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First Nations Symposium

November 16, 2006

Source: Royal Roads University

First Nations communication and culture will be focus of a the 2006 School of Communication & Culture public symposium being held at Royal Roads University on Wednesday, Nov. 22 on the Quarterdeck of the Grant Building starting at 10:00 a.m. The symposium is free and open to the public.

First Nations: Rethinking Intercultural Communication will include the participation of learners from the Master of Arts in Professional Communication which has 90 new MA students on campus this month.

Speakers for this event include:

Michael J. McCarthy, Nuu-chah-nulth in Ucluelet and a Victoria resident. He currently serves as the Employment Advisor to the Esquimalt Nation. McCarthy is an alcohol-and-drug abuse counsellor who focuses on cultural counselling and cultural psychology. His expertise includes counselling individual trauma related to the residential school experience. In 1991 he co-founded The Right Honorable Jeanne Sauvé Youth Foundation. He will present on the topic of Cultural Teachings in the Modern World which draws on the role of his life experiences and the stories of his grandmother, her teachings and how that ancestral knowledge blends into university methods of thought.

Paulette Regan obtained her doctorate from the Indigenous Governance program at the University of Victoria. Her presentation is entitled Decolonizing Dialogues and Historical Conflicts and will address how communicative acts of testimony, restitution and apology can create a decolonizing space for Indigenous history, culture and law. Regan, who has two decades of experience working with Indigenous communities, is currently participating in an Academic Interchange between the Department of Justice Canada (BC Region) and the History Department at the University of British Columbia, where she is an Adjunct Professor. She has also been a Senior Resolution Manager with Indian Residential Schools Resolution Canada.

Samuel Sam is an Elder who speaks as a Coast Salish on the Saanich. His remarks will focus on communication and culture in First Nations. Sam holds an honorary doctorate of law from the University of Victoria, has advised government officials and led workshops attended by Canadian and British Columbia Supreme Court justices. As former chief and councillor of the Tsartlip First Nation, he has been acknowledged as a Grand Chief. He was awarded the Order of Canada in 1992 for his work with different institutions across Canada including National Health and Welfare and First Nations communities.

His son, Coast Salish speaker and Elder Lux Lak u Luk Greg Sam, will speak on international communication among First Nations. He facilitates the sharing of Coast Salish culture and customs, and other traditional Aboriginal ways, with non-Aboriginal peoples. Greg Sam has worked extensively with schools and universities, the Department of National Defence, the police, the Institute of Public Administration of Canada, and other organizations, in creating understanding and respect for Aboriginal culture. His approach focuses on weaving together aboriginal protocol and values with the Elders’ teaching of traditional law and their stories.

The presentations will conclude with a question and answer period. The symposium is part of Royal Roads University’s graduate education and its continuing commitment to collaboration with First Nations communities


For media queries, contact:Communications Officer, Phil (250) 391-2526, cell (250) 812-5065 or,

Communication Manager, Stephanie (250) 391-2712, cell (250) 361-5020



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