Over the period of two days, the participants of the Champlain Colloquium reflected on the remembering of Samuel de Champlain and the Encounter with the Anishinabe through various panel discussions.
In each panel were speakers representing different disciplines and perspectives, including First Nations teachers, artists, cultural events organizers, and community leaders as well as scholars, heritage activists and representative of cultural centres. Bringing these different voices together offered a sense of collaboration and conversation unique to traditional history conferences. Having these representatives come together encouraged new ways of understanding and thinking about Champlain’s journey to the Ottawa Valley and the continuing legacy of this historical moment.
Seven panel sessions were held over the course of two days. Each panel took a different approach in reflecting upon how people in the Ottawa Valley remember and commemorate the legacy of Champlain. The Colloquium began with a panel on “The History of New France as a Meeting Ground”, which considered the different memories and meanings attached to the history of 1613 Encounter from an Aboriginal perspective, French perspective and Franco-Canadian perspective. The subsequent panel sessions expanded on these perspectives by reflecting on the different ways 1613 and Champlain have been commemorated for the 400th anniversary. The second panel, “Artistic Interventions” considered alternative artistic representations of the legacy of Champlain by Aboriginal artists, using art to challenge dominate perceptions of Champlain as an explorer and hero. Other panels reflected on how Champlain and the 1613 Encounter has been exhibited to the public in museums and other cultural centres, represented in statues and monuments and celebrated in commemorative events among English Canadians, French Canadians and Aboriginal communities. There was also a panel discussion on “Teaching1613” reflecting on how the history of 1613 is taught to students and its implications. Here, teachers invited other teachers, as well as students, in the audience to encourage their students think more critically about this history presented to them and in new perspectives.
The Colloquium Archives will be coming soon to this website. In summer 2014, the Department of History at Carleton University will donate the digital items, collections and exhibits on the Champlain on the Anishinabe Aki digital repository to Archives and Research Collections.