Skip to main menu Skip to main content
NAISA 2020 Conference May 7-9, 2020 Toronto, Canada

Special Sessions & Events

Special Lunches and Events:

Local Host Special Sessions:

  1. Thursday May 7 1:45-3:30 – How do we Land Back? A Dialogue on Reclamation
  2. Thursday May 7 3:45-5:30 – Co-existence and Resistance: Black and Indigenous People
  3. Friday May 8 10:15-12:00 –  Indigenous Youth Research in Tkaronto
  4. Friday May 8 1:45-  3:30 –  Sea Ontologies: Black and Indigenous Theories of Water
  5. Saturday May 9 10:15-12:00 – Star Gatherings: Kinstillatory relational practice when future falls are immanent
  6. Saturday May 9 1:45-3:30 – Two Spirit, Trans and Queer Land Relations

 Local Host Special Events:

  1. #Opening of the Annual Meeting
  2. Local Host Committee Welcome Reception
  3. Mentoring Lunches
  4. 2 Spirit, Trans and Queer Lunch
  5. Unceded Dancefloors – 2 Spirit, Trans and Queer Indigenous Evening
  6. Traditional Teachers and Community Elders Day and Lunch
  7. Emerging Indigenous Creativity & Design: NAISA Graduate Student Gathering 2020
  8. Encounters at the Edge of the Woods Theatre Production
  9. Tipi Confessions

Special Side Event:

Friday May 8 10:00- 4 :00 –  Indigenous Russia

LHC Special Sessions

1. Thursday May 7 1:45-3:30

Session Title: How do we Land Back? A Dialogue on Reclamation

Session Abstract: From the origins of settler colonialism to the era of supposed reconciliation, land and resources remain at the centre of the conflict between Indigenous peoples and settler (governments). In the Fall of 2019, Yellowhead Institute, a First Nation-led think-tank based at Ryerson University in Toronto, considered this dynamic in a “Red Paper” on Land Back that analyzes the current status of land dispossession in Canada, focusing on the techniques of dispossession through settlement and resource extraction. It also examines various forms of state redress and recognition developed to mitigate the harm / contain resistance. Yellowhead’s special NAISA session on “How do we Land Back?” builds on this conversation, bringing together individuals and groups leading community-based reclamation strategies and offering hope for the effective enforcement of Indigenous consent. The panel will consider the complexities of land back in respectful relationship to Black communities and other Indigenous communities, land back in urban centres, and examples of Indigenous assertions of jurisdiction outside of state policies and legislation that offer meaningful alternatives to settler colonial forms of political economy.

Chair Vanessa Watts McMaster University
Chair Hayden King Ryerson University

Participants
Corrina Gould Sogorea ‘Te Land Trust,  
Fuifuilupe Niumeitolu Sogorea ‘Te Land Trust  
Other panelists to be determined
**************************

2. Thursday May 7 3:45-5:30

Session Title: Co-existence and Resistance: Black and Indigenous People

Session Abstract: African diasporic presence on Turtle Island dates back over 400 years, due in large part, but not exclusively to, the British North American enslavement trade as early as 1685 (Di Paolantonio, 2010).  Indigenous and African diasporic communities experienced shared, as well as distinct forms of colonial oppression and conflict. Relationships between African diasporic and Indigenous peoples were feared by colonialists (Mawani, 2002). Despite the government’s prohibitions, unions between Indigenous and Black people developed and flourished, in some cases as a form of resistance to oppression (Lawrence, 2004).

To date, Indigenous and Black unions are common within many communities (e.g., Cherokee, Creek, Lumbee, Creole, and Seminole) (Jolivette, 2007; Sturm, 2002). Unsurprisingly, social movements within Indigenous and African Diasporic communities in the Americas have historically informed and inspired each other.

In commemorating this rich and complicated history of relationships between Black and Indigenous communities, this will inspire conversations about pressing issues that are of importance to Black and Indigenous communities, including but not limited to, navigating community connections, relationships, and sense of belonging. The panel is intended to interrogate the timeliness and complex nuance of these conversations between Indigenous and Black communities at this moment in time on unceded Indigenous territories in an attempt to move beyond conversations to a white audience, as Black and Indigenous people reimagine their relationships to each other and their possible futures together. This reimagining can be expressed through artistic practice, communal resistance, scholarship, and engagement with anti-colonial theories.

Session Chair Jessica Cook
Session Chair Ciann Wilson
Other participants to be determined
*******************************

3. Friday May 8 10:15-12pm

Session Title: Indigenous Youth Research in Tkaronto

Session Abstract: This special session features the contributions of Indigenous youth researchers in Tkaronto. Indigenous youth research offers exciting approaches to inquiry that open up possibilities for collaboration, decolonization, and world-making. The session highlights three youth research projects embedded in Indigenous studies: Making Sense of Movements (MSOM), Our Stories Our Truths (OSOT), and YRL’s Proyecto Latinx.

