The 2022 Woodrow Lloyd Lecture


Resurgent Histories: Ironworking, Self-Determination, and the Future of Indigenous History


Was presented by:

Dr. Allan Downey
Nak'azdli Whut’en First Nation Associate Professor, Department of History and Indigenous Studies Program McMaster University

Tuesday 15 February 2022

*View the lecture*

Over the past several years there have been compelling works in Indigenous Studies calling for Indigenous communities to pursue a process of regeneration through the theory of “resurgence.” As Leanne Simpson argues, resurgence is a set of practices based in Indigenous intelligence systems through which regeneration can take place. As this presentation is set to argue using a case study of Indigenous ironworkers, there is an opportunity for “resurgent histories” to play an active role in this regeneration of Indigenous communities and their self-determination. Beginning in the 1880s, ironworking quickly became a principal source of employment for Haudenosaunee men who traveled to jobs throughout Canada and the northeastern United States. By the 1920s Haudenosaunee families from Ahkwesáhsne and Kahnawà:ke began relocating to Brooklyn where they opened a string of boarding houses and established the new community of “Little Caughnawaga.” Together, ironworking and “Little Caughnawaga” became a nexus between Haudenosaunee family life, nationhood, and self-determination. This is particularly significant when we consider that Indigenous peoples were conceptually and physically removed from urban spaces which were reframed as “modern” and juxtaposed to perceptions of “Indian authenticity.” And yet, Haudenosaunee citizens were at the centre of building these sites of “modernity” while reformulating their own articulations of Haudenosaunee nationhood. Dr. Downey will also screen Rotinonhsión:ni Ironworkers, his award-nominated 2020 animated documentary short.



About the Woodrow Lloyd Lecture

The Faculty of Arts is pleased to present an annual lecture in honour of Woodrow Stanley Lloyd (1913-1972), a dedicated public servant of Saskatchewan. Woodrow Lloyd served as the province's eighth Premier (1961-1964) and also as Minister of Education (1944-1960). It was in this capacity that he played a formative role in the development of the modern day education system. In 1963, he laid the cornerstone of the first building on the Regina campus of the University of Saskatchewan, now the University of Regina. Throughout his career, Woodrow Lloyd's voice emerged as one strongly in favour of the university as a space for innovation and catalyst for social change.

Said Woodrow Lloyd at the Canadian Education Association Convention of 1951, "Education needs courage. The very fact that education, if it is vital, leads to purposeful change, indicates the need for courage on the part of those who lead, because even purposeful change is always opposed. It is opposed by those who do not understand."

The Woodrow Lloyd lecture is presented each Winter by the Faculty of Arts and funded by the generosity of the Woodrow Lloyd Trust Fund. Each lecture features a nationally or internationally recognized scholar, writer, thinker, and/or activist, who speaks on issues of direct relevance to Saskatchewan.

Past speakers have included former Premier of Saskatchewan Roy Romanow, noted climatologist Elane Wheaton, and author and Indigenous leader Cindy Blackstock.

Past Woodrow Lloyd Lectures

  • 2019: Pipelines and the Petro State
    Presented by Andrew Nikiforuk, author and journalist
    A video of this lecture is available at:


  • 2018: Truth and Reconciliation in Canada: If it Feels Good, It's Not Reconciliation
    Presented by Pam Palmater, Mi'kmaw lawyer, author, social justice advocate, and Chair in Indigenous Governance at Ryerson University
    A video of Dr. Palmater's lecture is available at:

  • 2017: Islamophobia and Muslim Women in Canada
    Presented by Dr. Sheema Khan, Author and Global and Mail Columnist
    A video of Dr. Khan's lecture is available at:
  • 2016: Presented by The Honourable Justice Murray Sinclair, Chair of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada
    A video of Justice Sinclair's lecture is available on the Faculty of Arts YouTube channel at:
  • 2015: Reconciliation: the children's version
    by Dr. Cindy Blackstock, Associate Professor at the University of Alberta, as well as Director of the First Nations Children’s Action Research and Education Service (FNCARES) and as Executive Director of First Nations Child and Family Caring Society of Canada. View or download the lecture from the Faculty of Arts Youtube channel at
  • 2014: The Hedgehog, the Fox and Canadian Austerity
    by Dr. Thom Workman, Professor, Political Science at the University of New Brunswick.  View or download the lecture from the University's oURspace website at
  • 2013: Can Civil Disobedience Ensure Health Care Access for Drug Users?
    by Ann Livingston, Social Justice Organizer
  • 2012: Taking and Making Human Life: has healthcare replaced religion?
    by Dr. Margaret Somerville, Samuel Gale Professor of Law, Professor in the Faculty of Medicine at McGill University
  • 2011: Western Canadian Democracy: A backward and a forward look
    by the Honorable Preston Manning, Founder of the Reform Party of Canada
  • 2010: Transforming Power: New paths to social and political change
    by Judy Rebick, CAW Sam Gindin Chair in Social Justice and Democracy at Ryerson University
  • 2009: Subprime Constitutionalism: Why are we over-invested in the charter?
    by Professor Harry Arthurs, Osgood Hall Law School, President Emeritus, York University