What does it mean to be a status Indian in Canada? Douglas Sanderson (Amo Binashii), a professor at the University of Toronto Faculty of Law and a member of the Opaskwayak Cree Nation, answered this seemingly straightforward question in his keynote speech at our 50th anniversary gala. Explaining the processes of losing and gaining status in his family and the policies made to disempower Indigenous people over the last century, Sanderson paints a powerful portrait of how public policy shaped his life and that of Indigenous people across this land.  

Sanderson’s words are followed by a stirring poetry performance from Greg Frankson (aka Ritallin), a leading Black Canadian poet and editor of AfriCANthology: Perspectives of Black Canadian Poets (2022). Frankson’s work in this selection continue the theme of inequality. 

This episode of the podcast is a recording of Douglas Sanderson’s keynote speech and Greg Frankson’s poetry from November 23, 2022 at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa. 

Download for free. Tweet your questions and comments to @IRPP.

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Douglas Sanderson
Douglas Sanderson (Amo Binashii) is the Prichard Wilson Chair in Law and Public Policy at the University of Toronto faculty of law and has served as a senior policy advisor to Ontario’s attorney general and minister of Indigenous affairs. He is the co-author of Valley of the Birdtail : An Indian Reserve, a White Town, and the Road to Reconciliation (HarperCollins, 2022). He is a Swampy Cree, Beaver Clan, of the Opaskwayak Cree Nation.
Greg Frankson
Greg Frankson is the founder and CEO of Voice Share Inc., which provides training, coaching/mentorship, and consulting services focused on transformative organizational change through inclusive leadership and effective communication.
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