Indigenous Allies Working Group

“We recognize that we gather here in Nogojiwanong [Nigozh-i-wanong] in the Michi Saagiig Anishinaabe Treaty 20 territory, with affiliation to the Williams and other treaties.
We say “miigwetch” [mee-gwetch] for sharing these sacred lands and waters with those of us who are newcomers.
May we live in respectful relationship with all beings. As Treaty people, we commit to working towards understanding, justice, and reconciliation.”

For a calendar of Kawartha Area First Nations and Other Indigenous Events, click HERE.

February 8, 2019
Urgent Action on Bill C-262 – UNDRIP Act

Bill C-262 needs your urgent attention and support! Bill C-262, the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act, is in second reading in the Senate and has yet to go to the Standing Committee on Aboriginal Peoples. Passed overwhelmingly in the House of Commons on May 30, the bill will, if enacted, ensure that the laws of Canada are in harmony with the UN Declaration and foster reconciliation.
Let’s ensure this Bill is passed into Law! When Senators return from recess on February 18, they will have only a few days to pass this bill. If Bill C-262 is stalled or not prioritized, and it does not reach third reading in the Senate before Parliament is dissolved for the election, it will die.
Your urgent action will make a difference. Please send an e-letter to Senators by February 18 and circulate this note to family, friends and colleagues. Learn more, send an e-mail, and take action here.


Below you’ll find a list of potential questions for candidates in the federal election. Please circulate these and pose the questions to candidates – at debates, at the door, at their offices, etc.! This will help raise the profile of Indigenous and wild rice issues in this campaign and in our community. These questions were developed by Community Voices for Manoomin (CVFM).

Questions and Background

1. Q: Please describe your relationship with local First Nations, including with Chiefs and Councils, traditional leaders and members. As our MP, how would you foster the development of more positive nation-to-nation and government-to-government relationships in our region?

Background: The type of relationship with First Nations shows how much a priority First Nations are to a candidate. Efforts to build good relationships can help create partnerships, understanding and collaborative solutions to any issues that might arise.

2. Q: The Williams Treaty and Treaty 20 (aka the Rice Lake Purchase) are part of our Constitution and apply to all of us in this territory and riding. As our MP, how would you seek to implement last year’s treaty settlement and support Indigenous roles and federal responsibilities in this riding?

Background: In November 2018, the governments of Canada and Ontario settled a long-time claim with 7 regional Mississauga and Chippewas First Nations. The settlement recognized First Nation harvesting rights, enabled the purchase of lands to expand Reserves, and provided the communities with a large settlement payment as compensation for loss of use of harvesting rights and other impacts.

3. Q: As our MP, how specifically would you support the vitality of wild rice and its harvest by Indigenous peoples in this riding?

Background: Manoomin, or Wild Rice, is an important historical, ecological and cultural plant in this region. It has existed in this region for thousands of years and is vital to local First Nations.

4. Q: Do you feel that Manoomin is an asset to the local riding, from an ecological, cultural, tourism, recreation, and/or real estate value perspective? As our MP, how would you reconcile the divergent perspectives of constituents on Manoomin and its value to the Kawartha lakes region?

Background: Manoomin, or Wild Rice, Manoomin has important ecological and cultural roles.
Its growth and harvest in extensive beds on local lakes has been controversial in some areas, i.e., allegations of decreasing cottage prices on lower Pigeon Lake related to Manoomin growth, among others. Yet Re/Max indicates an overall 17% increase in property values for Peterborough & The Kawartha’s for 2019. CVFM’s analysis shows an overall cottage price increase of 39% between 2014-2019 with small decreases of 10% in 2018 and 7% in 2019 on lower Pigeon Lake where Manoomin is present. Also, MyKawartha reports that cottage prices across Peterborough area are expected to increase with the oncoming Highway 407 (June 2019).

The Indigenous Allies Working Group recommends a Trent University Indigenous Studies panel discussion on the manoomin (wild rice) controversy. On Wednesday, November 14th, 7:30 pm at Market Hall, this panel will provide First Nation perspectives from harvester James Whetung, Elder Doug Williams, and playwright Drew Hayden Taylor in the context of local tensions and the upcoming plan, Cottagers and Indians. Moderator: Anne Taylor, Curve Lake First Nation.


