Page 1




Christopher Alcantara’s book on aboriginal property rights is helping to create new legislation.

VOL. 1 | NO. 1 | APRIL 7,2008

Wilfrid Laurier University • September 2010 VOL. 1 | NO. 1 | APRIL 7,2008



Put on your purple and gold! More than 10,000 people are expected on the Waterloo campus for Homecoming.


VOL. 1 | NO. 1 | APRIL 7,2008 Meet Gary Bott and learn how his carpentry skills have been put to use in South America.

Laurier launches new technology initiatives CAMPUS CONNECTIONS COMMUNITY 1 NO. 1 Learning management system, student webmailVOL. and1gateway ready for fallVOL. term | NO. 1 | APRIL 7,2008 |




Laurier’s teaching, learning and technology needs, now and in the future.” A new learning management Laurier originally announced system and student email the partnership with D2L in service — two of the cornerMarch. Transition to myLearnstones of Laurier’s Information ingSpace took place over the and Communication Technolsummer, with orientation ogies (ICT) renewal plan — are and training offered through up and running, along with a Teaching Support Services in late new student gateway, in time August and early September. for the start of Laurier’s fall “Students and faculty alike will academic term.| CONNECTIONS | COMMUNITY CAMPUS benefit from the ability to make On Aug. 1, Laurier implecourse information and resources mented myLearningSpace, a for students available online,” learning management system said Sandy Hughes, director: powered by Desire2Learn (D2L) teaching support services. to support the many Laurier By using D2L’s hosting courses that have an online services, Laurier will be able to component. The system replaces focus on course content develWebCT/Blackboard, which opment, delivery and pedagogy had been used by the Laurier rather than the technical community since 1998. management of servers and “MyLearningSpace provides availability. solutions that enable learning Another major element of the to take place inside and outside ICT renewal was implemented the classroom — essential in Aug. 30 when ITS moved a contemporary university students’ official Laurier email environment,” said Tom accounts to myLaurier webmail Buckley, assistant vice-president: academic services. “We believe this system will best meet ITS RENEWAL see page 3


APRIL 7,2008

By Lori Chalmers Morrison

VOL. 1 | NO. 1 | APRIL 7,2008

Students can now gain secure access to their webmail, OneCard account, academic records, class schedule, textbook list and links to common Laurier sites — all from one website.

Centennial celebrations kick off in October Lawrence Hill coming to Laurier Volunteers have organized a year full of events By Tiffany Bradley The Centennial Steering Committee has planned a year full of interesting events leading up to Laurier’s 100th anniversary in October 2011, and we want you to help us kick it all off! Mark your calendars for Monday, Oct. 18 — the day we will launch our celebration of 100 years inspiring lives of leadership and purpose. Event details will be provided in an invitation to all staff and faculty in late September. Hundreds of people have already volunteered on sub-committees to plan various aspects of our year-long celebration. A full event calendar will be available in the fall, and will be posted on the centennial microsite for

easy reference. More than 60 proposals for events, conferences, speaker series, musical performances, campus enhancements and historical plays were received by the steering committee, with many receiving partial or full funding. The Communications, Public Affairs and Marketing (CPAM) department is in the process of developing centennial stationery and “centennial toolkits” for use by the entire Laurier community. The toolkits

can be signed out for up to three days at a time and will include items such as a podium sign, pull-up banners and portfolios, all branded for the centennial. This toolkit will help market and promote Laurier’s 100th anniversary at no cost. We encourage the university community to book the toolkit for use at events planned for 2011. Information on how to do this will be available on the centennial microsite in the fall. Dr. Andrew Thomson is also writing a popular history about Laurier, which will be published and made available in summer 2011. If you have any interesting stories about your experiences at Laurier, or about an inspiring professor or administrator, email Thomson at for possible inclusion.

Author will spend a week on campus as writer-in-residence By Kevin Crowley Award-winning writer Lawrence Hill, author of the best-selling novel The Book of Negroes, will spend a week at Wilfrid Laurier University as writer-in-residence from Sept. 27 to Oct. 1. Hill’s itinerary includes three public readings — two on the Waterloo campus and one at Laurier Brantford — as well as a luncheon with students, two lectures with undergraduates (Waterloo and Brantford), a roundtable discussion with graduate students and faculty, and a fund-raising dinner. The money raised Lawrence Hill

through the fund-raising event will help establish the Lawrence Hill Graduate Award in Arts and Humanities. Hill has visited Laurier several times in the past. He wrote a small portion of The Book of Negroes while staying in Laurier’s Lucinda House guest residence on a previous visit. His upcoming writer-inresidence visit stems from an invitation by Laurier professor Carol B. Duncan, a friend and colleague who contributed to a documentary film project, Seeking Salvation: A History of the Black Church in Canada, for which Hill served as writer. “Inviting Lawrence Hill to visit the Laurier community will allow students, faculty, staff and HILL see page 3


