Saturday, 28 March 2020
Circle Sessions on Place-Based Reparative Environmental Histories
ASEH Conference in Ottawa 25-29 March 2020
Delta Hotel, 101 Lyon St N, Ottawa, Canada
In partnership with a number of the First Nation communities that share the traditional territory of Kiji Sibi (Ottawa River) – Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg First Nation, Algonquins of Pikwàkanagàn First Nation, Nipissing First Nation, Dokis First Nation – and various interdisciplinary scholars and museum practitioners responding to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s (TRC) recommendations, “Place-Based Reparative Environmental Histories” will address the lack of Indigenous representation, and place-based awareness, at academic-history conferences, especially those that address contemporary and historical issues that Indigenous communities daily confront. The sessions will connect Indigenous scholars, researchers, community activists, artists, and allies so that they can critically respond to this absence and foster dialogue and respect for different ways of knowing the past. The ASEH theme, “reparations,” provides a focus as the environmental histories of Turtle Island (North America) speak directly to colonization’s long-lasting impacts and legacies.
“Place-Based Reparative Environmental Histories” builds on, and extends, the Indigenous, university, and museum partnerships established at “Challenging Canada 150: Settler Colonialism and Critical Environmental Sciences” in 2017, which brought together First Nation elders, community members, and national and international scholars to consider the question of how to bring together the humanities and geophysical sciences to examine environments in the past within the context of settler colonialism, and to consider the meaning of Canada’s 150th anniversary. The circle sessions will proceed on the need to heed the TRC’s calls to reform settler culture, a shared feature of American and Canadian societies. Audiences will learn about ongoing repatriation and reparatory projects across Turtle Island (North America). Relationship-building will transcend the meeting site through sacred fire teachings for partner communities, circle discussions, and artistic outreach. We anticipate challenging conversations that lead to deeper reflection, acknowledgement, and action, and which are themselves reparatory outcomes. The circle sessions take up calls to re-centre Indigenous knowledges in environmental histories and justice work, transferring environmental knowledges from Indigenous perspectives to predominantly white-settler scholars in the participating disciplines.
These sessions are part of a wider project, “Place-based reparative environmental histories: Symposium 2.0,” funded by the Social Science and Humanities Research Council Connections Grant Program and the Canada Research Chair in Global Environmental Histories and Geographies at Nipissing University. These funds provided the financial support to host the Indigenous community members and scholars of this event.
This event is co-hosted by Nipissing University (North Bay, Ontario) and Ingenium: Canada’s Museums of Science and Innovation (Ottawa, Ontario) in relationship with Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg First Nation, Algonquins of Pikwàkanagàn First Nation, Nipissing First Nation, Dokis First Nation.
We acknowledge the Algonquin nation whose traditional and unceded territory we are gathered upon for this event.
Circle Session Program - Saturday, 28 March 2020
Four “Circle Sessions” will pursue the theme of decolonizing and Indigenizing environmental history. The four sessions, which will amplify voices and knowledge of (primarily) Indigenous participants, will occur consecutively to encourage reflection and discussion across the circles.
For information on how to attend these sharing circles, please visit the ASEH website.
FIRST NATION PARTNERS
Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg First Nation: http://www.anishinabenation.ca/en/the-algonquin-communities/kitigan-zibi/
Algonquins of Pikwàkanagàn First Nation: https://www.algonquinsofpikwakanagan.com/
Nipissing First Nation: https://www.nfn.ca/
Dokis First Nation: http://www.dokis.ca/
PARTICIPANT BIOGRAPHIES (alphabetical order by last name)
Chris Albinati is matrilineally Isinay (Bambangueño) and Tagalog (Pampangangueño) and patrilineally Irish and French-Canadian. He advocates exclusively for Indigenous clients and practices solely in Aboriginal law, primarily in Aboriginal Title and Treaty rights litigation. Chris has appeared before the Supreme Court of Canada (Williams Lake Indian Band v. Canada (Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development, 2018 SCC 4) and most recently before the Ontario Superior Court of Justice (Restoule v. Canada (Attorney General), 2018 ONSC 7701). He has also assisted with numerous cases heard before the Supreme Court of Canada, the Federal Court of Appeal and the British Columbia Court of Appeal.
