Exploring Canadian Citizenship: National Chief Atleo | The Forum | Stratford Festival

Exploring Canadian Citizenship: National Chief Atleo | The Forum | Stratford Festival


Good morning everyone. Thank you very
much for joining us. This is a very special day as we welcome the Grand Chief Shawn-A-in chut Atleo to give the LaFontaine-Baldwin Symposium here in Stratford, but before we begin, I guess
I should introduce myself. My name is Antoni Cimolino. I’m the Artistic Director of the Stratford
Festival and – (Applause) thank you. So, as we begin I’d like to welcome two artists to the
stage to start today’s event. Lee Claremont is Mohawk and Irish, and was
born in Woodstock and on the territory at the Grand River
Six Nations Ontario and she’s a visual artist of international renowned including a commission to represent Canada at the Pan Am Games in Toronto in 2015. And some of her work is currently on display
in Stratford at the Gallery Indigenous so I encourage you to go and see –
she’s been here for a number of days setting everything up, hanging it, so please go out and have a look. She now resides in British Columbia and
so we’re specially honored that she’s come all this way and agreed to give an
Opening Blessing for today’s event. James Adams is a multi-disciplinary
artist. He’s a storyteller, he’s a writer, he’s an educator and he’s a performance
artist of Mohawk, Cree, Innu, and Anglo-Saxon heritage. He
led part of a storytelling workshop here in Stratford as part of our Forum back in
July and he’s generously agreed to come in today and help us start
things off. So ladies and gentlemen, please welcome James and Lee. (Applause) My name is Black Bear Man Who Walks from
the South. I am a tree in a mohawk and my clan is so the Eagle and I’m very proud and
honored and humbled to be here to sing for you today. The
song I would like to sing was gifted to me by this rattle. I made
this raffle for my son when he was 2 months old gave me his song that they sing to him
every night before he sleeps. With his permission I would use his rattle
and his song to open these festivities. I am Lee Claremont from the Six Nation’s Territory and I’m Mohawk and Irish. I call myself Morrish there’s a lot of
Mohawk-Irish on the reserve. I won’t speak much other than give
the Blessing but I have a story that happened this morning so I thought I should share it. And I’ve been carrying this little
folder around ever since I’ve been here. Everywhere I go I’ve got this folder and
down by the river because I’m trying to put together
something for this blessing because it’s so
important and this morning I went out for a coffee and – to get a coffee, and bring it back so I could look at my folder again, and I got back and I forgot the folder and then all of a sudden the Creator just said to me “Forget the folder” “Just go out there and speak from your heart.” So it is my blessing to be able to give the blessing to this
great event, so if you could please stand – Great Creator we are all gathered here to seek understanding and begin know each other in a way that is positive and go on to higher spots for more discourse within all of our nations and our fellow Canadians, with joy and passion I’m sure you Creator have made us all loving and just want to be one big family and we’re all so lucky to live in the country of Canada and I’m very, very thrilled and honoured that you have helped us put together this very great forum. All my relations. Thank you. Thank you Lee and James. What a
magnificent way to start. Now as you may be aware, this is my first
season as Artistic Director at the Stratford Festival and in putting together
this season, I put together a series of plays that examined a theme, an idea, and the idea centers around
communities. What makes up communities? What happens when communities divide, and where’s the place of the outsider? What happens to the
outsider when communities divide? And to support the exploration of that theme, not only in our playbill but with our audiences in interactivity I put together a forum. These are over 150
different events that range from comedy nights, talks speeches, concerts, that explore that idea
and take it further and to see how these ideas play out in our playbill. So to this end, we’re thrilled – I am thrilled that we are
able to partner with the Institute for Canadian
Citizenship to present this year’s LaFontaine-Baldwin Symposium in Stratford
as part of our inaugural Forum. The ICC with its mandate of fostering a
culture of engaged citizens is a natural partner for the Forum.
The LaFontaine-Baldwin Symposium which is the ICC’s intellectual platform
is a national interactive lecture on citizenship
and we’re delighted, especially delighted to have as the first speaker here in Stratford
National Chief Shawn A-in-chut Atleo of the Assembly of First Nations to have his voice included in our
exploration and understanding of community. Now it is my great privilege
to introduce to you the organization’s founders and co-chairs,
the Right Honourable Adrienne Clarkson and John Ralston Saul. Adrienne Clarkson
is universally acknowledged for transforming the Office of the Governor General. The energy, enthusiasm, and knowledge of
Canada that she shared in her six years in Ottawa left an
indelible mark in our nation’s history. A leading figure
in Canada’s cultural life, Mme Clarkson has had a rich and a distinguished
career in broadcasting, in journalism, the arts,
and in public service. An eminent writer, her latest book
“Room for All of Us” recounts a story of 10 successful
Canadians who lost everything and rebuilt their lives in
Canada. Her work has been recognized with dozens of awards in Canada,
the United States and abroad including 26 Honourary Doctorates and that
has to be some sort a record. Anyway, we’re honoured to have her
join us today. A celebrated essayist and novelist
John Ralston Saul’s philosophical trilogy and its conclusion, “Voltaire’s Bastards”,
“The Doubter’s Companion”, “The Unconscious Civilization”, and
“On Equilibrium: the Six Qualities of the New Humanism” have
impacted political thought in many countries. In “A Fair Country: Telling Truths about Canada”, he argues that modern Canada is
profoundly shaped by Aboriginal ideas. Both John and Adrienne’s
books are available for sale in the lobby following this event, and as I always say, there’s nothing
that wins you greater warmth in a writer’s heart than buying
their book. John is the President of PEN International and the founder and
honourary chair of French for the Future. He is a Companion
of the Order of Canada and a Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres de France. His many literary awards include
Chile’s Pablo Neruda Award, the Governor General’s Award, the
inaugural Gutenberg Galaxy Award. It is my privilege to welcome him here today.
I will let John introduce the National Chief and if you
want to find out more about the ICC there is of course a website there’s
more information in your program. I will now call on Adrienne Clarkson to
tell you more about the organization herself. Ladies and gentlemen, the Right Honourable Adrienne Clarkson. (Applause) Thank you very much Antoni and
I want to thank the Stratford Festival for partnering with the Institute
for Canadian Citizenship in this wonderful forum on community and we do have an identity of interests
and I’m really happy that we are together today on this
wonderful day in Stratford. The ICC was something that I wanted to found as I was leaving Ottawa because as the first immigrant to become
Governor-General I felt it was important to help others who have come to this
country as little children or as adults and chosen to become Canadians that they
have the chance to be part of Canadian life, not just by
having jobs and living okay but by having an imprint, by leaving their mark, by becoming
something in this country that everybody wants to be. That, whatever goal
they chose, there would be nothing standing in their way. That we would be inclusive for everybody
because we realize that people coming from other countries bring different
values, they bring their experiences and they come here and we become enriched by this wealth of new perspective, new ideas, and how we all benefit from them. I have always wanted to make sure that we in this country are
encouraged to think about ourselves first and foremost as
belonging to Canada. That we are Canadian citizens
because we belong and we share values – the public and ethical values that
this country was built upon and continues to believe in.
