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We Are All Treaty People, a Living Library
December 1, 2020 @ 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm
On the heels of Treaties Recognition Week, Niagara College is hosting its first-ever Living Library event to help educate the community about the historical and cultural significance of treaties, and the role they continue to play in the lives of Indigenous and non-Indigenous people in Ontario.
We Are All Treaty People, a free online event hosted by NC’s Indigenous Education department and the Library and Learning Commons in partnership with the Ontario Ministry of Indigenous Affairs, will be held on Tuesday, December 1 from 2 to 4 p.m. and the community is invited to join the live remote conversation via Zoom.
NC’s director of Student Services Lianne Gagnon noted that the event provides a learning opportunity for the College community, as well as the broader public.
“Niagara College has a strong partnership with the Indigenous community and we value this relationship greatly,” said Gagnon. “Part of this commitment is welcoming opportunities that provide meaningful dialogue about Indigenous history and traditions to support cultural connections for our Indigenous students and education for anyone who is willing to learn.”
The event features guest speakers Karl Dockstader and Sean Vanderklis, recipients of the 2020 Canadian Journalism Foundation’s CBC Indigenous Fellowship Award and co-hosts of the Indigenous-focused One Dish, One Mic radio program, which airs weekly on Newstalk 610 CKTB, who will offer an in-depth discussion about treaties, including the local importance of the Treaty of Niagara.
“In December 2015, when the Truth and Reconciliation Commission issued its Calls to Action, education was at the centre,” said Vanderklis. “We are all treaty people is intended to do just that, educate.”
Drawing on recent events, Vanderklis also noted, “Canadians have witnessed three crucial events this year; the Wet’suwet’en and the Mi’kmaq asserting their inherent rights, and members of Six Nations of the Grand River fighting for their rights to be recognized.”
“This presentation will focus on the collective responsibilities we have to honour the treaties that could have prevented these events from happening,” he said.
NC’s Living Library event is part of a broader initiative from the Ministry of Indigenous Affairs that aims to educate students and Ontario residents about the importance of treaties during Treaties Recognition Week in November. The Ministry’s Living Library program provides an opportunity for students and members of the public to learn more about treaty rights and relationships and receive teachings from Indigenous Elders and knowledge keepers about why treaties matter to all Ontarians. Since 2016, the Ministry has organized more than 700 Living Library events.
This year, due to COVID-19 restrictions, the Ministry encouraged partners of the Ontario Library Association, which NC is a member of, to host their own Living Library events, virtually.
Gagnon encourages the broader community to participate, and hear from diverse Indigenous perspectives.
“Our Living Library event is a wonderful opportunity for all NC students, faculty, and staff, as well as members of the community, to deepen their knowledge about Indigenous history and treaties right here in Niagara,” she said. “We look forward to hearing from Karl and Sean, who will offer a rich conversation to help facilitate a greater understanding of this important topic.”
Registration is required for the event. Visit the ncLibraries and Learning Commons website here for further details and to register.
About One Dish, One Mic
The winners of the 2020 Canadian Journalism Foundation’s CBC Indigenous Fellowship, hosts Sean Vanderklis and Karl Dockstader aim to highlight Indigenous Excellence and bring to light issues that are affecting Indigenous People.
Vanderklis is Mississauga of the Curve Lake First Nation who lives in St. Catharines, while Dockstader is a Haudenosaunee member of the Oneida, Bear Clan living in Niagara Falls. Both have worked as social service providers before launching their podcast, now broadcast – One Dish, One Mic. The radio program is live every Sunday from 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. on Niagara’s house of talk, Newstalk AM 610 CKTB.
Niagara College offers more than 150 diploma, bachelor degree and advanced level programs; as well as more than 600 credit, vocational and general interest Part-Time Studies courses. Areas of specialization include food and wine sciences, advanced technology, media, applied health and community safety, supported by unique learning enterprises in food, wine, beer, distilling, horticulture and esthetics. For more information visit niagaracollege.ca.