International Symposium –Around Wampum: Histories and Perspectives - McCord Stewart Museum
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Symposium

February, 22 and 23 | 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

International Symposium –
Around Wampum: Histories and Perspectives

Free | At the Museum [sold out] + online | Reservation required

Capitalizing on the unprecedented interest generated by Wampum: Beads of Diplomacy, the Museum is organizing a symposium devoted to these cultural objects, bringing together a dozen Indigenous, Quebecois, Canadian and international specialists.

These experts from various fields of research and intervention, will discuss the social, political and religious practices surrounding wampum in six seminars, presented over two days, through the prism of their multidisciplinary perspectives.

↓ Scroll down to discover the program for Day 1 and Day 2, as well as the lecture abstracts.

Information

  • Series of talks presented on Thursday, February 22, and Friday, February 23, 2024, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Free event, in French and English (with simultaneous translation)
  • Onsite event is sold out, register today to attend the online event.
    Register

Program

Day 1

9 a.m. Opening remarks
9:15 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. Panel 1 – Bringing Wampum to Life: From Indigenous Knowledges to Museums and Back | Moderated by Laura Peers, Oxford University, United Kingdom; Trent University, Canada

“Wampum Belts in France: A Forward-looking History,” Paz Núñez-Regueiro and Leandro Varison, Musée du quai Branly – Jacques-Chirac, France

“Literacy of Wampum: Understanding the Words it Carries,” Richard Hill Sr., Mohawk College, Canada

→ Read abstracts

10:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. Break
11 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. Panel 2 – The Materiality of Wampum | Moderated by Jonathan Lainey, McCord Stewart Museum, Canada

“The Materiality of Wampum,” Michael Galban, Seneca Art & Culture Center, Ganondagan State Historic Site, United States

“Their Bearing is Noble and Proud: Wampum as Ornament Among Native Americans,” Nikolaus Stolle, Goethe-Universität, Frankfurt-am-Main, Germany

→ Read abstracts

12:15 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. Lunch break
1:30 p.m. to 2:45 p.m. Panel 3 – Perspectives on Transatlantics Wampum | Moderated by Jean-François Lozier, Canadian Museum of History, Canada

“Transatlantic Christian Wampums: A Multifaceted Diplomacy,” Lise Puyo, Université Paris Nanterre, France; University of Exeter, United Kingdom

“A Mi’kmaq Perspective on the Vatican Wampum Belt (1610-1831),” Stephen Augustine, Unama’ki College, Cape Breton University, Canada

→ Read abstracts

2:45 p.m. to 3 p.m. Break
3 p.m. to 4 p.m. Elder talk by Kanahsohon Kevin Deer, Kahnawà:ke, Canada
4 p.m. Cocktail and access to the Museum’s exhibitions

Day 2

9 a.m. to 10:15 a.m. Panel 1 – Wampum in the Era of the Atlantic Revolutions | Moderated by Catherine Desbarats, McGill University, Canada

“Creative Uses of Wampum and Anglo-Haudenosaunee Diplomacy: Three Eighteenth-Century Case Studies,” Elizabeth Elbourne, McGill University, Canada

“The Washington Covenant Belt: Historic and Contemporary Interpretations of Haudenosaunee Wampum,” Darren Bonaparte, Saint Regis Mohawk Tribal Historical Preservation Officer, Awkwesasne, Canada

→ Read abstracts

10:15 a.m. to 10:45 a.m. Break
10:45 a.m. to 12 p.m. Panel 2 – Miigis Apikan (The Message is the Burden): Wampum in Anishinaabe Contexts | Moderated by Aaron Mills, McGill University, Canada

“The Spirit of My Words”: Anishinaabe Understandings of Wampum,” Alan Corbiere, York University, Canada

“Belts, Strings, and Paper Wampum: A Legal History of Wampum in Anishinaabe-Crown Councils,” Heidi Bohaker, University of Toronto, Canada

→ Read abstracts

12 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. Lunch break
1:15 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. Panel 3 – Wampum and Colonial State | Moderated by Yann Allard-Tremblay, McGill University, Canada

“Seeing Like a Conquering State: French Archives vs. Wampum Belts in the New British Regime,” Riley Wallace, McGill University, Canada

“Wampum in Canadian Courts,” Jacynthe Ledoux, lawyer, Cain Lamarre, Canada

→ Read abstracts

2:30 p.m. to 3 p.m. Break
3 p.m. to 4 p.m. Elder Talk by Verna McGregor, Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg, Canada
4 p.m. Closing remarks

SOLD OUT AT THE MUSEUM

Attend Online

  • Register on Zoom to receive connexion instructions.
  • After the event, you will receive the recording by email to watch it later. 

