Urban Indigenous Self-determination symposium


Thursday, November 23 

9:00am – Registration opens. (coffee/tea available).

9:15am – Drum Group

9:30am – Opening Comments and Setting the Stage.

10:15am – Panel 1: Models of Governance and the Roles of Urban Coalitions

11:00am – Nutrition Break

11:15am – Roundtable Discussions 

12:00pm – Lunch with presentation 

1:30pm – Panel 2: The Matriarchs

2:15pm – Roundtable Discussions

3:00pm – Recap and Closing Comments

3:30pm – Session Closed

4:30pm – 7:30pm – Optional social event (offsite, location tbc)

Friday, November 24

9:00am – Networking. (coffee/tea available)

9:30am – Looking Back to Look Forward

10:00am – Panel 3: First Nations and the Relationship to Urban Indigenous Self-Determination

10:40am – Panel 4: Land Guardians and the Urban Connection to Territory

11:15am – Nutrition Break 

11:30am – Roundtable Discussions 

12:15pm – LUNCH with presentation

1:30pm: Panel 5: Youth & Shaping Our Future

2:15pm: Roundtable Discussions 

3:00pm – Reflection & Commitments

3:15pm – Drum Group & Closing Circle 

3:30pm – Session Closed


NWIC is hosting the Symposium at this time because we believe that a clear focus on the right of self-determination is critical: without Indigenous advocacy, governments will steer the Declaration implementation to program funding and service coordination, and urban communities will continue to be denied their inherent right to self-determination. The Symposium is intended to ensure this important dimension of the Declaration remains front and centre.

The Symposium is part of a larger conversation on this topic: it follows up on issues raised in the recent Provincial Urban Indigenous Leaders Forum, and is part of a longstanding discussion within and between communities about urban Indigenous self-government, dating back to the constitutional talks in the 1980’s and 1990’s, and earlier. Much has been accomplished in building service delivery capacity in urban Indigenous communities over this time: what is needed now is to finally connect that capacity to Indigenous rights and Indigenous authority, to empower citizens, as well as serve clients. 

The intent is to generate free flowing, creative, and forward-looking conversations that can help communities to imagine what self-determination looks like in an urban context.

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