School of Policy Studies

School of Policy Studies
School of Policy Studies

Indigenous Peoples & Public Policy

The future of Indigenous Peoples, in their relationship with the Governments of Canada, is one of the most complex policy questions of our time. In association with its academic program in Indigenous Policy and Governance, the Queen's School of Policy Studies has held a number of conferences focussing on critical policy issues affecting Indigenous people and their communities.

2016: Sharing a Land, Sharing a Future

Sharing the Land, Sharing a Future conference banner


The Sharing the Land, Sharing a Future National Forum was intended to engage a wide range of participants. Our goal was to explore and extend the knowledge available from the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples and our experience of the intervening 20 years to advance good relations and develop a shared responsibility for the future. Through a series of keynotes and interactive sessions, all participants contributed to developing a set of recommended priorities for all sectors of Canadian society to move forward. The National Forum also marked the renewal of the rich RCAP database of research and testimony that will contribute to public education and to evidence-based deliberations about how best to move forward.

The Forum addressed the following themes:

  • How might we think of a nation to nation relationship and what are the priority actions associated with moving to achieve this?
  • What are the key policy priorities for closing the gap between First Nations, Metis and Inuit Peoples and others within Canada?
  • Youth are our future. What are their visions? What is enabling them and preventing them from achieving those visions for a better future?
  • How do we foster widespread citizen engagement to build understanding, forge a new relationship and close the gap?
  • What are the foundations of powerful and healthy First Nations, Metis and Inuit communities and how do we all build on the positive examples of sustenance and change?
  • How do we move to action through engagement, research and good policy change?

Please visit for all conference information as well as to view videos of the presentations and to download the final reports.  


2013: Indigenous Issues in Post-secondary Education: Transitions to the Workplace

Indigenous Issues in Post Secondary Education Banner

Conference Co-hosts:

Dr. Lloyd Axworthy, President and Vice-Chancellor, The University of Winnipeg
Peter Dinsdale, CEO, Assembly of First Nations
Don Drummond, Matthews Fellow, Queen's University
Janice Hill, Director, Four Directions Aboriginal Student Centre, Queen's University
Dr. Brenda Macdougall, Chair in Metis Research, Department of Geography, University of Ottawa


IPPP 2013 Conference ReportConference Report [PDF11.9 MB]

Hard copies of the final report are available. Please email for more information.

Recognizing the importance of education to economic, social and health outcomes, Queen's University organized a conference in June 2011 on Indigenous Issues in Post-Secondary Education. Suggestions were made at that conference to hold a follow-up event in two years. That time is coming. The second Queen’s conference will be held in Toronto on October 6 - 7, 2013. The 2011 conference focused on drawing a larger number of Aboriginal students to Canada's colleges and universities and ensuring their success. The 2013 conference will shift attention to the transition from colleges and universities to the workplace. The conference will be of interest to a wide array of educators, including senior administrators, those involved in Aboriginal programs and student houses and faculty and staff supporting job placement services. Public and private sector employers seeking to recruit college and university graduates should also find the conference to be of value.

The conference was organized as a partnership of Queen's University, the Assembly of First Nations, the Metis Nation of Ontario and the University of Winnipeg.

Background Materials

Supply Side of Aboriginal Post-Secondary Education in Canada [PDF 3.4 MB]
Dr. Jerry White and Dr. Catherine Gordon, University of Western Ontario

Executive Summary - Jobs in Canada: Where, What, and For Whom? [PDF 747 KB]
TD Economics, Special Report

Employment and Education Among Aboriginal Peoples [PDF 898 KB]
TD Economics, Special Report


Plenary 1

Perspectives on Aboriginal Students Graduating From Canada's Colleges and Universities

Meeting Demand: Trends in Aboriginal Post-Secondary Education (PSE) [PDF 515 KB]
Dr. Jerry White and Dr. Catherine Gordon, University of Western Ontario

