically, physically, sexually and spiritually casting a soul wound across generations. For more than a decade survivor’s were making motions for legal and civil actions to be taken against the Canadian government and Churches. In 2007 a national agreement was made to compensate survivors for the harm done to children and families by church and state. The Settlement Agreement was reached. The Settlement Agreement included five different types of elements to address the legacy of Indian Residential Schools. In this session we will explore these elements. One of the elements is the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) which we will examine in detail. We will look at the process of this historical commission over their years of operation and how they carefully approached survivors to gather the stories. Particular focus will be on the calls to action and what this means for Canadians. Participants will be invited to explore, share views and find ways to engage in the calls to action via small breakout rooms.


Scarf Ceremony
June 10 from 1:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. EST

McGill SCS Convocation
June 10 from 4:15 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. EST

Comment mieux comprendre le monde Autochtone pour mieux intervenir: valorisation identitaire et sécurisation culturelle

Presented by Mr. Pierre Picard

Date Time Description
June 15 10:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. EST La culture n’est pas uniquement constituée d’une langue, de croyances et de pratiques. Elle comprend de multiples variables et se développe à partir de facteurs socio-historiques et de conditions générales de vie qui viennent notamment déterminer un processus relationnel complexe et des liens familiaux et communautaires très variés. Le développement de ses connaissances culturelles est le point de départ pour comprendre qu’il y a effectivement des différences entre la société dominante et les Autochtones. L’imposition d’un système d’éducation, de santé ou de justice dénudé du caractère distinctif propre aux Premières nations a eu et a encore des conséquences sur l’état de santé global des autochtones. On cerne de plus en plus les enjeux liés à la sécurisation culturelle comme étant une variable fondamentale dans le cheminement de vie des Autochtones. La conférence questionnera les pratiques de tout le réseau québécois et fournira des pistes de l’applicabilité du concept de sécurisation culturelle au profit des populations autochtones.


Impact of Climate Change on Food Security in Northern Canada

Presented by Dr. Robert Rabin

Date Time Description
June 17 10:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. EST This presentation will highlight past and recent changes in climate and weather events and affects on indigenous communities. Examples include warming in the arctic, decreasing ice cover and permafrost, eroding coastlines, wildfires, floods and droughts, and impact on First Foods such Manoomin (wild rice), medicinal plants, and animal relatives. Increased variability in day-to-day weather has been noted in the Arctic, increasing the challenge of reliable forecasting traditional methods which rely on place-based observations. We will explore a few elements of traditional science of the Iñupiat people as evidenced in the descriptions of weather and ice in the Iñupiaq language. Aspects of this knowledge, such determining weather changes and impending storms will be compared to current approaches to weather and climate forecasting. New tools will be reviewed, such as Smart Ice and SIKU which may reduce the hazard of travel on thinning ice.


National Indigenous Peoples Day in Canada
June 21

Importance of Indigenous Language in the Justice System

Presented by Mr. Don Nicholls M.S.M., B.A., LL.B, B.C.L, LL.M

Date Time Description
June 21 10:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. EST The importance of language in the justice system cannot be understated. The integrity of the system depends on a clear understanding of the rules and processes by the parties involved. For Indigenous Peoples to have a fair and just treatment requires that they understand the rules, the processes and the fundamental principles of justice in another language. While the integration of Gladue reporting and other remedial measures can help move the marker closer to the goal of fair and just treatment of Indigenous defendants, much remains to be done to get us there. The over-representation of Indigenous Peoples in the legal and correctional systems continues to go beyond what then Minister Allan Rock called a National crisis 25 years ago, and Dr. Ivan Zinger reported on last year as having more than doubled.


Braiding Sweetgrass: Understanding Indigenous Resilience and Making Space for Indigenous Ways of Thinking

Presented by Mr. Alex Allard-Gray

Date Time Description
June 29 10:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. EST In this interactive presentation, participants will have the opportunity to discuss and learn of ways to incorporate and create space for Indigenous ways of thinking into their work. Indigenous Resilience will be highlighted through examples pertaining to the presenter’s community, and how his Indigenous identity guides his work with Indigenous learners.



