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Michael Kusugak

Session Name: Residential Schools

Session Information: Michael spent many years in several residential schools. The worst of these was at the Catholic Mission in Chesterfield Inlet. It was run by nuns, priests and brothers. Michael talks about some of his experiences in these schools when requested in age/grade appropriate sessions. School had both negative and positive effects on his life, and he talks about both sides but likes to focus on the strength he gained and the learning that brought him to who he is today. Michael’s mother always told him, “No matter what you experience in life take the good and leave the bad behind.” This advice has guided him in his life.

Kim Wheatley

Session Name: Honoring the Earth and knowing our Animal Spiritual relationships through an Indigenous context

Session Information: Our core principles and laws are about Honoring the Earth and how we are live in balance with creation. Indigenous Ways of Knowing provides us as humans, the fundamentals on how to maintain a healthy relationship with the animal kingdom. These relationships which are based on wholistic Indigenous approaches and methodologies are sacred relationships and have been successful for thousands of generations in healing practices. They show us how we can excel spiritually and in our day-to-day living.

Nandita Bajaj and Mike Farley

Session Name: Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion For Students and Staff Who Protect Animals

Session Information: Students start to learn about animals at an early age, and continue that learning through middle and high school. But what messages are we conveying through our curriculum and school practices? In this session we will explore society’s often troubled and exploitative relationships with animals, which are frequently perpetuated in our school communities. Using a humane education approach that includes animal protection, human rights, and environmental preservation, we will look at solutions such as digital alternatives to dissection, field trips to animal sanctuaries, and curriculum resources for K-12 educators. A special emphasis will be placed on equity and inclusion for students and staff from all backgrounds.

Wendy Phillips

Session Name: Indigenous Ways of Knowing

Session Information: Wendy Phillips is an Elder and will be talking about the Land, Indigenous land-based pedagogies, and the importance of culture, community and the Land to Indigenous ways of understanding and relating to our environment. As an Elder from the Wasauksing First Nation, she will be talking about how to support students when teaching about Indigenous Ways of Knowing. Wendy will also address the need for an authentic voice when teaching students in the classroom. These teachings of Traditional Indigenous Knowledge should only be shared by an Elder or Knowledge Keeper. Also, Wendy will talk about how to reach out respectfully to find a local, authentic voice to educate both educators and students.

*This session will not be recorded, and thus will not be available on-demand

Philip Cote

Session Name: Connecting my Ancestor’s Teachings into my artwork

Session information: Philip Cote will be talking about the importance of Oral Indigenous Histories and Stories, and also cultural appropriation. And when in schools, the importance of these Indigenous teachings  being given by an Indigenous Teacher/Knowledge Keeper/Elder with cultural practice, and who should be teaching Indigenous studies, especially cosmology.

David Bouchard

Session Name: Truth and Reconciliation: Starts with Trusting and Learning about One Another

Session Information: David will start his session with a song recognizing, and honouring all residential school children. He will be reading and reflecting on two of his new books, “My Papa lost his Lucky” and “Meet Your Family”. These books are crucial to understanding the importance of the bonds that exist between us all. These bonds will put us on the path to truth and reconciliation by teaching us how to establish trust, and how to learn from one another.

Nogah Kornberg and Amanda McKibbon

Session Title: The Real-World Problem Solving Journey – tools to break free of the status quo

Session Information: Humane education asks students to critically examine the current context and imagine a better world – one where we take care of animals, the environment and each other. Join I-Think for a session exploring thinking and imagination frameworks based on the Real-World Problem Solving Journey that supports students in breaking out of the mental models that maintain the status quo. You’ll see and experience practical tools that thousands of school leaders and K – 12 students are using to challenge the status-quo and create new realities in their schools and communities. You’ll also hear insights from hundreds of K – 8 students who partnered with the Ontario SPCA to imagine new possibilities using these tools.

Lunch and Learn Session with The Riverwood Conservancy

Session Title: Teaching Turtles

Session Information: Join The Riverwood Conservancy’s K-12 Program Team for a live turtle meet and greet! Experience for yourself how interacting with live animals can spark keen interest and lasting inquiry for students of diverse abilities. Catherine Wassmansdorf and Erin Farrow will do an activity together and demonstrate 2 additional ones to bring to your school’s primary, junior and intermediate classrooms. Learn how to bring these and other highly engaging virtual programs to your school. It will be a turtle-y amazing time!

*Please note: Sessions are subject to change without notice.