Tracking PSE Labour Market Outcomes: A Data Linkage Approach [Prezi presentation]
Dr. Ross Finnie, University of Ottawa

Plenary 2

Perspectives on Jobs in Canada

Jobs in Canada: Where, What and For Whom? [PDF 4.6 MB]
Derek Burleton and Sonja Gulati, TD

Canadian Mining Industry Employment, Hiring Requirements and Available Talent 10-Year Outlook [PDF 5.5 MB]
Martha Roberts, MiHR

Plenary 3

Aboriginal Organizations that Facilitate the transition from College and University to the Workplace

Indspire [PDF 1.4 MB]
Dr. Chris Paci, Indspire

Plenary 4

Promising Practices of Employers, Colleges and Universities

Confederation College - A Regional Overview [PDF 5.8 MB]
Don Bernosky, Confederation College, Ring of Fire Aboriginal Training Alliance

Promising Practices of Employers, Colleges and Universities [PDF 3.2 MB]
Tracy Brant, Red River College

Special thanks to our sponsors

TD Bank logo

Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science, Queen's University

2011: Indigenous Issues in Post-secondary Education: Building on Best Practices


2011 IIPSE Report cover

Conference Report [PDF 1 MB]

Hard copies of the final report are available. Please email for more information.

The Queen’s national conference will provide a forum for participants to deal with the issue of attracting and retaining more students from indigenous populations to a quality education in Canada’s universities and colleges.

Conference working groups, as well as keynote addresses, panels and a best practices showcase will provide participants with the opportunity to consider and assess strategies that work and to determine how to apply them more broadly across institutions. Topics will include outreach and recruitment, entrance requirements, bridging initiatives, the development of role models, community partnerships, supports for language and culture, indigenizing the curriculum, governance, and financial obstacles with an aim to developing policy recommendations for institutions, communities, and governments.

National Chief, Chief Shawn A-in-chut Atleo, Assembly of First Nations, Roberta Jamieson, CEO of the National Aboriginal Achievement Foundation, and Mary Simon, President of Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami will be the keynote speakers. The conference is co-chaired by Bob Watts, Fellow, Queens School of Policy Studies and former Chief of Staff and CEO, Assembly of First Nations, and Don Drummond, Matthews Fellow in Global Public Policy, Queen’s School of Policy Studies and former Chief Economist & Senior Vice President, TD Bank.

Special thanks to our sponsors:

Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science, Queen's University
Colleges Ontario
Association of Canadian Community Colleges (ACCC)
Association of Universities and Colleges Canada (AUCC)
School of Policy Studies, Queen's University
Matthews Fellowship, Queen's University
Four Directions Aboriginal Student Centre, Queen's University
Queen's Native Student Association
First Nations Technical Institute (FNTI)

2009: Mineral Resources and Aboriginal Lands

Mineral Resources and Aboriginal Lands

June 14-15, 2009


Canada’s natural resources are an opportunity for First Nations and the mining industry to develop a strong economic and social advantage. This conference provides a unique meeting place to explore public policy challenges and build relationships among First Nations people, industry and government.

Learn more about the joint FNTI/Queen’s Aboriginal PMPA program.

View the conference program, presentations of Jason Wilson and Lori Sterling, and summary report.

  • Co-sponsored by FNTI, Queen's School of Policy Studies, and Kinross Professorship in Mining and Sustainability.
  • Media sponsor: Canadian Government Executive.
  • Financial support from the Ontario Ministry of Aboriginal Affairs.
2008: Reconciliation Processes

Reconciliation Processes

June 1-2, 2008


Welcome to the First Nations Conference on Reconciliation Processes web page. On this page you will find the summary report of the Conference on First Nations Reconciliation Processes, co-hosted by the School of Policy Studies at Queen’s University and First Nations Technical Institute (FNTI) on June 1st and 2nd, 2008. Video of Chief Ovide Mercredi's speech is also available on request. Thank you for accessing the resources on the website and we hope you find the material helpful, inspiring and informative.