Odawa Elder Wesley Andrews is a member and Historical, Cultural and Repatriation Advisor of Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians. He served as preservation officer with the band for many years, and was involved in several repatriation projects with national and university museums.
Dr. Sonya Atalay (Anishinaabe-Ojibwe, Wabizheshi dodem, pine martin clan) is an Associate Professor of Anthropology at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. She works in engaged anthropology, utilizing community-based participatory methods to conduct research in full partnership with indigenous communities. She's co-produced a series of research-based comics about repatriation of Native American ancestral remains in partnership with Native nations which can be read and downloaded at https://nagpracomics.weebly.com/
Dr. Veldon Coburn is Anishinaabe, an Algonquin from Pikwàkanagàn. Born and raised on his unceded Indigenous territory, Veldon returns to his ancestral territory to teach Indigenous Studies. Veldon arrived at Carleton after teaching at McGill University, graduate studies in political science at Queen’s and Regina, and undergraduate degrees in both economics and political science at Lakehead. In addition to his academic pursuits, Veldon has over a decade of professional experience in program and strategic Indigenous policy with the Government of Canada.
Alan Ojiig Corbiere, Bne doodem (Ruffed Grouse clan), is an Anishinaabe from M’Chigeeng First Nation on Manitoulin Island. He was educated on the reserve and then attended the University of Toronto for a Bachelor of Science, he then entered York University and earned his Masters of Environmental Studies. During his masters studies he focused on Anishinaabe narrative and Anishinaabe language revitalization. For five years he served as the Executive Director at the Ojibwe Cultural Foundation (OCF) in M’Chigeeng, a position which also encompassed the roles of curator and historian. He also served as the Anishinaabemowin Revitalization Program Coordinator at Lakeview School, M'Chigeeng First Nation, where he and his co-workers developed a culturally based second language program that focused on using Anishinaabe stories to teach language. He just defended his thesis and has successfully obtained his doctorate in History at York University.
Aylan Couchie (MFA) is an Anishinaabekwe interdisciplinary artist and writer from Nipissing First Nation. Her award-winning MFA project (Interdisciplinary Art, Media & Design; OCAD) focused on reconciliation and its relationship to monument and public art. Her written, gallery and public works appear nationally and internationally, and explore histories of the colonial/First Nations landscape, Indigenous erasure and issues of representation and cultural appropriation.
Dr. Vinita Damodaran is Professor of South Asian History (History, International Development) at the University of Sussex. She is a historian of modern India, interested in sustainable development dialogues in the global South. Her work ranges from the social and political history of Bihar to the environmental history of South Asia, including using historical records to understand climate change in the Indian Ocean World. Her publications include; Broken Promises, Indian Nationalism and the Congress Party in Bihar (1992), Nature and the Orient, Essays on the Environmental History of South and South-East Asia (1998), Post Colonial India, History Politics and Culture (2000), British Empire and the Natural World: Environmental Encounters in South Asia, (2010), East India Company and the Natural world (2014) and more recently Climate change and the Humanities (2017). She is particularly interested in questions of environmental change, identity and resistance in Eastern India.
Dr. Mike Dockry is a member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation with traditional territories around Lake Michigan and with a reservation in Oklahoma. He currently works for the University of Minnesota as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Forest Resources and American Indian Studies. He serves on the Executive Council of the American Society for Environmental History and is a nationally recognized expert in tribal forestry, tribal relations, and building tribal partnerships. He worked for the US Forest Service for two decades in land management planning and tribal partnership building. His research and teaching focus on tribal natural resource management, planning, incorporating Indigenous knowledge into forestry, and helping state, federal, and universities form partnerships with American Indian tribes. He earned a B.S. in Forest Science from the University of Wisconsin, an M.S. in Forest Resources from Penn State University and a Ph.D. in Forestry from the University of Wisconsin.
