Ska’nikòn:ra: Indigenous Governance and the Future of Leadership

On September 22, 2023 The Balsillie School of International Affairs is teaming up with the University of Waterloo’s Office of Research and Office of Indigenous Relations to host a full-day event on Indigenous governance.

The title of the event, “Ska’nikòn:ra,” is a Haudenosaunee term, gifted to me by Mohawk speaker Kawennakon Bonnie Whitlow. The term can be roughly translated to English as “Coming Together with One Mind.” This event will bring together Indigenous governance knowledge keepers, elders, community members, and scholars to teach about various topics related to Indigenous governance. Undoubtedly, these individuals deserve to be recognized, celebrated, and have space held for them in the sphere of governance studies so that we can establish a better path for the future of our world. Through this experience, attendees will develop a deeper understanding of the complexities and nuances across contemporary Indigenous governance activities.

For more information click here.

Gidinawendamin/Ska’nikú•lát 20th Annual Pow Wow

September 23, 2023 marks the 20th anniversary of the United College (formerly St. Paul’s University College) annual Pow Wow. This year is the inaugural collaboration on this celebration between the Waterloo Indigenous Student Centre (WISC) and the University of Waterloo Office of Indigenous Relations (OIR). In addition to the Pow Wow being co-hosted by WISC and OIR, there will be another major change from years past, as the Pow Wow moves to the University of Waterloo Campus at an indoor venue, Columbia Icefield Fieldhouse (CIF). A huge thank you goes out to University of Waterloo Athletics for your support in this celebration! This is a one-day event featuring vendors, dancers, and singers from the Region of Waterloo and beyond.

For more information click here.

National Day for Truth and Reconciliation Volunteer Gardening Party

Anishnabeg Outreach (AO) invites all community members, Indigenous and non-Indigenous, to join them at Eminidowang Kitigaan (Spirit Garden for Everyone) on September 30th, 9am-12pm to participate in a day of garden maintenance and community-building. All foods and medicines grown in the Garden will be provided to over 450 local indigenous community members who access AO's Spirit Bundle Program. Click here for more information.

The Healing of the Seven Generations

The Healing of the Seven Generations offers support for First Peoples residing in the Region of Waterloo, including those who are experiencing intergenerational impacts from the residential school system.  

White Owl Native Ancestry Association
White Owl Native Ancestry Association is an urban Indigenous community-based agency dedicated to culturally safe, wholistic practices and education, supporting well-being across generations. Through our adaptive Land-based approaches, we are fostering a place of healing and belonging in Waterloo Region.
Anishnabeg Outreach

Anishnabeg Outreach is a local non-profit organization that provides Indigenous people with culturally-appropriate services, and strives to support individuals and provide assistance to overcome barriers.

Woodland Cultural Centre

The Woodland Cultural Centre serves to preserve Indigenous history, art, language and culture. The Centre in Brantford is open to the public, and also runs virtual programming.

Grand River Métis Council

The Grand River Métis Council represents citizens in the Grand River area as a chartered council of Region 9 and are a council of volunteers who support Métis citizens, host council meetings, and plan community events for our area. 

O:se Kenhionhata:tie

O:se Kenhionhata:tie was formed by a group of TwoSpirit IndigiQueer folkx who have built a community for Two Spirit, queer, trans, or non-binary Indigenous and settler young people, and who advocated to the local governments for reconciliation through Calls to Action. 

Online Resources and Organizations

Discover the Witness Blanket

Discover the Witness Blanket is a new interactive website that allows users to explore Indigenous artwork featuring objects from every residential school in Canada. Includes a teachers’ guide, a resource guide and more.

The National Center For Truth and Reconciliation

The NCTR is a place of learning and dialogue where the truths of the residential school experience will be honoured and kept safe for future generations. The NCTR was created as part of the mandate of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (TRC). 

Indian Residential School Survivors Society
The Indian Residential School Survivor Society (IRSSS) is an organization based in British Columbia with a twenty-year history of providing services to Indian Residential School Survivors.

On Canada Project: Settlers Take Action
Non-Indigenous folk who live in Canada benefit from the colonialism that happened here. That means we are all responsible for our personal role in reconciliation. Learn more about how you can help create change. 

The National Association of Friendship Centres
Friendship Centres are Canada’s most significant urban Indigenous service delivery infrastructure and are the primary providers of culturally enhanced programs and services to urban Indigenous residents. For over half a century Friendship Centres have been facilitating the transition of Indigenous people from rural, remote, and reserve life to an urban environment.


Chelsea Vowel is Métis from manitow-sâkahikan (Lac Ste. Anne) Alberta, residing in amiskwacîwâskahikan (Edmonton). She is a Cree language instructor at the Faculty of Native studies at the University of Alberta. Chelsea is a public intellectual, writer, and educator whose work intersects language, gender, Métis self-determination, and resurgence. Author of Indigenous Writes: A Guide to First Nations, Métis & Inuit Issues in Canada, she and her co-host Molly Swain produce the Indigenous feminist sci-fi podcast Métis in Space, and co-founded the Métis in Space Land Trust.


Indian Horse
Follows the life of Canadian First Nations boy, Saul Indian Horse, as he survives residential school and life amongst the racism of the 1970s. A talented hockey player, Saul must find his own path as he battles sterotypes and alcoholism.

Beyond the Shadows
Beyond the Shadows is a 28 minute documentary about the far-reaching and emotionally devasting effects of residential/boarding schools on the Indigenous communities in Canada.

Smoke from His Fire - The Kwakwaka’wakw of the Pacific Northwest Coast
Seventy-five years ago the nobility of the Kwakwaka'wakw of the Pacific Northwest Coast, chose a young man, secluded him from the authorities when his peers were sent to Residential School. The elders trained him in every aspect of the culture and traditions of his people. Today, caught between two worlds, he is needed more than ever by his people to reclaim their teachings.

Beyond 94: Truth and Reconciliation in Canada
Created by the CBC Indigenous Unit, allows students to track outcomes on the Calls to Action, learn more about the residential school(s) that operated near their communities (explore the interactive map) and discover concrete examples of how Indigenous and non-Indigenous Canadians can work together. The project is a living resource as new documentaries, residential school survivor stories, ideas and community-based action around reconciliation are added.

The Walk a Mile Film Project
A series of 5 short documentary films that are designed to educate and encourage frank conversations about the reality of the life and history of Aboriginal peoples in Thunder Bay and across Canada.