Treaties Recognition Week
The University of Waterloo honours the role treaties play in our lives today
The University of Waterloo honours the role treaties play in our lives todayBy Tara Sutton Human Rights, Equity and Inclusion Unit
From November 2 to 6, the University of Waterloo will be an inaugural participant of Treaties Recognition Week. To contribute to broader goals of education, reflection and action, the Indigenous Initiatives Office is excited to host a series of virtual events and videos throughout this important week.
These events and engagement opportunities are the start of what the Indigenous Initiatives Office hopes will be ongoing learnings about the treaties that affect where we live, work and the importance of honouring their rights and relationships.
“Treaties Recognition Week came about as a response to the Truth and Recognition Commission’s Calls to Action. People often think of treaties as being something in the past, but they are living documents that impact our lives, still,” Jean Becker says, senior director, Indigenous Initiatives and Interim AVP, Human Rights, Equity & Inclusion. “I think it’s really important in the work of reconciliation that people understand this and recognize them.”
The Indigenous Initiatives Office is excited to host a series of virtual events, videos and resources that will help create awareness about treaties in Canada while taking an in-depth look into the treaties that impact this area of Ontario.
Jean Becker hopes that this week will strengthen knowledge about what a treaty is and why it is important to all of us.
“Throughout the week, we hope people will take what they’ve learned about treaties, reflect and share with those around them,” Becker says. “Talk to the people in your life about why treaties are important, not just as part of our history, but as part of our lives today.”
University events planned for the week include:
Welcome and opening remarks by Feridun Hamdullahpur, president and vice-chancellor, and a brief conversation with Becker and Robin Stadelbauer from the Indigenous Initiatives Office about what a treaty is, the ways it impacts our historical and current relationships and why they’re important today.
Professor Susan Roy will discuss treaties’ relationship with government, connecting historical context to current issues, challenges and successes.
An evening virtual lecture with Phil Monture, who is Mohawk from the Six Nations of the Grand River. From 1975 to July 2002, Phil was the Director of the Land Claims Research Office at the Six Nations of the Grand River. Phil will discuss how Treaties impact life within the Six Nations, both historically and today.
A lecture with Chief R. Stacey Laforme who is the elected Chief of the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation (MNCFN). Born and raised on MCFN, Chief Laforme has served his community for over fifteen years, being first elected to the council in 1999. Chief Laforme discusses the treaties that intersect and impact the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation.
Reflections and takeaways from the week with Roy and Becker.
For more details, registration information and resources, visit the Treaties Recognition Week website.
The University of Waterloo acknowledges that much of our work takes place on the traditional territory of the Neutral, Anishinaabeg and Haudenosaunee peoples. Our main campus is situated on the Haldimand Tract, the land granted to the Six Nations that includes six miles on each side of the Grand River. Our active work toward reconciliation takes place across our campuses through research, learning, teaching, and community building, and is centralized within our Indigenous Initiatives Office.