When I was little, people were very kind to us in Canada.
I have only as I pointed out in my autobiography,
only the best stories to tell. We came to Canada during the crisis at the Second World War. We
were refugees. We had nothing. The Anglican Church was extremely kind
to us because we were Anglicans and I think like a lot of immigrants churches help people first and
foremost. And I remember people saying
to my parents and we’d hear it, “Don’t worry Bill Nethal,
you know, your kids will be Canadian in one generation” and my father would say to us after,
“one generation’s too late” “You’re going to become Canadians now.
Everything will be yours now.” And so we worked hard for that and we did it. We have a lot of institutions in this country that work very hard for newcomers, that
work very hard for immigrants, for refugees, for teaching people the
languages of our country, but I felt that once we became Canadian
citizens we kind of dropped people, so we have three programs at the ICC.
We have this LaFontaine-Baldwin Symposium which is our intellectual platform for talking about citizenship, inclusion and we have a wonderful program called “Building Citizenship” which is
volunteer groups across the country having special citizenship ceremonies where we have
roundtables and discussions about what it is like for new citizens to live
in this country and then they become citizens right
after that discussion and our very successful program, the
Cultural Access Pass. We’ve had more than 70,000 participants
to date and that is – a pass is given to
every single new Canadian not just at our ceremonies but to some
2900 ceremonies across the country to all new citizens that they can belong to nearly 1500 cultural places in Canada where they will be welcomed
for free for one year with a family of up to four children and I’m very happy that we have in our
audience today a number of our CAP participants.
We are really, really thrilled that this has taken off as such and we
are also thrilled that Via Rail gives 50% off its lowest advertised price to CAP holders. The thing is good all
across the country and it fills in very much that idea that you cannot belong to a country unless you know about it – unless you want to be part of it. Unless you have that sense that you are welcomed into it, and all
the institutions that have welcomed our CAP holders, they are part of our building citizenship.
We are delighted with our partnership for Stratford. We are with Strafford. We are happy that we have this lecture here with the National Chief Shawn Atleo whom we have known for a number of years and who we feel is going to be able to tell us in a very interesting and provocative way what it means to
belong in this country, what it is that we are looking for in
this country. And I want to say to everyone who has
helped to organize this – thank you, and now,
John my fellow co-chair. Thank you. (Applause) Thank you very much Antoni and Adrienne. It’s a great thrill
to be here doing this in Stratford for the first time. I want to thank the drum and James Adams. I want to thank
elder Lee Claremont and I want to acknowledge that we’re
on Six Nations Territory. These protocols are very
important and it took me years to learn to thank not
the drummer but the drum because the drum is in and of
itself something so ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the 11th LaFontaine-Baldwin
lecture, the first here in Stratford. Welcome to those who are watching this
via the webcast I should tell you also that there’s an
online conversation taking place during this lecture –
I half understand what I just said. In the question period, we are
going to be monitoring questions coming in through that
conversation. We’ll try to take some of those questions along with those of you in the audience,
so you have to be patient if you’re in line if someone butts in and says as I have a question
from somebody in Whitehorse that’s okay, that’s good. And we’ll
try to get as many as we can and if we don’t we’ll deal with them
perhaps online afterwards. As I’ve said for 11 lectures welcome to CBC Radio and Ideas because
this is being recorded and will air on that great, great program ‘Ideas’ on September 4th. This lecture has
traveled all over the country Halifax, Quebec City, Montreal, Calgary,
Vancouver, did I say Toronto? Or allowed to? Yes, Toronto – it’s been given by astonishing Canadians: Chief Justice
Beverley McLachlin, Louise Arbour, George Erasmus, one of Chief Atleo’s great predecessors as National Chief. Last lecture, the 10th,
was given by his Highness the Aga Khan in Toronto and
the ninth was given in Iqaluit, the first-ever national lecture given in
the Arctic – it was incredibly exciting – by Siila Watt-Cloutier. These have all been
historic events. They’ve played a role in changing the way Canadians think This will be the third time that one of our important Aboriginal leaders has given it out of 11. So why is it called the LaFontaine-Baldwin lecture?
For those of you have not been to one before – Well, because the ideas – It comes out of the ideas of LaFontaine and Baldwin
and the great ministry which they oversaw and Joseph Howe who was their equivalent in the
Maritimes out of the 18840s, 1850s. The Great Ministry was
in power from 1848 – 1851 and in three years it set the direction
for the modern idea of Canada, the modern humanist idea
of Canada, the ethical idea, the pluralist idea, the idea of Canada at
its best. We also have our moments when we’re at
our worst like all countries. It’s interesting, the ICC and this lecture, because LaFontaine and Baldwin and the reformers were brought to power – the democratic movement were brought to
power because of the Irish refugee crisis of 1847 when the population of Toronto was
tripled in three months with people a communicable diseases and
dying and the mistreatment in the mishandling of the Irish refugee crisis
in the summer of 1847 lead a critical mass of people in Upper Canada to switch from
voting for the family compact the anti-democratic people to voting in
the January 1848 election for democracy, so it was in
fact an immigration failure that lead to the
arrival of democracy in Canada in early 1848. And the first act of the first democratic government of Canada in February or March – in February, they
did it before they actually took power but they controlled Parliament – their first act as the Democratic
majority in Canada was to bring in and immigration law to
tell the English to get lost when it came to emigration and to create and immigration policy for
Canada which would be fair and just. Those are the roots of Canadian
immigration and citizenship policy which the ICC works for at its best coming out
of the Great Ministry. So in three years in power, they put through hundreds of laws which shaped the Canada we know. They put in place the beginnings of an open and fair justice system, the
beginnings for public education system, a professional civil service. They put in place the two
key things that would end the possibility of the French and English class European class structures and systems which is to say
they did away with English primogeniture and began the doing away with of the French seniorial system. They made
free use of roads, they created an egalitarian postal system because before then you had to have money to send messages. They removed from the law
imprisonment for debt. They created the public university
system with the University of Toronto which is the beginning of our public
system And – more and more and more – they
shaped this country in three years for the best. And the idea of this lecture is to take
that humanist past and say where can we go in the future with this inclusive egalitarian idea of
Canada. So it was logical when Adrienne principally and
myself set up the Institute for Canadian Citizenship that the already existing LaFontaine-Baldwin
Symposium would come under its wing and when we sat down a year ago with
Anthoni and Stratford it was immediately
logical to us that the LaFontaine-Baldwin lecture and Symposium would come here to be part and work with the Festival at Stratford.
