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Wellington Water Watchers (WWW) is working to become a better ally with indigenous peoples in water protection. WWW is organizing a series of activities in 2019 to support this goal.
One activity for 2019 is a reading group. I am writing to invite you to be part of a reading group to consider On Being Here to Stay: Treaty and Aboriginal Rights in Canada, by Michael Asch.
WWW will host a meeting to organize the reading group at 7pm on Tuesday January 29 in the Heritage Room, 2nd Floor at 42 Carden Street in Guelph.
Matthew Glass will provide a brief overview of the themes of the book, and facilitate the reading group. Matthew, a volunteer with WWW, has a long history teaching at U.S. and Canadian universities, in religious studies, philosophy, environmental studies, and law. His research, teaching and consulting have focused on conflicts between settler and indigenous populations in North America.
This is WWW’s first attempt at a reading group and so we are asking for your advice on how it should be organized.
- Should the group meet weekly or bi-weekly?
- For how many weeks?
- Which day and what time of day?
- How long should meetings be?
- What are the expectations and guidelines for participation in a reading group?
The first reading group can accommodate up to 15 people (although there is the possibility of having two concurrent groups).
Elephants in the Room – A Reading Group on Indigenous and Settler Relations
‘Elephants in the Room’ is a forum to explore the many competing claims surrounding issues of Indigenous land rights in Canada. The first book the group will read is anthropologist Michael Asch’s On Being Here to Stay: Treaty and Aboriginal Rights in Canada.
Asch examines the history of treaties made in Canada with an eye to their implications for our present choices regarding the kind of society we wish to create, as well as for understanding better the kind of society our forebears created.
Asch raises hard questions so that we can address them ourselves; no holds barred, nothing up the sleeves, all cards on the table. His writing is clear, though admittedly somewhat academic, as he seeks to consider the integrity of our most basic political and legal assumptions regarding relations between settler and indigenous peoples in Canada.
If you struggle to make sense out of the swirl of competing claims regarding these issues that fill Canadian airwaves and streets, and find yourself wrestling with awkward questions and uncomfortable trains of thought about their implications, this reading group is for you.