Zoom registration

This event is made possible by the generous support of Power Corporation of Canada.

Bringing Wampum to Life: From Indigenous Knowledges to Museums and Back

Wampum Belts in France: A Forward-looking History

Paz Núñez-Regueiro and Leandro Varison, Musée du quai Branly – Jacques-Chirac, France

Several wampum belts from North America are now preserved in Paris, Chartres, Lille and Besançon. Originally, they represented the relationships forged between the First Nations and the French. Through troubled periods of national history, and under the growing weight of colonialism, these wampums have fallen silent, and most of the histories they embody have been lost. This presentation will recount the experience of a research project aiming to retrace the trajectory of these wampum belts, in partnership with First Nations members. Through such an approach, the production of knowledge also becomes the production of new relationships, perpetuating wampum’s role as a creator of alliances.

Literacy of Wampum: Understanding the Words it Carries

Richard Hill Sr., Mohawk College, Canada

This presentation will present the function of wampum from a Haudenosaunee point of view as a carrier of important messages. We will take a brief look at the origins and protocols of its use. We will then examine how wampum was/is used in treaty making and the visual symbols and metaphors that are used to assist the speaker in recounting their message. Finally, I will provide an overview of how the Haudenosaunee would ‘read’ the messages in the wampum belts in this exhibition.

The Materiality of Wampum

The Materiality of Meaning

Michael Galban, Seneca Art & Culture Center, Ganondagan State Historic Site, United States

This session will focus on the varying methods of producing wampum as well as a short chronology of bead production. An exploration of technical systems Indigenous people employed to create wampum as well as a discussion on terminology will occur. A study of certain important wampum and their specific construction methods will be the focus of this session. 

Their Bearing is Noble and Proud: Wampum as Ornament Among Native Americans

Nikolaus Stolle, Goethe-Universität, Frankfurt-am-Main, Germany

Wampum, or cylindrical white and purple shell beads, were used by Native Americans strung into strings or belts for diplomatic purposes. In addition to these communal documents, wampum also functioned as jewelry. These ornaments served two purposes: first they could function as symbols of status, making the wearer’s position publicly visible, or second as personal adornment. The following paper will focus on personal objects decorated with wampum, which have received little attention. First, an overview of the material will be given to explain the use of shell and later glass beads as ornament from the 17th to the 19th centuries. Based on these findings, their diversity and regional distribution among Native Americans will be discussed.  

Perspectives on Transatlantics Wampum

Transatlantic Christian Wampums: A Multifaceted Diplomacy

Lise Puyo, Université Paris Nanterre, France; University of Exeter, United Kingdom

Between 1654 and 1831, a dozen wampum belts were donated to Catholic shrines in Europe. Travelling without an Indigenous diplomat, but accompanied by bilingual letters transcribing the words of a village council, these wampums were more than just objects of devotion to the Virgin Mary and Catholic saints. Their materials, their production processes and the words they embody reflect innovative diplomatic strategies, in a context where the Catholic Church was an important interlocutor in the French and then English colonial process in Canada. Shell beads arranged to write Latin phrases, studied in relation to the words ritually spoken to give wampums their mission, sketch out an Indigenous Christianity where kinship, religion and politics are intertwined.  

These diplomatic artefacts are both transatlantic and local, providing valuable insight into the territories and alliances of the St. Lawrence Valley’s Indigenous peoples. Only four still exist today, and some have continued their diplomatic careers beyond their first exchange. At times misused or revived, these still-active wampum belts have forged new alliances or rekindled old relationships.

A Mi’kmaq Perspective on the Vatican Wampum Belt (1610-1831)

Stephen Augustine, Unama’ki College, Cape Breton University, Canada

This presentation will focus on the Vatican Wampum Belt that was sent to Pope Gregory XVI in Rome in 1831 from the Sulpician Missionary in Oka at Lake of the Two Mountains in Quebec. Stephen Augustine will give a Mi’kmaw perspective according to the oral testimony of his grandmother Agnes (nee Thomas) Augustine born June 14, 1898, and died December 6, 1998, at the age of one hundred years old.  

