National Gathering for Indigenous Education

Workshops Day 2

Transforming Education through Reconciliation
At this annual gathering, we bring together educators and partners from across the country to share their experiences and strategies for educating K-12 Indigenous students.

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

DAY 1/DAY 2

SESSION #E
Friday, November 9 9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.
(Click on each topic to view description)

Conversation Circles provide an opportunity for networking. Participants will gather and engage in meaningful dialogue with their peers on topics relevant to K-12 Indigenous education. Topics that have been submitted during the registration will be selected prior to the event and attendees can select which session they would like to attend. Topics can also be seen in the EventMobi App when the National Gathering begins. Participants are encouraged to select the conversation circle that they are interested in for an opportunity to network with conference attendees from across the country.

This presentation discusses how Makerspace is a valuable educational tool for re-engaging students in the education process. Makerspace can ignite passion and inquiry for many students who have lost interest in learning and education. This presentation uses anecdotal examples to highlight how students have transformed from silent, non-participators to engaged students who will advocate for themselves. A culture of Makerspace creates a safe space for students to learn to assess risk, which can be difficult for many students living through multi-generational trauma and poverty.   Makerspace transforms education for these students — and that is reconciliation in action.

Brenda Gwilliam, Learning Commons/ ELL Teacher, Nusdeh Yoh, British Columbia
Noelle Pepin, ELL Teacher, Nusdeh Yoh, British Columbia  

Speaker Bio

Brenda Gwilliam is a person of mixed heritage, including Tahltan, Tlingit, European, and Asian ancestry. She belongs to the Wolf Clan. Brenda has a passion for Makerspace, making, and 21st Century learning, and has presented on Makerspace locally and provincially.  She was one of the co-creators of the Makerspace program at Nusdeh Yoh.

Noelle Pepin is Nisga’a of the Laxgibuu clan of the wilp Ksdiiyaawak. Her name Gwiix Silwilayinsgun Gibuu translates to Always Learning Wolf. She has a B.Sc. Natural Resources Management, Fisheries and Wildlife; B.Ed. Elementary, and is working on a M.Ed. Multidisciplinary Leadership. She is a maker teacher at Nusdeh Yoh.

Selected by Indspire as a Successful Practice: Showcasing Strategies that Work project

Learn how the “We Hold the Future” Youth Leadership group allows young First Nations, Métis and Inuit students an opportunity to share, grow, develop new skills, meet new people, learn about other cultures, and gain strategies for a healthier life and future participation in the workforce. The 10-month leadership program begins in September and helps Indigenous students make the transition to high school and culminates in June with a four day “Rites of Passage” Culture Camp. This presentation shares the success of this innovative program in Alberta and details how it’s building cultural awareness, identity and self-esteem for Indigenous youth.

Rhonda Metallic, Project Coordinator, Kehteyak (The Old Ones) Education Society, Alberta
Elizabeth Letendre, Kehteyak (The Old Ones) President of Education Society, Kehteyak (The Old Ones) Education Society, Alberta

Speaker Bio

Rhonda Metallic is a Mi’kmaq woman from Listuguj, Québec who now lives on Treaty 6 territory in Edmonton, Alberta. Currently, Rhonda is an assistant to the Council of Elder and Project Coordinator, where she helps run youth leadership programs and prepares students to attend Indspire’s Soaring: Indigenous Youth Empowerment Gathering and pursue other opportunities.

Betty Letendre is a traditional Cree/Métis woman from the Papaschase Band and is a direct descendant of Papastewo. As a well-respected Kehteya (Elder), mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother, Betty works tirelessly with a host of different government bodies, municipal representatives, and community agencies in striving to improve the lives of families, youth, and children.

This workshop invites participants to think about ways in which we, as educators, can tell the stories of residential schools, the Sixties Scoop, and other policies and practices that have been oppressive to Indigenous people without presenting them as victims yet again. Participants explore how reconciliation can be addressed within educational contexts, whether in formal, informal, or unstructured spaces by reviewing examples of social justice frameworks. Participants are invited to consider how their own education about these legacies has contributed to advancing their professional and personal growth as well as how some of those learnings might have gotten in the way of said growth.

