FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Appointment signals enhanced support for Indigenous arts, education, and public discourse.
January 12, 2023
From its Six Nations Bureau office, Plenty Canada is pleased to announce the hiring of Karl Dockstader as an Advisor for Indigenous Content, Culture, and Protocol. Karl, who is well known in the Niagara Region, brings to the position a wealth of knowledge and experience in Indigenous organizational management, visual and media arts, and cultural protocol and practice.His involvement will strengthen an already capable and successful team while extending outreach and engagement.
“We’re delighted that Karl has come on board,” said Tim Johnson, Plenty Canada senior advisor. “I’ve long thought that his superpower is his humility, which serves as a translucent facade behind which resides deep intelligence, creativity, integrity, and wisdom. In this organization we also consider functionality and positive personality traits as being essential qualifications. In this regard, Karl’s palpable love of his family, community, and Bear Clan Oneida culture, along with his inquisitive nature and voracious quest for learning, make him a true value-add for our team.”
As a self-described “Friendship Centre baby,” Karl had the honour of serving as executive director of the Niagara Regional Native Centre, which followed years of front-line community work with Fort Erie Native Friendship Centre. He is an advocate and activist for grassroots initiatives who is unafraid to take bold stances on matters that affect Indigenous peoples, and has used art and communication, including podcasting, to support community achievement goals.
Karl is perhaps best known for co-hosting the hit Indigenous-themed radio program One Dish, One Mic that airs in Niagara, London, Windsor, and Hamilton. He is also a Bell Media radio news rotating talk show host on 610 CKTB’s The Drive airing weekdays from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. In addition to radio broadcasting Karl has done TV work with CTV News Channel, appeared as a regular panellist on the politics show CTV Power Play for the 2021 to 2022 season, and done a variety of freelance work, generating CBC and Canadaland bylines.
“Karl Dockstader is an outstanding communicator and leader,” said Walter Sendzik, former mayor of the City of St. Catharines. “Though his work with his radio program One Dish, One Mic, Karl has established himself as a leading voice on Indigenous issues within Canada. In Niagara, Karl is a leader, knowledge keeper, and community builder. He has worked on numerous projects that have brought a strong sense of awareness and inclusion of First Nation peoples in our shared communities.”
In his advisory capacity Karl will produce and host Plenty Canada webinars that will focus on a range of Indigenous issues spanning culture, language, and current events to matters of the environment including the existential crisis that is climate change. He will also represent the organization at Plenty Canada programs, events, and meetings, as well as attending events hosted by other partner organizations. And he will be on call to receive and answer inquiries of a general nature where his insights and recommendations will prove invaluable.
“Karl’s knowledge of his Oneida culture brings a great deal of expertise to our work as we roll out projects in the region dealing with Indigenous-led conservation, Indigenous education, and all manner of Indigenous cultural expression,” said Larry McDermott, Algonquin elder and executive director of Plenty Canada. “Many of our graduate students from our Leadership in Conservation program with Guelph University, for example, have praised Karl regarding his contributions in providing Haudenosaunee cultural representation. He is very skilled and will have a significant influence on our work.”
Plenty Canada is extremely grateful for the opportunity to co-lead, alongside the Conservation Through Reconciliation Partnership and Environment and Climate Change Canada, an event commemorating the Pathway to Canada Target 1 process, during the CBD COP15 (Fifteenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity) in Montreal on December 11th.
“Pathway to Canada Target 1” was Canada's initiative to engage rights-holders and stakeholders in advancing Aichi Target 11 (by 2020, at least 17 percent of terrestrial and inland water, and 10 percent of coastal and marine areas are conserved). The Pathway process was notable in that right from the outset and at every step, it was informed by Indigenous governance and protocol.
This initiative was a great success, acting as a catalyst for the national support of Indigenous-led conservation, and provides a valuable blueprint for future projects of a similar nature. Plenty Canada's presentation was created with the goals to celebrate these historical successes and consider how we can use the lessons learned from the Pathway process beyond 2020.
Plenty Canada Executive Director Larry McDermott began the presentation with a smudge ceremony, which was followed by opening remarks and a fascinating panel discussion. Alongside Larry, the panel was filled with prestigious figures, including Chloe Dragon Smith, Curtis Scurr, Marilyn Capreol, Julie Boucher, and Dawn Carr.
The panel covered a tremendous amount of temporal and theoretical ground in a relatively short time. Larry and the other panelists discussed Canada's origin story as it speaks to the original vision of conservation between Indigenous and colonial peoples, the origins of Pathway to Canada Target 1, their personal experiences with the Pathway process, steps taken to date, and plans for moving forward.
During the panel session, the floor was opened to the audience to ask questions and dialogue with the panelists, emphasizing the collaborative nature of both the event itself and the Indigenous/non-Indigenous environmental initiatives that the event described. It was a wonderful event, made all the greater by the eagerness and participation of the delegates and other guests in attendance, highlighting the importance of relationships in conservation work. Plenty Canada hopes that this event demonstrated to the Canadian delegation and other parties how they can work with Indigenous peoples, and their knowledge systems, to work towards the 2030 biodiversity targets and beyond.
If you missed watching the event live, you can watch the recording on Plenty Canada’s YouTube channel here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dfNITaopIYM.
— Breton Campbell