This event will be broadcast online and is welcome to all – there is no login or registration required to tune in. Click here to watch the livestream.
We are delighted to host this 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
Margaret Froh – President, Métis Nation of Ontario
Kia Dunn – Massey College Alumnus
Dr. Signa A. Daum Shanks, B.A. (Hons), M.A., L.L.B., L.L.M., PhD, is an Associate Professor and Director of Indigenous Outreach at Osgoode Hall Law School. She is a Métis from Saskatchewan. A member of the Ontario Bar, Dr. Daum Shanks has worked in both the private and public sector before becoming a full time academic. Before arriving at Osgoode, she was an Assistant Professor at the University of Saskatchewan’s College of Law and had also taught Indigenous Studies at the University of Alberta and USask. An award winning-researcher and writer, Dr. Daum Shanks specializes in Indigenous Rights, Law and Economics and Legal History. She is also a published poet. A regular part of various organizations’ volunteer efforts, she is currently the elected Toronto Representative on the Ontario Bar Association’s Board of Directors. Dr. Daum Shanks was a junior fellow at Massey College from 2001 to 2004.
Wanekia (Kia) Dunn is a new alumnus of the College and has just completed his Juris Doctor and Master of Laws degrees at the University of Toronto. His legal areas of focus currently include Aboriginal law, public-private partnerships, trusts, not-for-profits and forms of Social Benefit Corporation, having recently finished his thesis on the legal principle of the honour of the Crown and its implications for Aboriginal law in Canada. He also runs his own not-for-profit, volunteer teaching a Japanese martial art called jujutsu.
Elected in May 2016, Margaret Froh is the first woman to serve as President of the Métis Nation of Ontario (MNO). She lives in Barrie, Ontario, which is within the traditional territory of the Georgian Bay Métis Community.
Margaret is one of eight children born to Frank and Marie (Marchand) Froh. Growing up, Margaret spent her youth fishing and canoeing and was active in air cadets and sports. Her parents instilled strong values in their children, including the importance of volunteerism and education.
Originally from the Qu’Appelle Valley in Saskatchewan (near Fort Qu’Appelle), Margaret has lived in Ontario for over 20 years. She moved to Ontario in 1993 to attend law school at the University of Toronto and has made Ontario her home. She decided to pursue a law degree after volunteering on a legal defence committee for Mary Pitawanakwat, an Ontario Ojibway-Potawatomi woman who was fighting discrimination within the federal public service.
Margaret wanted to gain a legal education and skills in order to advocate on behalf of her own people and other Indigenous peoples. She has spent her career working on behalf of Métis, First Nations and Inuit peoples.
Margaret is the former President of the Indigenous Bar Association in Canada (IBA), a national professional association of Métis, First Nation and Inuit lawyers, judges, law professors and law students. She is the current Chair of the IBA’s Law Student Scholarship Foundation. She has chaired numerous committees of the IBA, including the IBA Ethics Committee, and served as Chair of the Steering Committee for the Accessing Justice & Reconciliation national community-based research project working with Indigenous communities to revitalize Indigenous law in Canada.
In addition to her volunteer work at the national level, Margaret supports an exciting local initiative aimed at raising awareness around the need for mental health supports for youth in the region, and with a local animal rescue. One of her favourite activities is mentoring Indigenous youth and encouraging them on their academic and professional journeys.
Margaret also shares her knowledge and leadership experience in her role as faculty for the Banff Centre’s Indigenous Leadership & Management Program (now the Lougheed Leadership Institute). Margaret teaches part-time for the Banff Centre and has helped Métis, First Nations and Inuit leaders from across Canada develop their leadership skills, with a particular focus on nation-building and good governance. She has also taught as Adjunct Faculty at the University of Toronto Faculty Of Law, and has lectured on Métis, First Nations and Inuit legal issues across Canada and internationally.