An Indigenous-led summit building solutions for moving beyond the Indian Act.

Meegwetch to all who participated in determiNATION Summit.



Ottawa, ON

23-24 May 2018

A fundamental rethink

Join us for a fundamental rethink of Canada’s legal framework.


determiNATION will bring together thinkers and leaders to create a framework for decolonization. Starting with an understanding of the principles and mechanisms that underlie the Indigenous-government relationship, participants will develop a concrete, actionable solution for overcoming those barriers and achieving Nation-to-Nation progress.  


Taking place over two days in Ottawa, the Summit will be Indigenous-led and will feature a broad range of voices including Indigenous youth, women, leaders, Elders, legal and scholarly experts, and keepers of traditional Indigenous knowledge, working in collaboration with government stakeholders to advance our shared goals.



The Summit will bring together voices from across Canada who have a common goal of achieving Nation-to-Nation progress.


The Summit will bring together voices from across Canada who have a common goal of achieving Nation-to-Nation progress.



determiNATION is coordinated by Nishnawbe Aski Nation in collaboration with Osgoode Law School and York University.

You can be a part of this  change by helping us grow our reach and impact. Check out our sponsorship document.




Booshoo, Wacheya! Welcome to determiNATION, the first Indigenous-led summit for building solutions for moving past the Indian Act.

It is time to create a new relationship with our federal Treaty partner based on rights, recognition and reconciliation. What is missing is a clear path forward – a framework for change from an Indigenous perspective.

We have partnered with Osgoode Hall Law School to create a venue for a broad range of voices including Indigenous youth, women, leaders, Elders, legal experts, scholars, and keepers of traditional knowledge. By working in collaboration with government stakeholders, we will begin to create a plan on how to move beyond the Indian Act towards self-determination for our Nations.

determiNATION features a diverse range of delegates, presenters and other special guests. This nationwide summit will empower Indigenous Peoples to co-create actionable initiatives alongside representatives from government and the public service around the themes of premises, principles, and institutional, legislative, and constitutional mechanisms.

The time for change is now. The relationship between Indigenous Peoples and the Government of Canada must be decolonized and restructured so we can move forward together.

I look forward to your participation and I know our time together will be productive.


Chi Miigwetch,

Grand Chief Alvin Fiddler

Nishnawbe Aski Nation



I write on behalf of the Osgoode Hall Law School (York University) community to express our strong support for the Nishnawbe Aski Nation’s initiative in bringing together leaders for the determiNATION summit.

The Indian Act is a product of a colonial culture. It was a unilateral imposition by the Canadian Government on Indigenous Peoples whose traditions, laws, and culture were not respected or valued by its terms. In short, moving beyond the Indian Act and dismantling the structures to which it has given rise is a necessary step towards a nation to nation relationship between Canada and Indigenous Peoples.

We are grateful for the opportunity to collaborate with the Nishnawbe Aski Nation on this initiative and for your leadership. We very much hope these discussions contribute to the understanding that moving beyond the Indian Act is both possible and necessary!


Lorne Sossin


Osgoode Hall Law School

First-ever Indigenous-led summit to focus on moving

past the Indian Act



We hope to engage participants in a meaningful and innovative dialogue about the way forward on the road to decolonization. Here are some helpful resources for you to read before the Summit.

Supreme Court of Canada Headnotes in the Following Cases:



determiNATION is taking place in downtown Ottawa at the Delta Ottawa City Centre (101 Lyon Street North). We recognize the location of this event is on unceded territories of the Algonquin nation.

Book your group rate for determiNation Summit.

Tel: 613.369.5006

101 Lyon St N

Ottawa, ON K1R 7Y5

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