Indigenous Environmental Justice, Knowledge and Law: 2019 Katherine A.H. Graham Lecture on Indigenous Policy
About the speaker
Deborah McGregor is Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Environmental Justice and an Associate Professor at York University’s Osgoode Hall and cross-appointed with the Faculty of Environmental Studies. Her research is focused on Indigenous knowledge systems and their various applications in diverse contexts including water and environmental governance, environmental justice, forest policy and management, and sustainable development.
Prior to joining Osgoode, McGregor was an associate professor in the Department of Geography at the University of Toronto and served as Director of the Centre for Aboriginal Initiatives and the Aboriginal Studies program. She has also served as Senior Policy Advisor, Aboriginal Relations at Environment Canada-Ontario Region. In addition to such posts, McGregor remains actively involved in a variety of Indigenous communities, serving as an advisor and continuing to engage in community-based research and initiatives. McGregor is Anishinaabe from Whitefish River First Nation, Birch Island, Ontario.
About the lecture
This presentation will explore ideas around the potential for advancing environmental justice (EJ) through engaging with Indigenous intellectual and legal traditions. By grounding EJ in Indigenous epistemological and ontological foundations, a distinct and alternative EJ framework emerges. It is anticipated that such engagement will be lead to a renewed vision for achieving justice. In support of this goal, Dr. McGregor highlights the philosophy referred to by the Anishinabek as mino-naadmodzawin (“living well” or the “good life”), common to a number of Indigenous epistemologies, that considers the critical importance of mutually respectful and beneficial relationships not only among peoples, but among all our relations. Mino-naadmodzawin provides a foundation for standard of conduct that will be required if society is to begin engaging in appropriate relationships with all of Creation, thereby establishing a sustainable and just world.
The lecture will be preceded by a reception from 5:00-5:30 p.m. in the Richcraft Hall Atrium.