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Protecting and Respecting the Earth's Soul -- Terri-Lynn Williams-Davidson Lecture

04/19/2007 7:00 pm
04/19/2007 9:00 pm
Hosted by The Interfaith Summer Institute for Justice, Peace and Social Movements and the JS Woodsworth Lecture Series at SFU

SFU Harbour Centre SFU, Room 1700
515 West Hastings, Vancouver

Reserved seating is recommended: call 604-291-5100 or email

Terri-Lynn Williams-Davidson is a citizen of the Haida Nation from Skidegate, Haida Gwaii.  She holds degrees in computer science and law from the University of British Columbia.  She has practiced in the area of aboriginal-environmental law for the last 10 years, and restricts her personal law practice at White Raven Law in this area.  Terri-Lynn represented the Haida Nation at all levels of court in litigation to protect the old-growth forests of Haida Gwaii, Council of the Haida Nation and Guujaaw, et. al. v. Ministry of Forests, et. al., and is currently counsel for the Haida Nation in an Aboriginal Title lawsuit.

Terri-Lynn has published and regularly lectures internationally in aboriginal law, particularly as it relates to cultural heritage and environmental protection.  She was the founding Executive Director of the charity EAGLE (Environmental-Aboriginal Guardianship through Law and Education).  She has volunteered for numerous organizations, including as an Advisory Council member for the Vancouver Foundation's Environment Program and as a juror for the Buffet Award for Indigenous Leadership, at Ecotrust (US).  She is currently a board member of Earthlife Canada Foundation and Haida Gwaii Singers.

Terri-Lynn is devoted to perpetuating Haida culture, beginning with co-founding a children's dance group in 1978 and illustrating a children's book.  She is an accomplished singer and dancer and is an active member of the Rainbow Creek Dancers, which travels and performs locally and internationally.  She also creates appliquéd and woven ceremonial-regalia.  She and husband, artist Robert Davidson, often return to rejuvenate and connect with the land and people of Haida Gwaii.

Conserving our Marine and Terrestrial Biodiversity: Smart Decision-making in Conservation

04/01/2007 7:30 pm
04/01/2007 9:00 pm
This lecture is part of the upcoming MARXAN worksop being hosted and organized by PacMARA (Pacific Marine Analysis Research Association) the following week. I'll be attending the workshop for a couple of days, and hopefully this lecture, too.























In conjunction with an International Marxan Best Practices Workshop being held at UBC April 2-5 ( for more information), the Pacific Marine Analysis and Research Association is pleased to present a public event with Daniel Pauly and Hugh Possingham, speaking about the need for smart decision-making in conservation. 

Dr Pauly and Dr Possingham will present on the current state of marine and terrestrial ecosystems and how we got here, then outline some changes and new tools needed to better manage ecosystems.  They will present a compelling vision for new approaches to science and decision-making, and for new relationships between scientists and decision-makers, to ensure more sustainable marine and terrestrial management results.

The evening will also include a question and discussion period.


CSIN-RCID Learning Event: Traditional Knowledge Indicators

02/09/2007 8:30 am
02/09/2007 11:30 am

From the Canadian Sustainability Indicators Network:

Over the past several months, I have become ever aware that indicators of traditional knowledge is an important topic for a number of you. For this reason, CSIN is offering a learning event on this topic for February 9, 11:30am Eastern time. As many of you know, learning events are 1.5 hour conference calls with online powerpoint viewing. Usually we have 2-3 brief presentations along with discussion time. As presenters are in the process of being confirmed, it would be helpful to know at this point whether you would be interested in attending. I will then send you confirmed details about the presenters and you can confirm at that time if you are still interested.
For those of you who are new to the world of traditional knowledge, I would be pressed to give a concise definition. Wikipedia says that "Traditional knowledge (TK), indigenous knowledge (IK), and local knowledge generally refer to the matured long-standing traditions, practices of regional, indigenous, or local communities. Traditional knowledge also encompasses the wisdom, knowledge and teachings of these communities."
The use of traditional knowledge in management of resources is often discussed from several different perspectives. Some of these include the placement of traditional knowledge alongside science, the deeply embedded cultural and institutional contexts that may be inseparable from traditional knowledge, and a role for traditional knowledge in managing complex adaptive systems that are characterized by change and uncertainty.

(For more, the following online journal might be of interest: "Ecology and Society", this issue is dedicated to "Traditional Knowledge in Social-Ecological Systems". ).
Please confirm your interest in attending this free event, and I will follow up with more information in the near future.
**Also, I still have space for another presenter, so if you are interested in sharing your work, let me know.
Best Regards,
Carissa Wieler
CSIN Coordinator
International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD)
(204) 958-7719


Sui Generis Litigation: Reconciling History and Law?

