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Walking Forward Together

2021 Indigenous Education Conference

We are pleased to welcome all to enjoy a day of learning about Indigenous Education as Indigenous and non-Indigenous people walk forward together on this educational journey. 

This conference will be held virtually on May 21, 2021.

Ticket Information

Tickets are available for purchase on Eventbrite!

  • Early Bird: $30 until March 12, 2021
  • Regular: $45 March 13 to May 14, 2021
  • Lunch: As the conference is virtual, we will be providing the option for a lunch box catered by Clarion Hotel. Please coordinate with your school location and appoint someone to pick-up the lunches on the day of the conference. The Clarion Hotel & Conference is located at 36035 North Parallel Road, Abbotsford. Meal options include (1) Greek Lunch; (2) Sandwich Lunch; or (3) Vegan / Gluten-Free Lunch

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Session A: The Maybe Principle: Planting Seeds of Change (9:00 am - 10:15 am)

Gabrielle Scrimshaw is an inspiring and engaging speaker, born and raised in Northern Saskatchewan. Gabrielle is a proud member of the Hatchet Lake First Nation. Gabrielle co-founded the Aboriginal Professional Association of Canada which offers services and programming to First Nations, Métis and Inuit professionals. Prior to this Gabrielle was a program leader and volunteer with one of Canada’s premier youth programs, Junior Team Canada, where she led trade missions to Peru, China and Malaysia. Gabrielle is passionate about diversity, leadership and innovation. As the first in her family to pursue post-secondary education and travel the globe, she is a believer in what hard work and a positive attitude can accomplish.

Born into a northern Indigenous community, Gabrielle had some daunting numbers stacked against her. She was eleven times more likely to be reported missing, three times more likely to be unemployed, and she was more likely to drop out of high school than finish it.

Through random acts of kindness and strangers planting seeds of “maybe”, Gabrielle was able to change her life and transform her community. In this inspiring talk, Gabrielle will share the Maybe Principle. A simple idea that saved her life, allowed her to become a first-generation student, and start a national non-profit, eventually earning master’s degrees from both Harvard and Stanford.

Key Takeaways:

  • How each one of us has the power to transform a life.
  • Techniques to motivate those within your community to achieve great things.

Target Audience: Open to all

Session B: Talk Read. Talk Write. (10:45 am - 2:15 pm)

*This session is limited to 100 participants*

The Talk. Read. Talk. Write. lesson format, by Nancy Motley, offers content area teachers a straight-forward classroom process to help students deepen their content, knowledge and increase their ability to communicate understanding. When students have regular opportunities to talk about, read about and write about what they are learning, the quantity and quality of their learning increases. When these strategies are implemented consistently, the end result is obvious. Entire classrooms of students become readers, writers and, most importantly, problem-solvers because they are actively thinking through each academic concept.  This session also includes a copy of Nancy Motley's book, "Talk. Read. Talk. Write."

Target Audience: Grade K - 12 Educators with a focus on Grades K - 5

Session C: Love is Medicine - Four Blankets of Resilience (10:45 am - 12:00 pm)

Monique Gray Smith is a proud Mom of teenage twins and an award-winning, best-selling author. Her first published novel, Tilly: A Story of Hope and Resilience won the 2014 Canadian Burt Award for First Nation, Métis and Inuit Literature. Since then, Monique has had 6 books come out that cover a broad spectrum of ages, topics and emotions. Woven into all of Monique’s writing, speaking engagements and online courses is the teaching that Love is Medicine. Monique’s novel, Tilly and the Crazy Eights was longlisted for Canada Reads 2021. Monique is well known for her contributions to the journey of Truth and Reconciliation, including being honoured with the 2019 City of Victoria Leadership Award for Reconciliation. She is an appointed member of the Board of Directors of Royal Roads University and the Minister’s Advisory Council for Indigenous Women for the Government of BC. Monique is Cree, Lakota and Scottish and has been sober and involved in her healing journey for over 30 years. She is well known for her storytelling, spirit of generosity and focus on resilience.

In this dynamic and informative session, we will explore how stress & trauma impacts us and the students you work with; including creating an understanding of what happens in our bodies when we experience high levels of stress and/or trauma. Monique will share her Cultural Resilience model: 'The Four Blankets of Resilience', and will provide strategies for weaving aspects of this model into your work. This will be an inspiring and hope centered session and will include Monique sharing stories and offering readings from her various books.

Target Audience: Open to all

Session D: Integrating Indigenous Stories into Numeracy Instruction (10:45 am - 12:00 pm)

Please note this session is available for Abbotsford District Teachers only.

Sharing stories that allow students to explore the math embedded with the them is a great way to learn about number sense in context of the real world. Come learn about ways to engage students in number sense and problem-solving experiences that are connected to stories relevant to local First Peoples communities.

Target Audience: Grade K - 5

Session E: Equity Backpack Project (10:45 am - 12:00 pm)

*This session is limited to 100 participants*

Mr. Jaxon Orth will share his story of collaborating with classroom teachers around the topic of Truth and Reconciliation taught through the Indigenous Medicine Wheel. Jaxon and Nerlap will describe and model how they taught that students can learn even the most challenging concepts when it comes to Equity, Inclusion and Equality by creating their own Equity Backpack.

This virtual session provides educators with lesson plan(s), peer reviewed research such as Jo-Ann Archibald from UBC, and a step towards Anti-Racism Education. The goal of this session is to provide you with a starting point when it comes to engaging students in Equity work and to add more tools to your toolkit. Ongoing support for teaching for equity and anti-racism will be discussed.

We hope to sustain momentum and promote ongoing change in our schools and communities. This session will lead to the development of a network of educators wanting to develop these approaches in their schools and classrooms.

Target Audience: K-12 Teachers, Administrators, Support Staff, Organizations

Session E2: Using EdPlan Insight Data to Support Indigenous Student Planning (10:45 am - 12:00 pm)

Please note this session is available for Administrators Only.

Tracy Krys and Melanie Trudeau will be presening on how to navigate the new EdPlan Insight Data System to identify data and needs for students to support service and educational programs.

Target Audience: Administrators

Session F: Embracing Challenges & Possibilities (12:45pm - 2:15pm)

Shoysqwelwhet (Dr. Gwendolyn Point) is from the Stó:lō Nation. She is a distinguished educator, scholar, mentor, visionary, cultural advisor, and leader. At various points in her career, Shoysqwelwhet has taught at the elementary, secondary, and post-secondary levels, and held positions in leadership and administration with the Stó:lō Nation and the provincial government. Join Dr. Gwendolyn Point as she discusses the many challenges Indigenous people have faced throughout the years and explores the possibilities for the present.

Targeted Audience: Open to all

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