August 26, 2023

Irwin Oostindie: Being Dutch In Canada 


British Columbia

Meet Irwin Oostindie

Photo courtesy of the artist


Catch this fascinating talk that weaves stories, theories and images, to connect continents and centuries using Irwin’s own Dutch family’s stories. With the recent Dutch King’s apology for slavery on July 1, 2023, the public dialogue in the Netherlands is catching up on Canada’s efforts at reconciliation, but who can teach who?  We explore how we tell our migration stories, how the history of Dutch colonialism by the VOC is presented or denied, and how Canada and the Netherlands have much in common with how national memory is constructed. The talk will be a mix of lecture and stories, along with dialogue with the audience to reminisce on the Dutch, share learnings, and consider difficult questions.

About Irwin Oostindie

Irwin Oostindie is a public scholar based in Vancouver who brings an interdisciplinary approach to decolonizing public policy, communications and urban studies. As a Dutch settler and parent, for three decades he has led local and international media, arts and social justice projects, including journalism, public spaces and festivals. He has worked for First Nations, municipalities and communities always looking to work cross-culturally at complex solutions. From 1989-1995 he coordinated the Canadian Youth Network for Asia Pacific Studies (CYNAPS) which connected the voices of youth and students in East Asia with Canada. 

Irwin is an Associate with the Institute for Humanities at Simon Fraser University, and has an MA in Communications for his work on the spectacle of reconciliation and the need for place-based redress. He has a Graduate Diploma in Urban Studies for researching urban Indigenous governance and property geography, and a Post-Graduate Certificate in Media Arts for his work on western relations with North Korea.  As an urban planner, his company Voor Urban Labs, connects public policy, decision makers, and communities to design multi stakeholder solutions for complex urban challenges in several Canadian cities. He volunteers as the President of the Wild Bird Trust of BC and is a Director with the Dutch Cultural Association of BC. 

Dates & Times

August 26
6pm – 7:30pm


The Lookout

235 Queens Quay West
Toronto, ON