Re­tired judge dis­cusses land claims

The Expositor (Brantford) - - NEWS - EXPOSITOR STAFF

Re­tired Brant­ford judge James Kent will draw on his ex­pe­ri­ence han­dling Six Na­tions land claims dur­ing a free pub­lic lec­ture on the theme of rec­on­cil­i­a­tion on Nov. 22 at 7 p.m. in Room RCE004 of Lau­rier Brant­ford’s Re­search and Aca­demic Cen­tre at 150 Dal­housie St.

“He will share his views about the po­ten­tial for rec­on­cil­i­a­tion of land claims and how we might find com­mon ground through and along­side our treaty obli­ga­tions,” said Rob Knech­tel, vice-chair­man of the Friends and Neigh­bours Group.

Kent re­tired in 2016 as a Su­pe­rior Court justice af­ter a long ca­reer as a judge and lawyer in Brant­ford. He’s also been ac­tive in com­mu­nity ac­tiv­i­ties, in­clud­ing the Brant­ford YM-YWCA, St. Leonard’s So­ci­ety and the Cham­ber of Com­merce Brant­ford-Brant.

The event, spon­sored by the Friends and Neigh­bours Group, is the third lec­ture in a se­ries en­ti­tled What is Rec­on­cil­i­a­tion? Friends and Neigh­bours is a grass­roots com­mit­tee of vol­un­teers that sup­ports the Wood­land Cul­tural Cen­tre’s Save the Ev­i­dence Cam­paign.

The lec­tures are pre­sented in as­so­ci­a­tion with Lau­rier Brant­ford.

The group aims to ed­u­cate peo­ple and pro­mote a com­mu­nity di­a­logue about the former Mo­hawk In­sti­tute In­dian Res­i­den­tial School and rec­on­cil­i­a­tion, said Knech­tel. The Mo­hawk In­sti­tute, on Mo­hawk Street, op­er­ated as a res­i­den­tial school from 1828 un­til it closed in 1970.

The group has two other lec­tures lined up.

On Jan. 24, Lisa Van Ev­ery, co-or­di­na­tor of the Indige­nous Knowl­edge Helpers pro­gram at Indige­nous Per­sons Court, will talk about the role the court plays in deal­ing with Abo­rig­i­nal justice is­sues.

And, on Feb. 28, Michael Cachagee, chair­man of On­tario In­dian Res­i­den­tial School Sup­port Ser­vices, will pro­vide a per­spec­tive from his ex­pe­ri­ences in three res­i­den­tial schools he at­tended from the age of three to 16. Cachagee is from the Chap­leau Cree First Na­tion in north­east­ern On­tario.

Save the Ev­i­dence is a cap­i­tal cam­paign with two goals: rais­ing aware­ness of the ef­fects of res­i­den­tial schools on suc­ceed­ing gen­er­a­tions of Indige­nous stu­dents who were com­pelled by gov­ern­ment pol­icy to at­tend them; and rais­ing fi­nan­cial sup­port for the re­pair and ren­o­va­tion of the Mo­hawk In­sti­tute.

The build­ing has suf­fered dev­as­tat­ing roof leaks, which caused sig­nif­i­cant dam­age to the in­te­rior and ex­te­rior. It is cur­rently un­der­go­ing a three-stage ren­o­va­tion, be­gin­ning with the re­place­ment of the roof.

James Kent

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