So this is the ICC’s national intellectual platform on
citizenship, democracy and the common good. LaFontaine and Baldwin
represent one part of that – of the legal political and
philosophical beginnings of Canadian pluralism but the other part which precedes that
which is the founding part is of course the incredible contribution
made by indigenous peoples. There with
indigenous peoples you find the founding pillar of the three
founding pillars of modern Canada and the last 100 years have been very
difficult on this front Very, very difficult but they have
also witnessed an incredible long, difficult but
incredible comeback of Aboriginal peoples to their proper place of influence and
growing influence in Canada reuniting of the influence of the first
hundreds of years with their influence today and National Chief Shawn A-in-chut Atleo is himself a sign of that come back. He and his predecessors like George Erasmus, over mercredi, matthew coon come, Phil Fontaine are all part this
extraordinary new First Nations maiti in what leadership
which are reshaping Canada to put us back in line with our origins with our
humanist origins I first met the national Chi five years ago in
Vancouver when he was then the elected representative of the BC chiefs
on the National Council and I was we had dinner together and then we did a
thing in a theater and I found them fascinating it was clear that this was a new voice a
new way of saying things from an indigenous point of view but a
Canadian 20 also a kind of optimism in spite of all the
difficulties and then filled with ideas a new voice for for stations but also as a Canadian
I would say a possible new voice for all of us the national cheese full
biography is in the playbill so I would just say
this that national chief Sean and shit at Kellys
hereditary chief up the house at First Nation on the west
coast of Vancouver Island July 2012 he was reelected elected to a second
consecutive three-year term as national chief by the Assembly of First Nations he’s
put an incredible emphasis on the importance of education he’s traveled across the country country endlessly and
tirelessly and as you know the last six months have
seen a new chapter in indigenous people
speaking out all across this country and chief Atleo
has been at the center of this he is an invaluable and historic turning point Voice for indigenous
peoples First Nation people and I think for all
of us please welcome national chief Shawn and shirt Atleo to
the stage to give the 11th laugh in 10 Baldwin symposium lecture on First Nations and the future of Canadian citizenship to narcotics Chinese block chef da blitz johnnie flock here see Cox I
can chat his stock ship a hoser neutron of luck clockers feet maas Arctic shift to see
haha way XO oneida chip law delaware mocked an object martic it so Dhaka speed maas talk to him ha such
talk from Haas up it’s good to be alive this morning I carry the name as I said in my
language are in check which my wife and I were hoping we be
bestowed a name I would be bestowed a name something like eagle flies soars into blue sky but are in chat translates as people depend on you and as john had to
offer nothing is very generous introduction I come from an old system up governance
in my little village about how was it which is a fishing village any you know
the west coast of Vancouver Island that’s where I come from I was just there yesterday day before
yesterday and that you can’t get any further west
on this content that how’s it it’s at as a child we would find little
class fishing balls and it floated over from
Japan so next stop to Pattaya we say when I when I think about home and as is the
rightful thing they do is John had expressed expressing our protocol that whenever
outside of our territories the language that I spoke one have 52 indigenous languages in Canada and in my role as national chief I
support an advocate for all fifty two languages coast to coast to coast
joining the acknowledgement that my mate Ian in you eat indigenous brothers and
sisters and also to r-texas tech Co institution that the
XO sex yet newt New York giving expression of
appreciation for the ceremony this morning always is the
way of our people we reflect in respect that somebody
else’s laws are here and the song’s been sung in that prayer
has been offered the elders have spoken now we can get on with our business and
that includes the she who carries the the great name from
treaty 7 territories from the bus she carries the name grandmother have many nations are former
governor-general that that that name all all speak a little bit more about it but her excellency honorable that I’m
Clarkson role that she held I our people through
the bloods gave expression to are feeling about the
crown in destroying that name on on you and I want to thank UN John for
the very kind invitation as along with the antennae and the organizers here at Stratford it is a
tremendous honor and I was speaking with Lee before she came to do the ceremony and
let me begin with this sentiment which she expressed to me she said it feels like we’re on that costs and so
let me begin their with that with that sentiment being so
thankful to be here and I know that many view will be enjoying the artistic brilliance and
creativity and this notion oven biting this lecture to be a part of this is something
personally I feel deeply grateful for never could we
imagine if I were to hold a potlatch where name would be the stall door American cluded or rite of passage where
begin a funeral without going to the artistic leadership
we would never call them anything less that because they’re part of the fabric
of our systems of governance over the course of history and so too should we consider the
artists as leaders amongst us so I think about the John Ralston Saul
sony is offering up important part for the country through his writings where the artist we had a chance to sit
down and spend some time with last night award-winning playwright tera of parents here this morning only
way and the way you described a tire for her
car ok my daughter’s name is Terry the way are described it as an award-winning
playwright talking about those who had got the trenches so that we is like if I can say as
contemporaries as the next generation so that we can fight on in the trenches
that were dot by the promise Kings by that mister greens the renowned artists that
have come from these lands from our peoples from
indigenous peoples and in recognizing that were in someone
else’s territories and and having the ceremony that we’ve had
this really is the point of entry expressions have respect to the original
in car and have a 10 cent to the ancestors mine
and yours who gathered on the lawn to make promises to one another as John had alluded to promises to work together for our collective well-being and may I
say how fitting it is at this moment as Lee had said to me before we started
that we’re on the cusp because it feels like that it feels like we’ve arrived at a moment
perhaps a unprecedented engagement awareness
challenge an opportunity for First Nations peoples and indeed for all of Canada and as you
know and as was share here already law la Fontaine involved in came together in
the mid-eighteen hundreds in the midst of chaos in the midst the
rebellion wasn’t described necessarily as you’re
using the word conflict but I know that to Graham Greene last night when we word we’re talking I
think you use the term string theory right was not what he was talking about their
year sir string theory and and the way your talking even smaller than the Adams
this is the way my father speaks to me as well they way you are reminding us about in
our language we would say he should missed a lot interconnected the interconnected aspect of all life and
the essence of life being everywhere was what I received from what you’d said
an idea of this notion of something being created
out of chaos are at that time rebellion and that this
country in fact in this the idea of this lecture series John
from what I’m hearing what you’re describing very much being
based on that and the idea at the Institute of citizenship I wanna
touch on a few of these ideas talk about the kinds have philosophy
that was introduced mister green and in your reflections with your fellow
panelists at dinner last night for those of us who were
there so it feels like a very fitting moment like was said to the last six
months for the last 12 months are the few times that I’ve been able to
get away with not shaving for example this is not my 5
o’clock shadow it takes a West coaster a long time to get to this point and so today I’m behind the force over a little bit a
facial growth I want to take the opportunity to offer
up a challenge to respectfully when with great love
reflect back and as we do to our lot loved ones
confront one another periodically when we have some things
that that are on our hearts and on our minds
I I do believe that we can I’m cover
powerful new ways to preciate citizenship at to unleash success and it does
require a bit of contextual framing always to
think about what lies as a way to our appreciate what is at this moment as a way for us to 10
shape together as Tara might do in her in her place is
she’s writing to script what might be and this is a
moment to ask that we do this together and it
does require us to go back further to the early 1600s to the two row wampum two treaties a peace and friendship to
1763 in the Royal Proclamation by King George the third and we know
another little King George’s just been born I sense a Manitoba mukluks under strict inspection by strong
Mohammed I might add and the Treaty of Niagara in 1764 and
forth through relationships that have been set out in treating your unique around the world can it is
