Symposium: Indigenous resurgence in an age of reconciliation

March 16-18, 2017

Age of reconciliation This IRAR symposium brought together many prominent Indigenous scholars in the fields of Political Science, Law and Indigenous Governance to consider the long intellectual tradition of Indigenous resurgence within these fields while looking toward new directions in consideration of the challenges and possibilities produced in the era of reconciliation. Our aim in hosting this event was to cultivate an environment for productive discussion of a central concern facing Indigenous resurgence: our relationships with creation (land, water, animals, ancestors) and how these relationships have been impacted by reconciliation politics.

This event was held on the traditional territories of the Songhees, Esquimalt and WSÁNEĆ peoples.

Poster | Program

Watch the event

Panel one

Panel two

Panel three

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Panel five


Leanne Betasamosake Simpson

Dr. Leanne Betasamosake Simpson (Michi Saagiig Nishnaabeg) is faculty at the Dechinta Centre for Research & Learning in Denendeh (NWT) and a Distinguished Visiting Scholar in the Faculty of Arts at Ryerson University. Her work breaks open the intersections between politics, story and song—bringing audiences into a rich and layered world of sound, light, and sovereign creativity. Leanne is the author of Dancing on Our Turtle’s Back (2011) and The Gift Is in the Making (2013), editor of Lighting the Eighth Fire (2008) and co-editor of This Is An Honour Song (2010) and The Winter We Danced: Voice from the Past, the Future and the Idle No More Movement (2014).

Heidi Kiiwetinepinesiik Stark

Dr. Heidi Kiiwetinepinesiik Stark (Turtle Mountain Ojibwe) is an Assistant Professor in the University of Victoria’s Political Science Department. Heidi’s research interests include Indigenous Comparative Politics, Native Diplomacy & Treaty and Aboriginal Rights, with a specific focus on Anishinaabe treaty-making with the United States and Canada. Heidi is co-editor of Centering Anishinaabeg Studies: Understanding the World Through Stories with Jill Doerfler and Niigaanwewidam Sinclair (2013) and is co-author of the third edition of American Indian Politics and the American Political System (2010) with Dr. David E. Wilkins.

Dian Million

Dian Million (Tanana Athabascan) is an Associate Professor in American Indian Studies at the University of Washington. Dian Million’s most recent research explores the politics of mental and physical health with attention to affect as it informs race, class, and gender in Indian Country. She is the author of Therapeutic Nations: Healing in an Age of Indigenous Human Rights (2013).

Sheryl Lightfoot

Sheryl Lightfoot (Anishinaabe, Lake Superior Ojibwe) is the Canada Research Chair in Global Indigenous Rights and Politics at the University of British Columbia. Her research interests include indigenous rights movements and state responses to indigenous rights claims. Sheryl is the author of Global Indigenous Politics: A Subtle Revolution (2016).

Christine O'Bonsawin

Christine O'Bonsawin is an Associate Professor in History and the Director of Indigenous Studies at the University of Victoria. Christine is from the Abenaki, Odanak Nation. Christine’s research is in Indigenous sport history, the Olympic Games, and Indigeneity in the modern sport era. Christine is co-editor of Intersections and Intersectionalities in Olympic and Paralympic Studies (2014) and author of the recent article “From Black Power to Indigenous Activism: The Olympic Movement and the Marginalization of Oppressed Peoples” Journal of Sport History (2015).

Taiaiake Alfred

Gerald Taiaiake Alfred (Kahnawá:ke, Mohawk Nation) is a Professor of Indigenous Governance and Political Science at the University of Victoria. Taiaiake's current research and consulting work is rooted in the concept of Indigenous Resurgence and involves studying the effects of environmental contamination on Indigenous culture, and the restoration of land-based cultural practices, with a special focus on the Mohawk community of Akwesasne. He is the author of three books: Heeding the Voices of Our Ancestors (1995), Peace, Power, Righteousness (2008), and Wasáse: Indigenous Pathways of Action and Freedom (2005).

