University of Winnipeg to host The KA NA TA Conversations Embracing an Indigenous Worldview

Sep 29, 2011 | Corporate Member News

Leading thinkers come together to reflect on a new path for an inclusive Canadian identity 

The University of Winnipeg is hosting the inaugural KA NA TA Conversations – Re-Thinking Canada Embracing An Indigenous Worldview organized by the Assembly of First Nations on Wednesday, October 5, 2011 at 9:30 am in Convocation Hall, (515 Portage Avenue).

Several of Canada’s leading thinkers will begin a dialogue exploring pressing issues to create a new path for an inclusive Canadian identity for the future. 

The four themes to be discussed are Culture and Identity, The Natural World, Governance, Laws and Relations, and Re-Building Wholeness.  The leading thinkers include (in alphabetical order)

  • Shawn A-in-chut Atleo, National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations
  • Dr. E. Richard Umeek Atleo, academic, author and hereditary chief
  • Dr. Lloyd Axworthy, UWinnipeg President and Vice-Chancellor
  • Joseph Boyden, author and winner of the 2008 Scotiabank Giller Prize
  • Elder Dave Courchene, Turtle Lodge, Sagkeeng First Nation
  • James Sakej Henderson, Native Law Centre of Canada, University of Saskatchewan
  • Dr. Leroy Little Bear, University of Lethbridge
  • Ovide Mercredi, Councillor Misipawistik Cree Nation and former National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations
  • Joanne St. Lewis, Faculty of Law, University of Ottawa
  • Kim Samuel-Johnson, Director of the Samuel Group of Companies and President of the Samuel Family Foundation
  • John Ralston Saul, Award winning essayist and novelist
  • The Honourable Chuck Strahl, former Minister of Indian and Northern Affairs Canada 

Lloyd Axworthy, President and Vice-Chancellor, UWinnipeg

“It is an honour for the inaugural KA NA TA Conversations to begin on our UWinnipeg campus on Treaty One land, as we strive to continue to build a more inclusive Canada,” said UWinnipeg President and Vice-Chancellor Dr. Lloyd Axworthy. “This is an essential step to help build a nation that honours the past and respective rights and responsibilities, commits to reconciliation, and imagines a future that includes an understanding of the Indigenous worldview and perspective.” 

Shawn A-in-chut Atleo

“The AFN initiated the KA NA TA Conversations because now is the time for new ideas and fresh thinking on the challenges facing First Nations and Canada,“ said AFN National Chief Atleo.  “These conversations are an exciting opportunity to reflect on the true nature of the original relationships, to break free from the old thinking that is holding us all back and identify opportunities for innovation and true transformation in our shared relationship.  It will be an honour to engage with such distinguished thinkers and we thank UWinnipeg for hosting what we foresee as the start of an essential, ongoing dialogue that will help point the way forward.” 

This event will be broadcast live at and a podcast will be created of the KA NA TA Conversation that will be posted at, the beginning of a ‘virtual think tank’ that will improve the relationship between Canada and First Nations across the country.

UWinnipeg is consistently ranked in the Top-10 in the country on an annual basis by both Maclean’s Magazine and The Globe & Mail newspaper. The University of Winnipeg is a leader in academic excellence, Indigenous education, environmental studies, business, and theatre & the arts. Find out more by visiting Follow us on Twitter: and on Facebook: 


Naniece Ibrahim, Communications Officer, The University of Winnipeg
P: 204.988.7130, E: [email protected].

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