MSOM is a youth participatory action research project led by Indigenous and Black youth that theorize contemporary social movements, school pushout, and social issues that impact their communities. The youth researchers use several arts-based methods, particularly photography, to imagine livable futures for Indigenous and Black peoples. OSOT is an Art-As-Healing program committed to creating a safe space for urban Indigenous youth to build meaningful relationships with mentors in Indigenous communities. The project weaves together oral histories, cultural teachings, ceremonial protocols, and community stories through a series of workshops that aim towards healing, reconnection, and decolonization. The YLR’s Proyecto Latinx is a collaboration between Indigenous and Latinx youth engaging in both research and cultural production projects that examine questions of difference, diaspora, Indigeneity, and solidarity across the landmass of the Abya-Yala. The youth researchers facilitate research activities through dialogic inquiry-based pedagogy.

Together, these projects demonstrate how youth researchers are imagining futures in Tkaronto that center Indigenous, Black, and Latinx communities. They reveal instructive ways of doing research that are collaborative and community-centred. And, importantly, they take seriously the insights and contributions of youth researchers in the field of Indigenous studies.

Chair Nicole Charles, University of Toronto
Participants
Monique Aura
Lindsay Dupré
Rubén Gaztambide-Fernandez, University of Toronto
Sefanit Habtom, University of Toronto
Chief LadyBird

Non presenting author
Eve Tuck

Discussants
Nick Estes, University of New Mexico
K. Wayne Yang, University of California, San Diego
*************************

4. Friday May 8 1:45-3:30

Sea Ontologies: Black and Indigenous Theories of Water

In this panel, Black and Indigenous scholars think together about the significance of water in Black and Indigenous Studies. The conversation emerges from a critical engagement with,

Caribbean scholar and poet, Kamau Brathwaite’s theorizing on tidalectics. Brathwaite gestures to the ebbs and flows of Oceanic waters in order to disrupt linear understandings of history. More specifically, the concept of tidalectics moves us away from Hegel’s philosophy of dialectics and towards a more capacious reading of Caribbean history. Tidalectics accounts for the series of cyclical, fluid, overlapping, and dynamic migrations that continue to occur in the Caribbean region. In this session, scholars in Black Studies and Indigenous Studies point to the recurring offerings that the ocean, sea, and other bodies of water flood to theories of being, of grief, of life, of relation, and possibility.

In this panel, Black and Indigenous scholars think together about the significance of water in Black and Indigenous Studies. The conversation emerges from a critical engagement with,

Caribbean scholar and poet, Kamau Brathwaite’s theorizing on tidalectics. Brathwaite gestures to the ebbs and flows of Oceanic waters in order to disrupt linear understandings of history. More specifically, the concept of tidalectics moves us away from Hegel’s philosophy of dialectics and towards a more capacious reading of Caribbean history. Tidalectics account for the series of cyclical, fluid, overlapping, and dynamic migrations that continue to occur in the Caribbean region. In this session, scholars in Black Studies and Indigenous Studies point to the recurring offerings that the ocean, sea, and other bodies of water flood to theories of being, of grief, of life, of relation, and possibility.

Chair Idil Abdillahi Ryerson University  
Panelists
Andrea Davis, York University
Vicente Diaz,  University of Minnesota
Rinaldo Walcott, University of Toronto
Melissa K. Nelson, San Francisco State University
Other participants to be determined


*******************

Saturday May 9 10:15-12pm

Session Title: Star Gatherings: Kinstillatory relational practice when future falls are immanent

Session abstract: What does a land-ing based pedagogy look like when we consider the aesthetics and analytics of Indigenous futurist celestial gatherings. We bring together a selection of voicings to consider the impact of kinstillatory as a methodology that considers land(s) expansivity as kinship, dark matter, and star worlds.  This ‘happening’ brings together art-ivists/ scholars together to activate a conversation about kinstillations.

Chair Karyn Recollet
Participants
Karyn Recollet
Kiersten Linquist
Joseph Pierce
Emily Johnson
Maria Hupfield
Catherine Tammaro
*********************

5. Saturday May 9 1:45-3:30

Session Title: Two Spirit, Trans and Queer Land Relations

Session Abstract: This special session brings together Two Spirit, Trans, and Queer scholars, community members and land defenders to discuss visions and practices of creating good land relations. How have Two Spirit, Trans, and Queer communities contributed to and even been crucial to land defense? How are good intergenerational land relations being built in cities and across territories?  What practices and pedagogies of healing, desire, and future-making are moving, or need to move, between land education, harm reduction, and 2SLGBTQ+ movements?  Thinking backwards and forwards at once, this special section will share visions and teachings for connecting land and body sovereignties.