02/22/2007 8:00 am
02/23/2007 3:00 pm

First Nations House of Learning 1985 West Mall, University of BC

Conference Theme:

The judiciary in and have commented on the sui generis and historical nature of Aboriginal litigation, noting its’ significant for achieving the broader public policy goal of reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people. The unique character of Aboriginal litigation has necessitated using unconventional techniques of fact finding and incorporating flexibility with regard to oral and ethnohistorical lines of evidence in the courtroom. Thus Aboriginal litigation pushes the epistemological and methodological boundaries of both history and law. What are the implications of Aboriginal litigation for reconciliation? How can sui generis litigation encompass reconciliation, or can it? How might aspects of history and law contribute to reconciliation discourse, both in and outside the courtroom?

The goal of this 2 day conference is to initiate informal dialogue about these issues outside the adversarial setting of the courtroom. There will be ample time for questions after each panel, and in the afternoon on Day 2, participants will take part in small discussion groups on panel discussions. The groups will report back in a final plenary session and key issues, recommendations, etc. will be collated into a final conference report to be distributed post-conference.


Day 1:
8:00-9:00: Coffee/muffins
9:00-9:30: Welcoming Ceremony and Opening Remarks

9:30-10:00: Keynote Speaker:
Chief Judge Joe Williams, Maori Land Court, Chairperson, Waitangi Tribunal,

10:00-10:15: Health Break
10:15-12:30: Session 1- History, the Laws and sui generis litigation: Current Issues.

This session will explore the epistemological and methodological issues that arise in ethnohistorical and oral history lines of evidence in the courtroom. Why is context important? What are the limitations of documentary text-based evidence in sui generis litigation? What are the problems associated with existing criteria for qualifying experts on oral history?

Confirmed speakers:
Dr. Stephen Patterson, Prof. Emeritus, History, University of New Brunswick
Dr. Arthur Ray, Prof. Emeritus, History, University of BC
Prof. Gordon Christie, Faculty of Law, University of BC
Stuart Rush, QC, Rush, Crane Guenther
S. Ronald Stevenson, Senior General Counsel, Department of Justice Canada (invited)

Moderator: (invited- Prof. June McCue, Faculty of Law, University of BC)

12:30-2:30: Lunch (on own)

2:30-4:30: Session 2- Sui Generis Litigation: Is Reconciliation Possible?

This session will explore the implications of sui generis litigation for reconciliation, focusing on approaches to settling claims that are more inclusive of Indigenous legal systems that reside in ceremonies, stories, songs and protocols. How does this affect our ideas about what constitutes legitimate historical evidence?

Confirmed Speakers:
Justice Marvyn Koenigsberg, BC Supreme Court
Dr. Bain Attwood, Monash University, Australia
Dr. J.R. Miller, Canada Research Chair in Native-Newcomer Relations, University of Saskatchewan
Prof. Val Napoleon, Faculty of Law, University of Alberta
Dr. Paulette Regan, UBC-DOJ Academic Interchange Scholar

Moderator: Dr. Graham Hingangaroa Smith, Distinguished Professor in Education, Educational Studies, University of BC

5:00-8:00: Reception (Cash Bar: Location TBA)

* confirmed speakers as of Jan. 15/07

DAY 2:
8:30-9:30: Coffee/muffins
9:30-12:00: Session 3- New Research Directions in the Academy
Building on discussion from Day 1, this session will consider the role of universities as teaching institutions with a responsibility to educate future judges, lawyers, and academics, engaging First Nations communities as full partners. How can universities create learning environments that support new research to address the reconciliation of history and law in Indigenous contexts?

Confirmed Speakers:
Prof. Richard Vedan, UBC President’s Special Advisor on Aboriginal Issues
Prof. Sakej Henderson, Native Law Centre of Canada, University of Saskatchewan
Dr. Bruce Miller, Anthropology, University of BC
Dr. Keith Carlson, History, University of Saskatchewan

Moderator: Dr. Coll Thrush, History, University of BC

12:00-1:00: Lunch (provided)

1:00-3:00: Session 4 - Wrap-up Session
Facilitator: Dr. Linc Kesler, Director, First Nations Studies, University of BC
Participants will break into small dialogue groups to discuss sessions. Final plenary for reports on key issues, recommendations, etc. These reports will be collated into a final conference report to be distributed post-conference.

For more information email Rick Ouellet at

The UBCIC is a NGO in Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations

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