Maria Del Carmen Rodriguez de France, Assistant Professor, University of Victoria, British Columbia

Speaker Bio

Maria Del Carmen Rodriguez De France has been a grateful visitor on the lands of the Lkwungen speaking people in British Columbia for over 20 years. She is from the Kickapoo Nation in Northeastern Mexico. She works at the University of Victoria with educators learning about Indigenous history and culture.

Lois Philip,
Nimisha Bastedo,
Sean Lessard,

Speaker Bio

Selected by Indspire as a Nurturing Capacity: Building Community Success project

Indigenous youth continue to participate in an education system that does not recognize or reward their inherent knowledge of self and place. More specifically, the system often ignores the fact Indigenous peoples have always had STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) and Arts knowledge in their communities. There continues to be a lack of STEM courses within the education system that reflect Indigenous ways of knowing. This workshop shares how the InSTEM program addresses this gap and improves educational outcomes for Indigenous students. Presenters will share the programs successes, examples of course material, and tools to help educators integrate Indigenous knowledge with curricula.

Doug Dokis, Senior Advisor/National InSTEM Program, Actua, ON
Noreen Demeria, Manager/National InSTEM Program, Actua, ON

Speaker Bio

Doug Dokis, the InSTEM Senior Advisor at Actua, is a member of the Dokis Anishinabek Nation in northern Ontario. Doug has over 25 years’ experience working for, and advocating on behalf of, Indigenous peoples. His primary focus has been on developing and advancing educational programming in support of Indigenous youth.

Noreen Demeria is Anishnabe from Rolling River First Nation in Manitoba and holds a BA in Humanities from the University of Calgary. Noreen is currently enrolled in an Interdisciplinary Masters of Education program, “A Call to Action” — a program developed in direct response to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

In collaboration with the Wenjack family, the goal of the Gord Downie & Chanie Wenjack Fund (DWF) is to continue the conversation that began with Chanie Wenjack’s residential school story, and to aid our collective reconciliation journey through a combination of awareness, education and action. In this session, participants will learn about using The Secret Path and Legacy Schools Toolkit to introduce the topic of residential schools and Canada’s history as it relates to Indigenous peoples, and to actively engage in reconciliation. This workshop provides an over view of the Legacy Schools program and will present practical applications and experiences from a local Legacy School educator.

Sarah Midanik, President & CEO, Gord Downie & Chanie Wenjack Fund, Ontario
Kathleen Quaye, Educator, St. Teresa of Calcutta School, Alberta

Speaker Bio

Sarah Midanikis an Indigenous professional who is passionate about increasing capacity and social impact within the Indigenous community. Born and raised in Alberta, she is a proud member of the Métis Nation of Alberta. Sarah is currently the President & CEO of the Gord Downie & Chanie Wenjack Fund. A new national charity that seeks to improve the relationship between Indigenous and Non-Indigenous Canadians. Sarah is the former Executive Director of the Native Women’s Resource Centre of Toronto (NWRCT), a charity dedicated to providing resources and support to urban Indigenous women and their families. Prior to NWRCT, Sarah was at Indspire, a national charity working to advance education outcomes for First Nation, Métis, and Inuit students.

Kathleen Quaye has been teaching Grade 1 for four years with the Edmonton Catholic School Board. Prior to teaching she worked in many shelters and crisis nurseries around the city. Throughout these past couple of years, Kathleen has created a passion for Indigenous education and tries to immerse these teachings within her everyday lessons, and her school. This lead to her being one of the FNMI Lead Teachers within her school board and allows her to help grow Indigenous education not only within her classroom, but within her entire school, and district.

This presentation discusses how effective Alberta Education’s mandated First Nations, Métis and Inuit policy framework (FNMI) from 2002 has been at creating positive perceptions of Indigenous people among students. The presentation also discusses how the policy framework can be improved by including a number of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action. Participants learn how to enact the TRC’s practices in their classrooms and build a network of learners. The presentation offers hands on practical applications for educators to learn how to create positive perceptions of Indigenous Peoples and increase student understanding of Indigenous Peoples in their classrooms.

Tiffany Prete, Doctor, University of Alberta, Alberta  

Speaker Bio

Dr. Tiffany Prete is a member of the Blood Tribe of the Blackfoot Confederacy and is the mother of three sons. She is a recent graduate from the University of Alberta, where she received her Doctor of Philosophy in Indigenous Peoples Education. Her dissertation examined Alberta Education’s mandated First Nations, Métis and Inuit policy framework.

