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Centra PD (ILO)

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. All sessions led by Cathy McRae, ILO Officer. Sessions count towards earning your Indigenous Learning Outcomes badge.  Sessions are held via Centra. Please register a minimum of three days in advance. ALL staff welcome. 

Printable PDF Schedule

Contact: … ???    if you have any questions!

Important Information:

All sessions can be be viewed from your work station as long as you have a computer with internet access and a headset with a microphone. 

An email will be sent out from Web Conferencing with log-in details ahead of each session.

As soon as you receive your email, please follow the details to get your connection set up.

For troubleshooting, please contact Jo-Ann Benedet at

1. Thursday October 20, 2016 | 12:30-1:30 p.m. | Centra | 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. Tuesday November 1, 2016 | 12:30-1:30 p.m. | Centra | 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. Tuesday Nov. 15, 2016 | 12:30-1:30 p.m. | Centra | 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. Tuesday Nov. 29, 2016 | 12:30-1:30 p.m. | Centra | 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. Tuesday December 13, 2016 |12:30-1:30 p.m. | Centra | 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. Tuesday January 17, 2017 | 12:30-1:30 p.m. | Centra

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. Tuesday January 31, 2017 | 12:30-1:30 p.m. | Centra

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. Tuesday February 14, 2017 | 12:30-1:30 p.m. | Centra

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. Tuesday February 28, 2017 | 12:30-1:30 p.m. | Centra

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. Thursday March 9, 2017* | 12:30-1:30 p.m. | Centra

*Please note that this is on a Thursday due to March Break

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. Tuesday March 28, 2017 | 12:30-1:30 p.m. | Centra

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. Tuesday April 18, 2017 | 12:30-1:30 p.m. | Centra

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