Sign up for our weekly e-newsletter of event announcements, promotions, and ideas:

Add special announcements from:

Goldcorp Centre for the Arts, 149 West Hastings Street


A Subtle Revolution: What Lies Ahead for Indigenous Rights?

September 13, 2017


FREE, no registration is required.


When: Wed, September 13, 2017. 7:00 PM

Where: Djavad Mowafaghian World Art Centre, Goldcorp Centre for the Arts, 149 W. Hastings St.

Additional Info: Co-presented by SFU's Vancity Office of Community Engagement and UBC First Nations and Indigenous Studies Program

Marking the 10th Anniversary of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People

September 13, 2017 marks the 10 year anniversary of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP), a document that Canada has endorsed and which the Trudeau government has promised to adopt and implement. The burning question looking forward is: what does implementation mean and what is required of federal, provincial and local government, political and social institutions, and civil society to make the UN Declaration a reality in Canada? 

Dr. Sheryl Lightfoot’s 2016 book, Global Indigenous Politics: A Subtle Revolution (Routledge), highlights the fundamental changes involved in Indigenous rights implementation and challenges both states and Indigenous peoples to re-formulate their relationship in accordance with its principles. Please join us as Dr. Lightfoot and a distinguished panel of guests discuss her book and the implications of Indigenous rights implementation. 


Grand Chief Stewart Phillip is President of the Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs. Over a 14-year period (1994-2008) he served four consecutive terms as Chief of the Penticton Indian Band (PIB) with an additional 10-years as an elected Band Councillor, and continues to serve as Chair of the Okanagan Nation Alliance. In October 2006, the Okanagan Nation, led by the Elders of the Penticton Indian Band, acknowledged his lifetime commitment to the defense of Indigenous Peoples' Title and Rights by bestowing on him and his family the rare honour of the title of Grand Chief. Grand Chief Phillip has taken an active role in the defense of Aboriginal Title and Rights by readily offering support to Native communities in need. He has taken a personal approach seeing first-hand the impact of fish farms in the Broughton Archipelago, lobbying on Parliament Hill to defeat the First Nations Governance Act, standing with Elders of Treaty 8 against oil and gas development in the Peace River, burning referendum ballots with fellow chiefs in protest and has stood on the steps of the Legislature with 3000 other people united under the Title and Rights Alliance banner. Grand Chief Phillip has been married for 30 years to his wife Joan. They have four grown sons, two daughters, seven granddaughters and seven grandsons. He is currently enjoying his 27th year of sobriety. In this regard, he is a firm believer in leading by example.

Dr. Priscilla Settee is member of Cumberland House Swampy Cree First Nations and a Professor of Indigenous Studies and Women and Gender Studies at the University of Saskatchewan. She has won recognition nationally and internationally as an award-winning professor and as a global educator/activist. She is the author of two books Pimatisiwin, Global Indigenous Knowledge Systems (2013) that looks at global Indigenous Knowledge Systems and The Strength of Women, Ahkameyimohk (2011) that examines the role of Indigenous women’s stories in establishing truth, reconciliation and social change. Dr. Settee is working on her third book on Indigenous Food Sovereignty that will be launched in 2018. She is a kohkum to Nya Lily and Lola Rose.​

Dr. Heidi Kiiwetinepinesiik Stark (Turtle Mountain Ojibwe) is an Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Victoria. She has a Ph.D. in American Studies from the University of Minnesota. Her research interests include Aboriginal and Treaty rights and Indigenous politics in the United States and Canada. She is the co-editor of Centering Anishinaabeg Studies: Understanding the World Through Stories with Jill Doerfler and Niigaanwewidam Sinclair and is the co-author of American Indian Politics and the American Political System (3rd and 4th edition) with Dr. David E. Wilkins. Her research background includes collaborative work with Indigenous communities in the United States and Canada. She was awarded a SSHRC Insight Development Grant for her project titled “Sakimay First Nation Governance,” which aims to advance the development and resurgence of Anishinaabe political structures and institutions that are informed and shaped by Anishinaabe philosophies, values, and teachings.

Rachel Yacaaʔał George is Nuu-chah-nulth from Ahousaht First Nation. She is a PhD Candidate at the University of Victoria and holds a Master’s degree from the University of Amsterdam in Genocide Studies. Her research focuses on the efficacy of redress mechanisms to facilitate justice for Indigenous communities. Beyond providing an evaluation and critique of the evolution and objectives of reconciliation, her research considers pathways to decolonization through resurgence and storied practice.

Speaker Bio

Sheryl Lightfoot (PhD – University of Minnesota, Political Science) is Anishinaabe, a citizen of the Lake Superior Band of Ojibwe, enrolled at the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community in Baraga, Michigan. She is an associate professor in First Nations and Indigenous Studies and the Department of Political Science at UBC.

Sheryl is Canada Research Chair in Global Indigenous Rights and Politics. She holds a Master’s Degree from the Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs, University of Minnesota, with specialties in Foreign Policy and International Affairs as well as Economic and Community Development. She also has fifteen years’ volunteer and contract experience with a number of American Indian tribes and community-based organizations in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area, including nine years as Chair of the Board of the American Indian Policy Center, a research and advocacy group.

Her book, Global Indigenous Politics: A Subtle Revolution, was published in May 2016 by Routledge Press in their “Worlding Beyond the West” critical international relations book series.

Sheryl is currently engaged in a SSHRC-funded project, “The Politics of State Apologies to Indigenous Peoples,” a major multi-national comparative study of state apologies to Indigenous peoples.

Find out more about the work of our partners & join the online discussion in SFU's Vancity Office of Community Engagement Facebook group!


FREE, no registration is required.


When: Wed, September 13, 2017. 7:00 PM

Where: Djavad Mowafaghian World Art Centre, Goldcorp Centre for the Arts, 149 W. Hastings St.

Additional Info: Co-presented by SFU's Vancity Office of Community Engagement and UBC First Nations and Indigenous Studies Program

Visitor Information