unique in this respect agreements and understandings right across this country these agreements must not be viewed as
after quitting relics of history something just to the
left yes they are fundamental to understanding our collective past but they’re
increasingly important to understanding how we can achieve our potential as a
society today and into the future this is be cuts the approach used by are mutual ancestors yours and mine to forge these agreements was based on
recognition on respect and you to understanding these are the
principles that we must again embrace and apply to clear a new path forward understanding concepts of identity and
citizenship in this land that we now call Canada means that we
must strive to fulfill what was originally intended this is
central to the success of Canada today and in fact quite possibly it offers you
know for universal lessons the world over and so we began with some sweeping historical references
it is one of the great tragedies the teachings of history in this country
that this history too often begins only with the arrival
have europeans so too I was talk thereby denying all
our students the rich powerful and important Chronicle up the indigenous societies governments
and peoples up to slap given our limitations today that’s the
first challenge to encourage olive you and Canada those
listening in to did dig deeper than what we can cover
here today thankfully there are tremendous
new academic works from indigenous callers that are making a major contribution to our collective
understanding and I’m very pleased to say that we’re beginning to see changes in
the school system as well writings the likes of which john has
authored juice about Canada fair country I should start getting it cut back its or in our midst we have one of the if not the first indigenous
man appointed president of a charter
University in Canada Mike on sitting over there please stand
up and be knowledge the very earliest interactions between
indigenous peoples and europeans within the territories of what is now Canada were characterized for the most part by
mutual interest in respect relationships established based on
recognition and respect to commercial and military alliance in treaty are the bedrock in the foundation upon
which Canada is built in fact prior to contact with Europeans their
extensive trade network sentry making practices among indigenous nations European
traders who arrived in the northern part of North America had to learn and adopt
these practices to establish a place for themselves and many instances to survive the two
role of them up 16-13 remains one of the most vivid than important examples the
belt now exactly four hundred years old records in expertly crafted precious
purple and white shells the treaty between urich walk and the Dutch the
belt the pics the wake up to the sauce a First Nations Cano and European
sailing ship traveling together side by side yet on parallel paths I’m inhibited by each other it captures
the commitment to an ongoing relationship about Thomas nations link to one another
by the principles of truth respect and French up high stock being friendly to one another 20 to row wampum symbolizes a strong
ethical relationship between two nations into people’s some the other earliest observations
have european negotiators recorded and reported conclusions noting that and
I quote here there is no and to the relations with the indians yes we sometimes Paul
that term out for example I am NOT the Prime Minister
up indians intact I’ll come back to that point there
reflecting an intrinsic tied to the peoples to
their labs and to the importance agreements and relationships the
earliest treaties from East follow the path set in wampum treaties of peace and
friendship yet we must never overlook the reality that those concepts in the
tree EES included economic and strategic impaired this is perhaps best stated by
representative up six nations to the governor of New
York in the early seventeen hundred’s when he summed up their interests by
stating and I quote trade in peace we take to be one thing the Royal Proclamation of 1763 in part a statement to the rights of
indigenous nations a statement no doubt hastened by several successful First
Nations battles the Royal Proclamation reflects on
successful alliances and treaties a peace and friendship and affirms
treaty making as a requirement for about the proclamation led directly to the
Treaty of Fort Niagara in 1764 creating a new covenant chain between
the British Crown and the First Nations and the great
lakes area the Treaty of Fort Niagara establishes a continuous relationship have peace friendship and respect
between the indigenous nations and the crown you see all the
more important that your excellency would receive a
name the likes of which she did the grandmother many nations from treaty
7 territory a very powerful link to the crown that
exists to this day what malcolm belts were presented an exchange that at that time over two
month period indigenous leaders made speeches as we r want to do periodically and conducted ceremony affirming their
understanding of the relationship we come from are also cites remember this year four
hundred years since the two row wampum in fact October 7th this year with mark the anniversary the
250 than ever see if the Royal Proclamation it’s an important opportunity to
remember the principles apiece friendship especially recognition being central to the original engagement
of our earliest political economic and yes military agreements and of course as i’ve alluded
to with the fifty two languages we are incredibly diverse i coming from the village about how is
it which roughly translates as people who come from the
sea back to the bland back to our backs are to the a the
coastal mountain range in next top like I said Japan where people
have the ocean and its evident in the way that we
describe ourselves as nations and even the terms that we use language as
with any cultural around the globe our citizenship then that notion identity is intrinsically
tied to our territories my people our people above the sea and when I was
five or six years old it was made abundantly clear as I the of
I had my dried fish in this pocket and I Mike
fishing line and this pocket and I was as any kid heading down to go
fishing for the day but the aunties would stop me always the
aunties my going their finger did you go see
your grandma that all how I’m going fishing all okay I
guess I better and they would then stop and make sure
that I understood the necessity to sit with my grandmother’s with my great ants and to learn through
the stories about our people and about the responsibilities that we
will inherit and and that was very early on in life
hearing concepts the likes of which mister green alluded to in his reflection issue
missed a lot we are all one Sao walk that’s an easy when you can say
it with me go ahead I’ll walk there you spoke my language it means one oneness oneness issue missed a lot we are all one and
interconnected beginning to get to the root somewhat
I’m hearing are the underpinnings of the lecture
series and the that very notion of this country and concepts like pearl -ism we are definitely a very rich and
complex society just as neutron offers about 15,000 must now growing rapidly fastest growing segment
of the Canadian population but we are one of fifty two different
languages there’s 32 different languages just in British Columbia the pattern of contact was different
where I come from on the west coast and happened somewhat later but again we
see the emergence of similar principles and lessons remembering also that early history was
not without conflict in the late 1700s Spanish British
russian and american ships began sailing the northwest coast are
people’s generally welcomed the opportunity to expand our trading networks but we’re
also absolutely clear as my people especially our about
jurisdictions about our rights and about our
responsibilities AXA big Russian by Europeans were met with a fierce
response fire people’s probably with facial hair like this in
northern BC the plane get fought against Russian occupation and successfully defended their people
in territories in Haida Gwaii and bank arrival in many European ships were
attacked and destroyed in the assertion of
indigenous territory indeed my own nation captured and
destroyed ships that were illegally harvesting in our territories
disregarding and disrespecting our loss and as a child with a butter knife I
used to be out on the rocks adjacent to the my village down the beach nice to find
coins from the fifteen hundred’s from Spain and outside would come visit maybe a
horde of us kids that would sell miss geyer point for 25 cents because then you
could get packed you what the store I’ve said since seen examples of those
coins in the Caribbean and I only knew the link when the dance
the Kingfisher would come out and be sung and would be dance one of
our most famous songs and dances in my village performed even during the time when the
potlatch as well allowed because we were speaking instead of having our cedar boards up
where would use a screen on a stage just like this we may started making them out of 10
vessey could hide the really quickly tuck them away and then just pretend
that we weren’t doing anything the Indian agents would company put our
people to jail so that’s my little snippet about a moment where I didn’t really fully
grasp we got to our stories our songs are dances this notion of conflict which are are
people come emirates are potlatch into our songs and four dances part of this history includes this
resistance war and then of course devastating loss life
from imported diseases battles ensued on the coast and in land
where the Chilcotin a name that you may be hearing more of
an oppressed these days the interior British Columbia and others waged war to oppose road
