Thursday, Oct 27, 2022
1:30pm - 3:00pm
Dr. Darren Thomas
This conversation will examine historic Crown-Indigenous relations with a focus on a new evolving Indigenous rights framework. All levels of government as well as the private and public sectors must recognize the rights of Indigenous Peoples in Canada. Developing a pathway forward to improving relations is an incredibly challenging task that requires a paradigmatic shift in thinking about Canada, Indigenous Peoples, and the relationship between them. Moving from a historic era where the State had complete dominance and control over Indigenous Peoples, to recognizing and developing Canadian and International Indigenous right standards will take generations. This shift requires participating in difficult conversations that deconstruct Canada and Indigenous Peoples. Indigenous law and Seven Generation Philosophy asks us to consider the impacts of our actions and decisions on the future generations. Our great, great grandchildren who are not born yet are looking to us as leaders to lift this burden from them. If we wish to have a country and society where all citizens residing here have the best opportunity for health and well-being, we must commit to making this vision a reality.
Dr. Darren Thomas is a member of the Seneca Nation, and is Bear Clan and resides at the Grand River Territory of the Haudenosaunee. Darren is an Associate Professor in the Indigenous Studies Program and in July 2021 accepted an appointment as the Associate Vice-President of Indigenous Initiatives at Wilfrid Laurier University. As a senior leader of Indigenous Initiatives at Laurier, he manages a team of staff that have the responsibility to support Indigenous students, staff, and faculty to reach their highest potential, while also developing a strategic vision and implementation for Indigenization, decolonization, and reconciliation. Darren’s personal research interests are: Indigenous thought and philosophy, Indigenous community development, strengthening and improving Indigenous health and well-being, Indigenous law, and Indigenous rights and resource governance.