Media Releases

First Nations legal advocate to lecture at OISE

April 29, 2015

TORONTO, ON – Douglas S. White, Director of the Centre for Pre-Confederation Treaties and Reconciliation at Vancouver Island University will lecture on Social Change and Reconciliation: Pursuing Social Justice in the 21st Century on Thursday, April 30 at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE), University of Toronto.

One of the greatest public policy challenges and imperatives of our time is the need to rethink and rebuild the Crown Indigenous relationship in Canada to achieve meaningful and lasting reconciliation and justice. Much of the progress over the past 50 years has been marked by dramatic legal decisions (Calder, Haida Nation, Tsilhqot’in Nation) and political achievements (s. 35(1) of the Constitution Act, 1982) and yet, while we have mostly moved away from explicit harm-based relations (residential school, dispossession) we have not built relations of kind necessary for meaningful reconciliation. This should deeply trouble all aspects of Canadian society, because it is a precursor to further suffering of Indigenous peoples and conflict with the Crown and third-parties. Part of the answer lies in social understanding and knowledge as a necessary driving force of social change toward social justice. Doug White, Director of the Centre for Pre-Confederation Treaties and Reconciliation at Vancouver Island University will discuss these themes among others.

Douglas S. White, BA, JD, is a member and former Chief of the Snuneymuxw First Nation in Nanaimo, BC. His Coast Salish name is Kwul’a’sul’tun and his Nuu-chah-nulth name is Tlii’shin. As elected Chief of the Snuneymuxw First Nation from December 2009 to February 2014, he worked on the implementation of the Snuneymuxw Treaty of 1854. From June of 2010 to June 2013, Chiefs of British Columbia asked him to lead the First Nations Summit as a member of the FNS Task Group, where he advocated for First Nations seeking resolution of outstanding issues with the Crown. He served as a member of the BC First Nations Leadership Council working on common issues with BC First Nations, particularly the Crown’s duty to consult and accommodate, and advocated on their behalf with the governments of British Columbia, Canada and internationally at the United Nations. He practices as a lawyer and negotiator across the country for First Nations governments. He was recently named the 2015 recipient of the Distinguished Alumni Award by the University of Victoria Faculty of Law.

EVENT DETAILS:

What:   Douglas S. White will lecture on Social Change and Reconciliation: Pursuing Social Justice in the 21st Century.

When:  Thursday April 30, 2015. The talk takes place from 1:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. and includes a question and answer period.

Where: Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, Nexus Lounge, 12th floor

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For more information contact:

Steve Robinson
Director of Strategic Communications
Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE)
416-978-8008
steve.robinson@utoronto.ca