International Workshop to be held at Walpole Island

York University, in partnership with the Bkejwanong (Walpole Island) First Nation, will hold an International Workshop, a conference dedicated to fostering a greater understanding of the intersection of indigenous and Euro/American knowledge systems, tomorrow and Saturday at Walpole Island in southwest Ontario. Second in the series of International Workshops, the theme of this conference will be “The Empire of Nature and the Nature of Empires”.

Through a series of lectures and speeches, the workshop will focus on the relationship between the power of nature and its impact on British, Canadian and American empires. Lecturers, including York Professor David McNab, of the Atkinson School of Arts & Letters, and Faculty of Education Professor Susan Dion, will also analyze the impact of these empires on nature, through the presence of the international boundary and the need by First Nations who reside on both sides of it for homeland security.

In addition to the many York professors and graduate students who will be giving presentations at the workshop, Chief Dean Jacobs of the Bkejwanong First Nations and Professor Emeritus John M. MacKenzie (University of Lancaster) will also be presenting at the event.

McNab, who also co-ordinated the workshop, hopes that the event will provide a look into the future of the Great Lakes from the both traditional knowledge and environmental history perspectives . “All of those in attendance will acquire a deeper knowledge and understanding of the First Nation perspective on nature and their history, as well as their views on the future of the Great Lakes,” says McNab. 

Funded by the Dean’s Office of the Atkinson Faculty of Liberal & Professional Studies, the Master’s Office of Atkinson College and the Faculty of Environmental Studies, the International Workshop is free and open to the public. It will take place Friday, April 28 and Saturday, April 29 at Walpole Island Elementary School, near Wallaceburg, Ont.

For more information, contact David McNab at or visit the workshop Web site.

This article was submitted to YFile by Bethany Hansraj, Atkinson Faculty of Liberal & Professional Studies.