Agnes’ story reflects, according to her interpretation, the baptism of Grand Chief Membertou at Port Royal, in Nova Scotia, on June 24, 1610. Her interpretation is based, solely, on a photograph of the belt taken by an American anthropologist, David Bushnell, in the early 1900s. She had never seen the actual belt. He showed her the photograph asking her if she knew about the belt. Agnes begins her story with the Mi’kmaw Creation Story, an oral traditional story passed down through generations of the Alguimou chiefs who later were baptized in 1747 by a Catholic priest giving the family the name Augustine. Stephen is a descendant of this line of Mi’kmaw chiefs and is called a Hereditary Chief. 

 

Wampum in the Era of the Atlantic Revolutions

Creative Uses of Wampum and Anglo-Haudenosaunee Diplomacy: Three Eighteenth-Century Case Studies 

Elizabeth Elbourne, McGill University, Canada 

Broadly, the paper will explore creative uses of wampum (including the refusal to acknowledge wampum) in Anglo-Haudenosaunee interactions in late eighteenth-century colonial America.  The paper will draw on three examples related to struggles over land, negotiations with the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel, and the warfare of the American Revolution.  The paper will argue that settler interlocutors also tried to use wampum, albeit in limited ways, in interactions with the Haudenosaunee and that gestures around the use or even deliberate distortion of wampum were part of a language of limited and fragile exchange.  

The Washington Covenant Belt: Historic and Contemporary Interpretations of Haudenosaunee Wampum

Darren Bonaparte, Saint Regis Mohawk Tribal Historical Preservation Officer, Awkwesasne,  Canada 

In 2020, ethnologist William Starna asked Darren Bonaparte and Randy A. John to co-author a paper with him about a legendary wampum belt held by the Haudenosaunee Confederacy. The Washington Covenant Belt, as it is commonly known, is one of the wampum artifacts repatriated from the New York State Museum. One of the goals was to determine when the confederacy received this belt from the first president of the United States. In his presentation, Darren discusses the historic and contemporary interpretations of this belt and the research team’s conclusions. 

Miigis Apikan (The Message is the Burden): Wampum in Anishinaabe Contexts

“The Spirit of My Words”: Anishinaabe Understandings of Wampum

Alan Corbiere, York University, Canada

Drawing from council proceedings written in English, petitions written in Anishinaabemowin, museum collections, and ethnographies, this presentation interrogates the relationship between metaphoric diplomatic language and its relationship to the visual symbolism and materiality of wampum strings and wampum belts. Recognizing that wampum was used over a vast area by many nations, this presentation adopts an Anishinaabe perspective and will situate Anishinaabe wampum use within this diplomatic world. This presentation is part of a larger research project that is investigating meaning-making and the development of shared understanding amongst different nations in the Great Lakes area and adjacent environs.  

Belts, Strings, and Paper Wampum: A Legal History of Wampum in Anishinaabe-Crown Councils

Presentation by Heidi Bohaker, University of Toronto, Canada

Between the Seven Years’ War and end of the War of 1812 in 1815, leaders of Anishinaabe council fires and British Crown officials met regularly in formal councils and exchanged a staggering amount of wampum belts and strings as they resolved differences and renewed their alliance relationships. The gifting of belts and strings is also recorded in the minutes associated with some of the early pre-Confederation land purchases between Anishinaabe peoples and the Crown, and on later petitions described as “paper wampum.” This talk discusses some examples of different uses and meanings of wampum in Anishinaabe-Crown councils, including the stated intention of the party gifting the wampum, and the expectations or obligations placed of the recipients, to better understand the specific use of wampum in Crown treaty negotiations.

