History of Canada: First Peoples' Perspectives

Posted on Friday, November 26, 2021


First Peoples Perspectives posters


Building Connections: Mobilizing Indigenous Histories for Social Change

Join us for the last event of this season in the series Building Connections: Mobilizing Indigenous Histories for Social Change. Our speakers will present the vision and objectives of the collaborative project 'History of Canada: First Peoples' perspectives.'

Date: December 8, 2021

Time: 7:00-8:30 p.m.

Registration is required

Event description:

The History in Canada: First Peoples' Perspectives project aims to document and make available the views of First Peoples on their own histories, past and present, and to contribute to the education of younger generations all while participating in an effective transformation of history teaching. Our approach is to bring together strong teams of Indigenous community members and of their living memories, school networks and their partners. This approach recognizes that the expertise of territory and use in Indigenous communities is at once legitimate and fundamental for addressing history. This work of truth allows access to erased narratives, amplifies the life experiences of marginalized individuals, communities and groups, and provides access to unpublished or little-known content and methodologies developed by the First Peoples of various nations in Canada and elsewhere.

Indeed, the tools developed by the project offer new capabilities to First Peoples to preserve, archive, study, produce and disseminate their own resources while keeping full control over the content offered and the ways in which these stories and perspectives are disseminated. The dissemination of this unprecedented body of work and the educational materials presented generates a more inclusive and respectful history of First Peoples in Canada. Therefore, the project proposes an innovative approach for educators to share knowledge and pedagogies associated with historical and contemporary realities. In order to support them, we offer participatory and interactive academic tools that will contribute to the transformation of the teaching of First Peoples' history in the classroom and in society at large.


Christian Labrecque is a research assistant for the Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Intellectual Traditions and Self-Determination. He has developed networks of solidarity with First Peoples people and communities across Canada. For over a decade, he has documented and informed about the struggles for decolonization, affirmation and protection of territories by First Peoples. He has also been instrumental in educating many non-native people in anti-colonial solidarity awareness and action.

Diane Le May is a historian. She has worked as a teacher and researcher at the Cégep de l’Outaouais for over 30 years, and holds a master’s in history from the University of Ottawa. Her research interests include the relations between First Peoples and non-native peoples. From her beginnings in teaching, she has sought to raise knowledge of First Peoples by developing stages de formation (training internships) in Cree and Inuit communities in Nunavik, organizing and taking part in symposiums and working with members of Indigenous communities based on unceded Anishinabe territory to develop exhibitions and teaching material for college-level disciplines.

Eddy Malenfant is an experienced filmmaker who first worked at Radio Canada and Télé-Québec before co-founding in 1987 Production Manitu with Zacharie Bellefleur, Céline Vollant and Evelyne St-Onge. Eddy Malenfant directed more than 50 documentaries on Innu culture. Among his best-known documentaries is 'INNU,' the introduction of a young Innu to his traditional culture. 'INNU AITUN,' is a series of 13 documentaries on Innu traditional knowledge and 'CHRONICLE OF MINGANIE' or the history of Canada from an Innu perspective. He is also the director of six digital books on Innu culture, and the website nametauinnu.ca, which is dedicated to the transmission of Innu knowledge. He is also  co-director with Samantha Duchemin, of an educational program 'TEACHING BY THE ARTS THROUGH INNU CULTURE.' Mr. Malenfant is now associated with the Canada Research Chair in Intellectual Traditions and Self-Determination of First Peoples.

Pierrot Ross-Tremblay (Innu Essipit) is Professor at the Institute of Indigenous Research and Studies, University of Ottawa. He holds the Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Intellectual Traditions and Self-Determination. His research focuses on memory and forgetting, resistance, sovereignties and effective self-determination.

Anita Tenasco is Anishinabe Algonquin and was born and raised in the Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg community (an Algonquin community located 2 hours north of Ottawa, Ontario). Sheis a djo djo (mother), kokomis (grandmother) and the child of a Residential  School survivor and Indian Day School survivor.  She has dedicated her career to First Nations education and has served the Kitigan Zibi community for the past 26 years in a variety of capacities.  She is currently the Director of Education for Kitigan Zibi and is a firm believer in First Nations Control of First Nations Education.  Anita Tenasco is a proud graduate of the Kitigan Zibi High School, Heritage College and the University of Ottawa.

The series is funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, the Institute of Indigenous Research and Studies and the Faculties of Education and of Arts at the University of Ottawa. It is organized in collaboration with the History in Canada: First Peoples’ Perspectives project initiated by the Cégep de l'Outaouais, the Indigenous Affairs and the KitiganZibi First Nation Cultural Education Centre.

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