construction that was occurring without their participation this was happening at approximately the
same time as mining expeditions were beginning along the north shore of Lake
Superior more I was just last week back here in
the east under the leadership of the famous in a
snobby chief shingle Kos the Anish knock students firm defense demanded fairness thank in fact demanded
treaty as they had heard about and seen
happening further south and had known as well amongst our own
nations you see like was described at the outset
like this very country at moments a conflict there are clear choices in this country
where we established successful sustainable
relations we have agreed to respect one another we agreed that we
have mutual interests we agree to fairness to sharing at to support one another
these principles codified in the treaties and embedded as well an ongoing relationship are now the
foundation and basis of the relationship between First Nations and the crown now Canada a bind us in a unique
partnership secured when our ancestors agreed to peacefully coexist mutual respect and to share the lands
and the wealth of the traditional territories First Nations and all Canadians share
this history and were connected as we embark on this collective future
quite simply it means they’re is no outsider we r each and every one
of us all involved and we must all be engaged the treaties and other agreements are
not only about rights they are absolutely also about responsibilities within the indigenous worldview sharing
is a central natural law that requires us to develop protocols a mutual understanding and respect to
keep balance to seek harmony have the whole not only between and
amongst people but I learned as a kid to go fishing
that mean he was the promise of being a Fisher but you saying the song to the fish
ayash a true to lip because you have treaty with the fish to it has to agree
to grab on to that which you put out in order for it to be brought him to
become food john was complaining about it not being a good Fisher side is
offered up a fishing tip I once for free this notion hours sharing having and understanding and mutual I having a basis upon which you have mutual
understanding and respect we can illustrate I like it offer up a couple illustration
somewhat you may have I’m picked up on the recent media where there was really for
us it was of a flash fire a media reports about
biomedical testing that was conducted by the Government of Canada on children
attending residential school not a revelation that was entirely shocking
too many of us who grew up hearing not just whispers but real story is that
our dinner tables with our parents and our aunts or uncles and grandparents but the reports had the effective really
tearing open into open old wounds its per it’s perhaps a
perfect as well as terrible example of what happens when there is no respect more real
recognition a people’s ripping apart families
apprehending children as they call them to the battery ran into the bush to try and save themselves trying to
forcibly imprint and an alien language is my father witnessed 5- and 6-year-olds having inspected to
their tongue when they tried to speak the only language that they could when
they arrived at the school’s really children face for trying to save
themselves and their culture and people trying to save their culture
and their spirituality nothing less than the prolonged abuse up the most vulnerable is what occurred
this abuse was not the exception this was official federal policy we all
know the tragic consequences of these actions a legacy that continues to have
a devastating effect on our nation’s today and this is
where the professional becomes personal these are stories I heard at my dinner table being explained to me
that some kids got vitamins and vitamin C in oranges and some things didn’t and
was manage that we can ask seven or eight year old understand that
was the case and it just turns out that Mikesell former always with the average
for healing foundation and you get why I am excited about the
fact that he’s now president uva important university in
the country it’s that it’s that notion that education learning
and understanding which is really under like FEMA this reflection I
like to offer so critical and why looking back to understand what
lies is how we arrive at a better shared
notion what is right now then we can get on with shaping the
future together the historic apology that have 2008 was absolutely essential and I was there
I was in the house when I was at work and so now to as the time of Truth and
Reconciliation AXA reconciliation Kretschmann this
opportunity for all First Nations peoples and for all Canadians to join in
the effort so understanding we need to begin again building our
shared future I can’t help but be thankful for this being just such a
moment more voices are included that haven’t
perhaps been included and in this manner this being a historic
moment in in the in the midst of an artistic festival I think it really adds
to it fortunately my second illustration moving off at first one from a recent news tells just such a
story we saw the recent massive flooding in Alberta
no anyone was there I was their you too me too was downtown
Calgary in the waters were rising strike Wow and it was capturing the
headlines Calgary was but a number a First Nations
communities in treaty 7 territory were also hit hard by the rising waters and I
had the opportunity is part of my role to travel to these communities three
times during the crisis and it’s really quite overwhelming to
witness this kind of natural disaster in person for sure talking to the families from to T now
from Morley six aka people devastated by their losses and
facing a very uncertain future yet what was most remarkable was seeing
incredible courage and the kindness have a community come
together hearing about people checking in on one another on their friends and on their neighbors
making sure the elders and the children those most vulnerable
were care for more safe and the volunteerism people flooding into the arena’s at these reserves i’m
talking about. from all over from the Reserve itself in from outside
between any people helping to keep each other spirit
strong at a time crisis material possessions of course
being swept away by the rising water but the spear never lost and it’s the
spirit that the Chiefs in their citizens harnessed to get the support they need didn’t
really seven are too often situations like this have left people vulnerable
and needy for far too long lost because of the tangled web
jurisdictional overlaps and uncertainties that we still have today not this time this was different to
their credit the provincial government joined the First Nations leadership immediately followed closely by the
federal government within days I’ve impact we had ministers and
representatives from all governments across many ministries directly engage
with the leadership to put the needs of the people first a time of crisis when everyone needs one
another the barriers in the gaps that block
action were overcome seemingly melted 5 all over us the same lesson can
absolutely apply more broadly to the work that we need to do now the full agenda requires that everyone
come together justice treaty 7 poll First Nations and their neighbors
together to deal with the rising water and one of
the treaty 7 elder said when we’re in the meeting with the various ministers and officials this is treated he said comment about
what was actually happening this is what’s required to do we need to
come together among our own nations and with the government’s to honor respect
their obligations entreaty to support one another you see we have inherent
responsibilities to our lance are waters in our peoples and we have
inherent rights as nations to work in full respect with one another as
equal partners and other governments the medical experiments that I mentioned
earlier are really part of a larger continuum up socio-economic and policy experiments
that have all failed our people this includes the
Indian Act an attempt to really displace overnight the ways of life that had been
in place for generations tried to wipe away the promises and treaty that we would respect one another and
share that we would not impose one we have life over another all these experiments have been otter an
abject failures the experiments are all part of an
unacceptable pattern that we must all work to break the realities in stats are stark and
they’re absolutely sobering Canada ranking within the top five in
the UN Human Development Index of First Nations fall well below and
struggle alongside countries in the developing and third world our people are as I
witness first hand and some are beginning to appreciate now because I’ve increased
awareness in this country cramped in the crumbling homes in clocks
in communities almost half of our children live in poverty our children and this is a fact all
right now statistically more likely to end up in jail than to graduate from high
school the reality of attempted in I’ll
extinguishment and displacement displacement makes it difficult to even feel part of Canada part of the whole today I’ve experienced this reality directly
myself as we fought and won a major fisheries case amongst the
neutron of the core the judge brought the court to
my village and i sat with my regalia in front of my people in my village and a lawyer for the crown said to me
directly we do not recognize that you exist as a
people’s those words were uttered to me of course
you know moment upkeep and direct conflict but make no mistake that
crown lawyer speaking for Canadians when that crown lawyers representing
Canada in a case on fisheries in my little village of the west coast but like the overall forty other court
