Canada 150 Symposium: Reflect and Envision

Canada 150 Symposium: Reflect and Envision Food Security/Borders/Indigenous Resistance

Thank you to all panelists and attendees for making the Canada 150 Symposium such a meaningful and memorable event.


Dates: Friday, October 27 and Saturday, October 28, 2017
Location: University of Guelph

The Canada 150 Symposium: Reflect and Envision - Food Security / Borders / Indigenous Resistance is an opportunity to come together as a community to reflect on what we can learn from our collective past to envision Canada's national and global role in the 21st century.  Throughout the symposium, delegates will have an opportunity to hear from a variety of individuals with experience and disciplinary strength in the fields of food security, trade, national security, and indigenous issues. 

This conference is an opportunity to continue the conversation that began 25 years ago when the University of Guelph hosted the 'Canada Break-up or Re-Structure: The Consequences of our Future' symposium. 

This is an important time for our country as we work to address national issues while playing an important role on the global stage. Join the conversation!


Friday, October 27 

Friday evening will be moderated by Paul Kennedy from CBC Ideas. The panelist discussions will be recorded live for a future episode of CBC Ideas, to be aired on November 16 and 23, 2017.

CBC Radio One logo.   CBC IDEAS logo. Arrell Food Institute logo.

Food Security: National and Global Perspectives
Time: 7:00 to 9:30 p.m. (Due to live taping, doors will close at 7:00 p.m.)
Location: War Memorial Hall
Description: A two-part panel discussion exploring the challenge of sustainably feeding the world's growing population and the challenge of Canadian and global food security.
Opening Address: Dr. Franco J. Vaccarino, President and Vice-Chancellor, University of Guelph

A. Global Perspectives

Moderator: Paul Kennedy, CBC Ideas 

Paul Kennedy.Paul Kennedy has been the host of Ideas since 1999 and has won national and international recognition for his work. His work engages what he describes as, "the core curriculum of contemporary culture." In the course of his work, he has travelled across Canada, throughout North America, to Europe, Asia and the Middle East. 

Paul has a BA from Queen's University, an MLitt from the University of Edinburgh, Scotland. He did post-graduate work at the University of Toronto where he studied with Marshall McLuhan. 

Tim Benton 

Tim Benton.Tim Benton is Professor of Population Ecology, School of Biology at University of Leeds. He is the expert in global food security from a system's perspective--from production, and its impacts on the environment, to trade, manufacturing and retail, and impacts on nutrition and health.

Since 2011, Benton has been UK Champion for Global Food Security, acting as ambassador and spokesperson for matters to do with food and food security, and coordinating work across this area between research councils and government departments. He is the member of the Worlds Economic Forum's Global Future Council on Food Security.

Tammara Soma  

Tammara Soma.Tammara Soma is the founder of the Food Systems Lab, and Pierre Elliot Trudeau Foundation Scholar. She investigates the factors that influence urban household food consumption and food wasting practices in Indonesia. She strives to make food system consideration (including sustainable food production, distribution, consumption and the management of food waste) essential to urban planning decision making.

As a self-professed food and social justice activist, Tammara is deeply committed to supporting the sustainable food movement. She has worked with organizations such as FoodShare Toronto, served on the steering committee of Food Secure Canada, and was one of the founding members and Vice-Chair of the Toronto Youth Food Policy Council. 

B. National Perspectives

Moderator: Dr. Evan Fraser, Director of the Arrell Food Institute, University of Guelph

Evan Fraser.Dr. Evan Fraser, Director of the Arrell Food Institute, University of Guelph, started thinking about agriculture and food systems while spending summers working on his grandfather's fruit farm in Niagara. Today, he holds the Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Global Food Security, is a Fellow of the Royal Canadian Geographic Society, and a professor of geography at the University of Guelph. Fraser has completed degrees in forestry, anthropology and agriculture at the University of British Columbia and the University of Toronto.

Evan began his academic career in 2003, at the University of Leeds, where he worked on farming and climate change. He is the author of approximately 70 scientific papers or book chapters, and has written for The Guardian, CNN, The Walrus and Ottawa Citizen. Fraser also authored 'Empires of Food: Feast, Famine and the Rise and Fall of Civilizations' (2010), which was shortlisted for the James Beard Food Literature Award.

Dawn Morrison 

Dawn Morrison is the Founder, Chair and Coordinator of the BC Food Systems Networking Group on Indigenous Food Sovereignty. Her Secwepemc heritage, along with her technical and practical background in horticulture and ethonobotany and her passion for environmental and cultural revitalization, lead her to a long lasting career in Aboriginal adult education and community self-development.

As a Community Self-Development Facilitator, Dawn works from a basis of indigenous food sovereignty and eco-cultural restoration, and has an educational background in the areas of horticulture, adult instruction, restoration of natural systems, and business management.

