Upcoming Events


“Hard Travel: Alex MacKenzie from Canada by land 22d July 1793”

by Richard Van Loon

Date and Time: 7pm (EST) Thursday, November 5 online on Zoom

If you wish to receive the link to register and participate in this meeting, please email OSFAS co-chair Gail Larose at glarose0@gmail.com.

Over 6000 years the St Lawrence and Ottawa valleys formed the major highway leading to the interior of North America. This talk, the second in a series that started in May 2019, will focus on the travelers and traders who moved west, with the support of First Nations, in the 18th century culminating in Alexander MacKenzie’s epic voyage to the Pacific in 1793.


richard-van-loon-TNRichard Van Loon is past president of Carleton University and past chair of the Council of Ontario Universities. He holds a BSc in chemistry and an MA in political science from Carleton and a PhD in political studies from Queen’s University. He joined Carleton in 1970 as assistant professor of political science and has held faculty positions in the School of Public Policy and Administration at Carleton where he is now professor emeritus and in the Faculty of Administration at the University of Ottawa. He was associate deputy minister of Health Canada and of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and held several assistant deputy minister positions in the Canadian federal government. He was the first Carleton alumnus to become president of the university.

Dr. Van Loon’s current research interests include federal-provincial relations, particularly related to post-secondary education, quality assurance and instructional methodology in post-secondary education and the history of the Ottawa River.

“Indigenous Women’s Theatre in Canada: A Mechanism of Decolonization” to be given by Sarah MacKenzie

Date and Time: 7pm (EST) Wednesday, November 25 online on Zoom

If you wish to receive the link to register and participate in this meeting, please email OSFAS co-chair Gail Larose at glarose0@gmail.com.

Despite a recent increase in the productivity and popularity of Indigenous playwrights in Canada, most critical and academic attention has been devoted to the work of male dramatists, leaving female writers on the margins. In her recent book, Indigenous Women’s Theatre in Canada, Sarah MacKenzie suggests that colonialist misrepresentations of Indigenous women have served to perpetuate demeaning stereotypes, justifying devaluation of and violence against Indigenous women. Most significantly, however, she argues that resistant representations in Indigenous women’s dramatic writing and production work in direct opposition to such representational and manifest violence. Engaging with both literary and performance theory, MacKenzie analyzes dramatic texts by Monique Mojica, Marie Clements, and Yvette Nolan, arguing that these plays deconstruct some of the harmful ideological work performed by colonial misrepresentations of Indigenous identity and demonstrate the strength and persistence of Indigenous women, offering a space in which decolonial futurisms can be envisioned.

SARAH MACKENZIE holds a PhD and M.A. in Feminist and Gender Studies from the University of Ottawa, as well as an undergraduate degree in Humanities from Carleton University. Her masters and doctoral work examined the ways Indigenous playwrights address the colonialist legacy of violence against women as it continues to play out in contemporary North American contexts. She has taught Indigenous Studies at the University of New Brunswick, Sheridan College, and the University of Ottawa. Her academic research interests include Indigenous theatre, postcolonial feminist theory, Canadian history, and Indigenous literatures. Both her academic work and social activism are fundamentally concerned with the outmoding and dismantling of colonial hierarchies, the rebalancing of unequal power relations between Indigenous peoples and White settlers, and the eventual forging of alternative modes of relation.