Saturday October 22, 2022

Mindfulness and Indigenous Law

Free Day Program with optional meals and accommodation

In the stillness, I am the trees alive with singing. I am the sky everywhere at once. I am…the wind bearing stories across geographies and generations. I am the light everywhere descending. I am my heart evoking drum song. I am my spirit rising. In the smell of these sacred medicines burning, I am my prayers and my meditation, and I am time captured fully in this NOW. I am a traveler on a sacred journey through this one shining day. 

– Richard Wagamese

Join us for a day of community building, adult education and cultural celebration! Together we will learn about indigenous ways of knowing and our interconnection with nature. Order-of-Canada recipient, Dual Law program co-founder, and Anishinaabe, Dr. John Borrows, will facilitate conversations on Indigenous Law and apply living principles outdoors with Dr. Rebecca Johnston, Hannah Askews, and students.

Simon Fraser University professor in linguistics and indigenous studies, Dr. Marianne Ignace, will define Secwepemc law and speak on the connection between Language and Land.

In the afternoon, a team of guides will lead drumming, singing, and meditation on lake front land on the unceded territory of the Secwépemc people.

Wind down your day in community with traditional storytelling by a Secwépemc elder.

Saturday, October 22, 2022. 9 AM to 5:30 PM and optional storytelling at 7:00 PM. 

Pre-registration is required. The full day program is free to all participants with optional meals and accommodation. If attending day program only, choose off site accommodations.  Questions about registration? Call 250-675-2421. Receive a schedule upon arrival. Health protocols as per WorkSafeBC. 

About the Program Leaders:

Dr. John Borrows, BA, MA, JD, LLM, PhD, LLD, FRSC, is Canada’s pre-eminent legal scholar and a global leader in the field of Indigenous legal traditions and Aboriginal rights. John holds the Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Law at the University of Victoria as well as the Law Foundation Chair in Aboriginal Justice and Governance. Ground breaking research and publications, field work and engagement with Indigenous communities impact John’s students. John’s proposal for an unprecedented four-year program to earn a dual Indigenous Law/Common Law degree led to the September 2018 launch of the Canadian Common Law (JD) and Indigenous Legal Orders (JID) joint degree program at UVic, the first of its kind in the world. John was named an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2020, “for his scholarly work on Indigenous rights and legal traditions, which have had a significant impact across Canada and abroad”.

Dr. Marianne Ignace is Professor in the departments of Linguistics and Indigenous Studies at Simon Fraser University, and Director of SFU’s Indigenous Languages Program and First Nations Language Centre. Her publications include The Curtain Within: Haida Social and Symbolic Discourse (1989), a practical grammar of Ts’msyen Sm’algyax co-authored with Margaret Anderson (2008), and books on Indigenous language planning and curriculum development for the First Nations Education Steering Committee. Based on many years of studies in Secwepemc ethnobotany and ethnoecology, she edited and wrote, with Nancy Turner and Sandra Peacock, Secwepemc People and Plants: Research Papers on Shuswap Ethnobotany (2016), and, with Ron Ignace wrote (2017) Secwepemc People, Land and Laws – Yeri7 re Stsq̓ey̓s-kucw, a prize-winning epic journey through 10,000 years of Secwepemc history. A resident of the Skeetchestn community in the Secwepemc Nation, she currently teaches and coordinates courses in Indigenous languages in Kamloops, Haida Gwaii and Yukon, and has been directing a SSHRC partnership grant (2013-2022) focused on First Nations language documentation and revitalization. With Ron Ignace she was awarded the 2019 Governor General’s Innovation Award, and in 2019 also received the SSHRC Partnership Grant Impact Award and SFU’s Cormack teaching award. She is currently completing two annotated and illustrated volumes of narratives in X̱aad Kil (Haida – with Lawrence Bell) and Secwepemctsin (Shuswap – with Ron Ignace), which show the intricate complexities of language, thought, environmental knowledge and their reflection in the laws of human conduct among each nation. She was elected as a fellow of the Royal Society of Canada in 2020. 

Dr. Rebecca Johnson Professor of Law and Associate Director of the Indigenous Law Research Unit at the University of Victoria Faculty of Law. She is a former law clerk to Madame Justice L’Heureux-Dubé at the Supreme Court of Canada, and completed her LLM and SJD at the University of Michigan. With an abiding interest in law-and-film scholarship, she has written on such topics as same-sex family formation, colonialism, dissent, mothers and babies in prison, cinematic violence, the Western, affect and emotion, and Inuit cinema. She is a member of the Indigenous Laws + the Arts Collective, and is one of the co-curators of the TRC-inspired blog ReconciliationSyllabus. Professor Johnson teaches Indigenous Research, Method and Practice; Business Associations; Graduate Legal Theory; and Inuit Law and Film.

Hannah Askew is the Executive Director of Sierra Club BC. She is a lawyer and practiced public interest environmental law prior to joining Sierra Club BC. Her work focused on addressing the impacts of industrial development on ecosystems, and advocating for proactive and inclusive planning processes for the land and water. She traveled to communities across northern BC to hear from people from all walks of life about the impact of industrial activity on their lives and about their hopes for the future of their communities. Hannah has also been involved in learning from Indigenous communities about their systems of law and governance. She worked as a researcher for the Indigenous Law Research Unit, and taught as an instructor at the Native Education College. She also researched Tsilhqot’in and Ktunaxa law. Hannah holds Master of Arts degrees in history and anthropology from the University of Toronto and McGill University, as well as a law degree from Osgoode Hall Law School.

Together with:
Adams Lake Indian Council and Band Members, Secwépemc Storyteller, meditation instructor, Shuswap Nation Tribal Council, UVIC students, and Sorrento Centre.

Funded by:
Shuswap Nation Tribal Council and the Sorrento Centre. Supported by the Victoria Multifaith Society.