Panelists:
Alex Wilson, University of Saskatchewan
Gwen Benaway, University of Toronto
Anne Spice, CUNY Graduate Center
Uahikea Maile, University of Toronto

Special Side Event

Friday May 8 10:00-4:00 pm

Session Title: Indigenous Russia 

Indigenous Russia is a free one-day “side event” taking place on-site at NAISA 2020. Indigenous scholars, leaders, and activists from Russia will be providing information on their work with the goal of establishing new relationships for future international collaboration. Most discussion will take place in English, but Russian-English translation will be provided. For more, including list of speakers, see: https://indigenousrussia.com

Please send inquiring to: IndigenousRussia.NAISA2020@gmail.com

LHC Special Events:

1. Opening of the Annual Meeting

All NAISA attendees, guests, university partners, and delegates from nearby Indigenous communities are invited to attend this unforgettable opening to the annual meeting. Remarks from territorial hosts, local host committee members, university officials, NAISA Council members, and other speakers will help to welcome guests and open our conference in a good way. 
When:  Thursday May 7th 2020, 8:00 a.m.-9:30 a.m.
Where: Convocation Hall, 31 King’s College Circle, University of Toronto

2. Local Host Committee Welcome Reception

The NAISA 2020 Tkaronto Local Host Committee welcomes all conference attendees to our Opening Reception held in the historic Hart House Great Hall.  
A cash bar will be available.
When:  Thursday May 7th 2020, 5:30-7:30 p.m.
Where: Hart House Great Hall, 7 Hart House Circle, University of Toronto
Cost:    Free

3. Mentoring Lunches

On days 2 and 3 of the meeting, the local host committee has designed a lunch setting meant to facilitate mentoring conversations across emerging, early career, mid-career, and established scholars. Meet other scholars in other places in their scholarly journeys. Connect, share stories, get advice, and gain layers of support across generations of Indigenous studies scholars.

When:  Lunch #1) Friday May 8th 2020, 12:00-1:30 p.m.
Lunch #2) Saturday May 9th 2020, 12:00-1:30 p.m.
Where:  Massey College Dining Room 4 Devonshire Pl, Toronto, ON M5S 2E1
(a short walk from the conference session locations)
Cost: Free

4. 2 Spirit, Trans and Queer Lunch  

The 2STQ Lunch is intended to facilitate relation and kinship building among Two-Spirit, Trans and Queer Indigenous peoples at NAISA 2020. Following the first 2STQ gathering at last year’s conference in Aotearoa, we wish to welcome our 2STQ relations to Tkaronto on May 7 for lunch and to hold space for each other. This year we intend to work together to discuss and document our collective efforts in queering both NAISA and Indigenous studies. There will be time to eat and socialize, and a facilitated component to gather our ideas. We hope you will join us! 

This event is a prioritized space for those who identify as Two-Spirit, Trans and Queer Indigenous peoples at NAISA.

Capacity for the lunch is 120
(note: 120 guests, 10 extra seats for volunteers, organizers, facilitators)
When: Thursday May 7th 2020, 12:00 p.m.-1:30
Where: Massey College Dining Room, 4 Devonshire Pl, Toronto, ON M5S 2E1
(a short walk from the conference session locations)
Cost: Free

5. Unceded Dancefloors – 2 Spirit, Trans and Queer Indigenous Evening 

In the grand tradition of Indigenous activist-led dance parties, NAISA 2020 Tkaronto is honoured to help launch Unceded Dancefloors, a Two Spirit, Trans and Queer Indigenous dance party.* Following the NAISA opening receptions on May 7, at 10:00pm the lights go down and our intentions go up: the celebration of 2STQ love and kinship on a sweaty dance floor activated by Indigenous DJs and performers. Our Welcome into Good Relation with Lands, Water, and Each Other in Tkaronto provides a framework for gathering at NAISA and we extend this philosophy to Unceded Dancefloors. Our hope is that the party becomes a catalyst for building kinship within 2STQ communities that continues to support 2STQ activist movements as a legacy long after the conference ends. Hence, proceeds from the inaugural Unceded Dancefloors will support Wet’suwet’en’ Land Defenders of the Unist’ot’en Camp and Gidimt’en Access Point. 