Wampum and Colonial State

Seeing Like a Conquering State: French Archives vs. Wampum Belts in the New British Regime

Riley Wallace, McGill University, Canada

Following the Conquest of Quebec, British officials faced Indigenous and Canadian claims to land which, in the case of the Sulpicians and Kanesatake in the 1780s, relied on different kinds of records. As Jonathan Lainey has shown, the colonial government sided with the Sulpician missionaries’ use of archival documents over Kanesatake’s use of a wampum belt to claim the seigneurie of Lac des Deux Montagnes. The Two-Dog Wampum case reveals the dubious legal value of wampum in the minds of the British government following the Conquest—an assessment that has had a long afterlife in Canadian courts. This presentation builds from the Two-Dog Wampum case to provide greater context surrounding the ascendancy of archives over wampum in the eyes of the emerging British colonial state. It does so in part by investigating the construction and use of what would be dubbed “ancient French archives.”

 

Wampum in Canadian Courts

Jacynthe Ledoux, lawyer, Cain Lamarre, Canada

Wampum belts are invoked by several Indigenous peoples as bearing legal principles of a constitutional nature. Since the early 1980s, various wampums have been presented by Indigenous parties in support of legal or factual allegations in over thirty cases decided by Canadian courts. An analysis of these decisions provides a portrait of the quality of the interactions between the Indigenous and state legal orders, and feeds into a more fundamental reflection on the limits of the policy of recognition in the context of Canadian multijuralism.

Elders

Kanahsohon Kevin Deer

Allocution by Kanahsohon Kevin Deer, Kahnawà:ke, Canada Thursday, February 22

Kanahsohon Kevin Deer is from Kahnawà:ke, Mohawk Territory. For the last 30 years he has been involved in Mohawk Language retention and revitalization. He is also a Faithkeeper at the Mohawk Trail Longhouse which involves knowing sacred songs, dances and rituals. He enjoys discussing and presenting the Iroquoian world views, history and philosophy. He was involved in the Kahnawà:ke Police Commission from 2005 to 2015.

In 1990 he was involved in the Oka Crisis using the power of peace to try to resolve that conflict. In May 1990 he participated in a ceremony calling for the return of the Peacemaker in Tyendineaga, Ontario. In 1994 he assisted in the establishment of the new Mohawk community at Kanatsiohareke, New York. In 2003 he was part of a planning committee of the historic event that involved horses coming across the land from British Columbia to Six Nations to help wipe the tears of the 7 generations and heal the earth. In September 2015 he was deeply involved in the Bretton Woods IV convocation, performing a ceremony to help all participants who gathered to see, hear, and speak more clearly about matters of global financial concern from a Native, First Nation’s perspective. In February 2016, he made a presentation on Native spirituality at the United Nations World Interfaith Harmony Week in New York. In August 2016 he did a welcoming and healing ceremony for the World Forum on Theology and Liberation in Montreal. In November 2016 he travelled to Standing Rock to meet with spiritual leaders and elders.  

Verna McGregor

Allocution by Verna McGregor, Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg, Canada Friday, February 23

 

Verna McGregor is Algonquin – Omamawinini (Northeastern Algonquin which includes the Ottawa River watershed). She lives in the Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg First Nation with her son and grandson. She has worked with Elders throughout the years to plan traditional gatherings including language symposiums. Her relative is the former keeper of the original wampum belts in the community, Elder William Commanda. Her mother would also sit with the former keeper of the belts prior to William Commanda, Elder Theresa Meness. Elder Meness was steadfast in affirming the Jay Treaty Belt by attending the annual Border Crossing Celebrations during her lifetime. 

 

In the last number of years, Verna and her son (Sheldon McGregor) and brother (Fred McGregor) would meet with Professor Margaret Bruchac and Dr. Lise Puyo from the University of Pennsylvania in their research on the Lake of Two Mountains Belt, which is currently housed at the Vatican Museum. In 2016, Verna and her son Sheldon McGregor were requested by the community Elders, as part of protocol, to hold a welcoming ceremony for various sacred items that were being brought from other First Nations into the traditional lands for display at the National Gallery of Canada. The sacred items formed part of the Indigenous exhibit for Canada’s 150-year anniversary of Confederation (1867-2017). The exhibit included wampum which was part of Verna’s wampum journey. 

