VIU hosts Royal Society of Canada Governor General Lecture Feb. 8

January 10, 2012 - 3:06am

The public is invited to a free lecture at Vancouver Island University by the esteemed Dr. Jim Miller, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada.

Dr. Miller, a professor in the Department of History at the University of Saskatchewan, has held the Canada Research Chair in Native-Newcomer Relations since 2008. His evocative lecture, entitled, “We are all treaty people” takes place at VIU’s Nanaimo campus Feb. 8 at 7 pm.

“We are delighted that Dr. Miller is coming to VIU,” said President Dr. Ralph Nilson, who is also a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada.

“Dr. Miller is sought by governments and Aboriginal groups alike because of his expertise on historical and contemporary issues related to indigenous relations and his research provides a useful guide for future treaty makers, both native and newcomer.”

Professor Miller has been a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada since November 1998. The Royal Society of Canada is the senior national body of distinguished Canadian scholars, artists and scientists, and its primary objective is to promote learning and research in the arts and sciences.

The interaction of Aboriginal and immigrant peoples is Dr. Miller’s research concentration, and in particular, he assesses its impact on both sides of the encounter. For example, Dr. Miller’s study of treaty-making processes between Europeans and Natives in Canada addresses important issues such as land claim settlements, native self-government, and hunting and fishing rights.

Dr. Miller holds a Ph.D. in History and in 1997 he won the University of Saskatchewan Distinguished Researcher Award. In December 2010, he was awarded the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) Gold Medal for Achievement in Research because of his leadership, dedication and originality of thought, which have significantly advanced the understanding of the evolving relationships between Aboriginal and immigrant people.

He is a widely published specialist and has developed a curriculum guide to help teachers explore the topic of treaties with their students. Dr. Miller’s most significant career research contributions include Shingwauk’s Vision: A History of Native Residential Schools (Toronto, 1996), which was the first comprehensive history of residential schools in Canada; Skyscrapers Hide the Heavens: Indian-White Relations in Canada (Toronto, 2000), widely recognized as the first Native-newcomer relations history in Canada; and Compact, Contract, Covenant: Aboriginal Treaty-Making in Canada (Toronto, 2009), which is the first overview of treaty-making history in Canada.

Dr. Miller’s lecture takes place in the Malaspina Theatre at VIU’s Nanaimo campus, 900 Fifth Street, Nanaimo, Feb. 8 at 7 pm. Seating is limited. For reservations, please visit


For more information:

Tags: In the Community

Sign up for our VIU news and experts email