Discover new ideas. Challenge your opinions. Explore current events. Come once a month and listen to experts in their respective fields speak about topics that relate to issues we are facing in our lives, our community, and our world.

The lectures are held live on Zoom and run for one hour. Recordings are available on YouTube.

Register through our Events Calendar.

The 2021 Halton Hills Lecture Series schedule:

The Turkish Harem

Virtual: Tuesday, October 5 at 7:30 p.m. Register through our Events Calendar.

Enter into the forbidden world of the Harem, a place that was ‘hidden’, a segregated place for women that existed in many cultures around the world. Explore these secret, gilded cages with presenter Lianne Harris as she draws back the veil and reveals the rules, obligations, political agendas, and mysteries of harem culture in Turkey and learn of real women--and the men--who were destined to live behind its uncompromising walls.

Lianne Harris has been a history, culture and social studies resource specialist with the Toronto District School Board almost 20 years and has been the guest instructor and workshop leader for teachers across many boards in Southern Ontario. To date she has taught over 80,000 teachers and students. In 2003, she was selected by W.O.M.A.D. as one of Toronto’s Women of Influence. She is the author of many books including two medieval novels and non-fiction books on Bangladesh, India, great women in history, historical clothing and costuming, and world travel photography. She is a contributing author of the Canadian best seller business book, The Power of Women United. Pursuing her love of art, she has been an exhibiting artist at the Royal Ontario Museum, Roy Thomson Hall, The IDA Gallery, and The Shaw Festival.

Program offered in partnership with CFUW-Georgetown.

Postponed - The Orange Shirt Story

Every year on September 30th, we wear orange shirts to honour residential school survivors. Orange Shirt Day grew out of Phyllis Webstad’s story of having her shiny new orange shirt taken away on her first day of school at residential school, told for the first time in May 2013. It has become an opportunity to keep the discussion on all aspects of residential schools happening annually. As part of Culture Days 2021, Phyllis Webstad joins us to discuss the origins of the Orange Shirt Story.

Phyllis Webstad is Northern Secwpemc (Shuswap) from the Stswecem’c Xgat’tem First Nation (Canoe Creek Indian Band). She comes from mixed Secwepemc and European heritage, was born in Dog Creek, and lives in Williams Lake, BC. She is the Ambassador and Founder of the Orange Shirt Society, and tours the country telling her story and raising awareness about the impacts of the residential school system. She has now published two books,” The Orange Shirt Story" and "Phyllis's Orange Shirt" for younger children, and co-authored Orange Shirt Society’s “Orange Shirt Day”. Her third book, “Beyond the Orange Shirt Story”, will be released in September, 2021.

We Are Still Here: The Mississaugas of the Credit

Virtual: Tuesday, November 2 at 7:30 p.m. Register through our Events Calendar. 

When the Mississaugas of the Credit ancestors arrived in Southern Ontario in the late 17th century, they found themselves stewards of approximately 4 million acres of land at the western end of Lake Ontario. The erosion of their land base, a declining population, and the continual encroachment of settlers threatened the very existence of the people, yet the Mississaugas of the Credit remain on their lands today and are proud of their resilience. This presentation will provide a brief overview of the history of the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation and treaties relevant to the Halton Region.

Program offered in partnership with CFUW-Georgetown.

Additional authors and guest speakers at the library this fall include:

An Evening with Karen Pheasant-Neganigwane

Virtual: Thursday October 7 at 7: 30 p.m. Register through our Events Calendar. 

Join us for a virtual visit with Karen Pheasant-Neganigwane where she will discuss her book Powwow. Powwow is a celebration of Indigenous song and dance.

As a lifelong competitive powwow dancer, Karen Pheasant-Neganigwane is a guide to the protocols, regalia, songs, dances and even food you can find at powwows from coast to coast, as well as the important role they play in Indigenous culture and reconciliation. Journey through the history of powwow culture in North America, from its origins to the thriving powwow culture of today.

An Evening with Harold R. Johnson

Virtual: Wednesday, October 13 at 7:30 p.m. Register through our Events Calendar. 

In his new novel, The Bjorkan Sagas, Harold R. Johnson draws upon his Cree and Scandinavian roots to merge myth, fantasy, and history into an epic saga of exploration and adventure.

While sorting through the possessions of his recently deceased neighbour, Johnson discovers an old, handwritten manuscript containing epic stories composed in an obscure Swedish dialect. Together, they form The Björkan Sagas. The first saga tells of three Björkans, led by Juha the storyteller, who set out from their valley to discover what lies beyond its borders. Their quest brings them into contact with the devious story-trader Anthony de Marchand, a group of gun-toting aliens in search of Heaven, and an ethereal Medicine Woman named Lilly.

Harold R. Johnson is a Canadian attorney and writer, whose previous book Firewater: How Alcohol Is Killing My People (And Yours) was a shortlisted nominee for the Governor General's Award for English-language non-fiction at the 2016 Governor General's Awards. Born and raised in northern Saskatchewan, he was a member of the Canadian Navy and worked at mining and logging before graduating from Harvard Law School. He managed a private practice for several years and then became a Crown prosecutor. Johnson is a member of the Montreal Lake Cree Nation and lives on his family trapline with his wife, Joan.

Birth of a Family: Film Discussion with Betty Ann Adams

Virtual: Wednesday, October 20 at 7:00 p.m. Register through our Events Calendar. 

Three sisters and a brother, adopted as infants into separate families across North America, meet for the first time in this deeply moving documentary by director Tasha Hubbard.

Removed from their young Dene mother’s care as part of Canada’s infamous Sixties Scoop, Betty Ann, Esther, Rosalie and Ben were four of the 20,000 Indigenous children taken from their families between 1955 and 1985, to be either adopted into white families or to live in foster care. Now all in middle age, each has grown up in different circumstances, with different family cultures, different values, and no shared memories.

Birth of a Family follows them through the challenges, trepidations, and joys of their first steps towards forming their family. Meeting all together for the first time, they spend a week in Banff, Alberta, sharing what they know about their mother and stories about their lives and the struggles they went through as foster kids and adoptees. As the four siblings piece together their shared history, their connection deepens, bringing laughter with it, and their family begins to take shape.

The film is available for streaming from October 6 - 20, 2021. Betty Ann Adams joins us for a film discussion on October 20.

An Evening with Alicia Elliott

Virtual: Monday, November 8 at 7:30 p.m. Register through our Events Calendar.

Alicia Elliott is a Mohawk writer living in Brantford, Ontario. She has written for The Globe and Mail, CBC, Hazlitt and many others. She’s had essays nominated for National Magazine Awards for three straight years, winning Gold in 2017, and her short fiction was selected for Best American Short Stories 2018, Best Canadian Stories 2018, and Journey Prize Stories 30.

She was chosen by Tanya Talaga as the 2018 recipient of the RBC Taylor Emerging Writer Award. Her first book, A Mind Spread Out On The Ground, is a national bestseller. In an urgent and visceral work that asks essential questions about the treatment of Native people in North America while drawing on intimate details of her own life and experience, she offers indispensable insights into the ongoing legacy of colonialism.

The 2021 Halton Hills Lecture Series is made possible through the generous support of our partners.