INDIGENOUS KNOWLEDGE FORUM
The Ipperwash Inquiry organized a two-day Indigenous Knowledge Forum on Wednesday, October 13 and Thursday, October 14, 2004 at the Forest Golf and Country Hotel in Forest, Ontario.
The purpose of the Forum was primarily educational. It was designed to educate members of the Commission, counsel, parties, and other participants in these proceedings about the traditions practised and beliefs held by Aboriginal people.
The Forum supplements and provides context for some of the evidence the Inquiry has heard and is likely to hear from Aboriginal witnesses. The Forum was designed to ensure that all participants in the Inquiry have some exposure to a worldview that is different in many respects to that held by non-Aboriginal Canadians. The Forum will also likely to assist the Inquiry reach accurate and well-informed understandings of the events of 1995 and the circumstances surrounding those events.
The Commissioner will not be making any findings concerning the information heard at the Forum.
The Forum itself was conducted, to a large extent, in accordance with the Aboriginal traditions and beliefs.
Wally McKay from the Sachigo Lake First Nation facilitated the Forum. The presenters included:
Elder Merle Assance-Beedie;
Bruce Elijah of the Oneida of the Thames;
Dr. Leroy Little Bear from the Small Robes Band of the Blood Indian Tribe of the Blackfoot Confederacy;
Professor Susan Hill from the Six Nations of the Grand River; and,
Thomas White of the Whitefish Bay First Nation.