Context & purpose

GVS was founded back in 2012 to open a discussion on the issues faced by First Nations and ways to move forward in recognizing, valuing and celebrating an Indigenous Worldview. It's with this purpose in mind that Shawn Atleo, Hereditary Chief of the Ahousaht Fist Nation and former Nation Chief of the Assembly of First Nation in Canada, launched the KaNaTa Dialogue. Thanks to his leadership and vision, he created a respectful and inspiring space to host dialogue between First Nations leaders, government officials, scholars, as well as interested citizens. Over the course of three years thousands of people shared their ideas worldwide, creating a powerful network and synergy for social learning and structural change.


Inaugural KaNaTa Dialogue

University of Winnipeg (OCTOBER 2011)

The University of Winnipeg hosted the inaugural KaNaTa Dialogue, Re-Thinking Canada Embracing An Indigenous Worldview on October 5, 2011. The Dialogue was webcast to thousands of viewers internationally.

The four themes discussed were:

  • Culture and Identity
  • The Natural World
  • Governance - Laws and Relations
  • Re-Building Wholeness.

Engaging in Change: Reflection and Strategies on First Nations - Canada Relations

Nippissing university, NOrth Bay Ontario (April 2013)

Engaging in Change:  Reflections and Strategies on First Nations - Canada Relations

The Dialogue included a wide-ranging and topical conversation dealing with pressing concerns of education, the environment, healing and public participation.  Students engaged in a lively question period and emphasized the importance of broad conversation to engage, encourage and inspire new generations of leaders to take concrete steps and to achieve change.


INDIGENOUS Nations in CANADA: Requirement for recognition and priority issues


Shawn A-in-chut Atleo, National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations, Canada, gave a talk to a packed room at Queen Elizabeth House, University of Oxford on 9 October 2013. National Chief Atleo talked about the priority issues facing Indigenous nations in Canada, from education to resource development and the enduring requirement for recognition and affirmation of relationships to achieve fairness, justice and harmony.

His speech was followed by a talk by a former National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations, Ovide Mercredi, who during his time in office addressed the UN in both New York and Geneva.

The seminar was held as part of OPHI’s work on Social Isolation, part of their research into the Missing Dimensions of poverty.

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Global citizenship & the royal proclamation


Former National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations, Shawn A-in-chut Atleo was invited to speak on the rights of indigenous peoples.

His visit had been organized by the Centre of Canadian Studies, in association with the Global Justice Academy, to mark the 250th anniversary of the Royal Proclamation. Signed in 1763, the proclamation acknowledged the rights and land-claims of North America’s aboriginal population.

“We are delighted to welcome the National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations to Edinburgh, particularly at a time when the University is engaged in questions about global citizenship."

— Dr Annis May Timpson, Director of the Centre of Canadian Studies


Racism to Reconciliation Procress

Vancouver Island University, Nanaimo (JANUARY 2014)

On January 29, 2014 as part of Vancouver Island University’s commitment to Nanaimo’s “Racism to Reconciliation” process, which began last spring, VIU hosted one of the series of KaNaTa Conversations with a distinguished panel of guest speakers in astimulating night of lively discussion on the role that media plays in shaping the relationship between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples.