‘The Land We Are’:

Arts, Culture, and the Politics of Reconciliation

Colloquium and Book Launch


Thursday, April 7, 2011

The Western Front

303 E 8th Ave Vancouver


7:30 – 10:30 pm:


Launch of Cultivating Canada: Reconciliation through the Lens of Cultural Diversity. Eds. Ashok Mathur, Jonathan Dewar, and Mike DeGagné. Ottawa: Aboriginal Healing Foundation, 2011.


Friday, April 8, 2011

Simon Fraser University, Harbour Centre

515 W Hastings St Vancouver

Room 1600


9:00 to 9:30 am: – Welcome


9:30 to 11:00 am - “Collaboration and the Politics of Reconciliation in Canada” (Position Papers)


How might the development of collaborative practices between Indigenous, racial minority, diasporic, settler, and other cultural communities convey a sense of shared historical accountability in establishing a meaningful politics of reconciliation in Canada? In five- to seven-minute statements, participants will consider the challenges and opportunities of collaborative work in the context of linking histories within and between Indigenous communities and other minority communities. How can connections be made between Indigenous and immigrant communities, without necessarily relying upon the historically over-determined figure of the white settler? In particular, to what extent can and should a dialogue on “reconciliation” in Canada, either through the Indian Residential Schools’ Truth and Reconciliation Commission or through other avenues, address the experience of diasporic subjects, some of whom may carry with them violent histories of dispossession, and many of whom are not familiar with and have had no exposure to the history of domestic colonialism in Canada, including the history of residential schools? Relationships between “immigrant” and “Indigenous” subjects raise questions regarding the colonization of land as well as the possibility of collaborating on projects geared toward decolonization.



David Chariandy



Dorothy Christian
Dana Claxton

Marie Clements

Ayumi Goto
Cecily Nicholson

Paige Raibmon
Deena Rymhs


11:20 am to 1:00 pm – “The Art of Witnessing” (Readings)


Deana Reder



George Elliott Clarke

Marie Clements

Kevin Loring


1:00 pm to 2.30 pm – Complimentary Lunch and Exhibition (Kentizen Restaurant, Tinseltown Mall)


3:00 pm – 5:00 pm – Cultivating Canada: Reconciliation through the Lens of Cultural Diversity (Roundtable discussion)


The notion of apology, reconciliation, and redress has taken many forms in Canada, contingent on affected communities, but the overarching bridge is the connection to land. This groundbreaking new volume published by the Aboriginal Healing Foundation (Volume 3 in the series) focuses on migrant/new Canadian perspectives, but with an understanding that such viewpoints need to be aware of what has come before them—specifically, Aboriginal populations and the history of the land that is determined not by colonizing definitions, but by pre-Contact awareness. Details about how the roundtable will be conducted are forthcoming from the moderators.



Ashok Mathur



Diyan Achjadi

George Elliott Clarke

Mike DeGagné

Glen Lowry
Sandra Semchuk

Sid Tan

Henry Tsang