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Do you want to learn more about Indigenous history but don’t know where to start?

Professional development (PD) opportunities focusing on Indigenous history and contemporary issues in Canada will be offered throughout the 2016-2017 academic year.  A mixture of workshops, seminars, case studies and group discussions on a variety of topics including treaties, residential schools, the 1990 Oka Crisis, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and more will be covered. Each session is linked to at least four Indigenous Learning Outcomes. Sessions count towards the new Indigenous Learning Outcomes badge.  Sessions are held in the Library Instruction Room (Shuniah 226). All staff welcome.


Scroll down for a complete schedule, or printable PDF here.



Who can attend?

All staff are welcome to attend.

What about those in the region?

The PD is available via Centra. Click here for more details.

How do I register?

Registration is now open for all 2016 sessions. Please register for each session individually by clicking here.

Is there any homework?

No, there is no additional homework for any of these sessions.

Do I have to attend all sessions?

No, you can attend as many or as few sessions as you’d like. 

What room are the sessions in?

All sessions take place in the Library Instruction Room (Shuniah 226).

What’s the ILO badge?

The ILO badge is an add-on to the Instructional Skills Workshop (ISW) certificate that can be earned with an additional eight (8) hours of ILO PD. You do not need to have the ISW certificate in order to earn the ILO badge.

What is the schedule?

Please see below. Printable version here.


1. Wednesday October 12, 2016 | 12:30-1:30 p.m. | Shuniah 226 | Registration

Colonization: Pre and Post Contact Histories of the Dene

Colonialism is often viewed as a single, static event that happened long ago —“Columbus sailed the ocean blue…” –- but in actuality is a series of progressive stages that continue to be perpetuated into present day.  With a specific focus on the Dene of the Northwest Territories, this seminar uses post-colonial theory to unpack Canada’s colonial past in order to illustrate how the colonial project continues to impact the lives of Indigenous peoples in the 21st century.

ILO 2, 3, 4, 5


2. Wednesday October 26, 2016 | 12:30-1:30 p.m. | Shuniah 226 | Registration 

Treaties: Robinson-Superior Treaty and Treaty #3

What do we mean when we say “we’re all treaty people”? From the original Peace and Friendship Treaties to modern land claim agreements, the history of Indigenous/settler relations in Canada cannot be properly understood without a discussion on treaties. This workshop offers a brief overview of treaties in Canada with a focus on the Robinson-Superior Treaty and Treaty #3.

ILO 2, 3, 5, 6    


3. NEW DATE! Thursday Nov. 10, 2016 | 12:30-1:30 p.m. | Shuniah 226 | Registration

Case Study: Battle of Batoche

On May 15, 1885, Louis Riel was forced to surrender after losing the Battle of Batoche, a decisive moment in the North-West Rebellion. He was executed later that year. This case study looks at what led to the battle, its historic legacy, and how Métis people continue to struggle for rights and recognition over a hundred years later.

ILO 2, 3, 4, 5, 6


4. Wednesday Nov. 23, 2016 | 12:30-1:30 p.m. | Shuniah 226 | Registration

Residential Schools: “A National Crime”

In 1922, “The Story of a National Crime” was published by Dr. P.H. Bryce. This publication not only exposed poor conditions in residential schools, but also detailed how the government was covering up information regarding the health of Indigenous students, creating what Bryce calls a “criminal disregard for treaty pledges”. So why did it take another forty years for these schools to begin shutting down? This workshop gives an overview of the residential school system and details four individual stories from the residential school era, in order to better understand residential school experiences.

ILO 2, 3, 5, 6


5. Wednesday December 7, 2016 | 12:30-1:30 p.m. | Shuniah 226 | Registration

Case Study: Grassy Narrows First Nation

Asubpeeschoseewagong First Nation, also known as Grassy Narrows First Nation, is one of the most polluted sites in Canada. This case study looks at the history of Grassy Narrows, and discusses the concept of environmental racism in relation to the mercury contamination and deforestation that resulted from years of mismanagement and neglect by the Canadian government and the pulp and paper industry.

