Bill C-15: Step Forward or Step Back?

Hearing Indigenous perspectives on the federal bill to implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Tuesday, March 16, 2021: 6:00 PM SK | AB | NWT Time

You are warmly invited to hear speakers Mary-Ellen Turpel-Lafond (Aki-Kwe), Sylvia McAdam (Saysewahum), and Brenda Gunn, all lawyers and professors, share different perspectives on the federal bill to implement the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. The discussion will be moderated by Maureen Johns, Director of Education at Pasqua First Nation. (Click on the photo to view full size and download. Share widely!)

Everyone is invited to this webinar to hear a diversity of Indigenous perspectives on Bill C-15, the bill before Parliament to implement UNDRIP. There will be the option of small group debriefing the next evening for attendees to sit with the complexities of what they’ve learned. Organized by KAIROS Prairies North. All are welcome! 
Register here. PDF poster here. Facebook event here. Share widely!


The panel will be moderated by Maureen Johns (Goes With Eagle Woman), Director of Education at Pasqua First Nation. Ms. Johns holds a Master’s Degree in Curriculum and Instruction. She has worked with CBC Radio, provincial school divisions, Ministry of Education, the Federation of Sovereign Indian Nations, and the File Hills Qu’Appelle Tribal Council.

Brenda Gunn, Associate Professor, Faculty of Law, University of Manitoba, is a proud Metis woman and a lawyer. Her current research focuses on promoting greater conformity between international law on the rights of Indigenous peoples and domestic law. She provided technical assistance to the UN Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in the analysis and drafting of the report summarizing the responses on the survey on implementing the UN Declaration.

Sylvia McAdam (Saysewahum) is nēhīyaw (Cree) from Big River First Nation, Treaty 6 and is a professor at the University of Windsor. She has her Juris Doctorate from the University of Saskatchewan and a Bachelor’s degree in Human Justice from the University of Regina. Sylvia is co-founder of a global grassroots Indigenous-led movement called “Idle No More.” Idle No More has changed the political and social landscape of Canada as well as reached the global community to defend and protect all lands, waters, and animals.

Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond (Aki-Kwe) is a member of Muskeg Lake Cree Nation, a tenured Professor of Law at the University of British Columbia, and served as a Saskatchewan Provincial Court judge for 20 years. She also served as British Columbia’s first Representative for Children and Youth, and recently completed an investigation of Indigenous-specific racism in the British Columbia health care system (her report is entitled “In Plain Sight”). She also serves as a legal team member for the Assembly of First Nations, and prepared a document for the AFN comparing Bill C-15 to Bill C-262 (Click here to read the analysis. )

Opening and closing prayers will be offered by Reverend Mary Fontaine. Rev. Fontaine is Cree from Mistawasis and is ordained in the Presbyterian Church in Canada. She is the founder and executive director of Hummingbird Ministries, an Indigenous-led healing and reconciling ministry of the Presbytery of Westminster in British Columbia.

Background on Bill C-15 from the federal government: click here.