Indigenous-Settler Collections and Relations: A Learning Series at Victoria University

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About the Series

In a spirit of reconciliation and learning, Victoria University Library presents a series of events and conversations. Participants will engage with nineteenth-century archival documents and rare books associated with Indigenous communities and Indigenous-settler relations in Canada and at Victoria University. 

Additional readings and other resources on the topics explored in the series can be accessed via Quercus.

Nehiyaw (Cree) Syllabics & Decolonizing Archives


Join us in a conversation about the Nehiyaw Syllabics housed at Victoria University Library. We aim to use itas a case study related to the broader topic of decolonizing settler archives. 

The syllabics are a Nehiyaw (Cree) language system of writing that uses symbols to represent syllables. We will discuss Nehiyaw early and original accounts of how the syllabary was given to the community as a sacred gift. In addition, we will also discuss accounts that credit James Evans with developing the syllabary. The James Evans fonds at Victoria University Library currently houses syllabics and copies of a printed Nehiyaw syllabic hymn book.

Our panel includes Carmen Miedema and Walter Strong. Their biographies are provided below.

To provide background information and allow for an informed conversation, you may wish to review the following sources prior to the event:

Carmen Miedema is a Nehiyaw woman and mother of four from the Peepeekisis Cree Nation in Southern Saskatchewan. Carmen worked as a Digital Archive Assistant at the NCTR where she concentrated predominantly on the care of the Centre’s material object collections. Carmen holds a B.A. (Hons) in History and Anthropology from Brandon University; a M.A. in Archival Studies from the University of Manitoba, and is in the third year of her Ph.D. program through the Native Studies department at the University of Manitoba. Her master’s thesis looked at the need for settler archives to build relationships with Indigenous communities, and how relationships have the potential to benefit not only the archives but more importantly, the communities.

Walter Strong is an assignment producer for CBC North in Yellowknife. He was born in Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., but now calls the Northwest Territories home. Before becoming a producer he was a general assignment reporter privileged to report stories from the lands of the northern Dene, Inuit and Inuvialuit.

Date & Time 

Online event: Friday, 29 April, 2:30 pm–4:00pm EST.


Registration requiredFirst 10 registrants who attend will receive free coffee cards.

On the Development of Schools in the 19th Century and the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation


This event has two parts, an asynchronous learning activity and a live event. Both are related to the aspects of the history of the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation.

Asynchronous Activity (ongoing until April 29, 2022):

View the digitized 1844 petition requesting formal education for members of the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation and share your thoughts about this important historical artefact.
Access this learning module anytime by self-enrolling into this Quercus course:
Participants in the online discussion in Quercus will be entered into a draw for a thank you prize, a gift box from Raven Reads.

(Past) Online Event:

A discussion with Margaret Sault, Director of Lands, Membership and Research for the Mississauga of the Credit First Nation. Learn about some of this history and current activities of the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation from this esteemed MCFN Band Member.

Date & Time

Live event: Thursday, 31 March, 1:15 pm–2:15 pm EST.
Part of the Campus (Re)Conciliations Conference.

Victoria University & the Student Missionary Movement


The Methodist Church in Canada directly supported its missionary activities in Indigenous communities in the nineteenth and the twentieth centuries through its extensive publishing program. Indigenous preachers, teachers, and translators, as well as Victoria University students and alumni, authored books, journal articles, and reports that were distributed by William Briggs and other publishing bodies of the Church. These publications included manuals and advice books on how to conduct missionary work, which were used in the training of aspiring young missionaries.

There is an extensive print culture associated with the missionary activities of the Church, providing important historical evidence of the agenda to convert Indigenous People to Christianity in order to advance assimilation.

Join us for an informative session on the print culture associated with Indigenous-settler relations presented by Agatha Barc (Reader Services and Instruction Librarian) and facilitated by Jonathan Hamilton-Diabo (Assistant Professor of Theology, June Callwood Professor of Social Justice, and Special Advisor to the President, Indigenous Initiatives).

(Past) Online Event:

Online event: Tuesday, 26 April, 2:30 pm–4:00 pm EST.

Last updated: April 28, 2022