Category: Indigenous Peoples in unceded… Ottawa

Canada’s era of reconciliation meets Indigenous People’s subconscious in “Our Northern Citizen”

For a glimpse of Canada’s planning and governance in play for Indigenous Peoples – useful right now take a look at this half hour documentary by the NFB in 1956 – and consider how policy development echoes and more to the point rings out to us today.

“…  subconscious sense of security in the new ways…;
…changing the Eskimo…;
… imitative skills….”

Our Northern Citizen, John Howe, provided by the National Film Board of Canada

Please see the documentary Here:

The film helps us understand the current Indigenous Peoples governance atmosphere and structure in play in Canada’s era of reconciliation as described in this post:



Finding reconciliation and not having reforms perpetuate the poison of colonialism

Over recent years in the context of reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples be it indicated  by acknowledgements at the get go of meetings or announcements of policy’s and initiatives, there has remained a sense for me we are not going about reform and change very well.  Mary McPherson’s drawing “Reconcile What?” helped to wake me up.

(Mary McPherson drawing from )

How do we bridge: understanding with action that advances Indigenous Peoples in our society?  Where have I got it wrong and right on the steps, – because I have it both ways.

Here are some approaches that I use to engage and learn from:

Reconciliation: The False Promise of Trudeau’s Sunny Ways: Under the Liberals, statements of moral feeling have been elevated to a governing strategy

…What appeared to be a sweeping transformation was, in fact, a skilful technique for managing the status quo: everything would appear to change in order for things to remain the same. It was the changeless change that the Liberals so excelled in. The outcome would be stamped as reconciliation but would, in fact, be what Indigenous peoples had been fighting in each generation: being consigned to small land bases, shorn of any say over developments in their traditional territories, with the right to administer their own poverty. This relationship wouldn’t be nation-to-nation. It would be nation-to-municipalization. Nation-to-glorified-reservation. Nation-to-dressed-up-subjugation. …

Yellowhead Institute

…For too long, the relationship between First Nation peoples and Canadians has been characterized by inertia: the same old, paternalistic and racist policies and the corresponding apathy and neglect. Yet, the resistance of Indigenous peoples continues to grow and today, there is an acceptance on behalf of governments and Canadians that change is required. This is a tremendous opportunity. The challenge is ensuring the direction of change is towards the transformational. Yellowhead Institute can play an important role here, scrutinizing government policy, advocating for the rights of First Nation peoples, and models of change that support First Nation jurisdiction. …

        Russell Diabo

…Since the federal election of 2015, the Trudeau government has embarked on a top-down, nontransparent approach to federal Indigenous policy. There are reportedly 40 to 50 “exploratory tables” with Indigenous groups. We don’t know the topics or with whom the federal government is holding discussions, but these discussions are supposed to feed into an equally opaque Working Group of Ministers on the Review of Laws and Policies Related to Indigenous Peoples.

The discussion results are to be presented to a “bilateral mechanism” — federal cabinet committees based on political agreements with three national Indigenous organizations representing the Inuit, Métis and the Assembly of First Nations, a Chiefs’ organization. This stealth approach to change policy and law bypasses the legitimate rights holders: the Indigenous peoples. They are the ones who have a right to self-determination, not the national Indigenous leadership groups. …

        Whose Land Is It Anyway? A Manual for Decolonization

…Now that we have proven that we will not accept annihilation, we find ourselves in an era of reconciliation. Reconciliation? Like many of my sisters and brothers, I have trouble understanding what it is that we are trying to reconcile. Is the time for fighting over? Have we come through to the other side of the nightmare that is history? Have we decolonized this country? Reconciliation: the invitation from Canada to share in the spoils of our nations’ subjugation and dispossession. What a tainted gift, and such a false promise. Reconciling with colonialism cannot heal the wounds the colonizers have wrought on our collective existence. The essential harm of colonization is that the living relationship between our people and our land has been severed. By fraud, abuse, violence and sheer force of numbers, white society has forced us into the situation of being refugees and trespassers in our own homelands and we are prevented from maintaining the physical, spiritual and cultural relationships necessary for our continuation as nations. …

Dennis McPherson

Indian on the Lawn: How are Research Partnerships with Aboriginal Peoples Possible?

… The culture is then, in a sense, transforming itself in a normal and healthy way. In my own research I have found that underlying the diversity of Native American cultures is a pattern of Indigenous thought that is itself a form of transformative philosophy. (19) When Native researchers write about their own cultures they are not only transforming those cultures, they are also transforming themselves, for they are given the opportunity to discover and transform their own prejudgments. As Crusius notes, “we cannot even know our own history, the complex conventions we have internalized; for the most part we can only live it/them, for we are it/them.” (20) Native researchers in learning more about themselves by writing about their own culture are keeping that culture alive by actually making the culture conscious of itself. …

More suggestions?  Please add to comments section, thanks.

