National Conference – Plenary Sessions

PLENARY 1: The Story of Indigenous-Crown Relations

Tuesday November 14, 9:00 AM

Historian J.R. Miller reviews significant events from first contact through to the Royal Proclamation, federal refusal to negotiate treaties, court decisions and subsequent modern treaties. This overview reflects on objectives and approaches taken by the Crown and by Indigenous peoples, and consequences of the interaction between Crown objectives and Indigenous approaches, setting the stage for an in-depth discussion of the present and future of Indigenous-Crown relations.


PLENARY 2: Modern Treaties and the Law

Tuesday November 14, 9:45 AM

Lawyer Jim Aldridge discusses the legal decisions that led to the negotiation and implementation of modern treaties: Calder (1972), patriation of the Constitution in 1982, development of Sections 25 and 35 and other key milestones: a legal-primer for everyone working with and within modern treaties.


PLENARY 3: The Spirit and Intent of Modern Treaties

Tuesday November 14, 10:45 AM

From the West Coast to Eastern Canada, hear Huu-ay-aht communications specialist Angela Wesley and lawyer for the Algonquins of Ontario Bob Potts speak about why nations choose treaties, as well as the objectives, intentions and processes used to reach a signed agreement.


PLENARY 4: Views of the Current Generation

Tuesday November 14, 11:15 AM

How is the current generation of modern treaty implementers interpreting the “spirit and intent” of these agreements?

Gwich’in Renewable Resources Board Executive Director Amy Amos, Tla’amin financial consultant Dillon Johnson and K’asho Got’ine Dene climate activist and self-government negotiator Daniel T’seleie share their perspectives on how their work honours the vision of the elder generation who first negotiated the treaties.


PLENARY 5: Indigenous Laws: Transforming Canada

Wednesday November 15, 9:00 AM

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission found that revitalization of Indigenous laws would benefit Indigenous communities and improve relations between Indigenous and state governments, and the nation as a whole. Can (and should?) Canada incorporate Indigenous laws into its legal and political systems and structures? Could this contribute to societal transformation? Lawyer and Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation member Kris Statnyk addresses the implications of merging Indigenous and European legal traditions.


PLENARY 6: The Way Forward – Indigenous Leaders’ Panel

Wednesday November 15, 3:15 PM

How do modern treaty leaders define the path to reconciliation? What does the current federal approach to reconciliation mean in practical terms for modern treaty holders? Gwich’in Grand Chief and Tribal Council President Bobbie Jo Greenland-Morgan will speak on modern treaties, reconciliation, and the way forward.


PLENARY 7: Renewing the Indigenous-Crown Relationship

Wednesday November 15, 4:15 PM

An address on the federal approach to reconciliation and the new platforms and frameworks to interface between the federal government and Indigenous peoples. What are the implications for modern treaty holders?