In response to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action, the CSCNS embarked on an organizational learning journey beginning in the fall of 2018. At the completion of that program and through various initiatives since, the CSCNS is steadfast in its commitment to deepening a better understanding of the truth of Canada’s shared history with Indigenous peoples, and to taking a leadership role to co-create shared learning spaces across the province to create dialogue, education spaces, and meaningful movement toward reconciliation.
As part of this responsive action, our goal is to continue to increase individual and organizational awareness about local Indigenous communities, build capacity to support and mobilize the non-profit sector. We believe that by helping to build a critical mass of citizens and change makers through education, dialogue, and right relations with Indigenous communities that genuine shifts in the ways we work in organizations, on boards, and as communities that we collectively create a step closer towards reconciliation.
We further believe that true transformation happens at the level of self, systems, and society. These sessions are designed to enhance personal reflection and to begin to open a dialogue on how to implement change in our organizations. As such, we strongly encourage organizations to have both their staff and board teams participate in the Learning Journey together. Ideally, participants will learn progressively throughout the program so as to build on their knowledge. Because sessions are recorded, participants can watch and re-watch in a way that suits their schedule, though being on the live call will allow for further interaction.
We began this journey in June 2020 with 4 webinars themed around the topic of Pre-Contact and Early History. In September and October, Series 2 focused on Indigenous Rights, Residential Schools, Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women and Girls, as well as Two-Eyed Seeing.
This November, Series 3 will continue with teachings on Mi'kmaw Governance, Education, and Language.
Mi'kmaw Governance, Education, and Language
- Mi'kmaw Governance
- Culturally Relevant Education
- Language: The Heart of Culture
Now What - Incorporating Reconciliation Learning into Our Work and Everyday Lives
(beginning January 2021)
Pre-Contact & Early History
Indigenous Rights, Residential Schools, Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women and Girls, and Two-Eyed Seeing
With Stephen Augustine
Tuesday, November 10 from 1:00 - 3:00 pm
Join us on Tuesday, November 10th as Stephen Augustine speaks to us about Mi'kmaw Governance LIVE.
Prior to 1876, the Mi'kmaw people relied on the Mi'kmaw Grand Council as its primary form of governance. The Indian Act implemented an elected system of governance in First Nation communities. Today, the Canadian government does not recognize the Mi'kmaq Grand Council but positions authority with elected Chiefs and Councils. This webinar will discuss Indigenous governance systems and how nations are establishing new means of forming self-governance and self-determination.
Associate Vice President, Indigenous Affairs & Unama'ki College
Stephen Augustine is a Hereditary Chief of the Mi’kmaq Grand Council and the Associate Vice-President of Indigenous Affairs and Unama’ki College at Cape Breton University. He was the Curator of Ethnology for Eastern Maritimes in the Ethnology Services Division of the Canadian Museum of Civilization in Gatineau/Ottawa. He holds a Masters in Canadian Studies from Carleton University and a BA in Anthropology and Political Science from St. Thomas University. Mr. Augustine has shared his expertise in research and traditional knowledge with many organizations, including government departments, the Assembly of First nations, and various Aboriginal communities across Canada. He has been Elder Advisor to the Federal Court of Canada Judges, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and the Human Rights Commission of Canada. In his role as Hereditary Chief of the Mi’kmaq Grand Council and by Elders’ training since an early age, he has a thorough command of traditional practices, his language and the history of his people.
With Blaire Gould
Tuesday, November 17 from 1:00 - 3:00 pm
Join us on Tuesday, November 17th as Blaire Gould speaks to us about the importance Culturally Relevant Education LIVE.
Formal education in Mi’kmaw communities was previously governed by and imposed upon communities by Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada. The education delivered was from a colonial lens, and offered little-to-no culturally-relevant curriculum or programming to Indigenous students. This has led to statistically low graduation rates in education among Canada’s Indigenous communities. This webinar will explore the importance of Mi’kmaw communities having jurisdiction over their own education, the implementation of Indigenous history and knowledge throughout all of Canada’s education curriculum, as well as the role education plays in the Truth and Reconciliation’s 94 Calls to Action.
Executive Director, Mi’kmaw Kina’matnewey
Blaire Gould is the Executive Director at Mi’kmaw Kina’matnewey. She comes from the Mi’kmaq district of Unama’ki and is a proud L’nu’skw and speaker. She strives to advance the educational opportunities and rights for the Mi’kmaq people. Blaire has continued to pursue new and innovating ways to infuse language and culture into the 21st century. She is part of an inspiring team of Mi’kmaq scholars and educators whose collective and individual contributions to Mi’kmaw education have created space for Mi’kmaq innovation in the education system.
Speaker To Be Announced
Tuesday, November 24 from 1:00 - 3:00 pm
Language is indistinguishable from culture and vice versa. The way an individual moves through the world is dictated by the perspective offered through their language. This webinar will discuss of the importance of language to sense of self, your perspective on the world around you, and preservation of, and connection with, culture.