VOL. 1 NO. 1 APRIL 7,2008


VOL. 1 NO. 1 APRIL 7,2008

September 2010

president’s message

An exciting and busy year ahead September is an exciting month on a university campus. It is a time of new beginnings, fresh possibilities and a vibrant sense of anticipation. At Laurier, we have an extraordinarily exciting and busy year ahead. A number of important new initiatives are being rolled out and there are plenty of changes, achievements and milestones to celebrate over the next 12 months. On the academic side, we have a new Academic Plan that will support, guide and strengthen our curriculum, teaching and research. The plan recognizes Laurier’s strengths and unique characteristics while identifying the areas we will continue to emphasize and in which we will initiate focus. We have three new academic deans at Laurier — Michael Carroll in the Faculty of Arts; Paul Jessop in the Faculty of Science; and Glen Carruthers in the Faculty of Music. All three will no doubt build on the

excellent work of their predecessors while bringing their own fresh perspectives to their faculties. Laurier is also hard at work enhancing the intentional integration of its academic/ curricular agenda with the co-curricular facets of student learning and development. Led jointly by Deb MacLatchy, vice-president: academic, and David McMurray, vicepresident: student affairs, the intent is to enhance student engagement and success. This purposeful integration can be seen in the faculty-led academic sessions offered to first-year students during Orientation Week, as well as in the new learning outcomes component of Orientation Week, which will introduce new students to Laurier’s institutional proposition: inspiring lives of leadership and purpose. We are also introducing a new Student Affairs structure that includes, among other improve-

John Milloy, Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities, centre, met recently with Kyle Walker, president of WLUSU, left, and Laurier president Max Blouw.

ments, the creation of a dean of students position focused specifically on the Waterloo campus and another dean of students focused on the Brantford campus. The overall change in Student Affairs is designed to enhance Laurier’s innovative approach to student-centred education at a time when enrolment is growing and the university continues to evolve as a multi-campus institution.

On the technology front, the comprehensive work of last year’s ICT review is starting to bear fruit as we roll out improvements to Laurier’s online learning system, student email, and student-services web information this month. There are many other developments and events to celebrate — author Lawrence Hill’s writerin-residence visit to Laurier this month, the opening of the

Laurier Brantford Research and Academic Centre, a new executive master’s program in Technology Management, among many others — but the one that will dominate the next 12 months is the celebration of our centennial. Laurier turns 100 in 2011 and we will be kicking off a year of celebration starting next month and carrying on to the anniversary date next fall. This is an important milestone, one shared by relatively few other Canadian universities, and we at Laurier have much to be proud of and a wonderful future to look forward to. I wish you all a successful and enjoyable year.

Max Blouw, President and Vice-Chancellor

Waterloo campus appoints new dean of students

Photo: Stacey Morrison

Laurier has appointed Leanne Holland Brown to the position of Dean of Students for the Waterloo campus, effective September 1. The newly revised role of dean of students, Laurier Waterloo is part of a strategic change within the Department of Student Affairs that also includes the creation of a dean of students position for the Laurier Brantford campus. A candidate search for the

Leanne Holland Brown

dean of students, Laurier Brantford is underway. The overall change in Student Affairs is designed to enhance Laurier’s innovative approach to student-centred education at a time when enrolment is growing and the university continues to evolve as a multi-campus institution. Dedicating one dean of students to the Waterloo campus and another to the fast-growing Brantford campus will enable each dean to focus more directly on students and on the studentlife needs of their respective campuses. The dean of students, Laurier Waterloo, will report to David McMurray, Laurier’s vicepresident, Student Affairs, who until May held the title of dean of students and assistant vicepresident, Student Services. The dean of students, Laurier Brantford, will report to McMurray and to Lesley Cooper, acting principal/vice-president of the Brantford campus. This

co-reporting structure creates a direct line to senior leadership on both campuses and supports a strong multi-campus operational model. “These changes are strategically designed to ensure that our students continue to receive an outstanding university experience, “ McMurray said. “The changes also support Laurier’s commitment to the intentional integration of its academic/curricular agenda with the co-curricular facets of student learning and development, all with a view to enhancing student engagement and success.” Holland Brown has a master of arts degree in Leadership and has served as manager of Laurier’s Student Leadership Centre since 2007. Previously, she was the student life coordinator at Conestoga College. She has also worked as a residence-life area coordinator at Laurier and as a residence-life coordinator at

InsideLaurier is published by Communications, Public Affairs & Marketing (CPAM) Wilfrid Laurier University 75 University Avenue West, Waterloo, Ontario N2L 3C5


Assistant Editor: Lori Chalmers Morrison Design: Erin Steed Contributors: Tomasz Adamski, Tiffany Bradley, Kevin Crowley, Mallory O’Brien, Dean Palmer


reflection and leadership intersect.” “I am elated to be dean of students for Laurier Waterloo and I take great pride in working alongside wonderful students, staff and faculty in creating an unrivaled Laurier student experience,” she said.

Send us your news, events & stories

Email: Deadline for submissions: September 17

All submissions are appreciated, however not all submissions will be published. We reserve the right to edit all copy for accuracy, content and length.

InsideLaurier welcomes your comments and suggestions for stories. Tel: (519) 884-0710 ext. 3341 | Fax: (519) 884-8848 Email:

Volume 3, Number 3, September 2010 Editor: Stacey Morrison

the University of Waterloo. Holland Brown said she is excited by the opportunity to help shape the exceptional student experience at Laurier by “cultivating relationships and advancing a culture where academic excellence, educationally-purposeful activities,

InsideLaurier (circ. 2,100) is published eight times a year by CPAM. Opinions expressed in InsideLaurier do not necessarily reflect those of the editor or the university’s administration. Available online at Printed on recycled paper


VOL. 1 | NO. 1 | APRIL 7,2008


VOL. 1 | NO. 1 | APRIL 7,2008


VOL. 1 | NO. 1 | APRIL 7,2008


VOL. 1 | NO. 1 | APRIL 7,2008

September 2010

Laurier places in top five for Commuter Challenge In a friendly competition between organizations nationwide to reduce carbon emissions, Laurier proved to be a leader. The university finished in the top five in its size category for participation in the Canadian Commuter Challenge in early June. More than 14 per cent of the Laurier community showed their support for sustainable transportation by biking, walking, carpooling or taking the bus to work for a week. “Together, we burned more than 120,000 calories and reduced our carbon dioxide emissions by more than 3,100 kilograms. Way to go, Laurier!”said Mary Basler, manager of transportation and parking resources. Laurier was the only university to place in its category size of 1,000 – 5,000 employees. This was the ninth year Laurier has participated in the commuter challenge.

