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Montreal, November 2, 2010 --- Award-winning writer, playwright and commentator Drew Hayden Taylor will be the keynote speaker at the fifth edition of the Gail Guthrie Valaskakis Annual Lecture on Diversity and Canadian Media, hosted by Concordia University’s Communication Studies Department and CRARR.

The Annual Lecture is generously supported by CTV through the CTV-CHUM benefits.

The title of Mr. Taylor's lecture will be: “An Extremely Serious and Intensely Sober Exploration of Native Humour in Canadian Media.” The event will take place on Thursday, November 4, 2010 from 7:00 to 8:30 pm. The event will be held at the Masonic Memorial Temple, 2295 Saint-Marc, room 702 (corner of Sherbrooke, Metro Guy-Concordia), Montreal.

An Ojibway from the Curve Lake First Nations in Ontario, Mr. Taylor has an extensive curriculum vitae from performing stand-up comedy in Washington D.C. (including a performance at the Kennedy Center) to being Artistic Director of Canada’s premiere Aboriginal theatre company, Native Earth Performing Arts. His other accomplishments include being an award-winning playwright having written over 70 productions, television scriptwriter, novelist and author of 20 books. He has also been involved with over 17 documentaries exploring the First Nations experience.

Mr. Taylor is an avid advocate for Canada’s First Nations and has traveled to 16 countries around the world, sharing Native literature and raising awareness about First Nations issues. Currently, Mr. Taylor is working on a new play titled “Crees in the Carribean” and a collection of essays called “Postcards from the Four Directions”.

Created in 2005 as a joint initiative between CRARR and Concordia’s Department of Communication Studies, the Annual Lecture aims to promote research and other initiatives with industry, government and the broader community on issues involving Canadian media and diversity.

In 2008, the Annual Lecture was officially named after the late Dr. Gail Guthrie Valaskakis, one of Canada’s leading experts on Aboriginal communication. Dr. Valaskakis was Chair of Concordia’s Communication Studies Department and Dean of the University’s Faculty of Arts and Sciences; Research Director of the Aboriginal Healing Foundation, a Director at CRARR and a recipient of the National Aboriginal Achievement Award.

Partners of this year's edition include the Concordia Native Education Center, the Eastern Door, CKRK Radio and Réseau Dialogue.