Aboriginal Awareness Week

The Aboriginal Sustainability Project is pleased to announce the 2nd Annual Aboriginal Awareness Week from September 24 to the 28 2012. The week offers an opportunity to discover and learn about Aboriginal peoples in Canada. It will include an exploration of legal definitions of Aboriginal peoples in Canada, their struggle for recognition as a Nation, as well as a look how Aboriginal peoples define themselves and where they stand in the international stage.

First Nations are at a crossroads regarding citizenship; who is and isn't a member of a Nation. Is it a matter of blood quantum or the ties to the community? Dr. Pamela Palmater will examine this question through her research. As well Clément Chartier, President of the Métis National Council, will discuss the Métis peoples' perseverance in overcoming hurdles to recognition as a nation and the challenges that lie ahead. Finally, Candace Miracle's documentary The Creator Game: The Quest for Gold and the Fight for Nationhood will be screened which tells the story of an Iroquois Nation lacrosse team who find themselves center stage as they fight to be recognized as a nation in an international sports event.

We are honoured by the efforts of our many partners who have helped organize events for the week. The McCord Museum will host a discussion on residential schools and Aboriginal art, in connection with their current exhibition of Edward Curtis – Beyond Measure, on display until November 28 2012. The Indigenous Student Association will host comedian Ryan McMahon who will talk about the importance of cultural understanding and being proud of who we are in today's society. The Aboriginal Law Students Association will host Jonathan Rudin discussing a recent Supreme Court decision, R v. Ipeelee., and its impact on the sentencing of Aboriginal offenders.

Take time to browse through the week's activities-from the opening and closing ceremony-to an excursion to the Kahnawake Cultural Centre. We invite you to discover and learn about Aboriginal peoples of Canada; their histories, their cultures and about contemporary issues. To kick-start the week, Friday September 21 is the date of the 11th Annual Pow-Wow, located on lower campus, hosted by the First Peoples' House.

Lastly, we would like to thank the McGill and Aboriginal communities for their ongoing support and for the crucial roles they play in making Aboriginal Awareness week a reality.

Have a wonderful week!