News & Events


SKA’NIKÓN:RA One mind, we are thinking as one.

April 12, 13, 14

There will be cooking, film screenings, dancing, beading, music, gardening and much more! Times and locations of workshops can be found in the schedule. Contact to reserve a spot for your class. Join us!

Schedule of activities



Next week we are celebrating Indigenous Awareness Days with a special Oral History Round Table on Ethical Research Practices: Representations, Oral History and Indigenous Communities.

This event is organized and will be facilitated by our First Peoples’ coordinator, Orenda Boucher. It will introduce participants to the opportunities and challenges of doing oral history in Indigenous contexts through the perspectives of Indigenous and non-Indigenous researchers. Participants include Dr. Alex McComber (Kanien’kehá:ka), Morgan Phillips (Kanien’kehá:ka), Stephen Agluvak Puskas (Inuk), and Aude Maltais-Landry. Participants will share their own experiences as well as engage in a discussion concerning best practices and what it means to decolonize research.

This event will be held in 3F.43 during the usual Tea and Talk time starting at 1 pm on Thursday, April 14. We hope to see you there!



The Dawson First Peoples’ Initiative invites faculty and staff to join us for tea and talk in the 3F.43 faculty project room on Thursday afternoons from 1 to 4 pm. This will be an ongoing, informal drop-in discussion time where you can bring questions or concerns as well as success stories and suggestions related to Indigenous education, including:

  • Fostering Indigenous-Canadian reconciliation in the classroom
  • Introducing Indigenous content and pedagogy in courses
  • Promoting Indigenous resurgence
  • Supporting Indigenous students

We can also help you discover a wealth of resources in Indigenous education.

These weekly meetings will be facilitated by Orenda Boucher, coordinator of Dawson’s First Peoples’ Centre, Michelle Smith, Journeys program coordinator, and Susan Briscoe, FPI Curriculum Committee chair.

Check back here for news of specially scheduled topics and guests.

Our special guest this week is Cory Horton from the Aboriginal Teacher Education Program of Queen’s University’s, who has been working with Dawson faculty and students in the First Peoples’ Centre.

We hope to see you there! Refreshments will be served.








Meet & Greet with Orenda Boucher-Curotte, Coordinator of the First Peoples’ Centre at Dawson

Thursday, February 11th, 2016

Come visit the First Peoples’ Centre at 2D.0, and join our new Coordinator, Orenda Boucher-Curotte for bannock and corn soup! All Indigenous students are welcome from 11am-3pm.

Orenda Boucher-Curotte holds a Masters degree in History and the Philosophy of Religion with a focus on Indigenous Traditions, Christianities and Post Colonial Studies.  She is currently working on completing her Doctorate degree (PhD) in Religious Studies with a specialization in Canadian studies.  Orenda has lectured at the University of Ottawa, McGill University and was a professor at the Kiuna Institute (CEGEP), in subjects related to religion, culture, ethical issues as well as issues and topics related to Aboriginal society and culture.

Orenda has been hired on a special project to Coordinate the First Peoples’ Centre presently located in room 2D.0.  She will begin her duties this coming Monday, February 1st, 2016 and work closely with  Faculty, staff and members of the community who serve on the First Peoples’ Initiative Steering Committee, and the Indigenous Education Council.  Orenda will also collaborate closely with the Campus Life & Leadership (CLL) department to offer a number of social and educational programs as well as academic support for both Aboriginal students and the Dawson Community as a whole.


McGill’s First Peoples’ House Open House

Sunday, October 25th
We are pleased to announce that the First Peoples’ House is hosting an Information Session and Tours during McGill’s Open House on Sunday, October 25, 2015. We ask that you please share widely and help us promote this event to Indigenous learners and their parents and families in your network.

11AM – 1PM: Drop-in information sessions and tours hosted by the First Peoples’ House.
1PM – 2PM: Personal Statement Writing Workshop by Charmaine Lyn, Director of Admissions in the Faculty of Medicine

McGill’s Open House is an all day event, open to the public for prospective students to visit campus and learn about various programs. It is an excellent opportunity to meet the staff and faculty along with current students. First Peoples’ House is encouraging all First Nations, Inuit and Metis students who are interested in applying to McGill to visit us on this day. McGill Indigenous students, staff and faculty will be on hand to answer any questions and talk about the various programs and support that we provide.

Applying to University may be an intimidating process. We are excited to offer this unique workshop that teaches prospective students how to write a letter of intent for their applications to McGill University. Join Charmaine Lyn, the Director of the Office of Admissions for the Faculty of Medicine. Charmaine Lyn is also an Eagle Spirit Ambassador.