HILL continued

visitors to the university the opportunity to hear an acclaimed author discuss his work. The arts are an important aspect of university life,” said Duncan, chair of Laurier’s Department of Religion and Culture. Hill is the son of American immigrants, a black father and a white mother who raised their family in Toronto. The story of how his parents met, married, left the United States and raised a family in Toronto is described in Hill’s best-selling memoir Black Berry, Sweet Juice: On Being Black and White in Canada (2001). He has published three other works of non-fiction: Trials and

VOL. 1 NO. 1 APRIL 7,2008

What’s new and notable at Laurier

Laurier signs dual-credit agreement with Waterloo Regional District School Board Laurier signed a dual academic credit agreement with the Waterloo Regional District School Board (WRDSB), allowing high school students to receive a credit for the Laurier course Introductory Economics (EC120) while still in high school. “This will provide an opportunity for talented high school students to take an enriched microeconomics course,” said Steffen Ziss, chair of Laurier’s Department of Economics. “If these students intend to come to Laurier then it will provide them with the potential further benefit of having a university credit, which will reduce their first-term workload and improve their chances of success at university.” Students must achieve more than 75 per cent in the enriched high school course and more than 75 per cent in a final exam vetted by Laurier. If the student is then accepted to Laurier, he/ she will already have the credit for Laurier’s Introductory Economics course. Laurier’s Senate recently approved these types of dual credit courses, and the Department of Economics is the first to take advantage of the new policy.

Triumphs: The Story of AfricanCanadians (1993); Women of Vision: The Story of the Canadian Negro Women’s Association (1996); and The Deserter’s Tale (2007). Hill has also published three novels: Some Great Thing (1992); Any Known Blood (1997); and The Book of Negroes (2007). The Book of Negroes won the overall Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for Best Book, the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize, the Ontario Library Association’s Evergreen Award and CBC Radio’s Canada Reads Award. The book was a finalist for the Hurston/Wright LEGACY Award and long-listed for both the Giller Prize and the IMPAC Award. Hill has worked as a journalist

Golden Hawk Hall of Fame inductees announced In October, the Department of Athletics & Recreation will induct seven new members into the Golden Hawks Hall of Fame. This year’s althetes include Ryan Pyear and Ian Logan, both members of Laurier’s 2005 Vanier Cup-winning football team, football player Ryan Jeffrey, women’s rugy player Christine Carythers and Jason Lyall, who played on the 2001 Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) men’s soccer team. Tom Allen will be inducted as a builder for his contributions to the football program, and the 2000 men’s soccer team, also CIS winners, will become the 15th roster inducted. This year’s ceremony will take place Oct. 1 as part of Laurier’s Homecoming celebrations.

who are concerned about being judged by others. It goes well beyond shyness or fear of using the telephone. At extreme levels, it is diagnosed as social anxiety disorder. It can be extremely debilitating. “My recent research has focused on the development and validation of mindfulness- and acceptancebased group therapy for social anxiety,” said Kocovski. “It’s about being in the present moment and being willing to experience your anxiety in order to live your life.” The title of Kitaev’s research project is “Nanostructured Materials for Advanced Optical Applications via Synthetic Control and Self-Assembly of

director and co-CEO of Canada’s National Ballet School. A trained opera singer, he was previously dean of the Royal Conservatory of Music. Hastings, 35, is president and CEO of Moxy Media, which owns and operates more than 300 consumer information websites, while Symons, 39, is CEO of Jonas Software, which automates sports club operations such as booking tennis courts or tee times.

University achieves prestigious safety designation Laurier is the first university in North America to be awarded the Technical Standards & Safety Authority (TSSA) Quality Assessed Facility designation for achieving the highest standards of human and technical safety. The designation means the

university has attained premium levels of safety in regards to its equipment and systems, including fuel-handling systems. “This is an important designation for Laurier as it shows Physical Resources staff, contractors and consultants have partnered with TSSA and worked diligently to achieve safer facilities for the entire university community,” said John Campbell, manager of facilities operations, Physical Resources at Laurier. Facilities that apply for the designation undergo a thorough inspection and training for employees responsible for critical maintenance tasks. Each year, TSSA inspectors return to check equipment, review procedures and update documentation to ensure continuing safety.

Three Laurier grads named as Canada’s Top 40 Under 40 Laurier is well represented on the 2009 Canada’s Top 40 Under 40 list. Alumni receiving the honour include Jeff Melanson (MBA ’99), Ted Hastings (BBA ’97) and Barry Symons (BBA ’93). Melanson, 36, is executive

for The Globe and Mail and served as parliamentary correspondent for The Winnipeg Free Press.

Lawrence Hill public events at Laurier:

Sept. 27, 2-3 p.m. – a reading, talk and book signing, The Concourse, Waterloo campus. Sept. 28, 7 p.m. – a reading, lecture and book signing, Maureen Forrester Hall, Waterloo campus. Sept. 29, 2:30-3:30 p.m. – a reading, talk and book signing, Laurier Brantford, Rm. 220 of the new Laurier Brantford Research and Academic Centre.