In 2016, Alberta Education invited their educational partners to join them in an enhancement to curriculum that would enrich the knowledge and understanding of students about Indigenous peoples and history. This is a positive step forward in Alberta’s commitment that all students learn about the history, and legacy of residential schools, along with the histories and vibrant cultures of First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples. This presentation highlights how Alberta Education, the Alberta Teachers Association, the Alberta Deans of Education, the Alberta School Boards Association, the Alberta Regional Professional Development Consortia, the College of Alberta School Superintendents, and the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation have collaborated in creating professional development to achieve reconciliation through education.

Melissa Purcell, Executive Staff Officer Indigenous Education, the Alberta Teachers’ Association, Alberta
Dr. Karsten Koch
Dr. Jennifer Tupper
Lisa Cruickshank, Associate Director, Métis Education, Rupertsland Institute, Alberta

Speaker Bio

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.

Dr. Karsten Koch Karsten works in policy development to support the professional practice of teachers and leaders in the education system. Prior to joining Alberta Education, he was a researcher and instructor for over ten years at the University of Calgary, University of Alberta and Humboldt University Berlin. A trained linguist, his background is in First Nations language documentation and preservation, working primarily with Salish language elders in British Columbia.

Dr. Jennifer Tupper Jennifer was a high school teacher in Edmonton before pursing her Masters (UBC, 1998) and PhD (U of A, 2005) in Education. She spent thirteen years at the University of Regina, Faculty of Education as an Assistant Professor (2004-2008), Associate Professor (2008-2017), Associate Dean, Human Resources and Faculty Development (2011-2014), and Dean (2014-2017). She returned to the University of Alberta in 2017 to take up the role of Dean of the Faculty of Education. Jennifer’s research and scholarship engages with anti-oppressive approaches to teaching and learning, critical citizenship, treaty education and truth and reconciliation education and she has published in numerous journals, edited collections and professional publications. She currently serves on the national executive of the Association of Canadian Deans of Education

Lisa Cruickshank Lisa Cruickshank has taught for 17 years with Edmonton Catholic Schools and is currently the Associate Director, Métis Education for Rupertsland Métis Centre for Excellence. Her drive and dedication in developing age-appropriate curricular materials to address the history of residential schools and treaties has been well received by 96 Edmonton Catholic schools.

In December of 2016, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that his government would introduce an Indigenous Languages Act, to be co-developed with First Nations, Inuit, and Métis peoples. The Assembly of First Nations (AFN) has been a partner in this co-development strategy, working to incorporate the voice and direction of First Nations Languages experts, speakers, and community members within the developed legislation. The AFN and the Department of Culture and Heritage provide an update on the progress of the Indigenous Languages Act, share what we have heard from language experts and technicians, and discuss the co-development process for legislation.

Sonya Howard, Sr. Policy Analyst, Assembly of First Nations, Ottawa, ON
Gianni (John) de Francesco, Federal Lead Representative, Department of Culture and Heritage, Québec

Speaker Bio

Sonya Howard is a member of self-governing Tsawassen First Nation. Before joining the AFN Languages Sector, Sonya worked with the National Association of Friendship Centers on Indigenous social policy and program development with a focus on employment and training and child care. She has also worked on treaty implementation, policy and government services for her First Nation, Tsawwassen.

Gianni de Francesco is the Federal Lead Representative responsible for the co-development of Indigenous Languages Legislation. Gianni spent twenty years at Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada, where he has held a number of executive-level positions since 2000, including Director Additions to Reserves and Regional Director General Manitoba.

SESSION #F
Friday, November 9 10:15 a.m. – 11:15 a.m.
(Click on each topic to view description)


Conversation Circles provide an opportunity for networking. Participants will gather and engage in meaningful dialogue with their peers on topics relevant to K-12 Indigenous education. Topics that have been submitted during the registration will be selected prior to the event and attendees can select which session they would like to attend. Topics can also be seen in the EventMobi App when the National Gathering begins. Participants are encouraged to select the conversation circle that they are interested in for an opportunity to network with conference attendees from across the country.

