Settler & Un-Settling Studies

Spirituality as Land, Story, & Relation

In the fall of 2020, together with my friend and Concordia university colleague Professor Christine Jamieson (Boothroyd-Nlaka’pamux First Nation) we hosted four public online events with Indigenous speakers: Dr. Niigaanwewidam James Sinclair, Sonia Bonspille Boileau, Suzanne Methot, and Skydancer Louise Halfe. You can find all the information, and the links to their wonderful presentations, here.



Walking Territorial Acknowledgements

In 2020 together with Ken Wilson (University of Regina, see his blog here) I presented a paper on the perils and promise of living out the increasingly common practice of “territorial recognitions” by getting to know local Indigenous groups and learning with our bodies to respect the territories which are theirs. That presentation turned into a book chapter soon to be published. You can watch a video of our presentation here.

You can also read a shorter summary of some of the arguments in The Conversation: Canada.

Aware-Settler Exegesis of Biblical Texts

In February 2019 I gave the talk  below to a group at the University of Sheffield UK. It concerns the ways that those of us who are Settler or Settler-descended can do biblical exegesis differently when aware of that status, of land, and of the stories that have covered over oppression. The talk is below – the academic article that came out from this talk is available in the Journal of Interdisciplinary Biblical Studies, here.

Concordia to Kahnawà:ke walks

From 2014 through to 2019 Professor Sara Terreault, Professor Christine Jamieson, and I have led groups of Concordia students on walks from Concordia to Kahnawà:ke Kanien’ke:ha (Mohawk) territory, or made the walk along the St-Lawrence Seaway from Kahnawà:ke to Concordia. You can learn more about these walks here.

Book chapters on Settler-Colonial or Aware-settler issues:

In 2018 and 2020, two books came out, to which I had contributed chapters about settler-Indigenous pilgrimage on Indigenous Land. Here’s the information:

2020                “Settler-Aware” Pilgrimage and Reconciliation: The Treaty Four Canadian Context,” in Peace Journeys: A New Direction in Religious Tourism and Pilgrimage Research, eds. Ian S. McIntosh, Nour Farra Haddad and Dane Munro, 98-120. Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Press.

2018                “Pilgrimage and the Challenging of a Canadian Foundational Myth,” in Pilgrimage in Practice: Narration, Reclamation and Healing, eds. Ian S. McIntosh, E. Moore Quinn and Vivienne Keely. CABI Publishing.

Doctrine of Discovery Discussion (2016)

In February 2016, I helped organize an evening of discussion about the so-called “Doctrine of Discovery”. Two of our three panelists were First Nations: Raymond Aldred, of the Vancouver School of Theology, a treaty eight Nêhiyaw (Cree,) and Kenneth Deer is Kanien’ke:ha, and secretary of the Traditional Longhouse of the Mohawk Nation, at Kahnawà:ke. The third panelist was Dr Allen Jorgenson of Martin Luther University College, Waterloo ON. The discussion was moderated by David Schulze, whose law firm in Montreal represents a number of First Nations in their land claims cases in Canadian courts. The link above is a more or less the full video of the evening.

Treaty Four and Treaty Six Pilgrimages

In 2015, with the help and guidance of Hugh Henry and the Saskatchewan History and Folklore Society, I helped initiate the first of subsequent, nearly annual walks along traditional territories on Treaty Four and Treaty Six territory. The walks were along The Traders’ Road/North-West Mounted Police Patrol Trail trek (2015) video and podcast 1 and podcast 2; and the Battleford Trail (2017) video; as well as the Frenchman Trail (2018). Nêhiyaw, Métis, and Canadians like myself, of settler background, walked together. Check the links above for more details!