Professors receive Early Researcher Awards Two professors in Laurier’s Faculty of Science have been awarded prestigious Early Researcher Awards from Ontario’s Ministry of Research and Innovation. Psychologist Nancy Kocovski and chemist Vladimir Kitaev have each been awarded $100,000 over a five-year term to facilitate their innovative research. Each professor will also receive a $50,000 matching award from Laurier. The title of Kocovski’s research is “Mindfulness and AcceptanceBased Treatments for Social Anxiety: Mechanisms of Action.” Social anxiety, Kocovski says, is experienced by people

VOL. 1 NO. 1 APRIL 7,2008


Nanoscale Building Blocks.” Nanoparticles are extremely small — a nanometre is one billionth of a metre. Kitaev and his students have produced several well-defined nanoshapes including cubic, decahedral (10-sided) and pentagonal rod silver particles. The importance of this is that “metals at nanoscale, with a uniform shape, have welldefined optical properties.” These optical properties have great potential. Nanoscale metals could be used in optical sensors to, for example, “detect proteins, DNA or whatever you want by appropriate nanoparticle modifications.”

Photo: Mallory O’Brien



Laurier’s John Campbell, left, Dan Graham, second from left, Stephanie Kibbee, third from right and Gary Nower, second from right, with TSSA officials.

ITS RENEWAL continued

Students’ Laurier email addresses have changed to “novell username”@mylaurier. powered by Google Apps ca. Their new email address is Education Edition. the official email account the The new webmail allows the university will use to commuuniversity to satisfy students’ nicate with students. desires for an email system Students can access both with more features, and one myLearningSpace and that can handle a higher email myLaurier webmail through an capacity. It also addresses enhanced student the university’s need for an externally hosted email solution, gateway, introduced Aug. 30. Using Novell usernames and which was identified in last passwords, students can gain year’s ICT review. secure access to their webmail, “Email quota had always been OneCard account, academic a challenge for our students,” records, class schedule and said Fazil Rasheed, director of links to common Laurier sites — enterprise projects for the ICT all from one website. renewal. “MyLaurier webmail “This partnership between ITS, gives students more than seven WLUSU and Laurier Student gigabytes of storage — signifiServices allows us to provide cantly more than they had students with easy access to the previously — in addition to information they need most,” many other features.” said Rasheed. Students aren’t the only Response from students has ones who will benefit from the change. Switching to myLaurier been positive. “These new tools are webmail allows ITS to retire beneficial to student academic more than 34,000 student success and will allow students email accounts currently on to be more organized and GroupWise and free up system balanced overall,” said Kyle resources. This will improve Walker, president and CEO of GroupWise service for faculty WLUSU. “The effort the ITS and staff. team put into reaching out to “The move also enables students to gather feedback ITS to divert resources about existing challenges was from maintaining student the drive behind these projects.” GroupWise accounts to more The Student Services inforcritical initiatives,” said Buckley. mation formerly accessed Google Apps Education through will Edition is a suite of web applibe accessible through either cations used by many other or universities. It offers students the benefits of Gmail, an For further information, visit improved calendar feature and document sharing capabilities. 3

VOL. 1 NO. 1 APRIL 7,2008


VOL. 1 NO. 1 APRIL 7,2008

September 2010

people at Laurier

Jim Butler, Laurier’s vice-president: finance and administration, has been elected vice-president of the Canadian Association of University Business Officers (CAUBO). Founded in 1937, CAUBO is a non-profit professional organization for a diverse range of administrators in Canadian universities and colleges. A longstanding member, Butler was invited to serve on CAUBO’s Board of Directors in early 2010 and was nominated for vice-presidency in June. His yearlong appointment began July 1.

Gloria Song, student recruitment officer (events), Student Recruitment.

Christopher Brunskill, residential services assistant, Laurier Brantford. Samantha Clarke, diversity education coordinator, Diversity and Equity Office. Maureen Coulter, academic advisor, Faculty of Science.

Mary Joy Aitken, associate director: SBE, Development.

Eveline Escoto, administrative assistant II, History.

Siobhan Bhagwat, intermediate administrative assistant, Alumni Relations & Annual Giving.

Rick Henderson, lab coordinator (computer literacy), Physics & Computer Science.

Nancy Buckley, administrative assistant, SBE.

Tania John, development officer, Alumni & Annual Giving.

Stephanie D’Lima, student recruitment officer, Student Recruitment.

Lynne Jordan, co-ordinator: professional development & alumni relations, Faculty of Social Work. On leave until August 5, 2011. Kim Miller, residential services assistant, Residential Services.

Dana Gillett, employment equity & AODA officer, Diversity and Equity Office. Stacey MacKenzie, coordinator: inventory, Physical Resources. Emily Middleton, intermediate administrative assistant III, Co-operative Education. Boba Samuels, writing consultant, Writing Centre. Eva Skuza, coordinator, Co-operative Education.

Janet Robinson, development officer, leadership gifts, Development.

Ramona Albrecht, distribution services clerk, Mail Services.

New appointments:

James Evans, custodian, Physical Resources.

Jane Osborne, senior administrative assistant II, Philosophy.

Changes in staff appointments:

Roberta Ellington, coordinator: professional development & alumni relations, Faculty of Social Work.