Educators want to include principles of Truth and Reconciliation into their classrooms, but they are hesitant to begin because maybe they are non-Indigenous or they fear saying something wrong or offensive. This presentation provides educators with the resources, lesson plans and cultural connections necessary to start transforming their primary classrooms and expose their learners to First Nations, Inuit, and Métis texts, images and knowledge. Educators experience how FNMI resources can support their diverse learners and improve the educational outcomes of all students; learn how to integrate the Arts into everyday Literacy lessons; and connect this learning through apps such as Puppet EDU, Skitch, Explain Everything, and/or SeeSaw.

Jolene Moriarty, Teacher, Kawartha Pine Ridge District School Board, Ontario

Speaker Bio

Jolene Moriarty/Waapoone Kwe teachers with the Kawartha Pine Ridge District School Board.  Jolene is Irish and Cree, but was raised amongst the Chippewa’s of Saugeen, attended post-secondary with predominantly Ojibwe professors, has recently taught at Lakefield D.P.S. — a tri-lingual school (Ojibwe, French & English) — and is married to a Mississauga Ojibway man.

This presentation builds knowledge of the Métis people of Alberta and highlights the value of incorporating Métis perspectives and content into the classrooms. Creating resources about Métis people by Métis people speaks to principles at the heart of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP). This presentation responds to calls to action from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Report, and Rupertsland Institute is pleased to present our newly created Métis Education Resources for K-12 educators. Participants will learn how these resources will build foundational knowledge in teachers and help them incorporate Métis content and perspectives into their classrooms.

Lisa Cruickshank, Associate Director, Métis Education, Rupertsland Institute, Alberta

Speaker Bio

Lisa Cruickshank has taught for 17 years with Edmonton Catholic Schools and is currently the Associate Director, Métis Education for Rupertsland Métis Centre for Excellence. Her drive and dedication in developing age-appropriate curricular materials to address the history of residential schools and treaties has been well received by 96 Edmonton Catholic schools.

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission has called for age-appropriate curricula on Residential Schools. In this presentation, educators explore curriculum-related resources for grade 7 and 8 students and share activities and experiences to help them bring these connections back to their classrooms. This presentation includes the teaching of the Seven Fires. Participants also receive a list of resources available to download, whose aim is to not ignore the reality of colonization but rather address the issue directly.  By the end of the session, educators will be better equipped to understand the colonial legacy so the truth will guide their teaching toward reconciliation.

Janet Steadman, Native Education Worker, Aamjiwnaang First Nation, Ontario
Katrina Cadotte, Grade 7/8 teacher, Lambton Kent District School Board, Ontario

Speaker Bio

Janet Steadman was born and raised in Aamjiwnaang First Nation to parents who were both survivors of Residential Schools. She is currently employed as a Native Education Worker, and for the past eight years she has been educating staff and students about the history of Residential Schools.

Katrina Cadotte teaches with the Lambton Kent District School Board. For the past eight years, alongside Janet Steadman she has worked to raise awareness of Indigenous issues and history. Together, they have taught students about residential schools, murdered and missing women, poverty, and suicide rates.

Selected by Indspire as a Nurturing Capacity: Building Community Success project

This presentation explains the importance of cultural knowledge and meeting foundational needs of families in order to create a legacy of healing. Presenters outline principles of collaboration and how the Qeq College program was developed to meet the needs of Indigenous children. The Qeq program helps young children and their families get ready for their journey in education to prepare them for life-long success. Learn how this program helps children and families feel comfortable in accessing the school system by starting at the very beginning and including families in healthy upbringing of our precious and sacred ones.

Breana Curnow, Qeq College Coordinator, Tillicum Lelum Aboriginal Friendship Centre, British Columbia
Lyana Patrick, Researcher, Vancouver, BC

Speaker Bio

Participants will be introduced to Indspire’s two mentorship programs, Peer Support: Educator Mentorship and Rivers to Success: Mentoring Indigenous Students. Peer Support is a mentorship and leadership program for educators of Indigenous students. We pair educators from across Canada based on their professional learning goals. Rivers to Success is a national mentorship program that supports the academic and career success of Indigenous students. It has two streams of mentorship: Matching Indigenous post-secondary students with high school students to support and encourage graduation and transition to post-secondary; and matching Indigenous post-secondary students with professionals in relevant career fields. This session will feature testimonials from Peer Support mentors and mentees.

