29 - 30 Nov 2018


All Day



Extractive Industries, Governance and Indigenous Rights: Spaces of Struggle and Social innovation


Fully engaged in national and international debates on the natural resource extraction industry, the Interdisciplinary Research Group on the Territories of Extractivism (GRITE) includes 12 researchers and more than 20 graduate students from various units in the University of Ottawa’s Faculty of Social Sciences (International Development and Global Studies, Political Studies, Sociology, and Anthropology) and Faculty of Law (Civil Law and Common Law). The primary objective of GRITE is to stimulate the exchange of critical knowledge between various sectors on the many issues that the growth of the extractive industry raises, both in Canada and abroad.

The GRITE 29-30 November 2018 international conference-workshop has two key objectives: 1) an in-depth analysis of the nature of the socio-environmental conflicts and governance challenges that the extractive industry raises, and of the strategies and practices that impacted communities have developed to face them;  and 2) the formulation of policy recommendations to address these challenges and conflicts. It brings together world-renowned academic experts on indigenous rights in extractive contexts, governmental and civil society representatives, and Indigenous leaders.

The event consists of 3 panels, 3 round tables, and 1 policy meeting. In the panels, academic experts will focus on identifying the factors at the source of socio-environmental conflicts in extractive contexts. Then they will examine what, politically and legally at the international, national or local level, ensures the protection of the rights of the Indigenous peoples affected by extractive development – including the right to free, prior and informed consent. Panelists will finally focus on identifying the innovations that different actors are developing to protect these rights (such as strategic litigation, or new forms of public participation in decision-making processes).

The roundtables will take the form of discussion groups led by a GRITE member; they will seek to mobilize the knowledge of the academic experts in the panels that precede them to produce recommendations for policy action in collaboration with members of governmental, civil society, and Indigenous sectors. This cross-sectoral dialogue will culminate in the policy meeting where participants will share their thoughts on the recommendations made in the roundtables, and then reflect on policy and legal reforms required to ensure that the extractive industry is more respectful of the rights, aspirations, and practices of the Indigenous peoples affected by their activities.


Thursday, November 29, 2018

9:00-9:20. Opening Ceremony by an Anishnaabe Elder
9:20-9:30. Welcome from the organizers Willow Scobie and Karine Vanthuyne
9:30-10:00. Opening Conference: Ghislain Picard, Assembly of First Nations Quebec-Labrador
10:00-10:15Health break
10:15-11:30. Panel I: Extractivism and Socio-Environmental Conflicts

Chair: Marie-Josée Massicotte, University of Ottawa, Canada

  • Dana E. Powell, Anthropology, Appalachian State University, United States
  • Thierry Rodon, Université Laval, Canada
  • Warren Bernauer, University of Manitoba, Canada

11:30-11:45 Health break
11:45-1:00 pm. Roundtable I: Preventing Conflicts in Extractive Contexts

Chair: Marie-Dominik Langlois, University of Ottawa, Canada

  • Monique Manatch, Algonquians of Barriere Lake
  • Carole Brazeau, First People’s Justice Centre of Montreal
  • Jamie Kneen, Mining Watch Canada

1:00 pm-2:30 pm Lunch

2:30-3:45 pmPanel II: Deregulation and Protection of Indigenous Rights in Extractive Contexts

Chair: Christopher Huggins, University of Ottawa, Canada

  • Kate Gunn, University of British Columbia, Canada
  • Ali Saleem, University of Delaware, United States
  • Jon Matthias Ahren, Faculty of Law, Arctic University of Norway, Norway

3:45-4:00 pm. Health break

4:00-5:15 pm. Round Table II: Defending Indigenous Rights in Extractive Contexts

Chair: Salvador Herencia, University of Ottawa, Canada

  • Maurice J. Kistabish, Conseil de la Première Nation Abitibiwinni
  • Sergio Campusano, Comunidad Agrícola de Los Diaguitas Huasco Altinos, Chile
  • Tara Scurr, Amnesty International, Canada

18:30: Reception at the Wabano Centre (by invitation only)


Friday, November 2018

9:00–9:30: Opening Conference: Linda L. Shecapio, Cree Women of Eeyou Istchee Association
9:30-10:45: Panel III: Social Innovations in Protecting Indigenous Rights in Extractive Contexts

Chair: Karine Vanthuyne, University of Ottawa, Canada

  • Viviane Weitzner, McGill University, Canada
  • Charles Menzies, Anthropology, University of British Columbia, Canada
  • Martin Papillon, Political Science, University of Montreal, Canada

10:45-11:00 Health break

11:00 – 12:15 Panel III: Innovating to Protect Indigenous Rights in Extractive Contexts

Chair: Zoé Boirin-Fargues, University of Ottawa, Canada

  • Olivier Courtemanche, Institut de développement durable des Premières Nations du Québec et du Labrador
  • Gisele Eva Côté, Impact
  • Rafael Maldonado, human rights lawyer, Guatemala

12:15 -13:15 Lunch
13:15 -13:45 Opening Conference: Romeo Saganash
13:45 – 16:45 Policy Meeting
16:45-17:00 Closing Ceremony by an Anishnaabe Elder


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