Barbara Eichholz, special constable, Special Constable Services.

A balancing act

For a complete list of appointments visit

Gail Roth Abbott, associate director, development (library & student affairs), Development Office. Tony Sartor, custodian leadhand, Physical Resources. Sondra Schwartz, manager, Ceremonies & Events. Mary Scott, manager, educational technology, Teaching Support Services. Adri Spyker, administrative manager, SBE Research. Doreen Weise, lab coordinator, Dean’s Office, Laurier Brantford.

Retirements: Gail Brown, accounting terminal operator, is retiring October 1, 2010. Donna Gross, manager, financial systems, Financial Resources, retired August 1, 2010. Dave Rominger, coordinator: inventory, Physical Resources, retired July 30 after 36 years of service. Charlie Weiler, mechanic, Physical Resources, retired Aug. 31 after 36 years of service.

Colleen Myronyk, career consultant I (SBE graduate programs), Career Services. Mallory O’Brien, public affairs officer, Communications, Public Affairs & Marketing.

Do you have a personal or professional milestone to share with the Laurier community? Email

This month in history: What happened in September? Sept. 23, 1846: German astronomer Johann Gottfried Galle discovers the planet Neptune through a telescope at the Berlin Observatory.

Billie Jean King beats Bobby Riggs, a former No. 1 ranked men’s player and self-proclaimed male chauvinist.

Sept. 16, 1932: Ghandi begins a hunger strike in his cell near Bombay in protest of the British government’s decision to separate India’s electoral system by caste.

Sept. 22, 2009: Laurier officially opens its Toronto office on the main floor of the prestigious Exchange Tower Building at King and York streets.

Sept. 2, 1969: The first ATM machine makes its public debut, dispensing cash to customers at Chemical Bank in Rockville Center, New York. Sept. 26, 1969: The Brady Bunch airs for the first time. Sept. 20, 1973: In a highly publicized “Battle of the Sexes” tennis match, top women’s player


Photo: Mallory O’Brien


Construction workers guide a beam into place during the expansion of the Fred Nichols Campus Centre.

What are you reading


Name: Lisa Fanjoy Job Title: Manager: Online Learning Book Title: The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo Author: Stieg Larsson

What are you are reading What you


I enjoy mysteries and I found this one to be exceptionally good. It was a fast and engaging read with some great twists and turns in the plot (but nothing unbelievable or ridiculous). The characters are very real and the commentary on society today, while a bit alarming, is very accurate. I’m looking forward to reading the rest of the series!

listening to?

What are you listening to? Name: Andrei Kovacsik Job Title: Systems Analyst CD Title: Smoke & Mirrors Artist: The Eden House

This CD has wonderful vocals on appealing and sweeping multi-layered electronica/Gothic songs. All the songs are excellent, atmospheric and emotive. A great album that you can listen to over and over again, to wind up to or relax.

September 2010


VOL. 1 NO. 1 APRIL 7,2008


VOL. 1 NO. 1 APRIL 7,2008


Should aboriginal property rights be restored? Christopher Alcantara’s co-authored book stirs controversy over First Nations land ownership communities out of 615 have signed to opt-in to the bill if it is passed. “And maybe that will be it,” says Alcantara. “Or maybe those seven will see success and more will opt-in to it.” He says the proposal won’t be right for everyone. It will work best for reserves where there is a strong demand for the land, for example the Tsuu T’ina Nation reserve right next to Calgary. “If you’re on a reserve in the middle of northern Ontario, turning your land into fee-simple may not have the same advantages.” Although not every First Nations community will see the same advantages, many seem to agree the choice should be available, and individual reserves can decide what is best for them. “Although it’s not a magic wand for addressing aboriginal poverty, it may be an important tool for achieving that goal,” says Alcantara. “It allows aboriginals to unlock the potential wealth in First Nations lands while safeguarding the territorial and cultural integrity of First Nations communities.”

By Mallory O’Brien

With the current system, there are three basic ways to own property on a reserve:

Photo: Mallory O’Brien

According to Laurier political scientist Christopher Alcantara, it is a common misconception that indigenous peoples had no concept of private property. He says aboriginals owned fishing areas, hunting grounds, homes and even personal property. While the romantic image of the communal aboriginal who does not believe in private property persists today, “historically, it’s just not true,” he says. Alcantara is defending the proposed legislative changes found in his new co-authored book, Beyond the Indian Act: Restoring Aboriginal Property Rights. Currently, ownership of First Nations reserves belongs to the Crown. The book encourages transferring underlying title of reserve lands from the Crown to the First Nations, which the authors believe will help reduce First Nations poverty. The book was co-authored by Alcantara, economist André Le Dressay and Tom Flanagan, a former advisor to Prime Minister Stephen Harper. Since its release in March, Beyond the Indian Act has generated a significant amount of conversation and controversy, mostly because some of its ideas have been proposed for real legislation. “It’s nice to see our ideas turning into action,” he says. “The possibility that our research may have a positive effect on people’s lives is pretty cool.” Today, it is possible to own property on a reserve, “but the system is flawed in all sorts of ways,” says Alcantara. The need for governmental approval, the lack of true individual ownership and the inability to sell to anyone who is not part of the same First Nations band are just a few of the problems. “It hinders indigenous peoples’ ability to engage in land development — to buy a house, start a business or even just pass property on to a family member in a will.” With the criticisms of the current system in mind, Alcantara and his co-authors worked with Manny Jules, chief of the First Nations Tax Commission and former chief of the Kamloops Indian Band and the Nisga’a in British Columbia, to find a solution. The authors’ proposal, which they call the First Nations Property Ownership Act, is detailed in the last third of the book, and “was generated by the indigenous peoples who wanted one — not by academics or the government.” Alcantara stresses another

