National Gathering for Indigenous Education

Pre-Gathering Workshops

On Wednesday, November 7th, the day before the official start of the National Gathering, join fellow Educators for one of three Pre-Gathering Workshops. These full-day workshops will give you a chance to dig deeper into one of these cutting-edge topics. The Pre-Gathering workshops are expected to sell out fast, so be sure to sign up early.

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Pre-Gathering Workshop Descriptions

Wednesday, November 7, 2018
9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
(Click on each topic to view description)


Presented by:Dr. Niigaan Sinclair, Associate Professor / Acting Head, Department of Native Studies,
The University of Manitoba
Truth and Reconciliation: An Educator’s Guide
Audience: All
Capacity: 150
Cost: $200

Sponsored by

The release of the 94 recommendations from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission report (TRC) has called to action Canadians from teachers to every sector of government and industry. The need to provide private and public sectors with information and interpretation of the report is of fundamental importance in order to achieve true reconciliation in Canada.

This one-day workshop utilizes the final report of the TRC and its final 94 recommendations as the framework. The educator’s guide and workshop provides educators with competency on how to incorporate the final report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission into classrooms, schools, and other educational settings.

Participants will receive training in two parts. Approximately one-half day will be dedicated to the theme “Legacy” and the other half-day to the theme “Reconciliation.” The one-day educator’s guide contains 22 education plans, addressing all educational recommendations, one for each recommendation. Each plan contains at least one (1) Blackline Master Activity to assist in incorporation of the information as well as suggestions for further activities. The workshop is participatory and experiential as well as contains areas to assist education planning.

About Dr. Niigaan Sinclair

Anishinaabe, originally from St. Peter’s (Little Peguis) Indian Settlement near Selkirk, Manitoba, and is an Associate Professor and current Head of the Department of Native Studies at the University of Manitoba. He has written curricula for the Assembly of First Nations, Manitoba Education, and Winnipeg School Division as well as done hundreds of workshops for teachers, administrators, and students. He is also an international commentator on Indigenous issues for outlets like Al-Jazeera, The Guardian, and national broadcasters like CTV, CBC, and The Globe and Mail and was named one of CBC Manitoba’s “Top 40 under 40” in 2015. Niigaan is an award-winning speaker, writer, and editor of such books as Manitowapow: Aboriginal Writings from the Land of Water (Highwater Press, 2011) and Centering Anishinaabeg Studies: Understanding the World Through Stories (Michigan State University Press, 2013), The Winter We Danced: Voices of the Past, the Future, and the Idle No More Movement (Arbeiter Ring Press, 2014). He is currently also a columnist with the Winnipeg Free Press.


Presented by: Melissa Purcell, Executive Staff Officer Indigenous Education, The Alberta Teachers’ Association, Crystal Clark, Consultant, The Alberta Teachers’ Association and Shannon Loutitt, Walking Together Program Consultant, The Alberta Teachers’ Association
Walking Together: Education for Reconciliation
Audience: All
Capacity: 150
Cost: $200

During this pre-conference workshop you will learn and experience the latest professional development resources and workshops to support educators in building capacity in First Nations, Métis, and Inuit foundational knowledge, such as:

  • Indigenous Ways of Knowing
  • Indigenous Alberta – The Footsteps of Our Ancestors
  • Collective Memories of Forced Assimilation
  • Stepping Stone Series; Terminology, Elder Protocol, Number Treaties within Alberta (6, 7, & 8), Introduction to the Inuit & Métis, and much more!

All of the resources and workshops were created in collaboration with local Elders, Knowledge Keepers and Cultural Advisors within Alberta. You will leave with lots of information to support your learning journey, as well as supporting others, as we move from inspiring to requiring in Indigenous education!

About Melissa Purcell

Melissa Purcell was appointed to the position of Executive Staff Officer, Indigenous Education in the Professional Development program area for The Alberta Teachers’ Association in January 2018. Purcell has experience teaching in Alberta band, charter and public schools. At the district level with Edmonton Public Schools she held the positions of teacher consultant, program co-ordinator and supervisor of First Nations, Métis and Inuit education.