Bryan Gilvesy 

Bryan Gilvesy.ALUS Canada's CEO, Bryan Gilvesy, has been a tireless advocate for the ALUS concept over the last ten years. He is a champion for progressive, sustainable farming and ranching, having embraced these methods on his own farm, Y U Ranch.

Bryan holds a degree from the Richard Ivey School of Business at Western University, where he is Executive in Residence for Agriculture and Sustainability. Among his many awards are the Canadian Farmer-Rancher Pollinator Award, the Canadian Agri-Food Award of Excellence for Environmental Stewardship, the Beef Farmers of Ontario Environmental Stewardship Award, the Premier's Award for Agricultural Innovation, and the Ontario Environment Minister's Award for Environmental Excellence. His appointments have included the Ministers Species at Risk Advisory Council and the Ontario Bobolink Roundtable. He is also a past Chair of the Norfolk ALUS PAC and the Sustain Ontario Advisory Committee.

Bryan is based in Tillsonburg, Ontario.

Saturday, October 28 

Lunch will be held in Creelman Hall from 12:00 to 1:00 p.m. on Saturday.

University of Guelph Political Science logo.

Borders: National Security, Trade, Immigration & Citizenship
Time: 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
Location: War Memorial Hall

Description: Trade, citizenship and migration, and security were central to Canada's founding. Recent events, such as the NAFTA renegotiations, refugee claimants arriving from the US, and the return of foreign fighters from Syria, demonstrate that these issues remain critical to Canadian politics and identity.

Differences in opinion as to how to respond to these challenges reveal philosophical and political divides. The panel will explore these varied perspectives and will reflect on past policies and events as the basis for analyzing what will be done and what should be done in the areas of trade, citizenship and migration and security.

Moderator: David Akin, Chief Political Correspondent, Global News  

David Akin.Award-winning journalist David Akin covers Canadian federal and electoral politics and is currently Chief Political Correspondent for Global News where his work is featured on Global National, on Global News programs across the country, on Corus Radio stations and at

In his 35-year journalism career, Akin has been a member of the inaugural staff of the National Post, was a contributing writer for The Globe and Mail, and served as Parliamentary Bureau Chief for Sun Media. He has also been a parliamentary correspondent for CTV National News.

He has long been one of Canada's journalism pioneers when it comes to exploring ways to use digital and social media as well as computer-assisted tools for newsgathering and publishing.

Amarnath Amarasingam 
Amarnath Amarasingam.

Amarnath Amarasingam is a Senior Research Fellow at the Institute for Strategic Dialogue, a Fellow at The George Washington University's Program on Extremism, and Co-Directs a study of Western foreign fighters based at the University of Waterloo. He is the author of 'Pain, Pride, and Politics: Sri Lankan Tamil Activism in Canada'. (2015)

His research interests are in radicalization, terrorism, diaspora politics, post-war reconstruction, and the sociology of religion. He is the editor of 'Sri Lanka: The Struggle for Peace in the Aftermath of War' (2016), 'The Stewart/Colbert Effect: Essays on the Real Impacts of Fake News' (2011), and 'Religion and the New Atheism: A Critical Appraisal' (2010). He is also the author of several peer-reviewed articles and book chapters, has presented papers at over 100 national and international conferences, and has written for The New York Times, Politico, The Atlantic, Vice News, Foreign Affairs, and War on the Rocks.

Follow Amar on Twitter @AmarAmarasingam.

Christopher Sands 
Christopher Sands.Christopher Sands is Senior Research Professor and Director of the Center for Canadian Studies at Johns Hopkins University's Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS).

Sands holds a BA in political science from Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota, and an MA in international economics and Canadian studies from Johns Hopkins University SAIS. 

He is a member of the Canadian Politics Section of the American Political Science Association, and was elected to the Executive Council of the Association for Canadian Studies in the United States in May of this year.

Jacqueline Swaisland 

Jacqueline Swaisland.Jacqueline Swaisland is a Fulbright Scholar with an MA in law from Harvard University, a law degree from Queen's University, and a BA (with honours) from the University of Guelph. Her practice encompasses all areas of Canadian citizenship, immigration and refugee law with a focus on complex cases and litigation.

Jacqueline is co-founder and the Toronto coordinator of the Refugee Sponsorship Support Program, a national program that trains lawyers to assist groups seeking to privately sponsor refugees. In recognition of her oustanding work with refugees, Jacqueline was recognized with a CARLA award by the Canadian Association of Refugee Lawyers.

Jacqueline is also an adjunct Professor at Osgoode Hall Law School where she teaches a course on immigration and refugee law to upper year students. 


University of Guelph FRAN logo.