Policitcal scientist Christopher Alcantara is co-author of the book Beyond the Indian Act: Restoring Aboriginal Property Rights.

important point: the proposal would be completely voluntary. Only First Nations who decide to opt-in to it would gain the underlying title for the land. “This means the territorial integrity of the reserve belongs to the First Nations. They will always own it.” After opting-in, First Nations could keep their land in some form of collective ownership, or they could choose to subdivide some or all of their lands into leasehold and fee-simple (a form of freehold ownership) lands. The latter would give individual aboriginals ownership of their portion of reserve land, and is the more controversial part of the proposal. “Aboriginals could own a house just like anyone outside a reserve can own a house, but they could also sell that property to whomever they wish,” says Alcantara. The majority of critics say that if the land is sold to non-aboriginals, it will make the reserves disappear. Alcantara says the underlying title will always belong to the First Nations, and whoever owns the land will pay

taxes to the First Nations, and is subject to the laws of the First Nations. If the landowner dies and there are no heirs, the land goes back to the First Nations. In short, Alcantara says, the reserve will always exist. He explains the benefits: “Let’s say I’m living on a reserve today, and my father passes away and leaves me his five acres of land. Under the current system, he only has a certificate of possession, and I have to fill out all this paperwork and get approval from the various forms of government. “After a couple of years, I finally get the certificate of possession for the property and I decide I want to buy a house. I go to the bank for a loan, and even though I have a job and I am making money, I can’t get a mortgage because the bank can’t seize the house if I default. “Then the First Nations Property Ownership Act gets approved and my reserve’s band council decides to opt-in. My certificate of possession is converted into a fee-simple property. I go back to the bank and now they give me a

mortgage because the land is mine. “I build a house on one of my acres, and decide that since my property is next to a big shopping mall, I’m going to subdivide the property and sell or lease some land to a business for a big profit. All of this takes a fraction of the time it used to under the Indian Act.” More generally, the benefits of the proposal include decreasing overcrowding in the houses on reserves, raising land values to be comparable to the rest of Canada and increasing opportunities for First Nations businesses. The authors also suggest land be registered in a Torrens land registry system, which would decrease the cost of real estate transactions and allow quicker confirmations/registrations of titles. All four Canadian political parties have shown support for the book’s proposal, and John Duncan, the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development, has given Jules permission to engage in consultations and draft legislation. So far, seven First Nations

Customary rights are a general acknowledgement that someone “owns” a piece of land. In reality, that person is using the land at the behest of the band council, the governing body on reserves. “If someone intrudes on your land, or the band council decides to evict you off of it, there’s no piece of paper saying, ‘this land is mine,’” says Alcantara. A certificate of possession does have legal status because it comes from federal legislation — the Indian Act enacted in 1876. “The problem with certificates of possession is they require the approval of the band council and/or the minister of Indian Affairs, and there are all sorts of restrictions,” says Alcantara. “One being that you can only transfer property to someone else living on the reserve.” Property on reserves can be leased to anyone, but a lease still requires a combination of band council and/or ministry approval. However, in addition to bureaucratic delays, Canadian courts have often ruled that land on a reserve is worth 50 per cent less than the equivalent off a reserve.



VOL. 1 NO. 1 APRIL 7,2008


VOL. 1 NO. 1 APRIL 7,2008

September 2010

Laurier partners with Canadian Professor bikes with Lance Armstrong Blood Services Mobile blood donor clinic takes place this month By Mallory O’Brien In Canada, someone needs blood almost every minute of every day for surgery or medical treatment. One blood donation, which takes just one hour, can save up to three lives. Recognizing the importance of donating blood, Laurier recently joined Canadian Blood Services as a Partner for Life (PFL). The university will hold mobile blood donor clinics at its Brantford campus Oct. 7, 2010 and at its Waterloo campus Jan. 31, 2011. By joining Canadian Blood Services’ PFL program, Laurier has pledged to collect 300 donations this year. The partnership encompasses all four of Laurier’s campuses, as well as more than 70,000 alumni. Donations from all campuses will count toward one university-wide PFL number. “The Laurier community strongly supports Canadian Blood Services and the vital work that they do,” said Laurier president Max Blouw. “Our

students have a history of giving back to the community. They have been participating in blood clinics for many years and we are proud of their contributions and the fact that they lead by example.” To encourage donations for the upcoming academic year, the Laurier University Charity Kouncil (L.U.C.K.) hosted a “What’s Your Type” kick-off event during Orientation Week. The event aimed to educate students on the importance of donating blood, and participating students were able to learn their blood type. Other initiatives to promote the new partnership include blood recipient speakers at

