Talking with Syeyutsus

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Join us

Author Presentation and Panel Discussion

In response to the Nanaimo Ladysmith Public Schools’ goal of Truth & Reconciliation and Canada’s TRC Call to Action #57, please join the Syeyutsus Family & National Best-selling Author Bob Joseph for a book discussion on the 21 Things You May Not Know About the Indian Act.

Join us on Zoom from 10:00 a.m. until 12:00 p.m. on Thursday, June 11, 2020

  • Ted Cadwallader, Director of Indigenous Learning and Stephanie Johnson, Syeyutsus Saays’um will host a 2 hour Zoom Gathering with the Author, Bob Joseph and Members of the Syeyutsus Family talking about the Indian Act.
  • This is a free event open to the general public and Nanaimo Ladysmith Public Schools employees, students and families.
Bob Joseph, Author

Bob Joseph, Author

Bob Joseph, founder of Indigenous Corporate Training Inc., has provided training on Indigenous and Aboriginal relations since 1994. As a certified Master Trainer, Joseph has assisted both individuals and organizations in building Indigenous or Aboriginal relations. His clients include all levels of government, Fortune 500 companies, corporate enterprises, and Indigenous peoples in Canada, U.S., Central and South America, and in the South Pacific. In 2006, Joseph co-facilitated a worldwide Indigenous Peoples’ round table in Switzerland, which included participants from across the world. Joseph has also worked in cultural relations and corporate training for many years, and taught at Royal Roads University as an associate professor.

Bob Joseph is an Indigenous person, or more specifically a status Indian, and is a member of the Gwawaenuk Nation. The author comes from a proud potlatch family and is an initiated member of the Hamatsa Society. As the son of a hereditary chief, he will one day become a hereditary chief.

Ted Cadwallader, Director of Instruction, Indigenous Learning

Ted Cadwallader, Director of Instruction, Indigenous Learning

Ted's Originally from the Kwagiulth village of Tsaxis on the north end of Vancouver Island, Ted Cadwalladerhas spent 37 years as an elementary school teacher, learning coordinator, school district administrator and BC Provincial Director of Aboriginal Education. He is currently the Director of Instruction, Indigenous Learning for Nanaimo-Ladysmith Public Schools. With a focus on supporting Indigenous language revitalization and large scale system change, Ted continues to learn from Indigenous knowledge keepers about how to walk well in the world.

Meet the Panel

Indigenous Governance

Hereditary vs Indian Act imposed C&C. What does that look like today in our territory.
(Speakers: Uncle George Seymour, hereditary chief Stz’uminus & Lawrence Mitchell former band councillor Snaw-Naw-As)
Squtxulenuhw George Seymour

Squtxulenuhw George Seymour

Iy’ skweyul eenthu Squtxulenuhw tuni tsun utl’ shtsuminus.

My traditional name is Squtxulenuhw and I’m from the Chemainus band.

I’ve always been a very traditional person, I’m a hunter, fisher, and I prepare all my catch, smoking ,jaring.

I’m a speaker of my language (hul’qu’mi’num’) and at the age of 65 I received my masters in hul’gu’mi’num’ linguistics, from Simon Fraser University. Even though I speak my native tongue, I was insecure because because I could not write my language. I love and excelled in our sport , War canoe racing , my favourite sport was soccer, I boxed in the ring competition for a short time, so hard training was in my life and the teachings from our elders transferred to my life in the future. I worked in the forestry industry, sawmills pulp mills, I worked in construction. I’m a public speaker within my culture, longhouse ceremonies, funerals, weddings and other gatherings. I also served as the chief in council for stzuminus ,as well as a councilman for a few terms. I’m a artist; Carver, drum maker, a grand, and a great grand father. The name I carry has been handed down to me in a traditional way, at my father’s death bed as well he recieved in the same way. I’m a story teller. I remember stories from our syuwentst the ones before our time.i learn by experience. If you show me I’ll use it and teach it. huychqu siiyeem nu siiye’yu.
Thank you my respected friends.

‘ćum’qwa:tun’ Lawrence Mitchell

‘ćum’qwa:tun’ Lawrence Mitchell

Our dear friend and relative Lawrence is a Coast Salish xwulmuxw person born in Victoria. He currently resides in Snaw’ Naw’ As with roots in Snuneymuxw, Lyackson, Sta’ailles and Paquachin. An avid singer, life-long language learner, and father, Lawrence comes to share his gifts with us with a profound experience of passion, heartfelt truth, and loving generosity.

Indigenous Education

Impact of Residential Schools and Public Education Responsibility Today.
(Speakers: RSS Auntie Geraldine Manson & Superintendent Scott Saywell)
Geraldine Manson, Shq'apthut & Health & Human Services, Full-time Elder in Residence

Geraldine Manson, Shq'apthut & Health & Human Services, Full-time Elder in Residence

In the role as Elder-in-Residence, Geraldine shares her Traditional Knowledge directly with students and Faculty/Professors in Health and Human Services programs at VIU and at the Shq’apthut/Gathering Place. 

Geraldine is a member of the Snuneymuxw First Nation and has worked for her community since 1980.  She gives credit for her cultural wisdom and education to her Elders, present, and Elders who have passed on. As the Elders’ Coordinator for Snuneymuxw First Nations, she carries many other responsibilities that relate to culture and traditions in the community. Geraldine has also served her community as elected council-member.

Scott Saywell, Superintendent/CEO

Scott Saywell, Superintendent/CEO

As a graduate of Nanaimo District Secondary School, and a proud product of the Nanaimo Ladysmith public school system, Scott in his 29 years as an educator, has focussed his attention/passion on improving the life chances of the districts most vulnerable, unique and disadvantaged learners. As a learner Scott enjoys learning from local Indigenous knowledge keepers about the teachings of the land, language and culture.


Enfranchisement Policy: Legacy of assimilation & its Impact on Indigenous People Today
(Speaker: Metis Elder Ron Poitra)
Ron Poitra, Metis Elder

Ron Poitra, Metis Elder

From gang leader (Vancouver, BC) to Planning Director (California) to University Professor (Michigan) to consultant, teacher, guest speaker and traveller worldwide (including Poland, Costa Rica, Venezuela, Australia, Mexico, Egypt, China, England etc.), to National Park volunteer, guide and guest speaker (Oregon, California, Florida etc.) to Elder of Metis Nation (Nanaimo, B.C.). A full circle. I was driven out of Canada by racial practices and when I returned there seems to be a relatively honest attempt at “reconciliation” by a few people and institutions. Although some of the recent new laws are still full of racial practices towards Indigenous peoples.  

What are we reading?

21 Things You May Not Know About The Indian Act by Bob Joseph.

The Indian Act, after 141 years, continues to shape, control, and constrain the lives and opportunities of Indigenous peoples, and is at the root of many lasting stereotypes. Bob Joseph’s book comes at a key time in the Reconciliation process, when awareness from both Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities is at a crescendo. Joseph explains how Indigenous peoples can step out from under the Indian Act and return to self-government, self-determination, and self-reliance – and why doing so would result in a better country for every Canadian. He dissects the complex issues around Truth and Reconciliation, and clearly demonstrates why learning about the Indian Act’s cruel, enduring legacy is essential for the country to move toward true Reconciliation. 

Don't have the book?

We have you covered!

Have a look at the Author’s presentation on YouTube.

If you want to understand the impact the Indian Act has had and continues to have on Indigenous Peoples, listen to Bob Joseph as he talks about his national bestseller 21 Things You May Not Know About The Indian Act.


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