Encounters in Canada conference brings together some of Canada’s best minds

A former prime minister of Canada, an award-winning author, a First Nations chief, an Ontario Court of Appeal justice, as well as a former Supreme Court of Canada justice are just a few of the speakers slated to present at the upcoming Encounters in Canada: Contrasting Indigenous and Immigrant Perspectives conference in May.

The conference will take place May 15 to 17 at the Chestnut Conference Centre, 89 Chestnut St., Toronto. It is Lee Maracleco-sponsored by several offices and Faculties at York University, along with the University of Toronto and others. To register by the May 10 deadline, click here.

Lee Maracle

The Encounters in Canada conference will bring together leaders from government and the judiciary, legal scholars, academics and practitioners to formulate practical solutions and build bridges – cultural, political, intellectual and social connections – between those who share the lands of what is now Canada – new immigrants to Canada, Indigenous peoples and Canadian governments.

York alumnus Joseph Boyden will read from his Giller Prize-winning book Through Black Spruce at the opening reception, followed by a special keynote address by former prime minister of Canada Paul Martin at the opening dinner. Carolyn BennettFormer chief of the Walpole Island First Nation Dean Jacobs and York political science Professor James Laxer will deliver keynote speeches throughout the conference.

Carolyn Bennett

They will join a host of other prominent speakers addressing the broad conference themes of colonialism versus consent, exclusion and identity, place and displacement, nationalism and alienation, recognition and respect, and relationship-building and community engagement. Carolyn Bennett, MP for St. Paul’s and Liberal Critic for Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development; Michael Bryant, former attorney general for Ontario and the province’s first minister of Aboriginal Affairs; Doug Micheal BryantCarr, assistant deputy minister of Aboriginal Affairs; Professor Rauna Kuokkanen of the Department of Political Science and Aboriginal Studies program at the University of Toronto; award-winning author and teacher Lee Maracle; and Mayo Moran, dean of the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Law, are just a few of the notable speakers.

Michael Bryant

The first plenary panel on Thursday will look at “The Historical and Contemporary Impacts of Colonialism on Indigenous Peoples” with author James Bartleman, a Doug Carrmember of the Chippewas of Rama First Nation; Brian LaForme, chief of the Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nation; and Pamela Palmater, a Mi’kmaq lawyer and member of the Eel River Bar First Nation in northern New Brunswick.

Doug Carr

The second plenary panel on Friday will examine “Reflecting on the Future of Canada: Governance, Borders and Relationship-Building” with Phil Bellfy, a member of the White Earth Band of Minnesota Chippewa and founder and director of the Center for the Study of Rauna KuokkanenIndigenous Border Issues; and Professor Peter Russell, principal of Senior College and emeritus professor of political science at the University of Toronto.

Rauna Kuokkanen

Other high profile Canadians attending the conference will include: former Supreme Court of Canada justice Frank Iacobucci; Justice Harry LaForme of the Ontario Court of Appeal; Justice Sidney Linden, commissioner of the Ipperwash Inquiry and Ontario’s current Mayo MoranConflict of Interest commissioner; and Commissioner Marie Wilson of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada.

Mayo Moran

For more information about the conference and the speakers or questions, including about registration, visit the Encounters in Canada website or contact Professor Jennifer Dalton at jedalton@yorku.ca.

Join the conference by following @EncountersinCA on Twitter or by joining the conference group on LinkedIn.