This talk focuses on Indigenous governance and Indigenous economic systems, drawing on community-centred research initiatives, including Indigenous Approaches to Governance in the 21st Century, co-founding the Wahkohtowin Law & Governance Lodge, and the Prairie Indigenous Relationality Network.
Shalene Jobin holds the prestigious Canada Research Chair (in Indigenous Governance at the Faculty of Native Studies) and was the founding Director of the Indigenous Governance program at the University of Alberta. She joined The First Nations University as Vice President of Academics in June 2023.
Her recent book Upholding Indigenous Economic Relationships: Nehiyawak Narratives draws on the knowledge systems of the nehiyawak (Plains Cree) to argue that economic exploitation was the initial and most enduring relationship between newcomers and Indigenous peoples and that Indigenous economic relationships are constitutive: connections to the land, water, and other human and nonhuman beings form us as individuals and as peoples.
Shalene has published in the edited collections Living on the Land: Indigenous Women’s Understanding of Place (2016), Creating Indigenous Property: Power, Rights, and Relationships (2020), Indigenous Identity and Resistance (2010), and in the journals American Indian Quarterly (2011), Revue Générale de Droit (2013), and Native Studies Review (2016). She has also co-authored work in the Canadian Legal Education Annual Review (2021), Surviving Canada (2017), and Aboriginal Policy Studies (2012, 2022).
Upholding Indigenous Economic Relationships
As I write these words, I look out the window of my apartment onto the bend in the North Saskatchewan River. kisiskâciwani-sîpiy ᑭᓯᐢᑳᒋᐊᐧᓂᓰᐱᕀ, swift-flowing river, is created from the joining of the North and South Saskatchewan Rivers with its headwaters beginning in the Rocky Mountains (Newton 2009). It is the kisepîsim ᑭᓭᐲᓯᒼ, Great moon month, January in 2016, and the river is frozen, yet still alive. The banks of the river tell an archaeological and geological tale. The river has an ancient history, and yet it is still carving spaces in the present; so, too, are the Cree and other Indigenous peoples. Like my people, this river has witnessed many changes, and yet constants remain. In this work I draw from the time-honoured words of the past that still flow into our collective presents and futures.
—Shalene Wuttunee Jobin, Grounding Methods, Upholding Indigenous Economic Relationships