cases that week that I can point to you we won this court case and this is really about persistence and in this case succeeding but it
doesn’t mean that when you when a court case against the federal government that
the next day it’s implemented the way you expected this is where you come in just as we
have his new channel finally concluded this ten-year legal battle for
recognition over fishing rights we must find a way for for all of us
based on recognition and respect this means we all have work to do First
Nations are becoming fully engage in this effort by driving
forward solutions from the ground up working together
respecting one another in supporting one another we left this all up and it makes economic sense as
well it makes political sense it makes moral
sense just as it did in the time treaty mutual
respect recognition and partnership this is how we can move forward together
to break this pattern of unilateral imposed approaches that are absolutely failing not just us
but the entire country so this means that I love Canada has a
tremendous and I shared stake in renewing and reconciling our relationship our
ancestors did it we can as well in fact we must do it this is required
to meet our mutual interest in to achieve mutual success and this I feel is the economic
imperative for the entire country as I said earlier our population this makes me an
old-timer are the youngest and fastest-growing population over half
under the age of 25 tremendous potential in our peoples in
our communities we must invest in First Nations people
through education through skills training and employment opportunities to ensure
that First Nations are full participants in the economy a study by the Center for the study and
living standards found that if we raise First Nations Educational and employment level so they’re equal
with the rest of Canada this will add 400 billion to the Canadian economy and save a hundred fifteen billion in
government expenditures it’s clear that our people are key to
keeping Canada sustainable and strong so our lands in the coming years
canada’s planning more than 500 major resource projects that would represent $650 billion in new
investments almost all which will be on or near
First Nations land or territories for any of this to
proceed clear conditions must first met the approaches must be sustainable and
responsible and they must respect and recognize our
treaty rights our title and our reality this means then that we must design new
approaches that ensure recognition an ongoing relationship for stewardship
and decision-making that reflects the jurisdictions have all peoples it means that principles which are in
place and try and the United Nations Declaration the rights have
indigenous peoples that include the right to free prior and informed
consent are the basis upon which we engage early and often then we can all share in the economic
benefits the benefits of working with First
Nations to give life to our rights and support our solutions is being recognized more MORE in this
country by influential groups like the Canadian
Council of Chief Executives who reported in July of last year on the
opportunity among First Nations to develop a skilled and trained workforce
which would in turn create economic spinoffs and capacity-building at the community
level the same report makes clear recommendations on the benefits of
recognizing writes an effective meaningful partnerships with First
Nations it echoes what we as First Nations have
been saying for decades I should add the Canadian Chamber of Commerce
placing in the top 10 list the barriers to competitiveness the
need for skills training amongst the indigenous peoples of this country as
well this takes us back to the early days
emerging economic and trade patterns I was thinking about to John the book by
Hackett Fisher Champlain Street being another excellent example writings
recently that begin to capture this sentiment
about the early days economic and trade patterns and
fisheries and in the fur trade and we see that once again our nations are important part to the
economic life in this country vital players and partners and keeping
the country strong competitive First Nations and particularly our young
people have a growing confidence determination and conviction and where
high-tech indians social media hot summer the highest
users per capita social media indigenous young people information
moves as quick as lightning now about what’s
happening in Ottawa our media lecture for some at Strafford the information moves incredibly fast
rate now and there’s a very helpful to our people
into expanding the conversation and including many in this notion of the resurgence in
strengthening other people the strengthening a First Nations
governments have nation-building we refer to it and rebuilding and the
development of our own economies First Nations are driving ford solutions
enabling their citizens and youth become to become actors actors for a civil and just society and agents a
positive change in their communities and far beyond but we need not act alone in our efforts
to fulfill our true potential as people’s as partners and his nation’s we all have
a role to play in realizing this opportunity for after all no one of us in this room no one of us in this country created
this current place Noront rounded any of us break the promises a tree but still and yet still we can all take
responsibility for sparking change for us has been famously said and John himself makes this reference we are
all treaty people Ropar to the Crown First Nations relationship that word
remain central to Canada real product that the partnership’s
built on respect and recognition and we can live division of the
ancestors enact a day for a better tomorrow indeed there is absolutely and I see
this all the time an incredible amount have work to do I was reminded to my father’s one of the first in our perhaps in a in Western Canada but for
sure amongst newt on all and the first at the University British
Columbia he went got three degrees he said his grandfather had caught three
whales I come from a whaling lineage in his three whales where his three degrees the very first
First Nations man from University British Columbia to it attain
a PhD needed that in his fifties is now 74 it just reminds ice that while we’ve come a long
way we have over 30,000 post-secondary graduates that’s a recent history that
I’m talking about your first university president sitting
here I just talked about a man who achieve their first PhD and John often
references the over 30,000 post-secondary educated indigenous peoples across our
lands and there’s a lot of work to do we have
come some ways and my dad reminded me when I was
having trouble with map I said that I don’t understand this out a rock I can’t do it you can have
what you say sign of drove me crazy I said that I couldn’t
in what he was saying was you can have what you say the moment you believe it’s possible
you’re making the choice to do the hard work he would say there’s the hardware the
harder way sign and this is where we find ourselves
at this country as well its it seems we’ve been avoiding the
hard work for a long long time but not anymore we’re not going to allow
this to be punted down to future generations and choose what ultimately the harder
path our efforts absolutely require us to
come together to find solutions achieving full engagement and forging
understanding is the standard of how we can and must do business together our guiding principle is the shared
commitment for first nations to be full participants in designing a collective
future for our communities in the country as a
whole First Nations are doing our our work and we extend our hand to you just as we did at the time a treaty
we’re reaching out the parliamentarians and provincial and territorial leaders her reaching out to the private public
sector reaching out to the international community in absolutely reaching out to artistic are artistic leadership we’re reaching out to Canadians from all
walks of life and all face to join us in this national
project this new national dream to create a more fair I just and a stronger Canada and I’m
pleased and proud to say that more more Canadians are standing with us every day they’re supporting our efforts to
improve education our economies housing health and community safety in my role
as national chief as I alluded to earlier my role is not to direct First
Nations my job is to empower to support their
voices advocate for renewed nation a nation
relationship my role is to support an advocate for respect and recognition a First Nations rights title entreaties
to press for the transformative changes required for first nations to fulfil their true
potential my role indeed is that a facilitator for
direct discussion and dialogue between First Nations governments the likes of
which was an example for 287 during the time
of the flooding Canada is built on a proud heritage up
strong vibrant indigenous nations and our historic and living relationships
with one another and together we can build strong
communities where people’s are full participants in driving our
economies educating our youth and fostering strong First Nations
governments and as I move to towards concluding I wanna bring us all
back to the great themes at the Laugh montagne Baldwin lectures that we must grasp the overarching
themes that we can focus on the specific plans of action programs
for change in tasks for each and every one of us I’m reminded
the works a prime minister trudeau when he left office in nineteen seventy-eight acknowledge with some frustration and
regret and I quote despite our temps the Indian problem is still with us thirty-five years later
after successive governments both liberal and conservative it’s time for a new language and a new
