Episode 8: Indigenous Environmental Knowledge and Politics
In this week's episode, we are joined by Larry McDermott (Shabot Obaadjiwan First Nation), Executive Director of Plenty Canada and Dr. Dan Longboat (Turtle Clan member of the Mohawk Nation), Associate Professor at the Chanie Wenjack School for Indigenous Studies at Trent University. Dan and Larry discuss lessons for sustainability inherent in Indigenous knowledges as well as Indigenous interpretations of the Royal Proclamation of 1763 and other early treaties between their peoples and the British Crown. Together, we explore how reconciliation involves reinvigorating the reciprocal relationships Indigenous peoples have practiced for centuries to protect and honour what Anishnaabe refer to as Minobimaatisiiwin -- 'the good life'.
Dr. Dan Longboat
Associate Professor, Chanie Wenjack School for Indigenous Studies, Trent University
(Shabot Obaadjiwan First Nation), Executive Director of Plenty Canada
Professor, Department of Political Science, Carleton University
Dr. Dan Longboat
Dan is a Turtle Clan member of the Mohawk Nation and a citizen of the Rotinonshón:ni (Haudenosaunee - People of the Longhouse), originally from Ohsweken - the Six Nations community on the Grand River. Dan is an Associate Professor in the Chanie Wenjack School for Indigenous Studies at Trent University, founding Director of the Indigenous Environmental Science/Studies program (IESS) and acting Director of the newly formed Indigenous Environmental Institute (IEI). He was also the first Director of Studies of Trent’s Indigenous Studies Ph.D. program. Dan designed and developed the IESS program - the first of its kind on Turtle Island. Granting both B.A. and B.Sc. degrees since 2009, the IESS program is an innovative and multidisciplinary undergraduate program that brings together principles of both Indigenous and Western (or neo-European/colonial) Knowledge systems for both Indigenous and non-Indigenous learners. It is based on a collaborative partnership between university departments. Unique IESS courses, along with courses in Indigenous Studies and Environmental Resource Studies and Sciences, form the curriculum.
Dan is celebrated for his Traditional Rotinonshón:ni Knowledge and embeds this into his teaching and in developing the IESS program ongoing. Dan also acts as a cultural advisor and instructor for several programs at the First Nations Technical Institute, Ryerson University and several Ontario universities and colleges. Dr. Longboat has a B.A. from Trent University in Native Studies with a special interest in Human Psychology. Dan completed his M.E.S and Ph.D. in Environmental Studies at York University where his dissertation, The Haudenosaunee Archipelago: The Nature and Necessity of Bio-Cultural Restoration and Revitalization won the Faculty of Graduate Studies prize in 2009.
Larry McDermott is Algonquin from Shabot Obaadjiwan First Nation, and is the Executive Director of Plenty Canada. Larry is currently a member of numerous organizations including the International Indigenous Forum for Biodiversity the Canadian Environmental Network, UNESCO, and the Ontario Recovery Strategy for the American Eel. A former three-time Mayor and long-time council member of Lanark Highlands, was the first Chair of the Rural Forum of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, was a Commissioner for the Ontario Human Rights Commission, and was on the Ontario Species at Risk Public Advisory Committee. Larry also served as a comprehensive claim representative for Shabot Obaadjiwan First Nation, is a certified tree marker and butternut assessor, and holds other environmental certifications. He has also received an Honorary Doctorate of Laws from the University of Guelph. Larry was a humble student for many years of the late Algonquin Elder, Grandfather William Commanda, who created the Circle of All Nations organization. Larry lives in a 170-year-old log home on 500 acres of biologically diverse Algonquin land along the Mississippi River with his wife Nancy.