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Indigenous Awareness Week begins

March 13, 2015 — 

The University of Manitoba is hosting its inaugural Indigenous Awareness Week from March 16 to 21, 2015.

Important conversations about the relationship between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples are underway in our city.

In recent years, the University has adopted the practice of acknowledging the Treaties and the traditional lands on which it sits, but why do we do this?  This week’s series of conversations will answer this question by increasing awareness of Treaties, what they once meant, what they mean today, and how they will shape our future.

The U of M, through its new strategic plan Taking Our Place, renewed its commitment to Indigenous Achievement through relationship building and reconciliation with Indigenous peoples.

“We are pleased to host the inaugural Indigenous Awareness Week at the U of M, in partnership with the Treaty Relations Commission of Manitoba,” says David Barnard, President and Vice-Chancellor at the University of Manitoba. “By creating this opportunity to learn about the Treaties and the role that each of us plays, we can help strengthen the Treaty relationship, foster greater understanding on our campuses, and make our province and country a better place to live.”

Indigenous Achievement, along with the Aboriginal Student Centre and the Treaty Relations Commission of Manitoba, are bringing together Elders, Knowledge Keepers, academics, students, and community members to create understanding of the Treaties and their relevance as we move forward as a country.

“Students attend the University of Manitoba to expand their knowledge and understanding in a myriad of concepts, subject matter, and to engage with like-minded peers to help shape our Future Manitoba,” says Treaty Commissioner James Wilson. “Indigenous Awareness Week provides the opportunity to engage with Elders, Treaty knowledge keepers and leaders of the community to collectively strengthen awareness and the importance of the Treaties in both modern and historical contexts.”

“It is important for all Canadians ­­– Indigenous and non-Indigenous alike – to take the time to understand what Treaties are and specifically what our Treaties are. While Treaties may sound foreign or something from the past, they are living agreements that affect our relationships with each other and the land,” says Deborah Young, Executive Lead of Indigenous Achievement at the U of M.

Join us March 16-21, for a series of dynamic presentations and discussions about Treaties and Traditional Knowledge with Elders and Treaty Knowledge Keepers.

Admission is free and open to the public.

Read more about the event on UM Today.




What: What Are Treaties and Why Are Treaties Still Relevant?
When: Monday, March 16, 1:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Where: Senate Chambers (Engineering Information and Technology Complex room 262)
Panelists: Elder Harry Bone; Jamie Wilson, Treaty Commissioner of Manitoba, Dr. Jean Friesen, associate professor, department of history; Ovide Mercredi, Senior Advisor to the President.


What: The Role of Indigenous Women in Treaties and Traditional Governance
When: Tuesday, March 17, Noon – 2 p.m.
Where: Room 543-544 University Centre
Panelists: Margaret Lavallee, Elder-in-residence, U of M, Aimée Craft, assistant professor, Faculty of Law; Kiera Ladner, Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Politics and Governance; Janice Bone, U of M graduate student, department of Native Studies.


What: Honouring Indigenous Identity Through Spaces and Names
When: Wednesday, March 18, Noon – 2:00 p.m.
Where: Centre Space, John A. Russell Building
Panelists: Elder Charlie Nelson, David Thomas, architectural designer, Ayshkum Engineering Inc.; Destiny Seymour, interior designer, Prairie Architects Inc.; Michael Robertson, partner, Cibinel Architects.


What: Métis Scrip and Treaties
When: Thursday, March 19, Noon – 1:30 p.m.
Where: 409 Tier Building
Panelists: Norman Meade, Elder-in-residence at U of M;
Sharon Parenteau, general manager, Louis Riel Institute at Manitoba Metis Federation.


What: Relationship Building – Land, Resources, and People: Elders’ and Knowledge Holders’ Perspectives
When: Friday, March 20,. – 10:00 a.m. – Noon and 1:00 – 3:00 p.m.
Where: Marshall McLuhan Hall, University Centre
Traditional teachings and reflections by: Elder Harry Bone; Margaret Lavallee, Elder-in-residence at U of M; Mel Chartrand, co-founder/co-director/lead behavioural health specialist, Eyaa-Keen Healing Centre; Shirley Chartrand, co-founder/co-director/lead behavioural health specialist, Eyaa-Keen Healing Centre; Elder Levinia Brown; Norman Meade, Elder-in-residence at U of M; Elder Garry Robson; Elder Florence Paynter; Ken Young, lawyer; Elder Charlie Nelson; Elder Dave Courchene Jr.


What: Spring Equinox Ceremony and Sharing Circle
When: 10 a.m. Spring Equinox ceremony at Migizii Agamik – Bald Eagle Lodge.
12:30 p.m. – Sharing circle & Elder reflections in student lounge at Migizii Agamik – Bald Eagle Lodge.
Please note: Traditional protocols will be followed for the ceremonies on this day and recording of the ceremonies in any way is not permitted (no photos, videos, audio recording or social media posts).

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 For more information contact Sean Moore, Marketing Communications Office, University of Manitoba, 204-474-7963.



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