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Land Acknowledgement

We at CURL would like to acknowledge that the land on which we teach, learn, and present our research is the traditional territory of  the Anishinaabek, Haudenosaunee, Lūnaapéewak and Chonnonton Nations.

We also acknowledge that historical relationships between Huron University College and Indigenous communities are rooted in an institutional history with close connections to the residential school system and the settler colonial state in Canada.

The Centre for Undergraduate Research Learning brings together individual researchers of many different backgrounds, each with different relationships to this land and this history. Within these differences, we acknowledge that because of our positions as researchers in an academic setting, we are all part of colonial relationships both locally and globally.

For this reason, we have a responsibility to learn about the past and present of colonial relationships, even when these lessons are difficult. We also have a responsibility to conduct and disseminate research from a position of partnership, recognizing principles of Indigenous ownership and control. Finally, we have a responsibility to support Indigenous efforts to foster justice, prosperity, and joy.

Local Indigenous News & Resources

CURL will update this page with local Indigenous events, causes, news, issues, or resources at least once per year. We always welcome submissions and suggestions. 


Ontario Native Women's Association

The Ontario Native Women’s Association (ONWA) is a not for profit organization to empower and support all Indigenous women and their families in the province of Ontario through research, advocacy, policy development and programs that focus on local, regional and provincial activities. 

Established in 1971, ONWA delivers culturally enriched programs and services to Indigenous women and their families regardless of their status or locality.  They are committed to providing services that strengthen communities and guarantee the preservation of Indigenous culture, identity, art, language and heritage.

Some examples of ONWA’s programming include youth groups, a birth trauma support group, and Indigenous health talks with an Indigenous family physician. You can donate to ONWA through Ottawa Community Foundation’s donation portal!

SOAHAC Receives Much-Needed Funding Boost

Great news! As of March of 2024, the Southwest Ontario Aboriginal Health Access Centre, an Indigenous-focused primary and dental care organization with locations throughout Southwestern Ontario, has received boosts in funding for two of its locations. These much-needed funds—$613,000 for the Chippewa of the Thames location and $807,000 for Newbury—will help SOAHAC provide primary care services to more Indigenous patients and to increase opening hours.

“Access [to] care, I think, is the biggest thing,” said MacKenzie Taylor-Noah, a SOAHAC registered nurse. “It’s hard for our clients to get here, let alone to get anywhere else, so I think being here on the reserve is good for our clients who have trouble with transportation.”

Click here to view a story on the funding boost by CTV News.



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N'Amerind Friendship Centre

The N’Amerind Friendship Centre (NFC) is a community-based Friendship Centre here in London, ON – one of the “original six” founded in Ontario – that provides a wide range of services and support to Indigenous people living in urban areas. Their primary mission is to enhance the quality of life for Indigenous individuals and communities, especially for the urban Indigenous populations who may have migrated from their traditional territories to urban centers. Much like the major activities and services typically offered Friendship Centres, NFC serves as cultural hub where local Indigenous people can connect with their heritage through cultural events, workshops, and ceremonies, alongside cultural teachings, language programs, and arts and crafts activities. Beyond helping foster cultural connections and integrations, NFC provides various social services, such as counseling, housing support, employment assistance; offers health and wellness programs, educational resources and vocational training to some extent, and multifaceted opportunities to build one’s community. Some of their highlighted services include:

a) the N’Amerind Aboriginal Community Justice Program (NACJP), which offers Indigenous peoples in and around London who may be in conflict with the law with culturally aware post-charge diversion programs.

b) the Wiingashk Alternative Secondary School Program, where Native youth and children can access a more culturally aware Secondary School curriculum which include life skills and Native cultural teachings under the guidance of a Native counsellor.

c) the Urban Indigenous Homeward Bound Program (4 years), which advocates for and supports Indigenous single parent families – especially single-mother households – and empowers them to be positive role models for their children and the community through providing them with post-secondary educational, housing, mental wellbeing and healthcare supports and resources.

These services not only bolster the individuals, but they further each community in their collective growth and healing. Beyond just these highlighted programs, N’Amerind Friendship Centre serves as one of the few vital community hubs that aim to support the well-being, cultural identity, and social inclusion of urban Indigenous populations here in London. Their programs and services thrive towards providing a welcoming and supportive environment for Indigenous people in urban settings like London.