Rachel Hill, Peer Support Program Coordinator, Indspire, ON
Kim Radbourne, Rivers to Success: Mentoring Indigenous Students Coordinator, Indspire

Speaker Bio

Rachel Hill is Mohawk from Six Nations of the Grand River territory in Ontario and is the Peer Support: Educator Mentorship Coordinator at Indspire. She received her Honours BA from McMaster University and her BEd from Brock University. Rachel is a certified primary/junior educator with 10 years of experience teaching on reserve. She also has extensive experience working educators of Indigenous students.

A non-Indigenous ally, Kim Radbourne is the Rivers to Success: Mentoring Indigenous Students Coordinator at Indspire. Kim has been privileged to live, learn and work in the First Nations communities of the James Bay Coast for her career in adult education and employment services.

This workshop offers a peek inside the Ucwalmícwts Immersion program in the school at Mount Currie. The presentation includes video clips of life in the immersion class from daily routines and cultural traditions to how language has become a part of students’ early math education. Hear from children who have learned the Líl̓wat traditional language and benefitted from the focus on traditional learning. The workshop encourages other communities to reclaim their language and celebrate young children as they learn and become fluent speakers, and it provides them the necessary tools to start their own language immersion classes.|

Meskiya Kakalh Tilalus
Liz Barrett, Outreach Manager, JUMP Math, BC. 2017 Guiding the Journey recipient.

Speaker Bio

Meskiya Kakalh Tilalus is the traditional name of Terri Williams. Terri is an advocate of immersion language teaching and has been the lead teacher in the school at Mount Currie. Terri has presented on her work at the MFNERC conference as well as at the FNESC and FNSA conferences in Vancouver.

Liz Barrett immigrated to Canada in 2002 from her native country South Africa, where she worked with many of the Indigenous communities. Liz spent the majority of her career as a teacher, advocating for equal opportunities and has consistently chosen employment in schools and communities with socio-economic issues. In 2016 at the Guiding the Journey, Liz was recognised for her work in Indigenous communities and was awarded the Partner in Indigenous Education award.
Her commitment and passion are displayed through the time she spends working with FNMI communities supporting teachers and communities.

The presentation will acknowledge the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada and the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples as being the foundation for renewing Alberta’s Relationship with Indigenous Peoples, and a focus on First Nations, Métis and Inuit student success. The presentation will provide an overview of Alberta Education’s work to build a positive relationship with First Nations, Métis and Inuit governments and organizations, First Nations school authorities, and school systems in Alberta. Highlights will include discussion of recent initiatives such as Memoranda of Understanding, Protocol Agreement tables, and new programming announcements, grants and supports, for First Nations, Métis and Inuit.

Nicole Callihoo, Assistant Deputy Minister First Nations, Métis and Inuit Education Directorate, Alberta Ministry of Education Coordinator, Edmonton, AB

Speaker Bio

Nicole Callihoo is from the Treaty 6 Territory (Paul First Nation, AB) and is an alumnus from the Johnson Shoyoma Graduate School of Public Policy. She obtained a Master’s degree in Public Administration from the University of Saskatchewan in 2014 and a Bachelor’s Degree in Native Studies from the University of Alberta in 2002. In her current position as Assistant Deputy Minister First Nations, Métis and Inuit Education Directorate, Nicole works to advance Alberta Education’s goal of an education system that honours the history, cultures, languages and perspectives of First Nations, Métis and Inuit communities with support from the Directorate and the Ministry.

This presentation builds knowledge of the Métis people of Alberta and highlights the value of incorporating Métis perspectives and content into the classrooms. Creating resources about Métis people by Métis people speaks to principles at the heart of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP). This presentation responds calls to action from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Report, and Rupertsland Institute is pleased to present our newly created Métis Education Resources for K-12 educators. Participants will learn how these resources will build foundational knowledge in teachers and help them incorporate Métis content and perspectives into their classrooms.

Lisa Cruickshank, Associate Director, Métis Education, Rupertsland Institute, Alberta

Speaker Bio

Lisa Cruickshank has taught for 17 years with Edmonton Catholic Schools and is currently the Associate Director, Métis Education for Rupertsland Métis Centre for Excellence. Her drive and dedication in developing age-appropriate curricular materials to address the history of residential schools and treaties has been well received by 96 Edmonton Catholic schools.