Moderators biographies

Laura Peers

Dr. Laura Peers has opened dialogues between Indigenous communities in North America and museums across the UK, Europe and North America. As a historian and museum anthropologist as well as a curator, her research and curatorial practice has focused on historic Indigenous cultural items, and she explores both the detailed histories of items in museum collections and the meanings of heritage objects to Indigenous people today. Laura has managed complex international projects linking museums and Indigenous communities, including the Great Box Project with the Haida Nation, the Blackfoot Shirts Project with all four Blackfoot Nations, and recently the To Honour and Respect project with the six Mississauga Nations. She has surveyed historic wampum in UK collections. She is Emeritus Curator, Pitt Rivers Museum, and Emeritus Professor of Museum Anthropology at the University of Oxford, and Adjunct Professor in the Graduate Faculty, School for the Study of Canada and Department of Anthropology, at Trent University.

Jonathan Lainey

Jonathan Lainey, Curator, Indigenous Culture, joined the McCord Stewart Museum in 2020. He studied anthropology and Indigenous studies and holds a master’s degree in history from Université Laval. His research interests include the social, political and cultural history of the Indigenous Peoples of Quebec and Canada as well as the history of objects and collections over time, particularly wampum belts. He has served as Curator, First Peoples, at the Canadian Museum of History in Gatineau as well as Archivist, Indigenous Archives, at Library and Archives Canada. 

He has published two books, helped develop exhibitions, and written numerous articles, publications and research reports.

Jean-François Lozier

Jean-François Lozier has been Curator of French North American history at the Canadian Museum of History since 2011. He holds a Ph.D. from the University of Toronto (2012) and an M.A. from the University of Ottawa (2004). Between 2016 and 2020, he served as assistant professor at the Department of History of the University of Ottawa. He has authored a number of articles as well as Flesh Reborn: The Saint Lawrence Valley Mission Settlements through the Seventeenth Century (McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2018).

Catherine Desbarats

Associate Professor, Chair of the Department of History, McGill University. As a specialist on New France, she has long taught a course on Indigenous peoples and the early modern French empire. While director of McGill’s Quebec Studies program, she taught an interdisciplinary course on the Indigenous experience in Quebec that inspired the symposium, and subsequently the book: Les Autochtones et le Québec. Des premiers contacts au Plan Nord, edited by Alain Beaulieu, Stéphan Gervais and Martin Papillon, and published in Montreal by Presses de l’Université de Montréal, 2013.  

Aaron Mills

Aaron Mills (JD Toronto, LLM Yale, PhD UVic) is an Anishinaabe from Couchiching First Nation in Treaty #3. He has spent much of the last 15 years learning about Anishinaabe law in community, on the land, and through stories. Guided by his circle of elders, Aaron works to conceptualize Indigenous law on its own terms. He is frequently called on by Indigenous communities to support their efforts in revitalizing their systems of law. Aaron joined McGill Law as an Assistant Professor in 2018 and is the Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Constitutionalism and Philosophy.

Yann Allard-Tremblay

Yann Allard-Tremblay is assistant professor in the department of political science at McGill University. He is a member of the College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists of the Royal Society of Canada. He holds a PhD in Philosophy from the Universities of St Andrews and Stirling. His current research in political theory is focused on the decolonization and Indigenization of political theory. His research has recently featured in the Canadian Journal of Political Science, Constellations, and Political Studies. He is a member of the Huron-Wendat First Nation.

Speakers biographies

Paz Núñez-Regueiro

As Head Curator of Heritage, Paz oversees the Heritage Unit of the Americas collections at the Musée du quai Branly – Jacques Chirac. With a background in Art History, Archaeology and Museum Studies, she received a Doctorate in Art History from the University of Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne in 2018. Her thesis, published under the title Promises of Patagonia: French exploration in South America and the patrimonialization of the ‘end of the world’ (Presses Universitaires de Rennes, 2022), was awarded the Prix Delavignette of the Académie des Sciences d’Outremer.

She has extensively researched aspects of pre-Hispanic and contemporary societies. She is particularly interested in the ways Native American collections have been collected, studied, and exhibited since their arrival in Europe, and in their historical, cultural and political legacies now and in the past. 

Leandro Varison

Leandro is Head of International Research in the Research and Teaching Department of the Musée du quai Branly – Jacques Chirac. After obtaining a dual degree in law and anthropology at the University of São Paulo, in his native Brazil, he defended a doctoral thesis in the anthropology of law at the Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne, where he taught from 2015 to 2019. Leandro has been working with Indigenous organizations, especially at the international level, for over ten years. His research focuses on the rights of Indigenous peoples, intellectual property and the protection of traditional knowledge and cultural expressions.