Indigenous Resistance
Time: 1:00 to 3:00 p.m.
Location: Creelman Hall

Description: The Kika'ige Historical Society is a professor-ial performance art troupe, formed by three Indigenous women with PhDs in Canadian history: Dr. Kim Anderson, Dr. Lianne Leddy and Dr. Brittany Luby. This group will be joined by Indigenous women from the Universities of Guelph, Laurier and Waterloo to embody a counter discursive confederation ball during the lunch hour of the conference. The performance will be followed by a panel involving members of the Kika'ige Historical Society who will debrief the piece and discuss Canada 150 from an Indigenous perspective, with reference to confederation, the "fathers," and embodied responses.

The Indigenous resistance panel will begin with a debriefing of the Kika'ige Historical Society lunch hour performance art, facilitated by Dr. Kim Anderson. This debriefing will involve discussion at each of the tables about responses to the art, sentiments around Canada 150 overall, and what this has meant to Indigenous peoples. Dr. Brittany Luby will follow with a presentation about Confederation from an Indigenous perspective, setting the context for Indigenous resistance. Dr. Leddy will discuss the coming together of the Kika'ige Historical Society and previous work.

The panel will conclude with a closing in Mohawk by Bonnie Whitlow.

View previous work by the Kika'ige Historical Society

Moderator: Kimberley McLeod

Kimberley McLeod is an Assistant Professor in the School of English and Theatre Studies at the University of Guelph. She holds a BAH from Queen's University, an MA from the University of Alberta, and a PhD from York University (dissertation: Theatre, Performance and Digital Tools: Modelling New Modes of Political Engagement).

Kim's research interests include intermedial performance, gaming, activist performance, satire and practice-based research. Her research on political performance and participatory media has appeared in 'Canadian Theatre Review', 'Performance Matters', and 'Theatre Research in Canada'. She is co-editor of the Views & Reviews section of 'Canadian Theatre Review' and is currently Ontario Representative and Secretary for the Canadian Association for Theatre Research.

Kim Anderson 

Kim Anderson.

An Indigenous (Metis) scholar, Kim has spent most of her career working for Indigenous family well-being in Canada. The majority of her scholarship is qualitative, community engaged, interdisciplinary and applied; much of it employs oral history and Indigenous research methodologies.

Kim has published on Indigenous mothering, Indigenous feminism, Indigenous masculinities, and Indigenous knowledge in urban settings, and has an evolving interest in arts-based and land-based methods of research.Kim Anderson is an Associate Professor in the Department of Family Relations and Applied Nutrition (FRAN) at the University of Guelph. She holds an MA in Adult Education, Sociology and Equity Studies from OISE/University of Toronto, and a PhD in History from the University of Guelph. 

Lianne Leddy

Lianne Leddy.Lianne Leddy is an Assistant Professor of Indigenous Studies at Wilfrid Laurier University. She has completed a BA in History and English from Laurier, an MA in History from Western University, and a PhD in History through the Tri-University Graduate Program at Laurier.

Lianne's research focuses on Indigenous-settler relations, particularly those framed by gender and environmental issues. She is also interested in Indigenous methodologies and decolonizing research practices.

Lianne is currently working on a monograph--'The Serpent River Anishinaabek and Uranium Mining: A Study of Cold War Colonialism, 1953-88'--which is under contract with University of Toronto Press.

Brittany Luby

Brittany Luby.Brittany Luby is an Assistant Professor in the Department of History at the University of Guelph. She holds a BA in History from Queen's University, and an MA and PhD from York University.

Brittany's areas of research interest include Indigenous history in North America, Canadian history, environmental history, and Indigenous education, to name a few.

Bonnie Whitlow 

Bonnie Whitlow.Bonnie is a Mohawk woman, Bear Clan who was born and raised on the Six Nations reserve. She is a student of traditional onkwehon: we ancestral knowledge. She has dedicated many years to the recovery of her ancestral tongue Mohawk and has been a staunch supporter of many other Haudenosaunee language recovery initiatives.

Bonnie received her BA in Anthropology from McMaster University in 1996. She has specialized training and experience in Mohawk language education as well as in communications, management skills, finance and accounting, strategic planning, and governance and control.

Bonnie is an Aboriginal Support Coordinator at Wilfrid Laurier University, Brantford Campus.


Registration Fees

Day(s) of AttendanceU of G StudentsGeneral Public
Friday, October 27$10$15
Saturday, October 28*$15$25
Both Days$20$30

* Lunch will be provided on Saturday.

There is free evening and weekend parking in lots P23 and P24. 

Please note a videographer and photographer will be onsite to capture portions of the symposium.

ONLINE REGISTRATION HAS NOW CLOSED. We welcome registrations at the door. Debit and credit accepted. Cash preferred.