This workshop speaks to the transformation of education for Indigenous learners by connecting traditional cultural practices to the current trend of Maker Education. This presentation explains how Makerspace is an excellent educational opportunity to share Aboriginal Culture, and it shares how MakerEd is a re-branding of old education practices for the 21st century learning. The workshop introduces the Maker movement and MakerEd principles for those unfamiliar with the topic, but goes beyond the conventional understanding of MakerEd to explore ways in which Indigenous technologies can be brought into Makerspaces and classrooms, while connecting Makerspace to Indigenous ways of knowing.

Noelle Pepin, ELL Teacher, Nusdeh Yoh, British Columbia
Melanie Howard, Director, Aboriginal Access to Engineering, Queens University, Ontario

Speaker Bio

Noelle Pepin is Nisga’a of the Laxgibuu clan of the wilp Ksdiiyaawak. Her name Gwiix Silwilayinsgun Gibuu translates to Always Learning Wolf, a name she received because of her focus on education. She has a B.Sc. Natural Resources Management, Fisheries and Wildlife; B.Ed. Elementary, and is currently working on a M.Ed. Multidisciplinary Leadership.

Tawesakhe Melanie Howard is Turtle Clan of the Mohawk Nation, Kanehsatake. After teaching in her home community, in 2012 she moved to Queen’s University, where she became the Director of Aboriginal Access to Engineering. Melanie has helped create the Canadian Indigenous Advisory Council to the American Indian Science and Engineering Society.

SESSION #G
Friday November 9, 2016 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
(Click on each topic to view description)

Conversation Circles provide an opportunity for networking. Participants will gather and engage in meaningful dialogue with their peers on topics relevant to K-12 Indigenous education. Topics that have been submitted during the registration will be selected prior to the event and attendees can select which session they would like to attend. Topics can also be seen in the EventMobi App when the National Gathering begins. Participants are encouraged to select the conversation circle that they are interested in for an opportunity to network with conference attendees from across the country.

Explore one of the world’s largest collections of Indigenous films, made by Indigenous filmmakers, who have lent their voices to share powerful stories that tackle themes of discrimination, colonialism, resistance, youth engagement and change. Learn how the National Film Board of Canada’s educational resources help students participate in reconciliation by leveraging film as a powerful tool to engage critically on issues such as the Sixties Scoop, residential schools, language preservation, broken treaties and the health of Indigenous territories.  This session includes screenings of a selection of new productions from Indigenous filmmakers. Presenters highlight the NFB’s teacher resources, NFB educator guides, thematic playlists, learning bundles, and other teacher tools.

Sophie Quevillon, Advisor, Educational Programs, |National Film Board of Canada, Montréal, Québec
Tanya C. Leary, Educational Programs, |National Film Board of Canada, Montréal, Québec. 2013 Guiding the Journey recipient.

Speaker Bio

Sophie Quevillon, has worked with the National Film Board of Canada for 15 years and in her role as the Learning Program Manager she has helped to enrich the NFB’s educational programming, including resource development and the virtual classroom program. Sophie holds a post-graduate degree in Management in Cultural Organizations from HEC Montreal, and she is currently pursuing Indigenous studies at the University de Laval. Sophie shares a multi-faceted perspective through her visual arts practice and marketing experience.

Tanya C. Leary, OCT is Sealteaux from Roseau River First Nation, MB. She is an award-winning author and educator and is currently the Advisor and Lead Writer for the Education Team in the Indigenous Voices and Reconciliation Program at the National Film Board of Canada. If she is not writing, teaching or serving her Pinterest addiction, she is enjoying her art studio, and the outdoors with her husband, teenage daughter, toddler and circle of friends.

This presentation provides an overview of a partner-research project, between the Calgary Board of Education and Werklund School of Education, the University of Calgary, and Alberta Education, examining the implementation of the new early childhood educational program for First Nations, Métis and Inuit students. The study explored the impact on student achievement and overall well-being of the integrated, culturally-responsive environment at the Niitsitapi Learning Centre in Calgary. Presenters evaluate how the program weaved community-based, community-driven participatory research and Indigenous methodologies, and the best practice in reconciliation through education, early education and holistic education.

Michelle Ranger, Principal, Calgary Board of Education, Alberta
Dianne Roulson, Director, Calgary Board of Education, Alberta
Jackie Ottmann, Vice Provost, Indigenous Engagement, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatchewan

Speaker Bio

Michelle Ranger is a Métis educator whose homeland is St. Laurent Manitoba. Her career has been devoted to Indigenous education. She is currently the principal of the Aboriginal Learning Centre in Calgary. She was previously principal and assistant principal of Piitoayis Family School and a learning leader with the local board’s Aboriginal Education Team.

