Welcome to Transforming Relations: A Collaborative Collection

How to use this Collaborative Collection:

Ongoing processes of colonialism have profoundly shaped and affected relations between the Canadian State and First Nations, and non-Indigenous and Indigenous peoples. Settler consciousness, which permeates through nearly every aspect of mainstream society, has allowed colonial practices and narratives to remain dominant within Canada.

What follows is a collaborative collection of past, present, and ongoing initiatives from across the territory now known as Canada, which contribute to the process of understanding and transforming settler consciousness, and rebuilding relationships between the Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples who share this land.

To navigate the collection, which is presented in the form of a prolific blog, you can select particular topics and sectors using the Categories and Tags options on specific entries or by scrolling down to the bottom of the page and using the Categories and Tags options found there.

Celebrating Indigenous Expertise in Sustainability

Hosted by Concordia University, this event brings together guest speakers to discuss and celebrate Indigenous expertise in environmental sustainability. Sub-events include “Decolonizing Climate Policy in so-called Canada”, “Co-developing knowledge with Indigenous communities to facilitate sustainable fisheries management”, and “Partners in Indigenous Conservation and Environmental Futures”.

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Telling Our Own Stories: Self-Determination in Data and Research – Virtual NAISA Regional Gathering

The Native American and Indigenous Studies Association  This gathering, held at Lakehead University in Thunder Bay, Ontario, is to highlight and support Indigenous people and communities that are reclaiming their roles as storytellers within their communities.

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Decolonization Is for Everyone | Nikki Sanchez | TEDxSFU

Indigenous environmental activist Nikki Sanchez discusses decolonization’s target audience during her TEDTalk. She discusses the uncomfortable question to the settler of “can you name the territory your grandmother was born on?”.

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Legacies: Earth to Table – Grassroots Community Project

This is a grassroots project started by just a small group of food activists across many backgrounds. Both young and old, urban and rural, settler and Indigenous and Canadian and Mexican. This project is a meeting place for discussion around all things food, but especially food justice and sovereignty. Other themes in their programs focus on anti-racism in food and Indigenous/settler relations.

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@mxd2Sprairien8v – Instagram

Brendan Campbell creates informative content for both their own community as well as those outside it. Their posts range from topics on Settler Identity, White Passing Currency, to Language Resurgence Programs and various Workshops led by Indigenous peoples.

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Canadian Bushcraft – Podcast

Wilderness Survival Instructor and Anishinaabe storyteller Caleb Nini Musgrave (Hiawatha First Nation) has guests both Indigenous and settler come on his podcast to talk anything bushcraft. Musgrave goes from “mountain lion encounters, to shenanigans in the woods”.

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Métis in Space – Podcast

This podcast features Métis women Molly Swain and Chelsea Vowel, self-proclaimed sci-fi nerd. Together, the two Metis women discuss tropes, themes, and hidden meanings in popular content. Accessible to anyone who loves science fiction, film, storytelling, or a good podcast!

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MusiCounts – Kanata: Contemporary Indigenous Artists and their Music

MusiCounts is a Canadian music education charity started in 1997. It works from an  understanding that the success of the music industry strongly relies on the past generation of musicians, and that the next generations will be influenced by how (or if) music is taught in their schools. The Kanata Music program brings in supports for educators and help them bring Indigenous perspectives and music into their classrooms. All the materials are free to use and download, and can be utilized for in person, or online learning. The program also aligns with curricular requirements. 

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Beyond 94 – Truth and Reconciliation In Canada

This website began in 2018, and is designed to allow all citizens and internet users to view each aspect of the Truth and Reconciliation Commissions 94 calls to action. It explains what the TRC is and why it was formed. It has an active list of each call that has been met, the calls with projects currently running, the calls with projects being proposed, and the calls that have not been started yet.

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Good Fire Podcast

The Good Fire podcast is a show that began in 2019 to provide insight into the vast benefits of intentional practices by many First Nations around the world. This includes cultural burning, seasonal burns, and more, which rejuvenate the landscape by clearing out dead underbrush and delivering essential nutrients to the ecosystem. They discuss how Indigenous fire stewardship is critical to cultural empowerment of many nations, since it is a practice that brings together community, acknowledges cyclical events, and provides intense healing and release. Good Fire subverts Western notions of fire as destructive and “evil,” by recentering Indigenous knowledge and practices of fire as balancing.

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Decolonizing the Library Initiative at Simon Fraser University

The Decolonizing the Library initiative at Simon Fraser University is one of three initiatives at SFU Libraries to incorporate Indigenous knowledge, authors and academics, and provide books and other information that is truthful about Canadian history and settler colonialism. Part of this is acknowledging SFU library locations on Coast Salish territory. Decolonizing the Library is a response to the report of the Aboriginal Council at SFU and the TRC Report and Recommendations from the Canadian Federation of Library Associations.

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The Freedom Lounge

The Freedom Lounge is a study and social space for BIPOC and racialized students on Trent Symons Campus. Run by the Trent Central Students Association (TCSA), and inspired by the TCSA’s review of internal policies, training and community engagement practices in 2020, the Freedom Lounge was developed to provide a safe space for BIPOC students and engage the entire student body in initiatives that challenge white-dominated, Western mentalities. 

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Reciprocity Trusts

Reciprocity Trusts is a project that was originated by several B.C.-based settler ecologists and social scientists who have worked with Indigenous community for several years, where they learned the importance of reciprocity and the ongoing impact of colonialism. The project of Reciprocity “is about making recognition of Indigenous land rights more meaningful,” through the opportunity for settler property owners and renters to return small amounts of wealth annually to participating Indigenous Nations in British Columbia.

