Dr. Pamela PalmaterPamela Palmater, a Mi’kmaw lawyer, author, social justice activist, and Chair in Indigenous Governance at Ryerson University, will present the 2016 Nels Anderson Lecture. Her is talk titled “Sovereignty changes everything: understanding Canada’s commitment to nation-to-nation relations with First Nations”. The department of sociology and the law in society program will host the lecture on Monday, March 21 at 3 p.m. in Carleton Hall room, 106.

“Dr. Palmater’s work and her upcoming lecture are important counterpoints to the Liberal government’s stated commitment to nation-to-nation relations with indigenous peoples,” says Tia Dafnos, assistant professor and Law in Society Program coordinator. “It’s a call for all of us to hold governments accountable for promises made and broken, as well as for settlers here in New Brunswick to uphold the Peace and Friendship Treaties.”

Dr. Palmater will discuss the significant commitments that were made to First Nations by the Liberal government last October. In addition to promising to implement all recommendations from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and an inquiry on murdered and missing indigenous people, it was also promised that Canada would move forward in a nation-to-nation relationship. This promise was made almost 300 years ago during the nation-to-nation treaty negotiations when the Mi’kmaq and Wolastoqiyik agreed to be peaceful allies. This promise was not kept and now many are left wondering what this new commitment means for First Nations.

Dr. Palmater is a well-known speaker and media commentator from Eel River Bar First Nation in New Brunswick. She is frequently called as an expert before parliamentary and United Nations committees dealing with laws and policies impacting indigenous peoples. She was one of the spokespeople and public educators for the Idle No More movement. In 2012, she came in second in the Assembly of First Nations election for national chief.

Media Contact: Tia Dafnos