First Nations and Canadian Citizenship take the stage at Stratford

Jan 23, 2013, 08:30 ET from Institute for Canadian Citizenship (ICC)

National Chief Shawn A-in-chut Atleo to speak at the Institute for Canadian Citizenship's LaFontaine-Baldwin Symposium

TORONTO, Jan. 23, 2013 /CNW/ - The Institute for Canadian Citizenship (ICC) and the Stratford Festival have partnered to present Shawn A-in-chut Atleo, National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations, at the ICC's 11th Annual LaFontaine-Baldwin Symposium. Taking place August 9 and 10, the event is a main feature of the Stratford Festival's inaugural Forum.

Founded in 2000 by John Ralston Saul, the LaFontaine-Baldwin Symposium is a national lecture event that showcases leading Canadian and international thinkers. It encourages participants to think about Canada's big picture and invites them to add their insights during post-lecture roundtable discussions with the keynote speaker and ICC founders and co-chairs, Saul and the Right Honourable Adrienne Clarkson. Past speakers include the Honourable Louise Arbour, Georges Erasmus, His Highness the Aga Khan and the Right Honourable Beverley McLachlin.

"Since its inception, Stratford has been giving audiences the opportunity to engage with creative and often challenging ideas, making it the perfect venue for the Symposium," said John Ralston Saul. "We were thrilled when National Chief Atleo agreed last fall to participate because he embodies a new generation with new ideas; the past few weeks have simply highlighted how important this dialogue is. Canada's original citizenship conversation was between the First Nations and newcomers, and we see Shawn A-in-chut Atleo's lecture as an opportunity to complete this circle."

In keeping with the goal of the Festival's new Forum, the LaFontaine-Baldwin Symposium will invite audiences to use the work they see on stage to spark new ideas and raise questions.

"The Lafontaine-Baldwin Symposium is one of Canada's most highly respected lecture events and we are very proud to have it as the cornerstone of our inaugural Forum." says Antoni Cimolino, Artistic Director of the Stratford Festival. "With The Forum, we are building a festival within the Stratford Festival to give people from all walks of life an opportunity to immerse themselves in theatre and the thoughts and feelings it provokes. Our patrons hunger for opportunities like this Symposium, which will provide insight into how the ideas presented on stage are at work in our world today."

Tickets are now on sale for the Symposium's three events, and can be purchased by calling 1.800.567.1600 (or 519.273.1600), emailing or by visiting the Stratford Festival website.

      Adopting One's Culture, an intimate dinner with Adrienne Clarkson and John Ralston Saul
Friday, August 9 at 5:30 p.m. - tickets $140
      11th Annual LaFontaine-Baldwin Symposium lecture by Shawn A-in-chut Atleo, First Nations and the Future of Canadian Citizenship*
Saturday, August 10 at 10 a.m. - tickets $20
      Diaspora Dining*, a post-lecture roundtable discussion hosted by Atleo, Clarkson and Saul over food prepared by Stratford's diverse local restaurants
Saturday, August 10 at 12 p.m. - tickets $45
*To get the full Symposium experience, Diaspora Dining attendees should also purchase a ticket to the lecture because National Chief Atleo's address will be the basis of the roundtable discussions.

"The earliest interactions among First Nations leaders and the newcomers began on the basis of respect and recognition and led the way to treaties of peace, military and economic alliance. This, the true heritage of this land, was deeply disrupted by over a century of failed colonial law and policy," said Assembly of First Nations National Chief Shawn Atleo.   "We can and must find our way back to respect and reconciliation to unleash the powerful future potential of all of our peoples and all Canadians.  I welcome this very important opportunity to engage in dialogue at this critical time - a moment of reckoning where we must work together to achieve change through the implementation of Treaty and the resolution and recognition of title and rights to build and drive our economic, social, political and cultural development on our own terms.  Ensuring we do not lose another generation to the mistakes of the past is a tremendous challenge and opportunity for us all."

The Institute for Canadian Citizenship (ICC) is a national, non-profit charity that promotes active citizenship. Through innovative programs and partnerships, the ICC works to ensure new citizens are welcomed and included as equals, create meaningful connections among all Canadians, foster a culture of engaged citizens and celebrate what it means to be Canadian. Our Building Citizenship program welcomes and connects new citizens by hosting community-led citizenship ceremonies across Canada. Our Cultural Access Pass (CAP) program introduces new citizens to Canadian experiences by offering a year of free access to almost 1,200 attractions from coast-to-coast-to-coast. The LaFontaine-Baldwin Symposium, our intellectual platform, is a national, interactive lecture on citizenship. And ICC Insights, our partner-focused initiative, brings new citizen voices to national conversations through collaborative projects. The ICC was founded and is co-chaired by the Right Honourable Adrienne Clarkson and John Ralston Saul, and is supported by Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC). For more information, visit You can also follow us on Twitter @ICCICC).

The Stratford Festival, in picturesque Stratford, Ontario, Canada, is North America's leading classical theatre, drawing half a million visitors a year. It presents a seven-month season of a dozen plays in four venues, along with a Forum of events to enrich the play-going experience. With the works of Shakespeare at its core, the Festival features classics, contemporary dramas, musical theatre and new plays. It presented its first season in 1953, using an innovative thrust stage that revolutionized Shakespearean performance in our time and inspired the design of several other major venues worldwide.


SOURCE Institute for Canadian Citizenship (ICC)