2019 Lecture

Truth and Reconciliation in higher education and the media:

What are the responsibilities? What is needed to overcome the legacy of colonialism?

Tanya Talaga


Hayden King

Jesse Wente

David Newhouse

Susan Hill

When: Tuesday, March 19, 2019, 7pm to 9pm.

Where: The Catalyst at FCAD, Ryerson University, 80 Gould Street – RCC 230, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, M5B 2K3

Registration: This is a free public event but advance registration is required.

Register Now

In 2015, the final report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission was released, resulting in many universities and media outlets attempting to address the report’s calls to action. There are concerns that the initiatives undertaken have been ad hoc and do not address the ongoing legacy of colonialism.

Join us for an engaging talk by Tanya Talaga about the legacy of cultural genocide in Canada and her hope for a more inclusive and equitable future. Her talk will be followed by a panel of media professionals and academics (including David Newhouse, Chair of the Chanie Wenjack School for Indigenous Studies at Trent University; Jesse Wente, Director of the Indigenous Screen Office; Hayden King, Yellowhead Institute and Ryerson University; and Susan Hill, Centre for Indigenous Studies, University of Toronto). The discussion will further explore issues of reconciliation in the media and higher education.

Tanya Talaga is an award-winning journalist and author, and the first Ojibway woman to deliver the CBC Massey Lectures. Her book Seven Fallen Feathers, a national bestseller that introduced us to seven Indigenous high school students who mysteriously died in Thunder Bay, won the 2018 RBC Taylor Prize. In her powerful keynotes, Tanya shares Indigenous stories from across Canada and the world, humanizing the legacy of cultural genocide and sharing her hope for a more inclusive and equitable future.

Tanya is of Polish and Indigenous descent. Her great-grandmother was a residential school survivor and her great-grandfather was an Ojibwe trapper and labourer. For the past 20 years, Tanya has worked as a journalist, and now columnist, for The Toronto Star. She has been nominated five times for the Michener Award in public service journalism. From 2017-2018, Tanya was the Atkinson Fellow in Public Policy through The Canadian Journalism Foundation.

Hayden King is Anishinaabe from Beausoleil First Nation on Gchi’mnissing in Huronia, Ontario. The Executive Director of Yellowhead Institute and Advisor to the Dean of Arts on Indigenous Education at Ryerson University, Dr. King is also an adjunct professor at Carleton University and senior fellow at Massey College. Previously he has taught at McMaster University and the First Nations Technical Institute. He is among the noted Indigenous public intellectuals in Canada with his analysis on the Canadian-Indigenous relationship published widely. Dr. King is also the co-founder of the Ogimaa Mikana Project and the co-host of the The Red Road Podcast.

Jesse Wente is an Ojibwe writer, broadcaster, producer and speaker. Born and raised in Toronto, his family hails from Chicago and the Serpent River First Nation. Jesse is best known for his 22 years as a columnist for CBC Radio’s Metro Morning, Jesse spent 11 years with the Toronto International Film Festival, the last seven as the director of film programmes at the TIFF Lightbox. Jesse is currently co-producing his first film, a screen adaptation of Thomas King’s best-selling book, The Inconvenient Indian. An outspoken advocate for Indigenous rights and First Nations, Metis and Inuit art, he has spoken at the International Forum of Indigenous Peoples, Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian, the Canadian Arts Summit, the Cultural Summit of the Americas, and numerous Universities and Colleges. In November Jesse delivered the annual Eva Holtby Lecture on Contemporary Culture at the Royal Ontario Museum. Jesse currently serves on the board of directors for the Canada Council for the Arts and the Toronto Arts Council. In 2017 he was named the inaugural recipient of the Reelworld Film Festival’s Reel Activist Award and recently received the Association of Ontario Health Centres’ Media Award for 2018. Jesse is currently working on his first book for Penguin Random House Canada and in February, Jesse started a new role as the first Director of the Indigenous Screen Office in Canada.

David Newhouse is Onondaga from the Six Nations of the Grand River community near Brantford, Ontario. He is a Professor of Indigenous Studies in the Chanie Wenjack School for Indigenous Studies, was the first Principal of the new Peter Gzowski College at Trent University and has been Chair of the Department of Indigenous Studies, now the Chanie Wenjack School for Indigenous Studies since 1993. He is also a Professor in the School of Business. Professor Newhouse is Co-Chair of the Trent Aboriginal Education Council. He was the IMC/U of S Aboriginal Scholar in Residence at the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon in 1998/99. He also teaches in the Graduate CED Program at Concordia University.

Susan Hill is a Haudenosaunee citizen from the Grand River Territory. She joined the University of Toronto in July 2017 and has a joint appointment with the Department of History and the Centre for Indigenous Studies. Prior to coming to U of T, she served as Associate Professor of History, and Director of the First Nations Studies Program at Western University from 2010-2017 and at Wilfrid Laurier University from 2004-2010. Professor Hill’s academic training includes a PhD in Native Studies from Trent University, MA in American Studies from SUNY-Buffalo, BA in history from the University of Michigan and language immersion programs through Onkwawanna Kentyohkwa (Kanyen’keha/Mohawk) and Grand River Employment & Training (Gayagohono/Cayuga). She is currently the Director of Centre for Indigenous Studies at the University of Toronto.