By Mallory O’Brien

Laurier kinesiology professor Laurier’s “lunch and learn” Jill Tracey rode alongside cyclist events, student residence blood Lance Armstrong for a daunting donor challenges and campus 120-kilometre bike ride for charity, shuttles to the Kitchenerand for her father. Waterloo Blood Donor Clinic. Tracey, an avid cyclist, lost her Although Laurier joined the father to cancer in April. Around PFL program as an institution the same time, she heard the Ride in early 2010, faculty, staff and with Lance fundraising event student groups have been was returning to Waterloo Region bringing blood donor clinics to for a third time, and knew it was campus for a number of years. something she needed to do. Laurier’s Brantford campus “My dad lived a very active has been involved in mobile lifestyle and valued physical blood donor clinics since activity — I couldn’t think of 2006. Eight clinics have been a better way to honour him,” held with more than 230 units said Tracey. “He is still a huge collected, 85 new donors influence in my life, and I know welcomed, and almost 700 he would be very proud I am patients’ lives being touched. doing this.” Laurier Brantford also signed To participate in the Ride up for the PFL program last year, with Lance, riders had to raise pledging 60 donations. The a minimum of $20,000. Every university exceeded that pledge penny raised goes directly to the by reaching 85 donations. Grand River Hospital Foundation The first blood donor clinic for cancer research and patient on Laurier’s Waterloo campus care. Tracey raised almost $21,000. takes place Sept. 17, 10:30 After months of hard training a.m. – 2:30 p.m., in the Senate and fundraising, Tracey said and Board Chamber. To particmeeting Armstrong — a cancer ipate, call 1-888-2-DONATE survivor and seven-time (1-888-236-6283) to book an champion of the Tour de France appointment. — was a bittersweet moment.

As a cyclist and as a researcher who has studied the effects of suffering and cycling, Tracey has always dreamed of meeting Armstrong, but never expected she would under such circumstances. “It was an incredible, amazing, wonderful experience — I loved every kilometre, even the few that were hard,” she said. When I had the opportunity to speak with Lance, I told him all about my dad. “I am very grateful for everyone who donated, including the many people from Laurier who donated. We have a great community here.”

Jill Tracey, above centre, with participants, including Lance Armstrong, below.

Laurier prepares for annual Homecoming festivities Comedian Tim Allen will perform a one-night, stand-up comedy show Laurier’s Homecoming celebrations are marked by athletics, friends and, of course, lots of fun. This year’s festivities will be no exception, with new events and a Hollywood headliner on the schedule. Comedian Tim Allen, star of the hit television show Home Improvement and such movies as The Santa Clause series and the Toy Story series, will perform a one-night standup comedy show as part of Laurier’s Homecoming. The show takes place Oct. 3 at 7 p.m. at the Kitchener Memorial Auditorium. “We are delighted to have a performer of Tim Allen’s stature perform during our annual Homecoming weekend,” said Roly Webster, associate director of Laurier’s Alumni Relations office. “We hope our alumni, students and the broader community can join us for what will be a terrific show.” More than 10,000 people are expected at the Waterloo campus’ Homecoming, which runs Oct. 1-3. The weekend begins Friday with the 13th Annual Dean’s Alumni Golf Classic and the Athletic Hall of Fame Dinner. 6

Returning weekend events include the popular free pancake breakfast in the quad, followed by a tailgate party at University Stadium. The Golden Hawks football team will kick-off against the Guelph Gryphons Oct. 2 at 1 p.m. The third annual Laurier Loop charity run will also take place, with funds raised donated to the Sun Life Financial Movement Disorders Research & Rehabilitation Centre. New this year is the Legends of Laurier Lecture hosted by dean of students emeritus Fred Nichols and featuring former psychology professor Dr. Don Morgenson as the inaugural speaker. Also new on the schedule are several faculty open houses, which will be held across campus. The celebration continues Oct. 23 when Laurier Brantford hosts its secondannual Homecoming. Events include campus tours, a tailgate party followed by a varsity hockey game at the Brantford Civic Centre, and Alumni Pub Night at the Piston Broke Pub. For a complete schedule of Waterloo and Brantford events visit homecoming.

Laurier will celebrate Homecoming in October on its Waterloo and Brantford campuses. Events will inlcude (clockwise from top left) a performance by comedian Tim Allen; a free pancake breakfast; a varsity hockey game; fun with friends; and a varsity football game.

September 2010 coffee with a co-worker


VOL. 1 NO. 1 APRIL 7,2008


VOL. 1 NO. 1 APRIL 7,2008

A look at staff and faculty across campus

Building hope Name: Gary Bott Job: Carpenter, Physical Plant and Planning Where you can find him: Anywhere on campus in need of carpentry expertise. Or in South America. How he takes his coffee: Regular, one a day. Gary Bott takes a break from building in Ecuador with a local boy he met on the contstruction site.

How long have you been at Laurier? I’ve been here 18 years. I love everything about Laurier! When I arrived here they were tearing down the houses on Bricker Street to build the Science Building. The campus has grown so much. How did you get into carpentry? I grew up on a farm. When I was a kid, I always wanted to work for the construction company that came to do work on our farm. I completed my three-year carpentry apprenticeship, which was 7,200 hours and three terms of schooling. The amount of work I did on the farm messed up my work

coming Events

Listen by Sandra Brewster When: Sept. 15 – Oct. 23 Where: Robert Langen Art Gallery Cost: Free This multimedia installation chronicles the first experiences and heroic events of a generation of Caribbean people who immigrated to Canada in the 1950s to 1970s. Alumni Speed Networking Event When: Sept. 21 7:30 a.m. Where: Laurier Toronto Office Cost: Free Laurier alumni are invited to this speed networking event. Meet up to 20 Laurier alumni before work and make new professional connections! To register, visit Living with Minority Governments When: Sept. 23 12 p.m. – 1 p.m. Where: Faculty of Social Work Join Laurier’s Dr. David Docherty (with opening comments from City of Kitchener Mayor Carl Zehr) for this popular noon-hour lecture series organized in part by the Kitchener Public Library. Music at Noon When: Sept. 30

ethic at a young age — which is why I work too much now!

