Julian Kitchen, director, Tecumseh Centre for Aboriginal Research and Education, Brock University
The organizers of Congress 2014 have made an effort to acknowledge that Brock University is located on Aboriginal territory and to include Indigenous voices and knowledge in the program.
The formal opening to Congress will include a traditional welcoming. President Jack Lightstone will formally acknowledge that Brock University is located on the shared lands of the Original Peoples and recognize the First Nation, Métis, and Inuit peoples who are attending Congress.
On Sunday, May 25, the first day of Congress, the Big Thinking series will feature Dr. Cindy Blackstock, a distinguished scholar on the causes of disadvantage for Aboriginal children and strong advocate for the promotion of equitable and culturally-based interventions.
Her talk, “Children’s Voices Have Power: Ending Inequalities Affecting First Nations Children and Families,” will both inspire conversation and challenge scholars to act in the interests of Aboriginal communities. Cindy Blackstock’s talk will be followed by a panel discussion on addressing inequalities for First Nations children and families.
In the evening, there will be an outdoor social gathering in Jubilee Court to which Congress members and local Aboriginal communities will be invited.
Another major event is the presentation of WNED-TV Buffalo-Toronto’s The War of 1812 documentary. This will be followed by a Canada/U.S. Connections Interdisciplinary Panel that will include Rick Hill commenting on the representation of First Nations people in the film and in the War of 1812.
Throughout the conference, members of the Canadian Association for the Study of Indigenous Education will be presenting papers on issues in Aboriginal education and efforts to promote Indigenous language, culture and identity.