Community Research and Learning


Coming soon


Citizenship and Governance Project, Aseniwuche Winewak Nation

From 2019 to 2020, WLGL partnered with AWN working on a major project developing a Citizenship Code. Community Coordinators, Kristal Chowace, Stuart McDonald and Cathy Wanyandie conducted over 300 self identification surveys for this work, the results of which were compiled and analyzed. In the summer of 2019, Kristal, Cathy and Stuart were joined by WLGL research students, Evann Goltz and Mark Tripe de Roche, to return the results, along with clear language legal information resources, back to the community. The team made 70 home visits to share information and gather peoples' ideas and concerns to inform a draft code. Another key element of this project was interviews of Elders and knowledge-holders to learn more about 7 Cree principles the Elder’s Council had identified as foundational to AWN, by Johanne Johnson, then WLGL research assistant and longtime colleague of AWN. The 7 Cree Principles can be found on the AWN website. The outcome of this project was a final report as well as a draft code for AWN to use toward their citizenship and governance goals as a community.

Wahkohtowin Laws and Governance Lodge Wisdom Workshop
Bill C-92: An Act Respecting First Nations, Inuit, and Métis Children, Youth and Families (March 6, 2020)

On March 6, we were delighted to host another Wisdom Workshop at the University of Alberta Faculty of Law. 54 participants from DFNAs, First Nations, urban Indigenous agencies and law firms across Alberta and BC came together to learn from and with each other about Bill C-92.

Wahkohtowin Laws and Governance Workshop (December 8-10, 2019)

On December 8-10th, 2019, we hosted our second #wahkohtowin Methods Workshop at the University of Alberta Faculty of Law. Our focus was on Child and Family Wellbeing laws and strategies relating to #BillC92: An Act Respecting First Nations, Inuit, and Métis Children, Youth and Families, which came into force January 1, 2020.

We were honoured to have almost 50 participants from a wide variety of backgrounds, including DFNA directors, lawyers, students, social workers, leaders, advocates, professors and more, who came from communities, nations and organizations right across Canada to share and learn from one another on this important subject.

Methods included the Story Analysis (ILRU) method, the Linguistic Method, and our first ever Wisdom Workshop! This Methods workshop was made possible by funding through a CTA#50 Justice and Partnership Innovation Grant from the Department of Justice, Canada.

Public Talk: Bill C-92: The Good, the Bad & the Unknowns (November 6, 2019)

This public talk, by Dr. Cindy Blackstock and Dr. Hadley Friedland, presented on Bill C-92: An Act Respecting First Nations, Inuit and Métis Children, Youth and Families, which came into force January 1, 2020, setting national standards and recognizing Indigenous jurisdiction over Indigenous child and family services.

This event was a collaboration between First Nations Children's Action Research and Education Service, Faculty of Law, Wahkohtowin Law and Governance Lodge, Indigenous Law Students' Association, Faculty of Native Studies, and Faculty of Education and attracted over 200 people. Dr. Shalene Jobin, WLGL Co-Lead, moderated the discussion.

Wahkohtowin Laws and Governance Workshop (May 2019)

Dr. Val Napoleon and Dr. Rebecca Johnson, of the University of Victoria Indigenous Law Research Unit (ILRU), joined the Lodge to co-facilitate a highly interactive two and a half day workshop that introduced participants to some of the practical challenges, sources, resources and methods for engaging with Indigenous legal and governance principles today.

This workshop is a core component of UVic ILRU community partnered projects and includes introductory training in the ILRU method (developed by Val Napoleon and Hadley Friedland) for identifying and articulating Indigenous laws. At the May 2019 workshop, participants were also introduced to the IGP method for revitalizing governance work, which we are bringing together as another core approach in the Wahkohtowin Lodge.

Wahkohtowin Law and Governance Lodge Official Launch (May 2019)

"With a hands-on, eye-opening workshop in which participants learned the basic steps of two methods for identifying and working with Indigenous law and governance principles, the University of Alberta's Wahkohtowin Law and Governance Lodge officially launched late last month."

Community Service Learning - partnership with Aseniwuche Winewak Nation (January-April 2019)

In Native Studies 445/550 (Community Development Processes/Research Practicum in Native Studies) taught by Dr. Jobin, undergraduate and graduate students collectively contributed over 400 hours towards four group projects in collaboration with Aseniwuche Winewak Nation:

  • Membership and Citizenship
  • Constitutions
  • Governance Models

Faculty of Native Studies graduate student, Johanne Johnson, was hired to coordinate the projects.

ᐘᐦᑯᐦᑐᐏᐣ wahkohtowin/ ᒥᔪ ᐑᒉᐦᑐᐏᐣ miyo-wîcêhtowin Principles and Practice course (June 2017)

The Cree concept of wahkohtowin (roughly: our inter-relatedness and interdependence) has been a central tenet of Cree law, philosophy, spirituality and politics for centuries. In this unique summer intensive course (NS 403/NS 503/Law 599), guided by professors, Elders, and knowledge-keepers within a community setting, students actively engaged with Indigenous - particularly Cree - legal and governance concepts from a land-based perspective.

The course included an on-the-land camp that took place over three days in Aseniwuche Winewak territory and was structured around a central pedagogy of the traditional tanning of a moose hide.