About Crystal Clark

Crystal Lee Clark is currently a Walking Together: Education for Reconciliation consultant with the Alberta Teachers Association. She is Fort McMurray Metis and a proud mother. She holds a Masters of Educational Technology, BED,BFA, New Media Diploma, and a Creative Writing and Visual Arts Diploma from the En’owkin Center. The National Aboriginal Achievement Foundation (Indspire) was instrumental in her early years as a student. She has taught with Tsimshian Nation in Lax Kw’Alaams B.C and with the Saulteaux/Cree of O’Chiese First Nation, AB. Along with teaching, she has experience as a Vice Principal and First Nations Student Success Program coordinator. She has received a Prime Minister’s Teaching Achievement Award, Esquao Award for Education, Peace Hills Trust Award Recipient, and a BC Festival of the Arts Media scholarship.

About Shannon Loutitt

Shannon Loutitt is a Division 2 teacher on secondment from Fort McMurray Public School District.  She grew up in Fort McMurray learning about her Métis heritage and when she was 5 years old she said she wanted to be the first Native lady Prime Minister.  Although that might not happen, she is excited to be working with the Alberta Teachers’ Association on the Walking Together Team to help educators learn more about the diverse cultures, histories, and contemporary realities of Indigenous peoples in Canada.

Presented by: Noella Steinhauer, PhD, Assistant Professor, Department of Educational Policy Studies, University of Alberta and Tiffany Hourie
Alberta Leadership Quality Standard; Implications for Practice
Audience: All
Capacity: 50
Cost: $200

This one day session is designed to provide an overview of the newly adopted Leadership Quality Standard in the province of Alberta, its scope and implications. The standard outlines key competencies that school leaders must possess is the first of its kind adopted by a province in Canada. On key aspect of the standard is the inclusion of a competency directly related to First Nation, Metis, and Inuit peoples. Competency number 5 is about; “Supporting the Application of Foundational Knowledge about First Nations, Métis and Inuit.” It states that “A leader supports the school community in acquiring and applying foundational knowledge about First Nations, Métis and Inuit for the benefit of all students.” This session will explore the competency, its aspects, and implications for practice.

The first half of the day will focus on discussions around the new standards that have been introduced in Alberta, it will explore the achievement of the competency in both provincial and First Nation school contexts. Achievement of this competency is demonstrated by indicators such as: (a) understanding the historical, social, economic, and political implications of: treaties and agreements with First Nations; legislation and agreements negotiated with Métis; and residential schools and their legacy. The implementation and achievement of the competency will meet with various capacity challenges in both First Nation and provincial schools. Still, it is very important because it will ensure that school leaders enable “all school staff and students to gain a knowledge and understanding of, and respect for, the histories, cultures, languages, contributions, perspectives, experiences and contemporary contexts of First Nations, Métis and Inuit” peoples.

The second half of the day will provide an opportunity to engage and explore some of the key challenges of implementation in a school context. One such area is determining teachers’ knowledge of the history and offering the appropriate professional development. This will involve an activity that will provide insight into staff knowledge utilizing a tool based on Indigenous ways of knowing.

About Noella Steinhauer
Noella Steinhauer is Plains Cree from the Saddle Lake Cree Nation in northeastern Alberta. She is an assistant professor in Educational Administration and Leadership in the Department of Educational Policy Studies at the University of Alberta. Dr. Steinhauer has held various leadership roles; some include her role as the Vice-President of Education at Indspire, she has also been a principal in First Nation schools and a principal with the Edmonton Public School District. Noella also spent more than 10 years as a secondary social studies teacher. Throughout her career she has remained focused on the improvement of Indigenous student success. Her master’s work focused on factors that impact First Nation student achievement and her subsequent doctoral work focused on identifying the factors that would create a successful First Nation school. Her research interests include; leadership, First Nation school leadership, Indigenous ways of knowing, and collaborative leadership.

About Tiffany Hourie

Tiffany Hourie is Oji-Cree and originally from the Anishinaabe territory in the Interlake area of Manitoba. She is currently the Coordinator of Curriculum Development for the newly amalgamated Maskwacis Education Schools Commission (MESC). She holds a Masters of Education in Educational Studies, a Bachelor of Education, and a Bachelor of General Studies. In her eight years of classroom teaching in First Nation communities, it was her students that inspired her to pursue a graduate degree with a focus on the integration of Indigenous knowledge in curriculum and instruction. Aside from her teaching experience, Tiffany has also had the opportunity to serve as the Indigenzing Curriculum Coordinator for Miyo Wahkohtowin schools where she supported teachers in their capacity to integrate Indigenous knowledge in curricular practice.


Indspire reserves the right to substitute workshop sessions as deemed necessary.