Indigenous Insights

Lessons on Hope

Tristen Durocher

Tristen Durocher reflects one year after his 635 km walk and 44-day fast

Jesse Wente

Reframing Indigenous Stories in Joy: Jesse Wente. J. Wente is an Anishinaabe writer and broadcaster, and chairperson of the Canada Council for the Arts. He emphasized the importance of joy in a lecture he gave online in November 2020. His talk, titled “A Story of Joy: Reducing the Harm So We Can Heal,” was part of Vancouver Island University’s annual Indigneous Speakers Series, in partnership with CBC IDEAS.

Emma Stevens

BlackBird was written by the Beatles and this awesome performance (2019) is an excellent version sung in Mi’kmaq – a joy to hear and a significant contribution to preservation of Indigenous languages. Check it out!

Insights on Reconciliation

Dr. Cindy Blackstock

Speaking Truth about Dr Peter Bryce, 1907 Medical Health Officer – On July 1, 2021, Dr. Cindy Blackstock speaks about the need to recognize that Canadian policies are still killing Indigenous children as they did by failing to properly fund and supervise Residential Schools. Children living on reserves do not always have access to clean water, basic health care or equivalent education. Dr Blackstock is executive director of the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society, and a professor at the School of Social Work at McGill University.


Chief Robert Joseph

Chief Robert Joseph describes his experience of residential schools, the segregation of children from their siblings as well as their parents, and how we can use reconciliation to support our journey toward a better future for all. (4 minutes, 20 seconds)

Honourable Murray Sinclair

“Reconciliation will take honesty. And trust. And above all, action.” In this podcast, the Honourable Murray Sinclair talks to the Conference Board of Canada about what it will take to move forward. (June 2021)

People Who Can, Should: Video, 7 minutes (March 2018)
The truth is hard, reconciliation is harder.  Murray Sinclair speaks to the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (October 2017 keynote address in BC – 50 min)
Reconciliation is hard, it requires courage and mutual respect. Murray Sinclair talks with CBC Correspondent Peter Mansbridge (June 2015)

It Begins with Leadership: Video, 12 minutes (June 2015)

Dr. Pam Palmater

If it Feels Good, it’s Not Reconciliation: Video, 1.5 hours (February 2018 Woodrow Lloyd Lecture)

Synopsis by J. Knox

Buffy Saint Marie

Buffy Sainte-Marie on God, Reconciliation, and Doctrine of Discovery (2.5 min)

Insights on Treaties (Treaty Four 1874)

Institute for Research on Public Policy: Video, 1.25 minutes (March 2018)

Insights on the Indian Act (1876)

Indian Act time line and key clauses by the Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC):

Awareness Training for Reconciliation

Insights on Canadian Law and Indigenous Rights

Metis and the Constitution of Canada
Bill C-15 formally recognizes the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. It became law in June 2021. In December 2020, Assembly of First Nations National Chief Perry Bellegarde explained the importance of this step and the need for an action plan to follow.

Insights on the corrections system and Restorative Justice

Indigenous incarceration rates (June 2018)

Restorative Justice (June 2018)

Shelly Chartier’s Story and Gladue Court (October 2017)

Toward Justice and Reconciliation in Canada – The Role of Restorative Justice (November 2016 – Video, 21 minutes); Honourable Murray Sinclair speaks to National Restorative Justice Symposium in Halifax.

Insights on the Economy

National Aboriginal Capital Corporations Association – NACCA & DISC: Working Towards a New Fiscal Relationship (January 2018)

Indigenous Corporate Training Inc reports challenges faced by Indigenous people in business (May 2017)

Indigenous Entrepreneurship In Canada (June 2018):

What impact does the Indian Act have on Indigenous businesses? — Under Construction

Insights on the Environment

WHY IS THE WORLD SO BEAUTIFUL? A CBC radio interview with ROBYN WALL KIMMERER (She’s amazing!)

Oboeist Sarah Fraker plays “Lessons from Braiding Sweetgrass” composed by Asha Srinivasan  to express Robyn Wall Kimmerer’s book Braiding Sweetgrass. This moving piece makes me feel that I am out in nature and it nourishes me (10.20 minutes)

Indigenous wisdom is already guiding action to protect the environment in Australia, Ecuador, Mexico, Bangladesh. Let’s find ways to support Indigenous leaders in Canada, whether Inuit, First Nations, or Mètis. With their leadership and wisdom, we can work together productively to protect our land. (Updated 2020-7)

Eriel Tchekwie Deranger discusses indigenous communities, health, the economy, and climate change (in context of Alberta tar sands) Video, 4 minutes — American Public Health Association (November 2017)

Indigenous Climate Action Network

Philip Brass on Climate Change and Youth; Peepeekisis First Nation, Treaty 4, Saskatchewan — Video, 1.5 minutes of thoughtful commentary  (February 2017)

Food and environmental justice

February 2020: Dr. Priscilla Settee, Professor of Indigenous Studies at the University of Saskatchewan, and Adjunct Professor for the Natural Resources Institute at the University of Manitoba.

Dr Settee is a global educator and activist from Cumberland House Swampy Cree First Nations with a keen interest in Indigenous food sovereignty. Dr Settee is also a David Suzuki Fellow who researches the impact of climate change on the environment and on the livelihoods of northern trappers.

Listen to her lecture titled—“The Impact of Climate Change and Environmental Degradation on Indigenous Knowledge Systems: What You Should Know.   (49 minutes)

She begins by emphasizing that Indigenous knowledge is alive and well but in some communities is at risk of being lost in future. Research can explain climate change and document an Indigenous world view.

MEDIA INDIGENA host/producer Rick Harp interviewed Dr Settee about her presentation in the context of the 2019/20 Weweni Indigenous Scholars Speaker Series (courtesy of the University of Winnipeg’s Office of Indigenous Engagement).

Saskatchewan is burning or removing trappers’ cabins, is clear cutting trapping lands, and is building dams that disturb water supplies to Indigenous Peoples. Instead of abiding by national and provincial laws that require consultation, the Government is jailing youth protesters.

Listen to this local expert with international experience and broad understanding. You will be chilled by the facts about our Saskatchewan water supply, quality, and justice. (comments by Jane Knox)