Laurier’s mens’ and womens’ hockey teams and football team.

What projects are you involved in at Laurier? Anything that involves carpentry. We do everything from working in the residences in the summer, to quoting on jobs to fabricate custom cabinets. I’ve even put on my trunks and hopped in the pool to fix the bulkheads! We count everyone on campus as customers. I’m also on a ton of committees — I’ve been on union committees, the staff representative on the board of governors and sub-committees. I also do volunteer work for

What about life outside Laurier? I have an after-hours business doing basement renovations, decks, fences, small additions and roofing. One customer flew me to Iroquois Falls in a private jet to do a roof. I also play on three different baseball teams (including Laurier’s intramural team for the past 15 years). What can you tell us about your volunteer work? My first trip was to Grenada to build a camp for youth. It was through my church and we raised money by catching

For a complete list of events visit

12 p.m. – 1 p.m. Where: Maureen Forrester Recital Hall Cost: Free Bring your lunch and enjoy the music of the Urban Flute Ensemble. 13th Annual Dean’s Alumni Golf Classic When: Oct. 1 Where: Rebel Creek Golf Course Cost: $160 (plus tax) Enjoy a day on the links and support the SBE’s Student Leadership Awards. Price includes green fee, shared cart, on-range instruction, lunch, dinner and more. For details, contact Patrycja GadomskiCado at SBE Reunion BBQ When: Oct. 2 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. Where: Schlegel Building Courtyard Cost: Free SBE will host its first Homecoming open house reunion. Catch up with classmates and colleagues, and enjoy a barbecue lunch. Rene Meshake: Homecoming Celebrations When: Oct. 2 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. Where: Bricker Academic, BA102 Cost: Free

The Faculty of Education will host a public lecture by Rene Andre Meshake, author, illustrator, poet, storyteller, visual artist, spoken word performer, musician and filmmaker. What? Are Seniors Thinking? When: Oct. 7 12 p.m. – 1 p.m. Where: Faculty of Social Work Cost: Free Join retired philosophy professor Dr. Bob Alexander for this popular noon-hour lecture series organized in part by the Kitchener Public Library.

chickens! I helped to build homes in El Salvador after the earthquake in 2000, and I’ve been on volunteer trips to Ecuador seven times. My 12-year old son (Gary also has a 10–year-old daughter) worked along with me in Vanuatu (near Australia). My parents came on a build and my Mom cooked for the groups coming in. We’ve built additions on schools, camps for underprivileged kids and workshops so the people can build furniture to sell. We’re building a future for them. You can see how you’re fulfilling people’s needs immediately. What memories stand out for you?

There was this one little boy in Ecuador who just clung to me. He grabbed my hand and came to the site and stayed with me all day. The next year he came right over and did the same thing. The last time I was there, I didn’t see him, but you learn not to ask questions. Then he showed up on the last day. There was just a connection there. The people in the village invite us into their lives. We go swimming in the river. Material things don’t mean anything to them — they’re just happy we’re there and helping. By Lori Chalmers Morrison

Backpack safety Used correctly, backpacks provide a safe and efficient way to transport items between the office, classroom, gym or home. Used improperly, they can cause strain and injury to your back, neck and spine. • Choose a backpack with two wide, padded shoulder straps, a padded backing and a waist strap. • Carry only what you need and distribute contents evenly.

• Use both shoulder straps at all times. • Tighten the straps and carry the load high on your shoulders and close to your body. • Use the waist belt to help stabilize your load. By Jeanette McDonald and adopted from SafetyNet, the newsletter of the Joint Health and Safety Committee.

• Place the heaviest items closest to your back. • Limit the weight of items to a maximum of 15 per cent of your bodyweight.

Oktoberfest When: Oct. 8-16 Where: Kitchener-Waterloo, various locations Enjoy Canada’s greatest Bavarian festival with great music, food and events for the whole family. For event details, visit Life After Laurier Science Speaker Series When: Oct. 15 2:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. Where: Science Building, N1002 Cost: Free Psychology alumna Lisa Côté, senior director of marketing operations, consumer services marketing at Rogers Cable, will speak about her life and career after graduating.



VOL. 1 NO. 1 APRIL 7,2008


VOL. 1 NO. 1 APRIL 7,2008

September 2010

In the classroom

A look inside the lecture hall

Community learning Professor: Robert Feagan Class: CT403, Community Internship Description: Students work with organizations in the community, and are assessed relative to their efforts and experience with the organization, and for their inclass work.

Professor Robert Feagan wants his students to step out of their comfort zone. “I want them to see this course, and its engagement with community in some shape or form, as an opportunity to leave the ‘safe bubble’ of university, and to stretch themselves around what community and citizenship means.” Engaged in his own community, especially in local sustainability projects, Feagan encourages students to challenge themselves as they work with various community organizations. “Although there is bound to be some discomfort with this kind of engagement — as well as newfound interest and excitement at what they learn and see — I think it is also a rich opportunity to shed some old fears and bring the abstract concepts learned in class into the light of reality.” By Mallory O’Brien

Photo: Dean Palmer

Robert Feagan says community involvement is important for students’ development. He is engaged in his own community, especially in local sustainability projects.

Research and Academic Centre takes shape Phase One of Brantford’s new facility opens for September


Sep. 2010 - insideLaurier  

September 2010 issue of Laurier's internal newsletter, insideLaurier