Dr. Carly Dokis is an Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Nipissing University. Carly has worked with Anishinabeg communities in northern Ontario and Dene communities in the Northwest Territories with a broad focus on the political ecology of environmental governance, particularly in the areas of extractive industries, land rights, water, and contamination. Her research explores how state definitions of environmental impacts are related to forms of coloniality, and how these are experienced and contested by community members. Carly is the author of Where the Rivers Meet: Development and Participatory Management in the Sahtu Region, Northwest Territories, and co-editor of the book Subsistence Under Capitalism: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives. Her current work, funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, explores land-based storytelling and stories of the land in Dokis First Nation.
Chief Gerry Duquette (elected in 2012) is from Dokis First Nation, located on the Upper French River. He graduated from the Native Land Management Program at Cambrian College and began working for Dokis First Nation in 2003 as the Land Code Coordinator. In 2006, he joined the National Aboriginal Lands Managers Association as the Resource Officer and the Quebec/Labrador First Nations Coordinator and returned home to Dokis First Nation in 2010 where he accepted the position of Consultation Coordinator. Since 2010, he led the passing of the Dokis Land Code, was the Ratification Officer for the Okikendawt Hydro Project and the Okikendawt Hydro Trust, was a Certified Verifier for the First Nation Land Management under the Framework Agreement. Currently a Board Member for the Lands Advisory Board for the Eastern First Nation and a Board Member for the “ICE” Indigenous Clean Energy.
Leora Gansworth Kristi Leora Gansworth is an enrolled citizen of the Kitigan Zibi Anishinaabeg and grew up on the Tuscarora Reservation, New York. Her family has lived and been in relationship with the area around Lake Ontario and Niagara Falls, and their Algonquin-Anishinaabe homelands throughout what is now called Quebec and Ontario, for generations. As an Indigenous geographer, Leora is interested in the ways that sacred Anishinaabe knowledge can direct current and future generations to vision, understand and experience Minobimaadiziwin, a balanced way of life, through environmental health and wellness.
Dr. Wendy Makoons Geniusz is an Associate Professor of Ojibwe language at the University of Wisconsin- Eau Claire. Her classes are streamed on the internet at this link: uwec.ly/ojibwe. She is an Indigenous scholar of Cree and Métis descent.
Dr. Kirsten Greer is an Associate Professor in the Departments of Geography and History at Nipissing University, and the Canada Research Chair in Global Environmental Histories and Geographies, which addresses specifically reparations “in place” from Northern Ontario to the Caribbean through interdisciplinary, integrative, and engaged (community-based) scholarship in global environmental change research. As a critical historical geographer, she is interested in human-environment relations in the past; the historical geographies of the environmental sciences; the colonial afterlives of the British Empire; and the politics of biodiversity heritage. She is the author of Red Coats and Wilds Birds: How Military Ornithologists and Migrant Birds Shaped Empire (University of North Carolina Press, 2020).
Dr. Lianne C. Leddy (Anishinaabe kwe) is a member of the Serpent River First Nation and an associate professor of Indigenous Studies at Wilfrid Laurier University's Brantford campus. Leddy's research focuses on Indigenous-settler relations, particularly those framed by gender and environmental issues. She is also interested in Indigenous methodologies and decolonizing research practices. Leddy's monograph, The Serpent River Anishinaabek and Uranium Mining: A Study of Cold War Colonialism, 1953-88, is under contract with University of Toronto Press. She is currently working on her second monograph, Working Tirelessly for Change: Indigenous Women and the Vote in Canada, which is contracted to UBC Press as part of its Women's Suffrage and the Struggle for Democracy series. Her work has appeared in Oral History Forum, the Canadian Historical Review, Herizons, and several edited collections.
