There's Always Something Happening!
The Centre for Aboriginal Initiatives and the Aboriginal Studies Program work together to provide innovative programming, giving students the opportunity to learn from authors, scholars and teachers at the forefront of Indigenous research and thought.

News & Events

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Every year, the Centre for Aboriginal Initiatives (CAI), together with the Aboriginal Studies Program (ABS), develops programming to enhance student experience and compliment course curriculum. CAI and ABS invite scholars, authors and teachers at the forefront of Indigenous research and thought to conduct workshops, lectures, keynote presentations, and student lunch discussions.  This year, CAI will present two main series with events throughout the 2013/2014 academic year:

Speech Acts and Joyous Utterances: Translating, Teaching, Learning and Living, Indigenous Tribalographies

JHI Speech Acts

Speech Acts and Joyous Utterances is a series of keynote presentations and workshops being held in each season of 2013/2014 and culminating in a conference on Translating, Teaching, Learning and Living. Sponsored by the  Jackman Humanities Institute Program for the Arts, Speech Acts and Joyous Utterances was designed and developed by Jill Carter and is being curated by Jill Carter and Connor Pion in collaboration with the Centre for Aboriginal Initiatives and the Aboriginal Studies Program.

2013/2014 CAI Speaker Series

2013-2014 Speaker Series Poster

The CAI Speaker Series presents students with an opportunity to learn from inspiring community leaders, researchers, and scholars. Upcoming speakers include:

  • Jeff Corntassel, University of Victoria, Author of Forced Federalism: Contemporary Challenges to Indigenous Nationhood
  • Brent Debassige, University of Western, Reconceptualization of Research, Literacy and Education
  • Heather Howard, Michigan State University, Principle Investigator for Transforming Diabetes in Urban Aboriginal Toronto
  • Robin Wall-Kimmerer, State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry, Author of Gathering Moss:  A Natural and Cultural History of Mosses



News & Announcements

Aboriginal Studies Program, University of Toronto

The Eagle Feather design was chosen to represent balance, sharing, knowledge and vision, all of which are important values to the Aboriginal Studies Program at the University of Toronto. The arrows outward and inward represent learning and teaching that expands from the past into the present, and moves towards the future from the centre, which is a Medicine Wheel. The Medicine Wheel represents many concepts including the four directions, seasons, the life cycle, and all nations of people. The colours white, yellow, red and black represent the unity of all nations, encouraging us to work together in kindness and respect, and to move all of life forward in a good way...
The medicine wheel represents a holistic, traditional knowledge approach to education, which is at the heart of the Aboriginal Studies Program. The seven circles represent the Seven Grandfathers teachings, Seven Generations, and also the Seven Stages of Life. The blue represents the sky realm where the Eagle travels in the four directions ensuring that Aboriginal ways of life and knowing are protected and strengthened. The Eagle exemplifies recognition for the work done by individuals, families, communities and nations with the gift of one of its feathers. To be gifted an Eagle Feather is considered the highest honour. It also represents humility and respect. The Aboriginal Studies Program at the University of Toronto is recognized for providing excellence in teaching and enabling student achievements, as well as acknowledging its responsibility to strengthen and maintain community partnerships through teaching, learning and research initiatives.

Debby Danard Wilson
Rainy River First Nations
Aboriginal Studies Alumnae and Visual Artist