Dr. Dianne Roulson was born and raised in Calgary, has roots in northern Saskatchewan. She is a Learning Director with the Calgary Board of Education in curriculum, assessment and Indigenous Education with 29 years-experience. Over the past 6 years her work with the board’s Elder Advisory Council has had a profound impact on her life and career.

This visual presentation highlights the collaboration between Indigenous and non-Indigenous educators working together in one classroom with students to create change. Learn how students are the leaders for reconciliation at an Ontario school and how they are pushing everyone else’s awareness. See the Acts of Reconciliation that are collaborations between Indigenous and non-Indigenous students and teachers working beside Indigenous community partners in this urban area. Transformation happens when cross-disciplinary student-led reconciliation projects push teachers to engage. Hear how these experiences have led students and teachers to claim Indigenous identity and stand proud, while changing school culture to honour Indigenous world views, ways of being, history and culture.

Speaker Bio

Deb St. Amant — Bezhig Waabshke Ma’iingan Gewetigaabo — was born in Penetanguishene. Her father was Métis and her mother is Ojibwe. Deb was the first Indigenous person elected to ETFO’s provincial executive. Following a 30-year career as an educator, Deb is the Elder in residence at Queen’s University, Faculty of Education.

Christine Jamieson is an ally. Working in a secondary school as a teacher of Indigenous Studies, geography, and English and an instructional coach, she has used her dual role to spread the results of student inquiry, social justice projects, and Indigenous community partnerships through educator professional learning in her school and system-wide.

Tapwē Productions is making land-based teachings accessible to all classrooms through virtual reality. This educational technology allows students to learn culture through experiences. In this presentation, Tapwē Productions demonstrates how they are helping communities achieve culture and language revitalization through virtual reality and explain the use and benefits of virtual reality in classrooms. Virtual reality provides an insider perspective of culture that is inaccessible in any other format. Participants learn how playing an elder’s voice over a virtual reality experience can benefit students in many ways. Participants get a chance to try the virtual reality goggles and experience the virtual-world.

Ryland Dupre, CO CEO, Tapwē Producitons, Saskatchewan
Rollin Baldhead, CO CEO, Tapwē Productions, Saskatchewan

Speaker Bio

Ryland Dupre is a third-year Indian Teaching Education Program (ITEP) student. Ryland has captured the Wanuskawin Heritage Park revival process and worked with the University of Saskatchewan on plans to integrate Indigenous language into their work. He is also working with Flying Dust First Nation to bring virtual reality into their school.

Rollin Baldhead is a fourth-year student and president of the Indian Teaching Education Program (ITEP). Ryland has captured the Wanuskawin Heritage Park revival process and worked with the University of Saskatchewan on plans to integrate Indigenous language into their work. He is also working with Flying Dust First Nation to bring virtual reality into their school.

This presentation provides participants with history and context as to why reconciliation is important, how art can be used to teach history, how art affects students, and how art can be used to teach reconciliation. Participants discover how to use art to develop opportunities for students to explore their world and experience what reconciliation actually is. Throughout history, people have used art as a way of narrating, shaping, and making meaning of their experiences — and to view the world in a different way. Participants learn how to create art to build and rebuild, to learn and re-learn, to recover, and remember within their classrooms and workplaces.

Jordan Raymond, Teacher, Bethlehem Catholic High School, Saskatchewan

Speaker Bio

Jordan Raymond is Métis from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. He is an educator with the Greater Catholic School Division in Saskatoon and a PhD candidate at the University of Saskatchewan’s College of Education. He uses art to help his students understand the history of the relationship between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people in Canada’s history.

This workshop demonstrates the importance of initiating, establishing, and maintaining meaningful and mutually beneficial partnerships with educators, students, First Nations communities, and organizations as a core tenet of reconciliation in education systems. Presenters share how, through several collaborative projects, cross-curricular resources and “Lessons from the Earth” on education, knowledge, practice, history, language and health were developed. Participants interact with digital resources and discuss how to deliver Indigenous knowledge, dispel misconceptions and identify ways to build respectful community partnerships. These resources give students a glimpse into the old stories of the Indigenous peoples of this land.

