Mi'kmaw Perspectives on Public School Education

Posted on Wednesday, February 16, 2022

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Building Connections: Mobilizing Indigenous Histories for Social Change

Join us for the next event in the series Building Connections: Mobilizing Indigenous Histories for Social Change, for the panel discussion 'Mi'kmaw Perspectives on Public School Education.' In this conversation, Stephen Augustine, Corinne Chappell, and Omeasoo Wahpasiw will discuss Indigenous knowledge, relationships with the land and public education.

Date: March 2, 2022

Time: 3:00 - 4:30 PM

Registration required

Event Description:

In this panel, long-term l'nu educator Corinne Chappell and University of Prince Edward Island UPEI  Advisor to the VPAR on Indigenous Affairs,  Associate Vice President, Indigenous Affairs and Unima'ki College, Hereditary Chief Stephen Augustine, will describe their diverse efforts at returning Indigenous l'nu knowledge to l'nu youth on their territories in Mi'kma'ki. Professor Omeasoo Wahpasiw, a nehiyaw previously living on l'nu territory, will describe her experiences in order to develop appropriate land relationships amongst all Canadians, as relevant to the public school system.


Stephen Augustine is a Hereditary Chief on the Mi’kmaq Grand Council and the 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, in Gatineau/Ottawa. He holds a Masters 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. Over the years, Mr. Augustine has shared his expertise in research and traditional knowledge with many organizations, including government departments, the Assembly of First Nations, and various Indigenous communities across Canada. 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.

Corinne Chappell is an advisor to the Vice-President Academic and Research on Indigenous Affairs. She has joined UPEI as Advisor to the VPAR on Indigenous Affairs. This new leadership role will be key in planning, developing, and implementing Indigenous initiatives at UPEI. This includes providing guidance on stakeholder collaborations and helping to develop a better understanding of and response to the Calls to Action that relate to post-secondary education as outlined in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s final report. Ms. Chappell will play an important role in the development of the new Faculty of Indigenous Knowledge, Education, Research, and Applied Studies. She holds a Master of Education from both UPEI and St. Francis Xavier University, and is a Doctor of Education student at Western University. She has been teaching for over 20 years and at Colonel Gray High School for 15. She co-founded and chaired the PEITF Aboriginal Education Advisory Committee and is a member the National Indigenous University Senior Leaders’ Association, based at First Nations University of Canada. Ms. Chappell is also widely regarded as a Mi’kmaq artisan, creating and garments and art pieces that blend traditional styles with modern fashion.

Omeasoo Wahpasiw, PhD, is a nehiyaw iskwew (Saddle Lake) raised in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. She currently resides in the unceded Algonquin Aanishinaabe territory of Ottawa. She is grateful to be in an ancient gathering place for many nations to gather in peace. Professor Wahpasiw teaches in Carleton University's School of Indigenous and Canadian Studies and the Azrieli School of Architecture. In 2016 she completed her PhD at the University of Saskatchewan (History) and gave birth to her wonderful child. She then taught on unceded L'nu territory at the University of Prince Edward Island in the Faculties of Arts and Education. She values most her relationships with humans across Turtle Island.

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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