In order to centre 2STQ peoples we invite those who do not identify as 2STQ to arrive with the consent of people they intend to support and act in a manner that prioritizes the comfort and safety of 2STQ peoples.** Details on accessibility are forthcoming. Alcohol and non-alcohol based drinks will be available for purchase. We intend to hold each other accountable for behavior in this space and reserve the right to ask people to leave if they engage in oppressive behaviour or language.

*Our name came to us—A manifestation of our ancestral 2STQ relations that hold us to land and each other. Like the tribal drum, the heartbeat of any nation can be measured in its dance footsteps. We never ceded our Land. We never ceded our culture. And tonight we move our bodies and honour our spirits on Unceded Dancefloors.

**We show gratitude to the organizers of New Ho Queen for providing this language.

When: Thursday May 7th 2020, 8:00 p.m.-
Where: TBD
Cost: Free

6. Traditional Teachers and Community Elders Day and Lunch

This day features special programming and meetings for people who are recognized as traditional teachers and/or Elders in their communities. Part of the day will be spent considering questions posed from graduate students. Topics of discussion may include the role of traditional teachers in universities; supporting queer, trans, and two-spirit youth and adults; addressing racism and antiblackness in our communities; sustaining our own learning; and sharing stories about meaningful teachings and practice

When: Thursday May 7th 2020, 12:00 p.m.-1:30
Where: Myhal Building, Rm. 370
Cost: Free

7. Emerging Indigenous Creativity & Design: NAISA Graduate Student Gathering 2020

Ryerson University is proud to be hosting a NAISA reception for graduate students and their supporters, presented by the Faculty of Communication & Design and the Yeates School of Graduate Studies. The event, “Emerging Indigenous Creativity & Design,” will transform the 8th floor of the new Sheldon & Tracy Levy Student Learning Centre, which features stunning views of downtown Toronto.The evening will celebrate the work of Indigenous creatives and consist of local Indigenous food, music, performance art, film and VR screenings, and the unveiling of a new NAISA 2020 mural sponsored by the Ryerson University Library.  Shuttles from Conference location to Ryerson will be available.

When: Thursday May 7th 2020, 7:00PM – 10:00PM
Where: Ryerson University, Sheldon & Tracy Levy Student Learning Centre 341 Yonge St, Toronto, ON, 8th Floor
Cost:  Free
Please RSVP, Guests will be admitted into event based on Guest List
View the event poster

8. Encounters at the Edge of the Woods

Encounters at the “Edge of the Woods” theatre production explores the restor(y)ation of treaty relationships using Indigenous practices of storyweaving through deep connections to the land. Led by Indigenous educator and artist Jill Carter, the piece will include performers and creators from all over the city who will use their personal stories and experiences to compose Encounters at the “Edge of the Woods”. This production will take place in the Helen Gardiner Phelan Playhouse, University of Toronto, 79 St. George St. and is generously sponsored by the University of Toronto, Faculty of Arts and Science.

When: 2 shows  
1) Wednesday May 6th 2020, 8:00PM – 10:00PM
2) Friday May 8th 2020, 8:00PM – 10:00PM

Where: Helen Gardiner Phelan Playhouse, University of Toronto, 79 St. George St
Cost: Free to Conference registrants

  • Tickets are free to NAISA 2020 Conference registrants
  • Tickets are $15.00 each for non-Conference registrants
  • Please reserve your tickets on the NAISA Conference Registration site

9. Tipi Confessions

Tipi Confessions Presents: The Indigenous World View

Tipi Confessions, an Indigenized spin-off of the popular Austin BedPost Confessions show, will do an on-stage adaptation of the TV show, The View.
Like The View, our version, The Indigenous WorldView will host lively discussion, “mixing humor with intelligent debate.” Unlike the televised talkshow, our “Hot Topic” is centred around a frank multi-standpoint conversation on sex, sexuality, and gender, and how these are contemporary manifestations of Indigenous intelligence.

In addition to The Indigenous WorldView, we will feature performers and storytellers from the Toronto/Tkoronto area. We may also draw performers from among attendees of the Native American and Indigenous Studies Association (NAISA) annual meeting (May 7-9, 2020).

A full list of performers will be posted closer to the event date.
Still interested in performing? We are accepting and reviewing submissions up to March 20, 2020. Learn more about the call for stories and submission process here.

When: Date: Friday, May 8, 2020
Time: Doors: 7:30PM, Show: 8:00PM
Where: 190 Auditorium, OCADU, 100 A McCaul St, Toronto, ON M5T 1W1 Toronto, ON, Canada
Cost: Sliding scale rate: $15-$25

Recommended guidelines:

  • Student/community member $15
  • Junior faculty $20
  • Senior faculty $25

Purchase tickets link: www.eventbrite.ca/e/tipi-confessions-presents-the-indigenous-worldview-tickets-98029622239