Jodie Williams, Indigenous Education Consultant, Dufferin Peel Catholic District School Board, Ontario

Speaker Bio

Jodie Williams currently works as the Indigenous Education Consultant for the Dufferin Peel Catholic District School Board. She is the Co-Chair for the First Nations, Métis and Inuit Education Association of Ontario and the lead on a provincial Community of Practice for Indigenous Knowledge and Mathematics.

The term “Think Indigenous” is used to convince educators to think differently about their approaches to education. Thinking Indigenous about education is the foundation of transformation, but “Indian Control of Colonial Education” is our current reality. Reshaping Indigenous education, if done correctly, has the power to influence change and build on the work of reconciliation efforts across the country. This presentation begins by outlining the vision of “Citizens Plus” and moves into what “Indian Control of Colonial Education” means and why our thinking has shifted. It continues with the next steps to begin the journey back to the original vision of education for and by Indigenous people.

Chris Scribe,Director, Indian Teacher Education Program – University of Saskatchewan, Saskatchewan

Speaker Bio

Chris Scribe, Nakota/Cree, B.Ed, M.Ed PhDc. has worked on First Nations education locally, provincially, nationally and internationally. He has served as a teacher, coach, cultural responsive catalyst, acting principal, special education teacher, principal and now, director. Chris is also Chair of the Think Indigenous Education Conference.

Kiskinōhtamowin is an epistemology of promise that compels educators to envision a pathway of success for all students. Participants will experience three narratives that illustrate how urban Indigenous schools in Saskatoon, in partnership with Saskatoon Tribal Council, transformed learning contexts to better serve the mental, physical, spiritual and emotional well-being of students. A shift to nehiyaw epistemologies helps schools to overcome the shortcomings of Western education by mobilizing the tools of learning improvement within Indigenous learning contexts. Participants will add their voices to the discourse on Indigenizing school improvement and take away a model of improvement informed by Indigenous participation.

Gordon Martell, Superintendent of Education, Greater Saskatoon Catholic Schools, Saskatchewan
Katrina Sawchuk, Principal, St. Mary’s Wellness & Education Centre, Saskatchewan

Speaker Bio

Gordon Martell is a member of the Waterhen Lake Cree First Nation in Treaty Six Territory. He is Superintendent with Greater Saskatoon Catholic Schools and an adjunct professor at the University of Saskatchewan. Gordon has received a number of honours, including the Saskatchewan Centennial Leadership Award for over twenty years of community service in healthcare, policing, philanthropy and community development.

Katrina Sawchuk is the Principal of St. Mary’s Wellness and Education Centre in Saskatoon. St. Mary’s serves a population of close to 400 students, over 90 per cent of whom are of Indigenous ancestry. Katrina is currently pursuing her PhD in Health Sciences through the University of Saskatchewan.

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s report challenges provincial governments to provide students with “age-appropriate curriculum on residential schools, Treaties, and Aboriginal peoples’ historical and contemporary contributions to Canada”.  This session shares how Greater Saskatoon Catholic Schools and the Central Urban Métis Federation Inc. (CUMFI) advocated for the creation of a Métis-education focused school at St. Michael Community School. Participants learn how the staff developed a Métis Education Model to provide elementary students with an understanding of Métis culture and perspectives while meeting curricular outcomes. The presentation shares examples of lessons, community engagement strategies, and curricular resources.

Cort Dogniez, Métis Education Program Leader, St. Michael Community School, Saskatchewan
Evelyn Johnston, Vice President, Central Urban Métis Federation Inc. (CUMFI), Saskatchewan

Speaker Bio

Cort Dogniez is a proud Métis man from Saskatoon.  He is a graduate of the Indian Teacher Education Program and holds a Bachelor of Education Degree and Post-Graduate Diploma. He has spent thirty-nine years as a teacher, administrator, coordinator and consultant.  He currently works as the Métis Education Program Leader for Greater Saskatoon Catholic Schools.

Evelyn Johnston is a proud Métis woman from Winterbeen, Alberta. She married and has two boys and one girl. She became a critical care nurse in her thirties and worked in Saskatoon for 34 years. She volunteers as Vice-President of CUMFI and supports school boards’ efforts to include Indigenous education in the classroom.