Glen Coulthard

Glen Coulthard (Yellowknives Dene) is an Associate Professor in the First Nations and Indigenous Studies Program and the Department of Political Science at the University of British Columbia. Glen’s research interests include Indigenous thought and politics, contemporary political theory, and radical social and political thought. He is the author of Red Skin, White Masks: Rejecting the Colonial Politics of Recognition (2014) and co-editor of Recognition versus Self-Determination: Dilemmas of Emancipatory Politics (2014).

Sarah Hunt

Dr. Sarah Hunt (Kwagiulth/Kwakwaka’wakw, Tsaxis) is an Assistant Professor of Critical Indigenous Geographies in the Department of First Nations and Indigenous Studies and the Department of Geography at the University of British Columbia. Sarah’s scholarship in Indigenous and legal geographies critically takes up questions of justice, gender, self-determination, and the spatiality of Indigenous law. Her most recent publications on Indigenous and decolonial thought include her co-authored article “Everyday Decolonization: Living a decolonizing queer politics” Journal of Lesbian Studies (2015) and “Ontologies of Indigeneity: the politics of embodying a concept” Cultural Geographies (2014).

Aimee Craft

Aimée Craft (Anishinaabe-Métis) is an Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Law at the University of Manitoba, and is the Research Director of the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation (NCTR). Her research interests are in Anishinaabe and Canadian Aboriginal law, and focuses on understanding and interpreting treaties from an Anishinaabe inaakonigewin (legal) perspective. Aimee is the author of Breathing Life Into the Stone Fort Treaty (2013).

Audra Simpson

Dr. Audra Simpson (Mohawk) is an Associate Professor in the Department of Anthropology at Columbia University. Audra’s research is energized by the problem of recognition, by its passage beyond (and below) the aegis of the state into the grounded field of political self-designation, self-description and subjectivity. Her work is motivated by the struggle of Kahnawake Mohawks to find the proper way to afford political recognition to each other, their struggle to do this in different places and spaces and the challenges of formulating membership against a history of colonial impositions. She is the author of Mohawk Interruptus: Political Life Across the Borders of Settler States (2014) and co-editor of Theorizing Native Studies (2014).

Hayden King

Hayden King (Pottawatomi Ojibwe, Beausoleil First Nation) is an Assistant Professor in the School of Public Policy and Administration at Carleton University. Hayden’s research revolves around land and resource management, often in the Canadian north, and Anishinaabe political economy, diplomacy and international relations. He is the co-author of Canada’s North: What’s the Plan? (2011) and the co-editor of The Winter We Danced: Voices from the Past, the Future and the Idle No More Movement (2015).

Nick Claxton

Dr. Nick Claxton (Tsawout Band & WSÁNEĆ Nation) is an Assistant Teaching Professor in Indigenous Education at the University of Victoria. His research interests are in revitalizing the traditional fishing knowledge and traditions of reef net fishing in his community, and he draws knowledge from local elders Dr. Earl Claxton, and others including his father Lou Claxton who participated first hand the Saanich Reef Net technology.

Hokulani Aikau

Dr. Hokulani K. Aikau (Kanaka ʻŌiwi Hawaiʻi) is an associate professor of Native Hawaiian and Indigenous Politics at the University of Hawai’i Manoa. Dr. Aikau’s research and teaching interests and commitments stem from her experience as a Kanaka ʻŌiwi who grew up in a deeply religious community of Polynesians living in Utah. She is the author of A Chosen People, a Promised Land: Mormonism and Race in Hawaiʻi (2012) which examines the intersections of race, religion, and Native Hawaiian identities as they are articulated with and in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. She is also the co-author of Feminist Waves, Feminist Generations: Stories from the Academy (2007).

Daniel Heath Justice

Dr. Daniel Heath Justice (Cherokee Nation) is the Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Literature and Expressive Culture at the University of British Columbia. His current projects include Why Indigenous Literatures Matter, a literary manifesto (forthcoming 2016), a collection of essays and short stories titled Imagining Otherwise: Reflections on Indigenous Belonging and Desire, as well as a new dark fantasy trilogy, a cultural history of raccoons, and a critical monograph on other-than-human kinship in Indigenous writing. He is the author of Our Fire Survives the Storm: A Cherokee Literary History (2006), as well as co-editor of The Oxford Handbook of Indigenous American Literature (2014) and Sovereign Erotics: A Collection of Two-Spirit Literature (2011).


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