When 300 people gathered on the shores of Lake Couchiching in early August of 1994 to discuss "Tribalism and Globalism: The New World Disorder", few realized the impact the Conference would have on their views of Canada and the way in which they related to other Canadians. The 1994 Conferance hit very close to home for all those delegates who were fortunate enough to attend, as the following pages will attest, and when the sessions ended four days later most people felt they had much better understanding of how and why human beings come together into groups while at the same time splitting off from others.
Internationally-renowned author and scholar Micheal Ignatieff started the Conference off on a highly intellectual and yet fully accessible tone, and this was sustained for the duration of the event. The media was there to record the thoughts of both speakers and delegates, as were the policy makers from Ottawa and eastern Provincial capitals. French and English Canadians debated national issues in a new light, as did representatives from groups of "New Canadians" (the term is not ours) and aboriginal groups. Europeans spoke of the new European federation, with all of its succeses and failures, and Americans reflected on how the United States was coping with the final death blow to isolationist policies by a new reality of globalism.
This year's Conference was an outstanding success in every sense, and I am confident that the following pages will be both exciting and rewarding for those readrers who were unable to attend the event. For those who were there, may this written record bring back some of the intellectual stimulation provided by the 1994 Couchiching Conference.