story a story that’s not about the Indian problem but I’ve recognition and a dialogue
Herald Cardinal akhri scholar in contemporary appear
Pierre trudeau responded to the failed policy program at the late sixties with his important work untitled the I’m
just a site he outline thoughtful solutions organize
around the FEMA increase First Nations controller First
Nations affairs based on recognition all these components being key to
citizenship and kita belonging the same themes
emerged when the National Indian Brotherhood which is the direct predecessor view
some the First Nations release the important policy statement
call Indian controller Indian education in 1972 another call to recognize our
authority responsibility to educate her own children in our languages and cultures and to
nurture their success in today’s world the massive 5 volume report to the Royal Commission on
Aboriginal peoples from 1996 record recounts the same challenges and
set up the same solutions in clear and comprehensive terms and it was a report
also born out of crisis and conflict you’ll recall the time of
the oca crisis as its often referenced as yet we still
struggle to grab hold of the solutions or worse complain that we don’t know
what to do as I did say earlier we are making
progress but we must dramatically increase the
rate and pace up the change this to me compels new
understanding and broader engagement the engagement all of us Canada needs a new story cat is more than two founding nations
cat is more than a multi cultural mosaic Canada is more than a nation up
immigrants canada is a country built on a proud heritage of strong vibrant indigenous nations Canada is built on the fundamental foundation a
partnership can it is legal and political traditions are founded in coral -ism and respectful partnership
forged for both East and prosperity this news story is
connected to a very all the one by the thread a collective history and collective memory it’s a story a
proud nations celebrating a strong voice a belonging
and citizenship through their knowledge languages traditions and an abiding respect for the
environment rating alliances have governing governing systems that respect the
rights of all our new story eclipses overcomes for once and for all the failed attempts assimilation and the
outrageous deny love the rights I’ve indigenous peoples this news story
our new story embraces the dream our ancestors yours and mine the dream of the two row wampum have canoes traveling side by side never
interfering with what each other’s paths the dreams of the
original treaties of peace and friendship the dreams of the early
explorers who imagined a society a partnership the
dreams I’ve indigenous leaders who sought to protect their citizens their territories and their way of life as citizens we are more than individuals or something far greater something more
complex and precious we are connected he should
finish to walk to one another to our past and absolutely we choose to our future we are called to be active participants
in achieving our promise to respect reconciliation and sharing this is the
promise in treating as I say in my language he should be
used to walk we are all one recognition requires that we see one
another that we dialogue and understand one
another with humility in with respect Canada’s Constitution the decisions that
the Supreme Court and countless studies set the framework
for our new story I recall falling having been in the
House of Commons with my late grandmother she was 87 at the time holding her hands
as we sat and listen to the statement about
apology and she turns to me and she said grandson they are just beginning to see us scholars the world or find that a
refusal to grant recognition to indigenous peoples
provokes resentment and hostility further alienation of them from their identity as citizens
with the larger state we can be resolute if we choose in setting a better path just as our
ancestors a proper recognition of indigenous
rights become the very source of pride of citizenship and identity we take pride rightfully so
on Canada’s great traditions a peacemaking and serving piece pieces created through recognition
through living with humility in order to see the other it’s an approach needed between peoples
indeed between nations between mankind and the natural world
around us now it’s up to all of us to do our part
to be active participants in writing the story inspirations to act are legion as I hope
to have that I have begun just begun to
illustrate for you today so let us recall again the words I’ve
indigenous leaders entire entering into Alliance trade in peace we take to be one thing and so let me
add recognition and harmony we take to be
one thing prosperity and balance we take to be one thing it is true understanding that we can learn to see one another to
recognize our shared interest you realize the conditions for peace and prosperity collectively I feel strongly that we have in this
moment the ability we have in our young people
have the energy we have the IDS now is our time to be
the authors have this news story and turn the page to do tomorrow
together click Go echo thank you so much second size I points at a political question left or right it’s always so tricky I just got everybody responding so
beautifully I could do it we could do it one more time is that that to pub in a public rhetoric to hear
so often in Western Canada it very rarely in central Cass which is this idea everybody’s involvement
treaties were signed by two sides not one side starting it’s not the
Indians aside the trees its all honesty strategies and so in if how many Westerners are in the audience
that you all know it you can lead so the quest the public
question is who are the treaty people we are the
treaty people who are the three people me I R it’s very simple I have to do
something about it it so we have to Mikes we have very little time have to Mikes
she won their must be won over there there and we’ll
just it would take for questions at once if you don’t mind
if there are people one line up so don’t sit around and that Canadian Way thinking about i I don’t want to be
embarrassed I don’t be first through into here will take them and then the
National cheap all a respondent wants to all four of them so there is twice it would seem from the
conversation that we’ve had from the talk that you just given action on that our leaders over the course of a
long period of time have been speaking out of two sides as
their mouths or have spoken out of one-sided their mouth and if have huge
frustrations and accomplishing what they say we all
want to accomplish in our world so give us some concrete
things that we can do rather than just getting in our cars and
going home and moaning about it on the way home great what’s our next
step Craig man up at the Cushing conference earlier
this week reverted jameson inspire us just to
support inspire inspire has a DNA and its to support
educational Aboriginal people I wanted to comment on that and also a
professor 16 catch one told us it’s important for us together the way when
we need two could you tell us more about what that means you mean for
non average was to get out of the way yeah okay man hi useful Cove social media and I I mention
that to say that after watching the eight fire
documentaries I had found myself in a Twitter conversation with a few folks
and I found myself being asked by those who in some way speak for some indigenous peoples in Canada what I
thought our next step would be no I realize that as a settler no one ever asked me and I’m curious
about responsibility half is a mess we’re our
servers and to engage as to the people in the streets
relationships how we referring the discussion so that we are
and and that we can talk about the ways in which
we are part of that relationship in a way that is respectful and that
doesn’t doesn’t repeat this historical trends are just taking over owners son but it was built move spread Christmas right just before
Christmas we were at Minister Napster wearin in Queens Park and you and I were talking and outside the
idle no more movement was just starting and
everywhere you look me in the eye and you said is is starting it’s out there they’re talking when you hear me were
here talking its beginning and my when my passions is is is my organization dare arts and on and one of our big thing is igniting
that change within not only Aboriginal use and kids but doing the bridging between them and non-aboriginal you think it’s in
urban and rural areas on what are your thoughts on how we can make those bridges
stronger an earlier in the education system so
that in you know say in Toronto and kids in
grade 4 learn about about all the different
languages in the different nations ans the different treaties and
agreements that we have in this country so that its it’s ingrained in them in an earlier age
and I have a present for you I give once you join yesterday and this
one’s for you wonderful which you great national chief 210 we’ve that together
in here I we’ve away and cyclical for this for this kinda mollen coming from a coma me the mines okay well I’ll in mollen thanks to them
well I’ll in them in a mock I said tackle and around here when the
word Sally where you what’s the words here now now and make which for the additional on anything army thank you some cycle in
my language I we’ve away really quickly I I serve 10 I’m sorted want want to
begin in a way that media links a little bit
to the aids fire I had tears unabashedly rolling down my
cheek by Saudi fire just like moments and
pride when you see mister a green with intelligence reflecting back to us that I’m like what we’re me may be told we have genius amongst our people we
have just as much potential for foolishness but we also have potential
for genius and two to be in the room last night and