Association of Iroquois and Allied Indians

The Association of Iroquois and Allied Indians (AIAI) is regional Indigenous organization representing member First Nations in the province of Ontario, Canada. AIAI plays a pivotal role in advocating for the rights, interests, and well-being of its member nations, as the association represents the Oneida, the Mohawk, the Delaware, the Potawatomi and the Ojibway communities across Ontario. AIAI serves as an advocacy and representation body for its member First Nations, to ensure that all voices and concerns are heard at local, provincial, and national levels of government. The association works towards advancing the recognition and implementation of treaty rights, land claims, and the protection of Indigenous lands and resources, and these often includes negotiations with governments to address historical injustices and to promote a more equitable and just future for Indigenous communities. AIAI strives to serve as a collective voice and advocate for its member First Nations in Ontario.

Wampum Learning Lodge Programming

Since the Wampum Learning Lodge, an Indigenous-led intercultural teaching, learning, and gathering space at Western University opened in November 2022, its collaborators have been hard at work developing a huge amount of valuable programming available to our university community. For the Spring Conference 2023, we wanted to draw attention to some of these projects and encourage Huron students and Faculty to support and make use of them.

  • Maatookiiying gaa-miinigoowiziying (Sharing our Gifts): a set of Indigenous learning bundles that centres Indigenous peoples, Indigenous knowledges, and collaborative approaches at the centre of curriculum design. The bundles are comprised of digital teaching modules that support Western and Affiliate instructions in including Indigenous voices and knowledge in their courses. The bundles are designed to cover a broad range of themes, to be accessible to a broad range of learners, and to be applicable across many disciplines.

  • Mbwaach’idiwag Podcast: Led by Western’s Office of Indigenous Initiatives, Sara Mai Chitty, this podcast, whose name means “they visit with each other”, features visits with Indigenous Peoples and allies who “bridge the long-standing divides between Euro-Western and Indigenous communities through their work in the areas of curriculum, research, and beyond.” Three episodes are available.
  • 12 Ways to Engage in Truth and Reconciliation at Western: If you’re looking to improve your knowledge of Indigenization and reconciliation, The Wampum Learning Lodge has published this highly digestible guide complete with resources.


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Western Opens Wampum Learning Lodge

This year, we’d like to direct students’ attention to the opening of the Wampum Learning Lodge: an Indigenous-led intercultural teaching, learning, and gathering space at Western University. “Wampum” is a Narragansett (Algonquian Language Family) term meaning “string of white shell beads”. These beads were crafted by members of various Indigenous nations, including the Haudenosaunee, into belts used to record history, treaties, and stories.

Designed by Wanda Dalla Costa of Saddle Lake First Nation, the Wampum Learning Lodge will provide space for Indigenous communities and projects and promote Indigenous ways of knowing and Indigenous pedagogies across disciplines. All Western community members who share a common interest in advancing Indigenization, decolonization, and reconciliation will find something meaningful at the Wampum Learning Lodge! Visit the website here.

We at CURL strongly encourage Huron students to engage with the Lodge’s programming and to foster a sense of inclusivity and community as their move their work and their world towards decolonization.

Indigenous Watchdog: Canada is Nowhere Near Complete the Truth and Reconciliation Calls to Action

In 2015, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada released a final report detailing 94 calls to action, rightfully demanding that governments across Canada take on reconciliation initiatives. The progress has been unacceptably slow, with less than 15% complete today—a full 7 years later.

Founded by Douglas Sinclair of the Peguis First Nation of Manitoba, Indigenous Watchdog is a federally-recognized non-profit that gathers and publicly presents information about these 94 calls to action. Readers of its website can find not only a tally of which actions have been started, stalled, and completed, but also information about numerous issues affecting Indigenous people in Canada—from drinking water advisories to food insecurity, homelessness, and individual events, such as Alberta directing all provincial funding for family intervention services in the Grande Prairie area to a single non-Indigenous organization. The website also compiles introductory historical and cultural information about the First Nations, Metis, and Inuit peoples. It is a truly valuable read for all who are interested in beginning their learning journey about the need for reconciliation in Canada.

In 2021, Indigenous Watchdog received funds from the Community Foundations of Canada IRP Program to advance to Phase 2 of its long-term plan: developing a dynamic, searchable website where any user can access information on critical issues impacting Indigenous lives.

Students can support this non-profit with donations on the Indigenous Watchdog website.

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Nechi Institute Moving due to Unmarked Graves

The Nechi Institute, an accredited Indigenous learning centre that has trained its students in Indigenous-centred treatment of addiction for over 50 years, needs to find a new location.  According to CEO Marlyn Buffalo, the training centre—comprised of trailers near the Edmonton Indian Residentail School—is standing on a number of unmarked graves. “Hereditary Chief George Muldoe … showed me, showed my staff exactly where he buried people. And that is immediately behind our backyard at the Nechi institute,” Buffalo told APTN News. “I’ve had elders tell me personally … that our trailers are sitting on unmarked graves.”