Richard Hill Sr.

Richard Hill Sr., Beaver Clan of the Tuscarora Nation, resides at the Six Nations of the Grand River Territory. He has been involved in the recovery and interpretation of wampum since 1974, working with the Grand Council of Chiefs of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy. Through the Standing Committee on Repatriation/Rematriation he has been able to gain access to most of the wampum collections in North America, and working with Chiefs, Clan Mothers and community knowledge holders, has been able to reweave a connection to the various wampum strings and belts that ensure the cultural fluency of wampum.

Having formerly served as Assistant Director at the National Museum of the American Indian of the Smithsonian Institution and Assistant Professor at the State University of New York at Buffalo, he currently works as Indigenous Innovations Specialist at Mohawk College, Hamilton, Ontario.

Michael Galban

Michael Galban (Wašiw (Washoe) & Kutzadika’a (Mono Lake Paiute)) is the Historic Site Manager of Ganondagan State Historic Site and the curator of the Seneca Art & Culture Center. Ganondagan is a 17th century Seneca town site and nationally regarded as a center for Iroquoian history, cultural and environmental preservation. His academic research focus is on Woodland Indian art/aesthetics, Indigenous semiotics and situated regard. Michael is currently enrolled in the Visual and Cultural Studies PhD program at the University of Rochester.

He sits on the board of directors of the Museum Association of New York, and on the editorial boards of the New York History and Rochester History Journals. Michael is currently working in the Indigenous Working Group component of the REV WAR 250th NY commission. Michael recently collaborated with the Musée du quai Branly – Jacques Chirac on the exhibit Wampum : Perles de diplomatie en Nouvelle-France which opened Spring of 2022 in Paris, of which the corpus of the exhibition traveled to Ganondagan in 2023 as “WAMPUM/OTGO:Ä” and is currently on exhibition at the Musée McCord Stewart.

Nikolaus Stolle

Nikolaus Stolle is an anthropologist specialized in North American history and Native American cultures. He is curator for the Americas at the Linden-Museum Stuttgart, Germany, and contributes to the joint initiated research project CRoyAN (Collections Royales d’Amérique du Nord) at the Musée du quai Branly – Jacques Chirac at Paris since 2019. He has lectured at the Ruprecht-Karls-Universität, Heidelberg, and the Goethe-Universität, Frankfurt-am-Main, Germany, where he received his Ph.D. in 2013 (published in 2016 and titled Talking Beads – The History of Wampum as a Value and Knowledge Bearer, From its Very First Beginnings Until Today). Since 2010 he also contributes to the international research project GRASAC (Great Lakes Research Alliance for the Study of Aboriginal Arts and Cultures).

Lise Puyo

Lise Puyo holds a doctorate in anthropology and is interested in how objects associate, link or separate human communities. After studying transatlantic Christian wampum belts, she joined a research team from the labex Les passés dans le présent (Université Paris Nanterre) and the University of Exeter, investigating contested statues linked to colonial history in France and England.

Stephen J. Augustine, C.M., D.Litt., Alguimou

Stephen Augustine is a Hereditary Chief on the Mi’kmaq Grand Council. He is the Executive Director of the Marshall institute and the former Associate Vice-President Indigenous Affairs and Unama’ki College at Cape Breton University. Previously he was the Curator of Ethnology for Eastern Maritimes at the Canadian Museum of Civilization. He holds a master’s degree in Canadian Studies from Carleton University focussing on traditional knowledge curriculum development in the context of the education system and a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology and Political Science from St. Thomas University. Stephen was recently appointed to the Order of Canada, C.M., for advancing Mi’kmaq studies, and for sharing his scholarly expertise and traditional knowledge with private and public organizations across Canada.

In 2022, Stephen was awarded an Honorary doctor of letters from the University of New Brunswick recognising his dedication to supporting education through Indigenous ways of knowing and fostering an environment for collaboration between organizations. In his role as a Hereditary Chief on the Mi’kmaq Grand Council and by Elders’ training since an early age, Mr. Augustine has a thorough command of traditional practices, his language and the history of his people.