take to get again today with mister green and an of mister king is here but Thomas
Kings ratings for example and tear you probably feel this way cuz you
talked about being that the one has received this is
privileged to be in the trenches that were done by others median know that they were digging and
they don’t we don’t need to worry about whether that’s how we feel
because we’re receiving what they’ve gone through I’ll talk to my parents generation i’m
talking about. you guys are all teasing on another boat being alder and
tear neier a generation where we’re watching and we
watch what’s happened and now this gets to be this is our turn
and at Queen’s Park you know we are saying it’s happening
right now on Lee was reflecting back that we’re on
the cusp of something there’s something here that’s happening and I want to make
the link with the arts ever so briefly as a way to weave all
for reflections because one of the first things my
father help me understand was that some other perspectives that
word describing that have weave their way into Canadian
law that would Compal governments to send a crown
lawyer into the courtroom or fortune the Indian Act or to this very
day are the work that we’re doing I’m covering and feeling back this
misinformation that’s been around for so long back in shakespeare’s day there was no
CNN social media Twitter there was the genius of
shakespeare some other was injuries to our people the depiction of how about in the
tempest being an example up the power of the
arts to describe a people’s card Bosh without intelligence scaly human like figure but without the
capacity and the spirit of human but shakespeare’s the depiction of that
character changed it over time as well dramatically to the point where
I saw a whole cast opinions doing shakespeare in Ottawa recently now that was turning working on its head
I loved it I loved it so I wanted to express what I
have such a difficult time expressing and that is the power of artistic
leadership to help find and leave that space
between the heart minus all the intellect in society because we have it i cant for
the Paul at your feast without going to artistic spiritual leaders and so too is this such a privilege to
be here because at that very point and and I’m I
feel compelled to express that give I’m to Terra and her her fellow panelists that you sat with last night and for those
who weren’t there was it was just a conversation about identity and it was just wonderful to
hear mister green how you just reflected back I’m and he said it publicly and saw a pro
problem give me too much trouble for reflecting back that one point so get tired of explaining and maybe begin their if I could
respectfully request seek out that understanding we have now
increasing numbers are writers like on Thomas came buy his book to buyer
booked it but by by his butt inconvenient India it’s a great book to be alright surreal
real quickly then um mister weiss the to your point about the leaders I’m
leaders are also elected by Canadians which is why I am speaking with you in
this audience and anyone who will listen online canadians put people in office at all
levels Canadians can speak to their employees
and their families can write letters you can stand with the river to Jamesons
and support inspires we would welcome your support when John Ralston Saul
writes an article as was published yesterday in the Global Mail
when I got on that the flight to come this way from the west coast I said to him it’s like a cooling solve
on a burning won’t when we hear influential you know I have
to agree with everything that John says that’s why that’s why this this you know
the theme here’s to be irreverent and thought-provoking and we hope to contribute to that today
but let me thank you for that that was a beautifully written article
Inc and was hopeful for opening up the space is not about saying this is what
the solutions are it’s about saying what’s required and
he’s been saying it for a long time is we need a new conversation so mister
lies in the same way you asked me I would turn right back around and ask you and
your lovely wife you know and your family had to have
conversations about how to reach out how to understand maybe to spend time reaching out to
First Nations and asking questions the eight fire and and you know that the
notion of the next step we made it very clear two meetings in a
row we’ve had with this Prime Minister we’ve had meetings the former Prime
Minister Paul Martin R and Hannah an event called the clone a accord
proximal 5 and that is to put the topic at this
discussion from Center the implementation of the treaty
relationship it does require structural ships it could mean for
example as has taken place in New Zealand they have an independent tribunal to
oversee implementation see have independent oversight because right now the Department of
Indian Affairs is both judge injury on how or whether or not treaties
whether they’re ford five years ago after twenty years have negotiations
with legions of lawyers dotting i’s and crossing t’s and those communities are still finding
themselves going to court against the government because the
treaties are not being implemented in good faith I hear the
same argument from the name of people mysteries been
there four hundred years so you see we need a fundamental
transformation in our relationship in a may require a change in machinery of
government ideas that are not new that I’ve been around some throw proclamation the ideas of the First
Nations auditor-general First Nations Ombudsperson these are machinery concepts a at props
cabinet meeting I’m I’m not putting these is as that my solutions for today they do
require the direct engagement it’s not about negotiations with Shawn
Atleo as well making sure that treaty three in Northern Ontario with the
treaty rights education drives the implementation of that
redirect education my job and when I’m reaching out
Canadians to do is the support for that to become a reality given the history up to the
residential schools the urban-rural divide is not one it’s one of many
divisions that we did not create on of reserve status non-status those who grew up with their language those
who didn’t those who want to residential school and those who didn’t and so is to help recognize that we get
caught sometimes and Canadian divisions that that we did not create linguistic urban-rural divide these are part of a
nation-state conversations that sometimes get lumped in well just moved down from Northern
Ontario into Toronto it should be okay the Attawapiskat our drummer taxes I come from a house that’s where I bow I know that’s where I
come from the idea exchanges let’s make sure that
we support teachers to teach in communities it we need to forgive their loans to
make sure that they stay five years in a community where that there’s such high
turnover because their knees were isolated areas let’s find the
incentives I say in conclusion that this is about
learning this is about in reason why education is the door to get through to get to the
housing to get to the hell from social and economic changes because
education and its foundation it’s about world view it’s about
philosophy is of course fact it’s a vote to understand the facts
where we’ve come from getting a sense of where we are now and
then being open to forging a new future together and that
in for me and few assets at that that just the
privilege to be here offering that recognition in
some respects the medium is part in the message a powerful
message of inclusion and for that I wanna thank you John and
Matt am Clarkson and I want to thank those a Stratford
Festival for the great privilege of being here to
offer a First Nations Voice here this morning thank you so much I’m gonna were two sentences to really mister wisest and which is I think that national chief gave you
what I would call that a the structures have what you’re supposed
to do which is when you said doubt use at your village wearing your
robes and this lawyer using the Western in the
system came in and as part of the argument said you don’t
exist every time the Canadian government does something through any with
mechanisms Witcher is unacceptable you’re doing it
you are personally responsible for what that
lawyers said and so really but the National chief i
think is said you is it’s time that when you hear that a
lawyer is standing up for getting government doing this kind of thing you have to say we don’t we will vote
for that we don’t agree with that rights it’s about you speaking up and being part of this this conversation so
I want to say thank you to Stratford I wanna say thank you to
add me into any the gasping for helping this whole thing happened II one phase thank you to Kira for the incredible work that you
have done and all the people from the Institute
for Canadian citizenship a and of course I want to say thank you
to the National chief for being here today and giving I think an amazing lecture I which we
can all use a if you understand what a webcast is go to it listen to it I take part in the discussion which is happening there and keep it
going a this hole symposium is built around
conversation we believe that culture artists ideas are the leadership mechanism up society
and you come here and you’ve listened now you
have to go out talk and take part and keep this conversation going I 150
investor going from here to the marquee restaurant running to keep on time but to have a
luncheon round tables where we’re going to talk about this and I would encourage you if you’re not
going to that to find other ways doing get and then look for the lecture next year follow
what the ICC in Stratford is saying about the left front involved in action future thanks very much thank you
national active

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