UFP’s Indigenous Allies Working Group (IAWG) asks you to pose a few questions to municipal candidates before the October 22, 2018 election. These questions could be:
1. What will you do to foster reconciliation and good relationships with Indigenous peoples in your municipality?
2. Have you participated in an event led by First Nations in the Peterborough area during the past year? If so, which one(s)? If so, what was your impression(s)?
3. How do you think the City of Peterborough should acknowledge that it is in the traditional territory of the Michi Saagiig Anishnaabe and is subject to the Treaties of this area?
4. What should the City of Peterborough do to put in place here the recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, including those for municipalities and governments in general?
5. If you are elected to the next City Council, what will you do to promote understanding, reconciliation and good relationships with the Indigenous people in and of this region?
6. As part of our Treaty obligations, how will you protect Peterborough’s environment and natural places for future generations of all peoples?
Feel free to ask about other local environmental and social justice issues! Please pass these on to friends, and also keep track of candidates’ answers and send a summary to Ruth Schumaker.
Upcoming all candidate events are: Electionfest at the Evinrude Centre (Tues. Oct. 9, 6-8:30 pm) and Town Ward debate at The Venue at King/Charlotte (Thurs, Oct 11, 6-8 pm). Or contact your candidates! Thanks.

THE STORY OF OUR TREATIES: Defining Relationships Between Peoples
Friday, February 2, 2018
7:00 pm – 9:00 pm

Ann Taylor, Cultural Archivist for Curve Lake, will present a new video describing the treaties related to this land: Inaakonigewin Andaadad Aki: Michi Saagig Treaties. The Unitarian Fellowship of Peterborough, 775 Weller Street (at Medical Drive), an accessible location. $5-10 donation or pay what you’re able. Free parking.

Friday, November 10, 2017
7:00 pm – 9:00 pm

David Newhouse (Onondaga), Professor and Chair of Indigenous Studies at Trent University, will offer insights from his conversations with business leaders. This is the fifth in an occasional series of events where Indigenous storytellers share stories of this region – where we’ve come from and where we are going – together. $5-10 donation or pay what you can.

This is the fifth of an occasional series of events where Indigenous storytellers share stories of this region — where we’ve come from and where we are going — together.

Join us in the Social Hall at the Unitarian Fellowship of Peterborough. 775 Weller Street. Free parking. For more details, or for information about accessibility, please contact Rev. Julie Stoneberg (705) 741-0968

Friday, April 29th, 2016, 7:00 – 9:00 pm

UFP’s Indigenous Working Group invites you to an evening of stories of reconciliation with Dr. Dan Longboat, Professor of Indigenous Environmental Studies and Science program, Trent University.

Dan will reflect on what is needed to lay the groundwork for reconciliation of Indigenous and settler peoples.

Dan Longboat is Mohawk from the Six Nations of the Grand River. He is Director of the Indigenous Environmental Studies Program at Trent, the first in North America to integrate Indigenous traditional knowledge with a Western scientific approach. Dan is known for his Traditional Haudenosaunee knowledge and has taught Mohawk culture at Trent in addition to his work in Indigenous Environmental Studies.

This is the third of an occasional series of events where Indigenous storytellers share stories of this region — where we’ve come from and where we are going — together.

Cost:      $5-10 donation or pay what you can.  For more information, contact Rev. Julie Stoneberg.

Accessibility: Wheel-chair accessible. Microphone will be used. If you need an American Sign Language (A.S.L) interpreter (we will cover the cost), or additional accommodations, please let us know as early as possible.

Reconciliation Dialogues

How to be a People of Reconciliation; A workshop presented by the UFP Indigenous Working Group
Sunday, Feb. 14, 1pm to 4pm – includes a Light Lunch at 12:15pm

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, in their final report, has issued a “Call to Action” for us to ‘honour the truth of the Residential Schools and reconcile for the future.’ How do we, as a congregation, locate ourselves within this process in a way that will lead us toward reconciliation with our Indigenous neighbours?
Please sign up at Florence’s table or call Jan Bowen 705.745.2990 (maximum 20 people)