Dr. Wendy Makoons Geniusz is an Associate Professor of Ojibwe language at the University of Wisconsin- Eau Claire. Her classes are streamed on the internet at this link: uwec.ly/ojibwe. She is an Indigenous scholar of Cree and Métis descent. She is the author of Our Knowledge Is Not Primitive: Decolonizing Botanical Anishinaabe Teachings (Syracuse University Press) and editor of Chi-mewinzha: Ojibwe Stories from Leech Lake (University of Minnesota Press) and Plants Have So Much to Give Us, All We Have to Do Is Ask: Anishinaabe Botanical Teachings (University of Minnesota Press).
Dr. Nancy Langston is Distinguished Professor of Environmental History at Michigan Technological University. For 17 years, she served as professor in the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her most recent book, Sustaining Lake Superior (Yale University Press, Fall 2017), examines climate change and toxics in the Lake Superior basin. Her current project explores climate change and animal migrations, focused on the upper Great Lakes. She has written four academic books and 48 peer-reviewed papers, in addition to dozens of popular articles. She has raised over $750,000 in research funding and won numerous awards, including a Fulbright Scholarship, a Mellon Fellowship, the Weyerhauser Prize for best book from the Forest History Society, and the Leopold-Hidy Award for best article in Environmental History. She has served as President of the American Society of American History, Editor in Chief of Environmental History, and the King Carl XVI Gustaf Professor of Environmental Sciences at Umea University in Sweden.
Dr. Deborah McGregor joined the Osgoode Hall Law School faculty in 2015 as a cross-appointee with York University’s Faculty of Environmental Studies. Professor McGregor’s research has focused on Indigenous knowledge systems and their various applications in diverse contexts including water and environmental governance, environmental justice, forest policy and management, and sustainable development. Her research has been published in a variety of national and international journals and she has delivered numerous public and academic presentations relating to Indigenous knowledge systems, governance and sustainability. She co-edited Indigenous Peoples and Autonomy: Insights for a Global Age with Mario Blaser, Ravi De Costa and William Coleman (2010). She co-edits (with Alan Corbiere, Mary Ann Corbiere and Crystal Migwans) the Anishinaabewin conference proceedings series.
Joan McLeod Shabogesic held the position of Land Manager for Nipissing Nation for 37 years. She settled three land claims that increased not only the Nipissing’s land holdings but also established lucrative settlements trusts. Besides land repatriation and land claims negotiations and research, her responsibilities included land use, revenue generating land initiatives, land use and resource management. She drafted Nipissing’s land laws, including the first drafts for environmental management and the Nipissing Land Use and Zoning Law. She was a member of a group of fourteen First Nations from across Canada who developed and successfully negotiated with Canada to enact the First Nations Land Management Act and set in place the Chief’s Land Advisory Board. Housing, economic development and resource extraction were also initiatives that initiated from the Nipissing Land Office established in 1982. She attended Nipissing College and holds a BA in History from Laurentian University. Prior to her career at Nipissing Nation, Ms. McLeod Shabogesic worked for a large transportation company.
Chief Scott McLeod took office as Chief of Nipissing Nation on August 4th, 2016, for a 3-year term. Chief McLeod has been heavily involved in Nipissing Nation politics, local, provincial, federal and U.S. bi-lateral initiatives, particularly related to Natural Resources Management. He served on the Nipissing Nation Council. Chief McLeod obtained diploma from the Fish and Wildlife Technician Program at Fleming College, in Lindsay ON. Scott McLeod’s past employment history was in the Nipissing Nation Fisheries Office as a Coordinator, as a Nation Liaison Specialist with Anishinabek/Ontario Fisheries Resource Centre and as a Fisheries Assessment Unit Technician for the MNR. In the past, Chief McLeod has also served as a member of the Lake Nipissing Stewardship Council and the Aboriginal Advisor to the Great Lakes Fishery Commission.