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Archives – CBC – Massey Lectures

The CBC Massey lectures have been going on for over half a century, starting in 1961. They bring speakers, educators, authors, and knowledge holders together to host educational seminars held over several days. There have been numerous speakers over the years, such as Tanya Talaga in 2018 and Thomas King in 2003, though not all speakers are Indigenous, such as Noam Chomsky or Martin Luther King Jr. 

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Reconseal Inuksiuti

This is a movement designed to “promote reconciliation by celebrating Indigenous and non-Indigenous seal hunting traditions”(2022). It is founded by Ruben Komangapik, a Nunavut sculptor, and Yoanis Menge, an author and photographer from Quebec. Meat collected from the hunted seals is donated. The movement helps to supply traditional foods for Urban Inuit peoples in cities such as Ottawa. 

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Elephant Thoughts – The Indigenous Journey

Elephant thoughts is a charitable organization that was founded in 2002 with goals to effect change in education not only within Canada, but across the globe. They work within over 100 Indigenous school communities across Canada on a yearly basis. They have online e-learning portals for visitors to the website to access. The first option under their e-learning selections is titled The Indigenous Journey. “We believe everyone has a responsibility to expand Knowledge of Indigenous Education” (2021). They also understand that educators, new and old may encounter some difficulties with the changing curriculum in Canada and aim to address this issue with the Indigenous Journey modules and teachings.

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First Nation Child & Family Caring Society – Spirit Bear’s Calls to Action

Author, Spirit Bear, published the booklet titled, Calls to Action, in 2020. This booklet is a “youth-friendly guide to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada 94 Calls to Action.” The booklet contains the “94 activities all governments, courts, businesses, schools, and people living in Canada can do to help fix the mistakes of the past and present so that all children – including First Nations, Métis, and Inuit children – can grow up happy, healthy, safe, and proud of who they are.”

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University of Alberta – Indigenous Canada

The University of Alberta is offering a free course titled Indigenous Canada under the faculty of Native Studies. This online course has 12 modules of study and approximately takes 21 hours to complete. The course is done through an Indigenous perspective addressing significant issues. Indigenous Canada has flexible due dates, a sharable certificate upon completion, and subtitles in 7 different languages. This course is recommended for beginners who want to start to their journey into learning Indigenous history, and contemporary Indigenous life. 

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Circles for Reconciliation

Circles for Reconciliation was created to build relationships between non-Indigenous and Indigenous peoples as part of the 94 Calls to Action from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Two facilitators lead 5 non-Indigenous and 5 Indigenous peoples in a 90-minute meeting that occur biweekly 10 times total. Circles for Reconciliation believes in having equal representation of voices and small group numbers to achieve salient and trusting relationships.

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The Witness Blanket

The Witness Blanket was created by artist, Carey Newman Hayalthkin’geme, to bring educational awareness to residential schools. This art installation was designed out of reclaimed pieces from “residential schools, churches, government buildings and traditional and cultural structures including Friendship Centres, band offices, treatment centres and universities, from across Canada.”

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Shanese Steele is a private consultant and a former student at Trent University, who’s work “encompasses building bridges between Black and Indigenous peoples living on both Turtle Island and Globally.” Shanese, as both an Anishinaabe Kwe and a Black person of Trinidadian and Grenadian descent, “understands the complexities of the diasporic experiences of visitors to these lands in relationship to the original inhabitants.”

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Artists Against Racism

Artists Against Racism (AAR) is a registered charity whose powerful International campaigns create an awareness of the inherent equality of us all, and winner of the Global Tolerance Award. Founded in November 1995, AAR is a group of directors, visual artists, authors, musicians, actors and comedians who have come together to teach youth that regardless of one’s religion, ethnicity, or skin colour, that we are all one people, one of their goals is to prevent youth from adopting prejudiced attitudes through education. 

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The ON Canada Project: Settlers taking Action

The On Canada Project (formerly the ON COVID-19 Project) was initially founded to fill the gap in official communications about the COVID-19 pandemic that lacked compassion and did not speak to young Canadians, marginalized folks, and those with less privilege. They are a grassroots, youth-led, volunteer-based initiative of Millennials and Gen Z that disrupts social conversations by ensuring all Canadians are fully informed with credible facts to engage in debate, discussion, and activism with their friends and family.

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What Matters in Indigenous Education: Implementing a Vision Committed to Holism, Diversity, and Engagement

The People for Education resource written by Dr. Pamela Toulouse, emphasizes the importance of incorporating Indigenous knowledge and culture into all education systems within Canada. To give readers a better understanding why incorporating Indigenous education into school systems in Canada is important, the website provides brief background information about colonization within Canada. This allows public readers to recognize how these Indigenous issues are not often supported within education and how they can be interconnected within the educational curriculum in the future.

It is important that settlers take responsibility for the actions of their ancestors. By exploring these acts of colonialism within the education systems, non-Indigenous Canadians create meaningful relationships among Indigenous peoples and focus on how incorporating such important information within the school systems will help decolonize Canada and build reconciliation among Indigenous peoples in the future. The People for Education website gives non-Indigenous people the opportunity to learn about and create diversity and holism within every classroom.

URL: https://peopleforeducation.ca/report/what-matters-in-indigenous-education/

Halifax Thunderbirds Inclusion and Empowerment Program

Announced in November 2020, the Inclusion and Empowerment Program is a collaborative initiative between the Halifax Thunderbirds professional lacrosse team, Black Lacrosse Alliance, Turtle Island Lacrosse, Indigenous Players Lacrosse Association, and Nova Scotia Sirens Female Lacrosse Program. This intersectional partnership is based in Mi’kmaq traditional territory, known as Nova Scotia. They have committed “to hosting a series of interactive community ‘Try Lacrosse’ programming and will join community members on monthly Zoom calls to discuss local matters, social issues, and most importantly: to listen” (2020).

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