EUC Seminar Series continues with talk on Indigenous environmental justice

Ontario lake near forest displaying fall colours

This year, York University’s Faculty of Environmental and Urban Change (EUC) Seminar Series is focusing on Assistant Professor Martha Stiegman’s knowledge translation project Polishing the Chain, which leverages research by the Indigenous-led Talking Treaties community arts project of Jumblies Theatre and Arts to enrich public discussion of treaty relations Toronto.

Deborah McGregor
Deborah McGregor

The series’ second talk, “Taking Care of the Dish: Treaties, Indigenous Law and Environmental Justice,” will take place on Tuesday, Oct. 26. Speaking at the event are York University Associate Professor Deborah McGregor, Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Environmental Justice; Carolyn Crawley, member of the Indigenous Land Stewardship Circle; and Adrianne Lickers Xavier, director of Indigenous studies at McMaster University.

Indigenous/Crown treaties are not moments where colonial law was imposed; they represent a meeting between Indigenous and colonial legal orders. To understand treaty relations, there must be an understanding of the Indigenous laws, knowledge systems and visions of justice they are grounded in. In this talk, the speakers will reflect on their work in Indigenous environmental justice in relation to Indigenous law and treaties, to explore the ways these agreements guide Indigenous land stewardship, and ways they are being lived in Toronto and southern Ontario today.

Polishing the Chain: Treaty Relations in Toronto is a fall and winter conversation series that will bring together Indigenous and allied scholars, knowledge holders, artists, Earth workers, and activists who will explore the historical significance and contemporary relevance of the treaties Indigenous nations in southern Ontario have made with each other, with the land and with the Crown. It will explore: the spirit and intent of Toronto treaties; the ways Indigenous Peoples have upheld and continue to uphold them; the extent to which they are (and are not) reflected in contemporary Indigenous and state relations; and the treaty responsibilities of both settler and Indigenous Torontonians.

All Fall 2021 seminars will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. via Zoom and live-streamed on the Polishing the Chain Facebook page. To register, visit

This year’s EUC Seminar Series is co-presented by York’s new Centre for Indigenous Knowledges and Languages, the Indigenous Environmental Justice Project, and the Jumblies Theatre and Arts Talking Treaties project. For more information about the seminar series, email