Autumn Peltier is fifteen years old and has gained national and international recognition for her advocacy for clean water for Indigenous communities in Canada. She recently addressed the UN General Assembly on World Water Day March 22, 2018 to tell world leaders to better manage and preserve world water resources. In September 2019, she spoke at the UN Global Landscapes Forum and in January 2020 she joined other youth activists to speak at the World Economic Forum in Davos.
Dr. Cindy Peltier is currently Associate Dean of Arts and Science, and Assistant Professor Faculty of Education and Professional Studies at Nipissing University From 2016-2019, she held the chair in Indigenous Education in the Schulich School of Education until she was appointed Associate Dean. She is Anishinaabe-kwe with connections to both Wiikwemkoong Unceded Territory and Nbisiing (Nipissing Nation). She established the Indigenization Steering Committee as a means to work collaboratively across the university on the five broad goals of Indigenization including: Governance, visioning and strategic planning; Teaching and learning; Ensuring student success for Indigenous learners; Community engagement; and Human resources. Dr. Peltier’s current research interests include the intersections of health, education, and Anishinaabe gikendassowin (Indigenous knowledge) and is centered on concepts such as mnobimaadiziwin(way of a good life) and wiidooktaadyang (we are helping each other). Her current work includes a partnership with Nipissing Nation, which focuses on Indigenous peoples’ conceptions of what it means to live well. Wiidooktaadyang, an Anishinaabemowin term meaning “we are helping each other,” emphasizes relationality and recognizes that Indigenous peoples help each other to realize wellness.
Dr. Helen Robbins is the Repatriation Director at the Chicago Field Museum and is currently working with Dokis First Nation on the repatriation of human remains back to Anishnabe territory. Helen is already committed to the conference based on our SSHRC Repatriation project. The Chicago Field Museum is a major partner on that grant, and one of the outputs was to present at the Symposium in conjunction with the ASEH.
Kiethen Sutherland is from Kashechewan First Nation, a remote fly-in community locate on the traditional territory of the Omushkegowuk Cree people on the west coast of James Bay in Northern Ontario. Kiethen grew up on the shores of the Albany River and enjoys to hunt, fish and trap. Kiethen began his post-secondary education journey in 2013 at Nipissing University and graduated with an Honours Degree in History in 2017. Kiethen is currently completing his Masters degree.
Anita Tenasco is an Anishinabeg from Kitigan Zibi. She has a Bachelor’s degree in history and teaching from the University of Ottawa, as well as a First Nations leadership certificate from Saint Paul’s University, in Ottawa. She has also taken courses in public administration at ENAP (The University of Public Administration). In Kitigan Zibi, she has held various positions in the field of education and, since 2005, is director of education in her community. Anita was an active participant in the Honouring Our Ancestors project, in which the Anishinabeg Nation of Kitigan Zibi, under Gilbert Whiteduck’s direction, was successful in the restitution of the remains of ancestors conserved at the Canadian Museum of History, in Gatineau. Anita also participated in the organizing of a conference on repatriation, in Kitigan Zibi, in 2005. She plays an important role in this research project.
Dr. Zoe Todd (Métis/otipemisiw) is an artist and scholar based at Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada. She holds a BSc in Biological Sciences (University of Alberta), an MSc in Rural Sociology (University of Alberta), and a PhD in Social Anthropology from the University of Aberdeen. She writes about fish, science, art, prairie fossilscapes, Métis legal traditions, the Anthropocene, extinction, and decolonization in urban and prairie contexts. In the past, she has researched human-fish relations and arctic food security in the Inuvialuit Settlement Region in the Northwest Territories, Canada. Her current work focuses on the relationships between people, fish, and other nonhuman kin in the context of colonialism, environmental change, and resource extraction in Treaty Six Territory (Edmonton, amiskwaciwâskahikan), Alberta and the Lake Winnipeg watershed more broadly. She is a 2018-2019 Yale Presidential Visiting Fellow in the Program in the History of Science and Medicine.