Mr. Donald Nicholls

Mr. Donald Nicholls is the Director of the Cree Nation Government (CNG), Department of Justice and Correctional Services since 2009. Prior to becoming Director, Mr. Nicholls was the Interim Director where he assisted with the establishment of the Department, and was an inaugural Member of the Cree-Quebec Judicial Advisory Committee when established in 2007. Mr. Nicholls stepped down from the Committee to become Director, and worked with the Committee and CNG. Previously, from 2005-2009, Mr. Nicholls worked as Political Attaché with the Executive Office of the Grand Council of the Crees (Eeyou Istchee) Cree Nation Government. Mr. Nicholls has a strong background in law and Indigenous issues, having served as the first Coordinator of Justice for the Cree Nation Government, worked with tribal courts, worked on Indigenous cases at mechanisms in the United Nations, Organization of American States, NAFTA, and in domestic court systems in Latin and North America.

Prof. Wanda Gabriel

Prof. Wanda Gabriel, is Assistant Professor at McGill University, School of Social Work. She has worked nationally on several projects such as the Aboriginal Healing Foundation, The Canadian Aboriginal Aids Network, National Parole Board of Canada, and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. In her University role, she is the Co-Director for the Qualifying Year for Master of Social Work degree and the Co-Director of Indigenous Access McGill. She is presently involved with a research team composed of partners from Concordia University, Quebec Native Women and Elizabeth Fry Association. The project is to identify the rehabilitation needs of Indigenous women in Quebec’s provincial prison and to assess the institutional policies that support and constrain Indigenous women’s capacity for rehabilitation.

Dr. Robert Rabin

Dr. Robert Rabin is a research meteorologist with National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) at the National Severe Storms Lab in Norman Oklahoma and an Honorary Fellow at the Cooperative Institute for Meteorological Satellite Studies University of Wisconsin-Madison. He is an active member of the American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES), serving as a volunteer and science judge at conferences, an instructor at Iiisaġvik College (Itqiaġvik,Alaska), the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) Water Resources Training Program, and the Native Youth Community Adaptation Leadership Congress in the U.S.. Robert has been engaged in learning the Iñupiaq language and is enrolled in the Iñupiaq Studies Program at Ilisaġvik College, Utqiaġvik (Barrow) AK.

Mr. Alex Allard-Gray

Mr. Alex Allard-Gray is a member of the Listuguj Mi’gmaq First Nation located in the Gaspé region of Quebec. From a young age, Alex came to understand the importance of higher education in the Indigenous community and was always encouraged to be an ambitious learner. Alex’s initial exposure to post-secondary education began with his participation in the 2006 Eagle Spirit High Performance Camp hosted at McGill University. This would have a lasting effect on him, as he chose to complete his B.Sc. in Physiology and Kinesiology at McGill. Alex remained involved with the Eagle Spirit Camp throughout his undergraduate studies, while participating in other Indigenous-led initiatives. This would include acting as President of the McGill Chapter of the Canadian Indigenous Science and Engineering Society.

Mrs. Nazreen Beaulieu

Mrs. Nazreen Beaulieu is a graduate of the Educational Technology and Design (ETAD) M.Ed. program at the University of Saskatchewan and has worked as an instructional designer in several capacities over the years. She later worked as an e-Instructor and course developer for a virtual school that provided distance education courses to Northern Canadian Indigenous communities and homeschooler. She worked on a SSHRC funded assignment that explored how older adults use online personal learning networks (oPLNs) to support their self-directed, lifelong learning goals. Her experiences have consolidated a passion for eLearning, self-directed learning and blended/networked learning environments that bridge the gap between formal and informal learning.

Dr. Stryker Calvez

Dr. Stryker Calvez is a Metis/Michif researcher and educator from the Red River territory around Winnipeg. Over the last 20 years he has worked extensively with provincial governments, post-secondary institutions, organizations and communities to better understand how to implement and/or improve educational, social support, and health programming for Indigenous Peoples, newcomers and vulnerable populations. He has been recognized for his contributions to these communities, supporting diversity and inclusion management, facilitating effective intergroup relations, and supporting reconciliation in Canada. Currently he is the Manager of Indigenous Education Initiatives at the University of Saskatchewan

M. Pierre Picard

M. Pierre Picard est membre de la Nation Huronne-Wendat. Il possède une formation en approche d’intervention psycho-corporelle et une maîtrise en sexologie clinique et s’est d’abord spécialisé en matière d’agression sexuelle chez les Premières Nations du Québec. Il dirige depuis plusieurs années le Groupe de recherche et d’interventions psychosociales en milieu autochtone (GRIPMA). Conférencier, formateur, chercheur et superviseur clinique, il a conduit plusieurs travaux portant exclusivement sur les problématiques psychosociales en milieu autochtone et des moyens de guérison tenant compte des différences culturelles et identitaires propres aux Premières Nations du Québec.

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