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Wilfrid Laurier University Office of Research Services
December 4, 2016
Canadian Excellence

Project Descriptions

Current Projects

Internationalization of Indigenous Rights and Governance Project (IIRG)


The Internationalization of Indigenous Rights and Governance Project (IIRGP) advances policy discussions on Indigenous governance and engagement at a time of unprecedented political change and Indigenous empowerment globally. We bring together an interdisciplinary group of Indigenous and non-Indigenous scholars interested in the implications of global governance for Indigenous peoples. We are studying the impact of international institutions and global governance policy documents in promoting effective governance, legislative protection and culture survival for Indigenous peoples. 

Please visit our webpage at CIGI:

Pan-American Indigenous Rights and Governance Network (PAIR-GN)


The Pan-American Indigenous Rights and Governance Network (PAIR-GN) was established by Dr. Terry Mitchell in her Indigenous Rights and Social Justice Research Group at Wilfrid Laurier University. PAIR-GN is a cross-continental, interdisciplinary, multi-cultural research partnership examining Indigenous peoples’ engagement with the development, translation, and implementation of international Indigenous rights regimes. PAIR-GN is examining the potential for Indigenous communities of the Americas to use international rights frameworks in their pursuit of secure, just, and responsive societies. We have connected 21 partner institutions from Canada, Chile, Bolivia and Argentina, including 5 provinces, from British Columbia to Newfoundland, linking 27 scholars from 8 disciplines; including 8 Indigenous scholars, 5 Canada Research Chairs (Universities of Saskatchewan, Memorial, Laval, UQAM, & Laurier), and 2 Research Chairs at the Balsillie School of International Affairs and the Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI), several South American human rights organization, as well as 37 collaborators including an influential group of senior advisors.

Policy Briefs

Terry Mitchell and Charis Enns have recently published a policy brief, “The UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples: Monitoring and Realizing Indigenous Rights in Canada”, for the Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI). Click on the title above to be directed to the PDF file of this policy brief. 

Please visit the CIGI policy brief website here:

Videos about Aboriginal Rights in Canada

Terry Mitchell’s fourth year undergraduate seminar in community psychology has created a series of videos about Aboriginal rights in Canada! Click on the titles below to see these videos. 


Terry Mitchell (IHSJ Director) and Ken Coates (University of Saskatchewan) are the authors of the blog, “The Rise of the Fourth World”, hosted by the Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI). Please read their most recent blog post, “Global Governance is a Two Way Street: James Anaya’s Visit to Canada”.


Terry Mitchell (IHSJ Director) and José Aylwin (Observatorio Ciudadano, Chile) speak to Andrew Thompson in a CIGI podcast, Inside the Issues (3.28): Indigenous Rights in Global Governance. To watch the podcast click on the title above. 

Past Projects
Global Youth Network 

Joel worked with Global Youth Volunteer Network, a Canadian non-profit that focuses on immersing youth in social justice issues through community exchanges. A community exchange occurred in May 2013 with an Indigenous community in Saskatchewan. The focus was for university students to participate in on-going community initiatives as well as engage in a cultural exchange. The goal was to help mobilize Indigenous and non-Indigenous Canadians to build stronger and healthier relationships through education and friendship in an environment that is inclusive, accepting, and engaging.

Human Rights Initiatives

Jackson developed a Human Rights framework which he used to assist in the development of a Human Rights assessment tool.  In addition, Jackson conducted media analyses of key events of importance for Aboriginal Peoples across Canada including Stephen Harper's apology on June 11, 2008, and the signing of the UN Declaration on the Right of Indigenous Peoples on November 12, 2010, as well as media on contemporary Aboriginal issues around Human Rights and self-governance.

Water Security 

Sheri completed her PhD degree in geography (resource and environmental management) at Laurier in December 2012. In January 2013, she began coordination activities among the research team and project collaborators, and contributed to publication materials generated through the project. She investigated he role indigenous rights and global governance institutions play in water security for indigenous peoples.