Nechi used to share the site of the Edmonton Indian Residential School with Poundmaker’s Lodge, an Indigenous-focused treatment centre for addictions. But after a difficult eviction from the province of Alberta to make room for more beds at the Poundmaker’s Lodge, the province did not provide them an alternative, and Nechi couldn’t find a suitable new location. The trailers were meant to be a temporary option.

The fact Nechi was evicted “without prior and informed consent,” Buffalo told the Edmonton Journal, countered “everything that’s in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s calls to action. The building was set aside for us… in 1984. They can’t be going against that. They had a legal, moral, and spiritual obligation to consult Nechi, and they never, ever discussed anything of that sort with me or anyone else on my board.” without prior and informed consent, means it’s countering everything that’s in the Truth and Reconciliation (Commission’s) calls to action,” said Marilyn Buffalo, the Nechi Institute’s CEO.

“That building was set aside for us … in 1984. They can’t be going against that. They had a legal, moral and spiritual obligation to consult Nechi, and they have never, ever discussed anything of that sort with me or anyone else on my board.”

Nechi has requested assistance from the Prime Minister and the Assembly of First Nations for help securing a new location.

You can support Nechi in their search for a new location by donating to the centre here.

About Nechi

The Nechi Institute is an Indigenous learning centre located in west Treaty 6 territory (St. Albert, Alberta). According to its website, Nechi is recognized as one of the finest Indigenous training, research, and health promotions centres in the world. Nechi’s training and services focus on community issues such as  drugs, alcohol and gambling addictions, family violence, and prescription drug abuse.

Indigenous Non-Profit Niwasa Kendaaswin Teg Takes Over Community Garden

On Thursday, March 24, councillors on the Emergency and Community Services committee in Hamilton, ON voted to transfer leadership of the McQuesten Urban Farm from the city to Niwasa Kendaaswin Teg, a local non-profit operating a food bank, children’s programs, Indigenous cultural revitalization programming, and an Indigenous call centre.

Originally launched in 2016 by students from the Landscape Architecture program at the University of Guelph, the farm was aimed at addressing food insecurity in the McQuesten area, which, despite its proximity to large cities, was lacking grocery stores that sold fresh produce. During the garden’s inception Landscape Architecture professor Karen Landman called the area a “food desert.”

Hamilton city councillor Sam Merulla told CBC news how excited he was for the agreement: “I really thought … that [the farm’s] day would come and there wouldn’t be any money available.” Niwasa’s leadership offers “the missing link” for the garden: stability.

Niwasa Executive Director Monique Lavallee was delighted to incorporate the farm into Niwasa’s endeavours: “I think it’s a great opportunity for us to look at our traditional ways of knowing and being, and our connection to the land.”

About Niwasa

Niwasa Kendaaswin Teg, located in Hamilton, ON within the area of the Dish With One Spoon Wampum Belt Covenant, provides supports in safe places for Indigenous people across the life cycle. Their services are rooted in culture and language, and they include a wide range of options such as an Indigenous well-being program; land-based learning (traditional medicines and planting); an Ojibwe language learning app called Kidwenan; a food bank; a private, culturally relevant call centre for Indigenous people needing guidance; child care and nutrition programs; and many more.


Erie, Neutral, Huron-Wendat, Haudenosaunee and Mississaugas. This land is covered by the Dish With One Spoon Wampum Belt Covenant


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Woodland Cultural Centre Seeks to Preserve and Promote Indigenous Art and Culture

The Woodland Cultural Centre in Hamilton, ON serves to preserve and promote Indigenous history, art, language and culture through a range of workshops and exhibitions. Their Save the Evidence campaign is gathering funds to support the conversion of the Mohawk Institute Residential School to an Interpreted Historical Site and educational resource. Support them here: https://woodlandculturalcentre.ca/the-campaign/

Atlohsa Healing Services Finds Homeless Shelter Torched

As we prepare for the 2021 Fall Exhibition, we think about the destruction of a local Indigenous homeless shelter. Indigenous non-profit Atlohsa Family Healing Services developed a project intended to convert a city-owned golf club to  safe housing for 30 vulnerable Indigenous community members. Before construction could be completed, this shelter was intentionally burned down. As Atlohsa director Robert Deleary explained: “the displacement that has occurred over the past five hundred years in this country obviously continues to occur […] Not only by the state, but now by individuals acting on their own accord to say ‘We don’t want you here, and this is what we’re going to do to show you that we don’t want you here.’”

About Atlohsa

Atlohsa Family Healing Services here in London has been serving Indigenous individuals and families across Southwestern Ontario since 1986 providing low-barrier wraparound services to community members with complex needs, including mental wellness, substance use, homelessness, domestic violence, and trauma. They are currently seeking a new location to provide winter housing for Indigenous people. Support them here: https://atlohsa.com/about/