Indigenous Heritage Week Programming

Indigenous Heritage Week Programming

Today, we begin Indigenous Week at Massey College. Wednesday September 30th is Orange Shirt Day, a day to commemorate the residential school experience, to witness and honor the journey of survivors and their families and to commit to an ongoing process of reconciliation. You can read more about this initiative here.


A Welcome message, Special announcement, and Poem from Honourary Senior Fellow and Chief of the Mississaugas of the Credit, Chief R. Stacey Laforme.



Throughout the week, we have an important programming focusing on current Indigenous issues: from the aftermath of the Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women and Girl’s Inquiry to the emergence of Métis Rights, while discussing Treaties, Policing and the heritage of the Indian Act.  Join us online:

Monday, September 28, 12:45pm

The Report of the Inquiry on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls: Next Steps

After an introduction by Dr. Stanton outlining the advocacy which led to the establishment of the National Inquiry, Christa Big Canoe will discuss the vision of the Inquiry and what it hoped to accomplish, followed by Gina Wilson’s outline of the steps being taken to develop a National Action Plan.

Christa Big Canoe, Legal Advocacy Director, Aboriginal Legal Services, Toronto, formerly Counsel to the MMIWG Inquiry

Dr. Kim Stanton, Senior Fellow at Massey College, Partner Goldblatt Partners Barristers and Solicitors

Gina Wilson, Deputy Minister, Government of Canada, head of the government’s core working group to develop a National Action Plan on Violence Against Aboriginal Women

Click here to watch the livestream.

Tuesday, September 29, 1:00pm

Treaties:  Past Present and Future

Peter Russell will provide an overview of Treaties in Canada, outlining their historical use and constitutional status, followed by Ceyda Turan, counsel to the seven First Nations who successfully challenged the terms of the 1923 Williams Treaties describing the Nations’ long battle for justice before and after the signing of the Treaties, and Commissioner Haldane who will highlight features of the making of modern treaties in BC.


Peter Russell, Senior Fellow at Massey College, Professor Emeritus, U of T

Ceyda Turan, Barrister and Solicitor, Toronto

Celeste Haldane, Chief Commissioner, BC Treaty Commission

Mary Eberts – Senior Fellow at Massey College, Counsel in several cases challenging status provisions

Click here to watch the livestream.

Wednesday, September 30, 4:00pm

Massey Dialogues: Indigenous Perspectives on Policing in Canada

Indigenous people have been the target of policing for centuries.  The use of criminal law to undermine culture was a deliberate strategy and it created a culture of racist policing. It is a c case of overpolicing against come members of the communities (more likely to be arrested and for more serious charges and overrepresented in detention) and underpolicing where victims get no help (Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls Inquiry) – how to change that?

James Bird, Junior Fellow, Massey College

Nathalie Des Rosiers, Principal, Massey College

The Hon. Harry LaForme, Former Judge, Ontario Court of Appeal, Toronto

Stacey Laforme, Chief, Mississauga of the Credit First Nation

Click here to watch the livestream.

Thursday, October 1, 1:00pm

A Conversation About Métis Rights

A conversation about the history of Métis in Canada, current challenges and the future.

Dr. Signa Daum Shanks, Senior Fellow at Massey College and Associate Professor/Director of Indigenous Outreach, Osgoode Hall Law School

Kia Dunn, Massey College Alumnus

Margaret Froh, President, Métis Nation of Ontario

Click here to watch the livestream.

Friday, October 2, 1:00pm

Status and Membership:  The Long Battle to Repair the Destruction of the Indian Act

Jeannette Lavell will describe the experience of litigating her landmark case, and the work she has done preparing a membership code for the Chiefs of Ontario.  Mary Eberts will provide a brief account of the long arc of cases challenging the Indian Act status provisions and legislative changes made as a result.  Dr. Lavell-Harvard will consider the recent Bill S-3, aimed at eradicating all past discrimination against women and their descendants under the Act, and present efforts to secure implementation of S3.

Jeannette Corbiere Lavell, plaintiff in Canada’s first Supreme Court decision on the status provisions of the Indian Act, Attorney General of Canada v. Lavell [1974] SCR
Dr. Dawn Lavell-Harvard, President of Ontario Native Women’s Association, Director, First Nations House of Learning, Trent University

Mary Eberts, Senior Fellow at Massey College, Counsel in several cases challenging status provisions

Click here to watch the livestream.

Friday, October 2, 4:00pm

We will have a short and physically distanced ceremony to end our week at Massey College. Places are limited in the Quadrangle, but join us if you can – RSVP HERE.