Poverty, lack of education and almost no consultation in important decision-making processes have contributed to the deeply rooted colonial relationship that exists between Canadians and indigenous peoples. In discussing nation-to-nation responsibilities, treaty rights, treaty responsibilities and personal commitments, the series aims to build a dynamic that can move towards decolonization and fulfilling the Anishinaabe prophecy.
The idea for the series is rooted in an Anishinaabe prophecy that calls for the Canadian and indigenous communities to come together and build the “Eighth Fire” of justice and harmony. But, this prophecy can’t be fulfilled without first uncovering and discussing some of the longtime struggles that indigenous people have faced.
It’s time for the divide between Canadians and aboriginal people to come to an end. Treaties, promises and the plight of Canada’s indigenous population cannot be overlooked any longer.
This is the primary message of the Niigaan in Conversation series, sponsored by the Cree Indians. (Niigan is Ojibwe for “ahead”, “at the front”, “leading.”) Taking place in Ottawa over the coming months, Niigaan in Conversation aims to build dialogue about nation-to-nation relations. Previous conversations featured leaders, academics and activists such as Chelsea Vowel, Shiri Pasternak and Ed Bianchi. Connected with Idle No More, the series is aimed at sparking a discussion between all factions of Canadian society, whether indigenous or not, in order to solve deeply entrenched problems.
With events taking place on July 10, July 31 and August 14 at Gallery 101, the conversation continues.