In towns throughout Ontario, there are startling reminders of the colonization of Indigenous territories and the displacement of First Nations people. Anishinaabe comedian and activist Ryan McMahon takes us to his hometown of Fort Frances and down its main drag, which is called Colonization Road. Similar streets have similar names in towns and cities across the province, direct reminders of the little-known Colonization Roads Act of 1872 and its severe impact on First Nations, their treaties and their land in the name of “Canadian settlement.” On his journey through Ontario, McMahon explores the history of these roads, meets with settlers in solidarity and raises significant questions about “reconciliation” and what it means to “decolonize.”
With his brand of hard-hitting comedy, Ryan speaks with well respected Indigenous and settler lawyers, historians, researchers and policy makers who provide history, context and solutions for colonization roads and their impact. Ryan will look at the history of the roads, from the first settlers lured by Free Land Grant advertisements to the treaties signed in the name of Indigenous sovereignty and nationhood with the newcomers.
Ryan will introduce the film and participate in a Q&A after its conclusion.
Ryan is the Indigenous Knowledge Holder for 2018. The Indigenous Knowledge Holder Series brings Indigenous Knowledge Holders to McGill each year to spend a week at the university to share their scholarship, work, and advocacy. This Series seeks to act as a bridge between that knowledge and the institution while placing an emphasis on Indigenous community collaborations and partnerships through academic events, workshops, and community presentations.
Everyone is welcome! However, to be sure you get a seat please RSVP either through Eventbrite, indigenous.studies [at] mcgill.ca (email), or phone: 514-398-8097.