Indigenous Knowledge Conferences

There are many ways I have supported organizations and individuals with knowledge building opportunities and many ways I can help support and elevate important issues or bring new insight.

For me, conferences have been one example and an area I want to keep working in.

I chose conferences as a venue option to build knowledge. Doing face to face conferences seemed to be an exciting business venture and learning activity. The First Indigenous Knowledge Conference was held in Thunder Bay. The inspiration came to bring together Elders and Youth and expanded into a Professional Development Conference.  Taking a different approach to passing knowledge and building in moments to learn and share, together was my aim and open to professionals and frontline staff in and around Thunder Bay.

The first conference Thunder Bay’s First Indigenous Knowledge Conference – Nakodan, “Answering The Call” was held with great success. Dr. Little Bear, a world renowned Blackfoot Scholar and thinker who has been instrumental in Indigenous Knowledge, metaphysics and science was the Keynote.

He talked about the importance of Renewal, it is this theme which this Spring Conference will have. The first conference had over 130-140 people in one room including Elders and youth, listening to Little Bear . Here is a link to his presentation if you missed it,

Bringing together people in the spirit of learning and professional development TEK Be Superior


Dr. Little Bear – Keynote Speaker
Dr. Cynthia Wesley- Esquimaux – Panelist, for Day 2
Kelvin Redsky – Early Years & Culture, Shkoday Abinojiiwak Obimiwedoon – Thunder Bay Headstart
Lorna McCue – Kitchen Conversations for Action on Inclusion – Ontario Healthy Communities Coalition. For more information, see
Peter Moses – Experiences and Stories of the North, Economies and Indigenous Knowledge, Biigtigong Anishinaabe
Jana Rae Yerxa – Gii-kaapizigemin manoomin Neyaashing: A resurgence of Anishinaabeg nationhood
Stephanie McLaurin – Ft. William First Nation, Indigenous Governance – The (Im)Possible Task of Translating Leadership in the Sugar Bush
Aleksa Sherman – PARO Centre – Entrepreneurship
Michelle Richmond-Saravia – Designing an Approach To Learning on the Land & An arts based learning activity – hands on.
ONWA- Ontario Native Women’s Association – Trafficking and MMIW
Election Canada – Civic Engagment & IK


After the first conference in November of 2017, I overheard a person speaking about how great the first conference was. Immediately I thought about how long it would take until the next one. Something told me, I should aim for another in the Spring. It was this simple thought which lent itself to believing having a Spring Conference with a focus on Renewal would be a good idea.

In the Indigenous community we come together in the spring. We come together for many reasons: ceremonies, fasting, hunting, and for fishing. We come together and it is a time of sharing, bonding, and telling stories about how we made it through the winter time. Winter a quiet and busy time. We have told stories all thru the winter and moved into the New Year. Spring time a period of setting forth our vision for the New Year.
The beginnings of Spring often mean we set out on a journey.
We make new plans for the summer ahead.
We plan for what our goals or our priorities are.
We come together to make new plans, share new ideas, and celebrate what worked for us and what works.
We have accomplished the hard work over the fall and winter.
We look forward to our time on the Land in the spring, summer and fall.
Spring is a busy season. It is where we wait for the much anticipated sun to return and the longer days start. We start to put away the layers of Old Man winter, and feel the warm rays of the sun on our days. We get inspired by the idea of new life, new beginnings. Spring is a time of change.
We want to go outside.
We have a need to look up more at the constellations.
Spring is a time shift.
We notice the wind more in the Spring. A story from Cajete on the Wind from the Navajo tells us about the Holy Ones who send different Winds when we are in our mother’s womb that there is a combination of the Wind of the Mother and the Father that make us unique.
This creative quality of the “winds coming together” that enables us to breathe and be alive. It is this wind that makes us who we are and from birth and beyond it is the wind which helps guide and direct us and that we need to understand our wind, and how each and everyone has winds that impact oneself, both from the natural and supernatural world. It is said that it is the wind within which will have the greatest impact on behaviour and way of life.
Winds child exists everywhere. The same winds child exits within us and our tissues. We live by it; we think by it. Wind standing alongside us, warns us of danger and repercussions of our actions… our twin wind is our intuition and acts as a guide. It connects guides and communicates thru dreams.
(Cajete, Look to the Mountain, p. 53)
The wind is one of my favourites. A teaching I have also heard, is in order to cleanse of stress, is to go stand in the wind. The wind truly is a powerful healer and Cajete’s story tells us about how we have that wind within us, the gift of wind.

Presentations from:
– Lynda Banning FASD Worker (Northern Superior) & Lyne Soramaki, Public Health Nurse,Protecting Our Children’s Future: A Caring for Mother Earth Collaborative Project First Nations Traditional Teachings Are Public Health- Anishinabek Nation & The Thunder Bay District Health Unit with
-The Ontario College of Teachers on Teacher education resources & policies in relation to Indigenous perspectives
-Joe Wark, MSW, RSW, Stories that Hurt, Stories that Heal: An Examination of Vicarious Resilience from a Respectful Relationships Perspective,
-Jamie McGuiniss, Human Rights Legal Support Centre,
-Aleksa Shermack, Program Manager, Seno Program, PARO
-Stephanie Quisess, Self Care in Relation to Tradtional Healing Practices (Beadwork Creations)
-Nicole Richmond- Crowe, Anishabek Legal Frameworks
-Cheryl Suggashie, TBA
-Joyce Hunter, Reconcilation and Health


This years conference for the fall is on hold.

It was planned to be held on November 13, 14, 2018 and over the moon to bring in bring in Andrea Landry. She is Anishinaabe from Pawgwasheeng (Pays Plat First Nation) but currently resides on Poundmaker Cree Nation. She has a Masters in Communications and Social Justice from the University of Windsor, and a background in Social Work. She is a mother, a lifeskills coach, a professor, and blogs about Indigenous motherhood and the revolution.


Tickets for the Conference



The Second Conference, with a theme of Renewal is planned for this spring on April 25, 26, 2018. Please see this link for registration information:

Here is the Agenda for the Conference:  Agenda Conference 04:05

Please see this website to bring you to the page about the details regarding the Indigenous Knowledge Conference

Register here:




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