If you organize university tours for students in your community, this is a great time to plan your visit.

RSVP is encouraged to help us keep in touch. Please email

Link to the Facebook event:


Scones and Talking sticks

Wednesday, October 21st, 11:00 am – 2:00 pm room 2D.0

Stop by for lunch, try your hand at making a talking stick, and as always we’re there to talk about college resources.


Indigenous Student Association

Sign up to be a part of the club. The student association is run by students. This is an opportunity to bring activity and awareness to the college. For more information please MIO Lindsay Bates-Chewanish. First meeting coming soon.


Get involved!

There are many ways you can get involved in “indigenizing” Dawson College and at the same time gain some valuable volunteer/organizational experience and meet new people.

Campus Life & Leadership will be organizing many Indigenous student and college-wide events and activities throughout the year. The First Peoples’ Initiative is also looking for Indigenous student reps on various committees. This is an exciting time for Indigenous peoples at Dawson and a great chance to make a difference!

Don’t be shy – contact Billi-Jo Poirier at Campus Life & Leadership for more information!, Room 2E6.3.


First Peoples’ Bi-monthly Newsletter

October 15, 2015
Wednesday October 21 1:30-3:30pm
Virtual Classroom on Social Justice in Indigenous communities

To register as an individual or a class please contact Billi-Jo Poirier, Campus Activities Campus Life and Leadership,

The NFB and its community partner, the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board, will present a virtual classroom with acclaimed documentary filmmaker and social activist Alanis Obomsawin (keynote speaker) and community activists Gabrielle Fayant and Brock Lewis on Wednesday, October 21st at 1:30 – 3:30 pm. Moderated by CBC journalist and author Waubgeshig Rice, the live-streamed discussion from the OCDSB’s Aboriginal Learning Center will focus on the topic of social justice in Indigenous communities and the positive shifts brought about by Indigenous youth.

The organizers suggest students watch two of Alanis Obomsawin’s films in advance: Trick or Treaty? (2014) and Hi-Ho Mistahey! (2013). There are other pedagogical and preparatory materials available at the link below:


Canada’s Waterless Communities: Shoal Lake 40

Canada’s Waterless Communities: Neskantaga

Canada has the world’s second-largest supply of fresh water, but 169 First Nation communities have limited or no access to it. Nearly a quarter of the First Nations communities administered by Health Canada are currently without clean water. The alerts issued by the federal government range from “boil water advisories” going back more than 20 years to crippling “Do Not Consume” orders.


Reconciliation in Universities

A real nation would not let this happen

Idle No More launches the One House, Many Nations Campaign:

Emerging directors join leading Indigenous artists as imagineNATIVE features six NFB short films

Tenth annual march for native women (Montreal)

Missing and murdered indigenous women remembered in annual march

The promise and challenges of growing the Indigenous vote

‘We have to have change’: Q&A with Perry Bellegarde

Indigenous Academic to offer reflections on Canada

Election 2015: closing the Aboriginal health gap

New Vital Signs report busts ‘myths’ about aboriginal population


University of Montreal First Nations Garden NOON October 15

Visit the garden and witness the planting of a white pine to mark the new Aboriginal Studies program at U de M

Nous vous invitons JEUDI (15 octobre) à 12H au jardin des Premières Nations de l’UdeM. En plus de découvrir le jardin, vous pourrez assister à la plantation d’un pin blanc symbolisant ainsi l’enracinement des études autochtone à l’UdeM. Plusieurs courtes allocutions sont prévues.

16th Annual Film and Media Arts FestivalOctober 14-18, Toronto, ON

TIFF Bell Lightbox and various venues


(Writing and “New” Media: Contemporary Inuit Voices on Nunavik Culture)

VENDREDI 16 OCTOBRE 2015 À 15H – Friday October 16 3pm





STILL DANCING a free public event in support of a national inquiry into the missing and murdered Indigenous women in land now called Canada.

6 pm October 28, 2015
McCord Museum, 690 Rue Sherbrooke O, Montréal

Organized by McGill’s First Peoples’ House, Social Equity and Diversity Education Office, Participatory Cultures Lab, and the McCord Museum. Includes the screening of Matt Smiley’s documentary Highway of Tears, followed by a panel discussion that leads to a conversation with the audience. Panel discussants include special guests and family members of missing and murdered Indigenous women.

Walking with our Sisters in Akwesasne Mohawk Territory
November 6 – 26, 2015

Walking with our Sisters is a Commemorative Art Installation for the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women of Canada and the USA. The large collaborative art piece is travelling throughout North America and is available to the public. After a 6 week display in Ottawa it is moving on to Akwesasne near Cornwall Ontario.

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Last Modified: November 21, 2017