Series 1: Pre-Contact & Early History
With Stephen Augustine
The L'nu or Mi’kmaw Creation Story describes the creation of the world. The Creation Story establishes the morals, principles, and values between the Mi’kmaq and their environment. L'nu people have always negotiated their survival through ceremonies and developed significant relationships with plants, animals, water, fire, and air.
Associate Vice President, Indigenous Affairs and Unama'ki College
This session was recorded on Tuesday, June 2nd, 2020 at 1:00pm (ADT)
With Clifford Paul
All activities between L’nu and the natural world are governed by netukulimk. Netukulimk is based in respect for the land, waters, plants, animals, and fish. There are laws of nature within netukulimk that dictate when it is appropriate to hunt, fish, or harvest. Harvesting practices have changed from those that were employed before European arrival, and there has been a gradual evolution of how L’nu hunt and fish as a result. Mi’kmaw harvesters use modern equipment; however, the interaction with nature remains the same. They continue to employ lessons learned from their Elders, offer ceremonies, prayers and medicines, and teach the younger generations the rights and responsibilities required to harvest with respect. Netukulimk and Mi’kmaw natural law play a significant role in how L’nu approach sustainability.
Moose Management Coordinator, Unama'ki Institute of Natural Resources
This session was recorded live on Tuesday, June 9th, 2020 at 1:00pm (ADT)
With Stephen Augustine
Indigenous people have lived in North America since time immemorial. There is significant diversity between Indigenous nations. Before European arrival, neighbouring Indigenous nations engaged in treaty-making, formalizing and defining relationships. Political, military, or trade endeavours established alliances between nations; however, conflicts were not absent between these nations. During early exploration, Europeans claimed the rights of sovereignty, property, and trade in the regions that they seemingly “discovered.” In 1492, Christopher Columbus arrived in North America; after this time there was an influx of Europeans from England and France in search of resources. Contrary to the fishermen before them, European explorers were not solely in search of resources, but became increasingly interested in the territory.
Associate Vice President, Indigenous Affairs and Unama'ki College
This session was recorded on Tuesday June 16th, 2020 at 1:00pm (ADT)
With Cheryl Knockwood
Treaties are agreements made between two, or possibly even several nations or governments, and are meant to govern the relationship between parties. Between 1725 and 1762, the British Crown, the Mi’kmaq, and Wolastoqiyik (Maliseet) people signed a series of Treaties of Peace and Friendship. Within these treaties, L’nu and Wolastoqiyik did not give up the title and rights to their land, nor did they give up their status as sovereign nations.
Governance Coordinator, Membertou Heritage Centre
This session was recorded live on Tuesday June 23rd, 2020 at 1:00pm (ADT)
Series 2: Indigenous Rights, Residential Schools,
Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women and Girls, and Two-Eyed Seeing
With Trevor Bernard
This webinar will cover Indigenous treaty rights. There are many misconceptions around Indigenous rights, in particular when it comes to land use, hunting and fishing, and taxation. We will explore how the Government of Canada recognizes and affirms particular rights.
Executive Director, Membertou First Nation
This session was recorded live on Monday, September 28, 2020 at 1:00pm (ADT)
With Elder Margaret Poulette
Indian Residential schools operated in Canada from 1831 until 1996. An estimated 150,000 Indigenous children were taken from their homes and forced to attend these schools. In this webinar, Residential School Survivor, Elder Margaret Poulette will share her first-hand story of what it was like to attend one of these schools.
Elder, Residential School Survivor
This session was recorded live on Monday, September 30, 2020 at 1:00pm (ADT)
With Elder Albert Marshall & Nadine LeFort
Etuaptmumk-Two-Eyed Seeing refers to learning to see from one eye with the strengths of Indigenous knowledges and ways of knowing, and from the other eye with the strengths of Western knowledges and ways of knowing, and learning to use both these eyes together, for the benefit of all. This webinar will open with a video of Mi’kmaw poet Rebecca Thomas’ spoken-word poem “Etuaptmumk: Two-Eyed Seeing.” We will hear from the co-creators of this transformational principle and its applications in our work and day-to-day lives.
Elder, Honorary Doctor of Letters, and Mi'kmaw Spiritual Leader
Manager of Communications & Research, Unama'ki Institute of Natural Resources
This session was recorded live on Tuesday, October 6, 2020 at 1:00pm (ADT)
With Denise Pictou Maloney
In September 2016, the Government of Canada established the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls. The inquiry was established in response to the systemic violence witnessed nationally against Indigenous women and Two-Spirit people. In this webinar, we will hear about the first-hand impacts this reality has upon individuals in the Mi’kmaw nation.
Denise Pictou Maloney
This session was recorded live on Tuesday, October 13, 2020 at 1:00pm (ADT)
With Senator Dan Christmas
How do we move forward? Often, after hearing stories from residential school survivors, individuals are left feeling sad and angry and unsure what actions to take to right the wrongs of our shared history. In this webinar, Senator Christmas will discuss the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada and the fundamentals he believes need to be address as we move forward as a nation.
Senator Dan Christmas
Member of the Senate of Canada
This session was recorded live on Tuesday, October 20, 2020 at 1:00pm (ADT)
Looking to continue your learning?
Click the link below to find additional resources we've compiled to support your Decolonization Learning Journey!