Lakehead University hosting Treaties Recognition Week from Nov. 1 to 5

October 29, 2021 – Orillia and Thunder Bay, Ont.

Lakehead University is hosting virtual Treaties Recognition Week events daily from Monday, Nov. 1 to Friday, Nov. 5, as well as an in-person display provided by Nishnawbe Aski Nation (NAN).

“We look forward to celebrating Treaties Recognition Week with students, faculty, and staff at Lakehead University, and with people throughout Thunder Bay and Simcoe County,” said Denise Baxter, Vice-Provost, Indigenous Initiatives.

In 2016, Ontario passed legislation declaring the first week of November as Treaties Recognition Week. This annual event honours the importance of treaties and helps students and residents of Ontario learn more about treaty rights and relationships.

Lakehead will kickoff the week on Monday, Nov. 1 at 12:30 pm with an opening ceremony featuring remarks from Chief Ted Williams from Chippewas of Rama First Nation, Chief Peter Collins from Fort William First Nation, and Dr. David Barnett, Lakehead’s Provost and Vice-President (Academic).

Elder Gene Nowegejick will begin the ceremony with a prayer. Dr. Gina Starblanket, Associate Professor in Indigenous Governance at the University of Victoria, will provide a talk called Seeding Our Futures.

She is the principal investigator of the Prairie Indigenous Relationality Network. Her research discusses questions of treaty implementation, prairie Indigenous life, gender and Indigenous feminism.

NAN’s Community Building Exhibit includes 16 panels that have information on treaties and the history of Residential Schools. This display is set up outside Lakehead University – in between the Chancellor Paterson Library and the Agora Circle.

Nishnawbe Aski Nation launched this community building campaign and large-scale interactive display at the Wake the Giant Festival earlier this summer. Developed by the NAN Education Department, the project was funded by the Ontario Ministry of Education as part of recommendations identified through the Seven Youth Inquest in 2016, to address racism experienced by students attending school in Thunder Bay.

It covers Treaty relationships and aims to dispel myths in a way that participants can engage at their own pace. This display also highlights many of the realities faced by First Nations Peoples. The panels will be on display at future community events.

Lakehead welcomes everyone to the NAN exhibit, but please be aware that, while the University has implemented preventative measures to reduce the spread of illness in general and of COVID-19 in particular, which is a highly contagious and dangerous disease, the University cannot guarantee that participants will not become infected with COVID-19 and/or other diseases. 

By joining the  event, each participant agrees that they do so at their own risk and that they accept the risk of infection with COVID-19 and other illnesses, and that they release and agree to hold harmless Lakehead University from any and all liability for any illness or harm to anyone consequent upon the participant becoming infected with COVID-19 and/or any other disease as a result of involvement in the display.

Visitors to campus must be fully vaccinated and be able to provide proof of vaccination using Lakehead’s Mobile Safety app. Anyone entering a building on campus must also do the COVID-19 screening located on the Mobile Safety app.

The full schedule is below:

Monday, November 1
Opening Ceremony 12:30 pm

Opening - Elder Gene Nowegejick
Welcome Remarks Provost & Vice President David Barnett
Chief Ted Williams Chippewas of Rama First Nation
Chief Peter Collins Fort William First Nation

Guest Speaker Dr. Gina Starblanket
Seeding Our Futures

Dr. Gina Starblanket is an Associate Professor in Indigenous Governance at the University of Victoria and the former Canada Research Chair in the Politics of Decolonization at the University of Calgary. Gina is Cree and Saulteaux. She is a member of the Star Blanket Cree Nation in Treaty 4 territory.

Register in advance here.


Tuesday, November 2
12:00 pm – 1:00 pm

Anishinabek treaty responsibility to the land
Nicole Richmond JD
Register in advance here.

Anishinabek Treaty responsibility to the Land

Land sharing Treaties between the Crown and Indigenous people are international treaties. But Anishinabek people also have treaty relationships with the Earth and other beings within Creation. This presentation will explore the Anishinabek treaty ethic of shared responsibility, relationality, and respecting the agency of other beings within Creation.

About the speaker:

Nicole is an Anishinaabe (Ojibway) lawyer, wellness consultant and educator from Biigtigong Nishnaabeg who lives in Thunder Bay. She works with clients to support and empower Anishnaabe values, legal systems and governments, and is a frequent presenter on topics including Anishnaabe law and Canadian law as it applies to Indigenous people.

Wednesday November 3

12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

Living Indigenous governance through understanding and implementing
treaty relationships

Aimée Craft, LL.M.

Register in advance here

The presentation will review elements of Indigenous laws and governance that were part of Treaty making and that continue to inform how we understand and implement treaties today.

Thursday, November 4
12:00 pm - 1:30 pm

Panel Discussion Robinson Huron Treaty 1850
Annuities Case
Panelist: Christopher Albinati, Chief Dean Sayers, and Mike Restoule
Moderator: Tenielle Brown
Register in advance here.

Friday November 5th

12 pm

Speaker to be announced.
Closing Ceremony

Check back on Lakehead’s events page for updated information.

Register in advance here.

After registering for events you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

Ministry of Indigenous Affairs - Virtual Living Library events

Here are three virtual educational events aimed at postsecondary students that the
Ministry of Indigenous Affairs has organized to mark this occasion:

• In the first event, on November 1 from 1:00-2:00 PM, Dr. Cynthia
Wesley-Esquimaux will lead “Treaties and the Truth and Reconciliation
Commission’s Calls to Action,” an interactive discussion of treaties,
their connection to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to
Action, and how we can all advance reconciliation. Interested parties
can register here.

• In the second event, on November 2 from 1:30-3:00 PM, Maurice
Switzer will present “Trick or Treaty?”, in which he will discuss
ways the Supreme Court and governments have historically
approached treaties.

• In the third event, on November 5 from 10:30-11:30 AM, Dr. Ruke
Redbird will present “Red, Right and True: An Indigenous Worldview.”
He will discuss historical prevarications and introduce the audience
to a new worldview presented through an Indigenous lens.






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Lakehead University is a fully comprehensive university with approximately 9,700 full-time equivalent students and over 2,000 faculty and staff at two campuses in Orillia and Thunder Bay, Ontario. Lakehead has 10 faculties, including Business Administration, Education, Engineering, Graduate Studies, Health & Behavioural Sciences, Law, Natural Resources Management, the Northern Ontario School of Medicine, Science & Environmental Studies, and Social Sciences & Humanities. Lakehead University’s achievements have been recognized nationally and internationally, including being ranked, once again, among Canada’s Top 10 primarily undergraduate universities in Maclean’s 2022 University Rankings; as well as included in the top half of Times Higher Education's 2022 World Universities Rankings for the third consecutive year, and in the top 100 of 1,115 universities from around the world in THE's 2021 Impact Rankings (which assesses institutions against the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals). Visit