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Stephanie Seymour Reconciliation + Natural Resources + Government Relations

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'Fueling the Fire Within'

What if we could solve our energy needs using a scientific and holistic approach to resources? This is the question that 'Fueled the Fire Within' for Stephanie Seymour and motivated her PhD studies at Lakehead University. Stephanie Seymour is raising the consciousness of cleaner energy possibilities for industry and individuals alike. Helping us to see the forest through the trees, Stephanie builds bridges between communities and industry. Explore what a world of renewable energy sources really looks like.

Stephanie Seymour is an Anishinaabe Kwe from Garden River First Nation who is currently conducting research for her PhD in Forest Sciences at Lakehead University. Her research focuses on the potential for forests to reduce or eliminate diesel use in remote Ojibwe and Cree communities in northwestern Ontario from both a scientific and holistic approach. Stephanie has a knowledge of historical and modern issues facing Indigenous people, and has a background in forestry, and resource development and management. Her knowledge about natural resources and Indigenous people is complemented by her understanding of policies which affect both resources and people. Throughout her education journey, Stephanie has used her ability to see the forest through the trees, and water and resource management from different perspectives. Stephanie’s experience is shaped by both her formal education but also by her experiences in her community and her families. By offering an objective and balanced perspective, Stephanie promotes a collegial and collaborative relationship between Indigenous people and industries, governments, and organizations. Infused with humour and wit, Stephanie can present difficult conversation topics helping her participants feel at ease to begin conversations about reconciliation. As an indigenous student and scholar, Stephanie hopes to inspire other indigenous youth to bring their voices into the academy and to build bridges between Indigenous and non-indigenous communities while promoting sustainable development and use of natural resources.  

  • Building Strong Bridges between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Cultures and the Crown

    The presenter offers a balanced perspective; herself a mix of European and Indigenous heritage with a formal education in Forestry and Natural Resources Management complemented by personal experiences growing up in northwestern Ontario.

    Ultimately this journey takes us to the present day situation; a pivotal point in our shared history that calls for reconciliation between two nations in Canada. Examining different value systems and historical events, we can identify past policies and actions which have lead to an unhealthy relationship between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples.

    The listener will leave with an understanding of Constitutional rights, Aboriginal rights and Treaty rights, and their influence on past and current land management. This talk will identify some best practices and tools for building relationships including practical advice for co-chairing meetings, communications, showing respect, etc. By understanding historic relationships between the Crown and Indigenous peoples, and learning how these relationships shaped the current situation in Canada, we can begin to develop strategies to reconcile and forward together.

    The outcomes that will be delivered include:

    • A knowledge of historic policies and relationships which affect Indigenous people, non-Indigenous people, and the Crown
    • An understanding of two different worldviews and how these may conflict when addressing current issues facing Indigenous peoples
    • Challenges experienced by urban, rural, and remote First Nations
    • Recognize policies that were implemented and critically examine their impact on Indigenous peoples and natural resources
    • Understand the role of the government in addressing social, environmental, and economic issues facing Indigenous peoples.

    Best Practices for Building Mutually-Beneficial and Respectful Relationships with Indigenous Peoples

    At the present moment, Canada is in a position to improve its relationship with Indigenous peoples. In order to build strong relationships with each other, it is imperative that we recognize and understand each other’s values so that we may honour each other’s desires, particularly when addressing lands and resource management on Crown lands. This talk explores the values, cultures, and traditions of Indigenous peoples in northwestern Ontario and how they can be translated into measurable and manageable goals for natural resources management and community engagement. Past methods of engaging Indigenous peoples in lands and resource management will be explored. These lessons from past approaches will help to build a list of best practices when collaborating with Indigenous peoples. 

    The outcomes that will be delivered include:

    • Understanding of concepts including: Holistic approach; Value of Elders, Oral History, Importance of water
    • Overview of past approaches for working with Indigenous peoples and First Nations
    • Identify the emerging role of First Nations governance in decision-making about lands and resources management
    • Overview of Supreme Court of Canada cases that speak to the legal obligations that Crown organizations have towards Indigenous peoples.
    • Identify and develop some best practices for building collaborative and mutually-respectful relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples.

    Exploring the Possibilities of Reducing Diesel Dependency in Northern Remote Communities

    What if using local Natural Resources instead of imported Diesel products, expanded the capabilities, economics and prosperity of our northern remote communities? Would that be worth exploring?  Walk with Stephanie as she shares with you the results of her studies and the possibilities when looking to reduce our Diesel dependencies.

  • Historic Relationships between Indigenous Peoples and the Crown and How We Can Improve

    This workshop aims to present the history of Canada in terms of actions and policies relating to Indigenous peoples and natural resources. Further, it discusses the implications of actions and policies on the relationship between Indigenous peoples and the Crown. The different perspectives of Indigenous peoples living on Turtle Island and British settlers who have "discovered" this new world will be presented, and attendees will be able to identify the different value systems and how this has laid the foundation for a rocky relationships between two societies.

    Current Awareness of Indigenous Issues Informed by Recent History

    This workshop builds on the previous topic of historical relationships to further our understanding of how our historic relationships affect interactions in today’s society. Further, this topic will look at how our social interactions influenced decisions and outcomes affecting the environment.

    Constitutional and Treaty Rights, Governance, and the Duty to Consult

    This workshop will identify existing rights under the Canadian Constitution and subsequent treaties, Supreme Court Cases, etc. Further, it will provide examples of how these rights were not acknowledged in relationship-building or resource management and the outcomes will be explored. The workshop participants will troubleshoot past examples in order to recommend different actions that may result in different outcomes in the future

    Value systems and their Influence on Resource Management, Community Development, and Relationship Building

    Letters behind my name acknowledge my book knowledge but do not take into account my personal story or the history of my people and what I’ve come to learn about treaties, relationships with the crown, and relationships with the land.

Stephanie Seymour is an Anishinaabe Kwe from Garden River First Nation who is currently conducting research for her PhD in Forest Sciences at Lakehead University. Her research focuses on the potential for forests to reduce or eliminate diesel use in remote Ojibwe and Cree communities in northwestern Ontario from both a scientific and holistic approach. Stephanie has a knowledge of historical and modern issues facing Indigenous people, and has a background in forestry, and resource development and management. Her knowledge about natural resources and Indigenous people is complemented by her understanding of policies which affect both resources and people. Throughout her education journey, Stephanie has used her ability to see the forest through the trees, and water and resource management from different perspectives. Stephanie’s experience is shaped by both her formal education but also by her experiences in her community and her families. By offering an objective and balanced perspective, Stephanie promotes a collegial and collaborative relationship between Indigenous people and industries, governments, and organizations. Infused with humour and wit, Stephanie can present difficult conversation topics helping her participants feel at ease to begin conversations about reconciliation. As an indigenous student and scholar, Stephanie hopes to inspire other indigenous youth to bring their voices into the academy and to build bridges between Indigenous and non-indigenous communities while promoting sustainable development and use of natural resources.  

Speaker Summary

Location: Canada

Language: English

Website: Click Here

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