Dennis McPherson presentation to Lakehead University law school, “Indian on the Lawn, thirty years of reflection”

This presentation to the Lakehead University Law School, dean search committee, by candidate Dennis McPherson delves in depth, on research of the role of Law/Education and Indigenous Peoples, is worth an hour of your time if you are seeking to address the ideas of reconciliation.

See the video of the presentation

Background on:

Bora Laskin Faculty of Law Decanal Search

Lakehead University is conducting an extensive Search for the Dean of the Bora Laskin Faculty of Law, to take office by July 2019 and invites expressions of interest, applications and nominations.

The Search for the Dean of the Bora Laskin Faculty of Law is well underway and we are welcoming two candidates on campus next week.

As part of the selection process, there will be an opportunity for interested persons to attend a Public Presentation with each candidate.

Learn more here:


Champlain Walk in Clinics – addressing mental health … and more

Description of role of the Walk in Clinic model being used here in Ottawa, here is a brief video on Wabano’s  service approachIt would be great to see any evaluations done on this approach in the context of overall population health in Champlain.  Anyone know of one?

General Information on Champlain Walk in Clinics are here:

Indigenous Perspectives and Social Work webinar

From the Canadian Association of Social workers

CASW’s continuing education webinars in celebration of NSWM are ongoing! We are pleased to open registration for a new series focusing on Indigenous Perspectives & Social Work.

All webinars are open to CASW members and will be 1 hour in length with the opportunity for live Q & A’s.

Sign-up yourself or organize your office.

  • Indigenous Perspectives & Social Work Series – March 23rd & April 10th  – Each starting at 1:00pm EST
    Canadian social workers are highly diverse yet share the same values of social justice, respect for all and service to humanity. As a country and a profession we have the opportunity to move forward with genuine reconciliation. This two part webinar series strives to encourage ongoing discussion and continual learning. Understanding and acknowledging our shared colonial past will help us to create a more just and healthy shared future. This is a webinar series for all social workers.

A pledge to Indigenous Peoples, in progress

From Maggie Lodge, Carleton School of Social Work

Dear Colleague, We warmly invite you to join us for a special free lecture/presentation on Pledging Reconciliation: Transforming Social Work on March 6 from 5-7 pm in the Atrium of Richcraft Hall, Carleton University.Add Poll

In response to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s recommendations, graduate students at Carleton developed a pledge for social workers to consider to shifting the relationship between the profession of social work and indigenous peoples.This work is receiving attention and support.

On March 6, four of these students will present this pledge-in-progress, which is the first of its kind in Canada. We hope you will join us to learn more and contribute to this exciting initiative by hearing from these students at the Rheal Brant Hall Annual Lecture. No RSVP is required

For more information on the development of the pledge, see our website

“Culture as a Catalyst: Preventing the Criminalization of Indigenous Youth.”

From Crime Prevention Ottawa 


Culture and Indigenous Youth: A Pathway to Wellbeing, Speaker Series event and research paper release

Crime Prevention Ottawa is pleased to release the research paper, “Culture as a Catalyst: Preventing the Criminalization of Indigenous Youth.” The paper targets professionals who work with young Indigenous people. Author Dr. Melanie Bania explores:

  • Key strategies for supporting Indigenous youth
  • Ways to ensure cultural safety
  • Strength-based approaches
  • Trauma-informed supports
  • Benefits of culturally competent staff and programming

The research, available on our website at, will be discussed at our upcoming Speaker Series event. The event will be held in partnership with the City of Ottawa Aboriginal Working Committee.


Are you a service provider who works with Indigenous youth? Do you want to learn more about the role of culture in promoting the wellbeing of Indigenous youth? Find out how at our upcoming Speaker Series event.


When:  Tuesday, February 14th from 8:00 am to10:30 am

Coffee at 8:00 am, program starts at 8:30 am


City Hall, 110 Laurier Avenue West

Andrew Haydon Hall (Council Chambers)


Melanie Bania, Community Engagement Consultant

Marc Maracle, Co-Chair of the Aboriginal Working Committee and Executive Director, Gignul Non Profit Housing Corporation

Équan Liberté, Youth Justice Case Manager – Wabano Centre for Aboriginal Health 

Lynda Brown, Ottawa Inuit Children’s Centre



Michelle Mann-Rempel, Lawyer and consultant specialized in Indigenous criminal justice


To R.S.V.P.:

Contact Crime Prevention Ottawa at or 613-580-2424 ext. 25393. Space is limited.


For more information about Crime Prevention Ottawa, please visit or follow us on Facebook at