Elizabeth Elbourne

Elizabeth Elbourne is an Associate Professor in the Department of History and Classical Studies, McGill University. Her recent publications include Empire, Kinship and Violence: Family Histories, Indigenous Rights and the Making of Settler Colonialism, 1770-1842 (Cambridge University Press, 2022). Past publications include Blood Ground: Colonialism, Missions and the Contest for Christianity in Britain and the Eastern Cape, 1799-1852 (McGill-Queens, 2003). She is currently co-editor, with Dr. Shino Konishi, of a volume covering 1750-1914, in the forthcoming five-volume Cambridge History of Colonialism and Decolonization (Cambridge University Press).

She served as Joint Editor in Chief, with Dr. Brian Cowan, of the Journal of British Studies, from 2010 to 2015. She is currently working on a history of hunting and the British empire’s relationship to hunters, including debates over the land rights of Indigenous hunters, big game hunting and violence between farmers and hunters.

Darren Bonaparte

Darren Bonaparte is an author and researcher who has worked for Akwesasne’s governments, cultural centers, and media organizations. He is the creator of the Wampum Chronicles, a website dedicated to Mohawk history.  He was elected to the Mohawk Council of Akwesasne in 2000 and currently serves as the Director of the Tribal Historic Preservation Office of the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe.

He is co-author (with Rosemary Bonaparte) of The History of the St. Regis Catholic Church (1998), and author of Creation & Confederation: The Living History of the Iroquois (2005), A Lily Among Thorns: The Mohawk Repatriation of Káteri Tekahkwí:tha (2009), and An Early History of Akwesasne: The Works of Franklin B. Hough (2020).  In 2018, he wrote the libretto for Indigenous Visions & Voices, a concert composed by Barbara Croall (Odawa) and performed by the McGill Chamber Orchestra.  He was a historical and cultural consultant for The War That Made America (2006), FBI: Most Wanted (2020), and Outlander (2018-2019).

Alan Corbiere

Dr. Alan Ojiig Corbiere, Bne doodem (Ruffed Grouse clan), is an Anishinaabe from M’Chigeeng First Nation on Manitoulin Island.  He was educated on the reserve and then attended the University of Toronto for a Bachelor of Science, he then entered York University and earned his Master’s of Environmental Studies.  During his master’s studies he focused on Anishinaabe narrative and Anishinaabe language revitalization.  For five years he served as the Executive Director at the Ojibwe Cultural Foundation (OCF) in M’Chigeeng, a position which also encompassed the roles of curator and historian.

He also served as the Anishinaabemowin (Ojibwe) Revitalization Program Coordinator at Lakeview School, M’Chigeeng First Nation, where he and his co-workers developed a culturally based second language program that focused on using Anishinaabe stories to teach language.  He defended his PhD thesis in 2020 and is now an Assistant Professor in the History Department at York University. He currently holds a Tier 2 Canada Research Chair in Indigenous History of North America. 

Heidi Bohaker

Heidi Bohaker investigates on the history of Indigenous-Crown relations, treaties and federal and provincial government policies toward Indigenous peoples in Canada.  She teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in treaty history, the history of residential schools in Canada and Canadian legal history.   As a co-director of GRASAC, the Great Lakes Research Alliance, she also studies Great Lakes cultural heritage stored in museums and archives around the world and seeks ways to reconnect that heritage to Great Lakes First Nations.

Riley Wallace

Riley Wallace is a doctoral candidate in the Department of History and Classical Studies at McGill University.  His interests in imperial state formation and moments of regime change drew him to study the role of French archives as sites of political legitimacy in post-Conquest Quebec. His in-progress dissertation (Archives, Governance, and the Politics of Information in post-Conquest Quebec, 1759-1791) is funded by SSHRC and FRQSC doctoral fellowships.

Jacynthe Ledoux

Jacynthe Ledoux is a member of the Bar in Quebec and Ontario. She specializes in Indigenous law and has represented First Nations in environmental law, specific claims, energy law, natural resources, constitutional law, youth protection and human rights cases.

Ms. Ledoux holds a master’s in Canadian common law from Osgoode Hall Law School, a master’s in environmental law from McGill University, and bachelor’s degrees in law and international studies, both from Université de Montréal. Her dissertation, which explores the interactions between state and Indigenous legal orders through the prism of wampum-related case law, won the prize for best dissertation in Quebec law.

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