Unearthing sorrows, planting hope

There are few humans that embody the term “poetic justice” like Dr. John Borrows. An Anishinaabe scholar, legal expert, and mentor to a new generation of Indigenous lawyers, Dr. Borrows is rightly celebrated as a visionary whose braiding of legal traditions tethers the wisdom of his ancestors to the challenges, and opportunities, of the present moment. 

Join us for a very special year-end webinar, “Unearthing Sorrows, Planting Hope”. 


When: Thursday, December 16 at 6 pm Pacific Time

Where: Zoom

Who: Dr. John Borrows, with RAVEN’s Executive Director Susan Smitten and Communications Director Andrea Palframan


Co-founder of the Joint Indigenous and Common Law Degree Program at the University of Victoria, Dr. Borrows —a member of the Chippewa of the Nawash First Nation —  is the author of Resurgence and Reconciliation, Canada’s Indigenous Constitution, and Drawing Out Law: a Spirit’s Guide. A member of RAVEN’s legal advisory panel, Dr. Borrows won the 2020 Governor General’s Innovation Award and was appointed as an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2020. 

On the 16th, RAVEN is bringing community together to ponder some of the painful unearthing of 2021. From the discovery of unmarked graves at residential schools around the country to the violent upheavals in Wet’suwet’en territory and beyond, this year has been a year of reckoning not only with the sorrows of the past, but also with the denial and ongoing colonialism being carried out right here and right now. 

At the same time, just as some plants can only flourish in soil that has been radically disturbed, there has been an awakening. Settlers and Indigenous people are working to heal the divides that were imposed on us by racist and genocidal governments. A flourishing of art, music, and scholarship has brought concepts like “Land Back”, “Decolonial Love” and “Indigenous Resurgence” front and centre in the public discourse. Five out of ten bestselling books in this country are works by Indigenous authors. 

For RAVEN, the sorrows that have been unearthed have led to courageous conversations and a deepening of people’s commitments to take on the hard, beautiful work of setting relationships right. We are honoured to be able to host Dr. John Borrows as he muses upon what we’ve learned this year, and where we can go from here. 

“They tried to bury us. They didn’t know we were seeds.” Dinos Christianopoulos

Let’s grow from here. 

Please register to hear John Borrows and join a Q&A with RAVEN on Thursday, December 16th. This event is FREE for the RAVEN community and our allies.

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