Environment Seminar Series: Renewing Settler Responsibilities on the Dish and River of Life with Timothy Leduc

When and Where

Wednesday, October 18, 2023 12:00 pm to 2:00 pm


Timothy B. Leduc, Associate Professor


About the Seminar

The Earth is alive, we are part of this Earth, and our human responsibilities arise from nurturing our deep roots in this life source. These are the central messages that stir in my heart and mind as I listen to the Haudenosaunee teachings of Norma Jacobs as she talks about the river of life that is the source of the Two Row Wampum treaty in her recent book that I edited called Ǫ da gaho dḛ:s: Reflecting on our Journeys (McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2022); or as Rick Hill speaks about the Dish-with-One-Spoon as an “earthen jar” that is the body of our Mother and which I responded to in the book Earth to Tables Legacies (Rowman and Littlefield, 2023). Following the matrilineal protocols of these lands, I root myself in the French canadien being of my mother and our ancestral relations to the 1701 Montreal Tree of Peace that was suffused in wampum teachings like those of the Dish and Two Row. These agreements go far beyond the dominant political, economic and cultural sense of treaties in the settler mind. They are, at root, a spiritual contract between humans, the beings of creation, and the land’s spirit. Contrasting the colonial assumptions of unending economic growth and geographically fixed borders, they remind us that multiple nations can co-exist on common lands in ways that are culturally and ecologically unique, yet mutually beneficial. When I hear such teachings, I feel my settler ancestry being called to find a cultural way into what is being asked of us today as our climate of change challenges so many colonial and modern beliefs. This is what we will consider in this seminar on Renewing Settler Responsibilities.

About the Speaker

Timothy B. Leduc is an associate professor in land-based social work at Wilfrid Laurier University, not far from his home in Toronto that he shares with his partner and two children. He is the author of three books, including Climate, Culture, Change: Inuit and Western Dialogues with a Warming North (University of Ottawa Press, short-listed for 2012 Canada Prize in the Social Sciences) and A Canadian Climate of Mind: Passages from Fur to Energy and Beyond (McGill-Queens University Press, 2016). He is also Editor of the 2022 book by Gae Ho Hwako Norma Jacobs, Ǫ da gaho dḛ:s: Reflecting on our Journeys (McGill-Queens University Press, https://www.odagahodhes.com/). His writing arises from walking in the forests along Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River.


Contact Information