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Call for contributions: Indigenous Peoples and human rights

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Call for contributions 
Indigenous Peoples and human rights: A dialogue

From February 21 to 23, 2018, the Ontario Human Rights Commission and Osgoode Hall Law School of York University, in collaboration with Indigenous knowledge keepers, academics and organizations, will host and engage in a dialogue to explore both Indigenous and Western constitutional legal and policy approaches to “human rights” and “equality.” Event organizers include staff from the Chiefs of Ontario as well as Indigenous academics Karen Drake (Métis Nation of Ontario, Osgoode Hall Law School, York University) and Jeffery Hewitt (Cree, Faculty of Law, University of Windsor).

At this event, the perspectives of diverse Indigenous Peoples will be at the forefront. The dialogue will gather together Indigenous knowledge keepers, Elders, academics, political and government leaders, advocates, lawyers, policy makers, activists, artists, youth and human rights institutions to discuss these questions:

  • What are Indigenous perspectives of human rights?
  • What might Indigenous worldviews, constitutions and laws contribute to the ongoing evolution of human rights?
  • How can federal and provincial statutory human rights institutions, including commissions, tribunals and legal service organizations, adapt their processes to better advance Indigenous Peoples’ human rights? What, if any, amendments would be required to existing human rights legislation to ensure Indigenous Peoples’ human rights are better protected?
  • What are the most effective ways to implement a broad range of human rights set out in the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) at the federal and provincial levels? What legal or policy considerations should be addressed?

The dialogue will generate ideas for enhancing human rights approaches for Indigenous Peoples.

Request for proposals  

The organizers are currently accepting proposals for contributions for the dialogue. Contributions should respond to at least one of the four discussion questions posed above and could include papers (not to exceed 5000 words), presentations, performances, artistic works and teachings. Preference will be given to contributions that follow a culture-based community-driven research framework such as the USAI (Utility, Self-voicing,  Access, Inter-Relationality) Framework developed by the Ontario Federation of Indigenous Friendship Centres.

Proposal guidelines and process

Proposals should be no longer than three pages and include:

  • Name, title and contact information (including phone number, email and postal address)
  • Brief biography explaining your interest and background in this subject area
  • The discussion question(s) that your contribution will relate to
  • An explanation of whether and, if so, how the contribution follows a culture-based community-driven research framework   
  • For paper contributions, an outline of the proposed topic and a breakdown of issues to be explored
  • For contributions other than papers, a description of your contribution.

Selected contributions will be integrated into the dialogue program and the travel expenses of contributors will be paid for.

The organizers will make best efforts to publish academic papers in a peer-reviewed format. However, note that not all proposals accepted for presentation will necessarily be published thereafter.  

The organizers will also consider ways that contributions other than academic papers could be promoted in collaboration with the contributors.

The deadline to submit  proposals is extended to Monday, December 4, 2017.

Selected proposals will be confirmed by Monday, December 18, 2017.  

Please email proposals to:

Shaheen Azmi Ph.D.,
Director, Policy, Education, Monitoring & Outreach,
Ontario Human Rights Commission