Indigenous and Canadian Approaches to Governance

With Mark Douglas and Tony Madden
Hosted by Dr. Douglas A. West

Join us for a conversation on Indigenous and Canadian Approaches to Governance. This event is part of the Simcoe County Couchiching Conversations Series, focusing on indigenous issues in Canada.


About Mark Douglas

Mark Douglas - Biidaanakwad (Cloud Approaching), is the son of an Ojibway chief and an Algonquin princess. He is a life-long resident of Rama (Mjikaning) First Nation and lives close to Longford Mills as a member of the Loon Clan. Mark is retired now, but has held numerous positions in the community as: an addiction street counselor; welfare officer; police officer; community development officer; Coordinator at Georgian College for Native Small Business Management; Native employment equity officer with the Management Board of the Government of Ontario; executive director of the Ogemawahj Tribal Council and as the Cultural Liaison Officer with the Chippewas of Rama Casino Rama Project Team.

Mark continues to attend outings with Native Traditional Elders from all parts of Turtle Island, which he began as a teenager. He has been presented with many Eagle Feathers on this learning quest and was the recipient of a YMCA of Orillia, Peace Medal in 1993. He received a cultural award from the Ogemawahj Tribal Council in 2012.

Mark uses the traditional knowledge and the oral traditions of his ancestry to tell stories. He has told stories at the Mariposa Folk Festival. Mark also works with a small group of dedicated community members known as Mnjikaning Fish Fence Circle as they continue to promote and protect the ancient ( 5,000 years ) fish fence that sits in the body of water at the narrows, which is a National Historic Site.


About Tony Madden

Tony Madden is a City Councillor, for Ward 4, in Orillia. He has a BA from the University of Guelph and in 1994 completed a one-year Post Graduate Marketing program at Capilano College in North Vancouver, BC. He has worked in industrial sales and sales management for the construction and building industry. He moved to Orillia with his family in 2004 and seeks to position the city as an educational, recreational, and cultural centre.


About Dr. Douglas A. West

Dr. Douglas A. West is an associate professor at the Department of Political Science, at the Orillia campus of Lakehead University. He is the editor of four books including: From Our Eyes: Learning from Indigenous Peoples (Garamond); and the author of 3 editions of the Instructor’s Manual for An Introduction to Government and Politics: A Conceptual Approach (Nelson) by M. O. Dickerson, Thomas Flanagan, and Brenda O'Neill. His writings and scholarly works have focused on Canadian Political Thought, Indigenous Political Ideas, Northern Politics and the Politics of Food. From 2006-2008, he served as Co-Director for the Food Security Research and Service Exchange Network, funded by the J.W. McConnell Family Foundation. Dr. West has served Lakehead University as a member of the Senate Teaching and Learning Committee, the Senate Research Committee, the Senate Nominations Committee and was Chair of the Senate Academic Committee in 2008-9. Dr. West is committed to developing Community Service Learning and Community Based Research at Lakehead and has served on many not-for-profit Boards in Thunder Bay, Ottawa and Victoria, BC. Currently, his research interests are focused on Community Food Sovereignty/Sustainability, Northern Food Policy and the Political Ideas of George Grant and Harold Innis.


Free event with limited seating, so please register. 

Location: Lakehead University, Orillia Campus
500 University Drive, Orillia ON view map
Room # OA1022
Date: February 26, 2013
Time: 7:00-9:00pm
Admission: Free
Light snacks will be served
RSVP: Dr Douglas West -
or contact T: 416-494-1440 Ext. 225

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