ILO 2, 3, 5, 6


6. Wednesday January 11, 2017 | 12:30-1:30 p.m. | Shuniah 226

Indigenous Rights and the 1969 White Paper

In June 1969, the Trudeau government released the “Statement of the Government of Canada on Indian Policy”, also known as the White Paper. The White Paper sought to offer Indigenous peoples equal status amongst Canadians. So why was it so poorly received? This seminar explores the Indigenous rights movement that began with the 1951 revisions to the Indian Act, and culminated in the 1975 James Bay and Northern Québec Agreement, with a special focus on Indigenous reaction to the White Paper.

ILO 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7


7. Wednesday January 25, 2017 | 12:30-1:30 p.m. | Shuniah 226

Case Study: Mackenzie Valley Pipeline Inquiry 1974-1977

The Mackenzie Valley Pipeline Inquiry could easily be lost to history amongst the literally hundreds of Royal Commissions that have taken place across Canada over the years.  But that would be a mistake. This innovative inquiry led by Justice Berger was the first to allow Indigenous people to testify in their own language and the first to use the media to win over public opinion, resulting in a landmark decision that led to multiple land claim settlements. This case study examines the political climate leading up to the inquiry, media coverage of the events, and how the results helped preserve northern landscapes for future generations.

ILO 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7


8. Wednesday February 8, 2017 | 12:30-1:30 p.m. | Shuniah 226

Inuit History and the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement Act (1993)

What happens when over 1,750,000 km² of land is transferred to Indigenous control? In 1993, the Inuit of the eastern Arctic signed a comprehensive land claims agreement with the Canadian government and the government of the Northwest Territories, resulting in the creation of Nunavut in 1999.  This seminar looks at the history of Inuit in Canada, Nunavut’s unique challenges, and the future of Canada’s Arctic.

ILO 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 7


9. Wednesday February 22, 2017 | 12:30-1:30 p.m. | Shuniah 226

Case Study: 1990 Oka Crisis

1990 was a big year for Canada – the GST was introduced, Petro-Canada was privatized, and a huge stand-off between the Québec Provincial Police, the Canadian government and the Kanehsatake people ended with over a hundred injuries and two deaths. What led to this dispute and what impact did it have? This case study unpacks the Oka Crisis through an exploration of the history of the Kanehsatake land dispute, government reaction to the blockade, and media coverage of the 78-day crisis.

ILO 1, 2, 3, 5, 6


10. Wednesday March 8, 2017 | 12:30-1:30 p.m. | Shuniah 226


Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples (RCAP): 20 Years Later

Published in 1996, the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples final report “set out a 20-year agenda for implementing changes”. This workshop presents an overview of the RCAP recommendations, and examines the last twenty years to see what has changed, and what recommendations still need to be implemented.

ILO 1, 2, 4, 6, 7


11. March 22, 2017 | 12:30-1:30 p.m. | Shuniah 226

Attawapiskat First Nation 2006-2016

Through the lens of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People (UNDRIP), this workshop traces the events of the previous ten years in Attawapiskat First Nation. Looking at government policy, media coverage, and public reaction, this workshop will unpack contemporary and historical events in order to better understand what the government could have done differently in order to better honour the spirit and intent of UNDRIP . 

ILO 2, 3, 5, 6, 7   


12. Wednesday April 12, 2017 | 12:30-1:30 p.m. | Shuniah 226

Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC): What Does Reconciliation Mean to You?

According to the TRC, “collective efforts from all peoples are necessary to revitalize the relationship between Aboriginal peoples and Canadian society – reconciliation is the goal”. This workshop traces the history of the TRC, looks at its Calls to Action, and asks participants, ‘What does Reconciliation mean to you?’

ILO 1, 2, 3, 6