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2019 First Nations, Métis & Inuit Education Gathering

PDF  Highlights for the 2019 Gathering PDF  2019 Gathering Resource Materials PDF  Light Them a Path - Richard Van Camp's Witness Statement

Conference Details

PDF  Conference Booklet Updated (March 2019) PDF  Program at a Glance (April 8, 2019)

The College of Alberta School Superintendents (CASS) is pleased and honoured to announce the fourth CASS First Nations, Métis and Inuit Education Gathering to be held at Fantasyland Hotel in Edmonton, Alberta on April 10-12, 2019.

The First Nations, Métis and Inuit Gathering continues to grow the vision of bringing Indigenous and non-Indigenous educators, education partners and members of our communities together to share our experiences and stories as we progress on our collective journey to reconciliation through education.  Over the span of 4 years and 3 Gatherings, the movement has gained strength, depth, momentum as the relationships and commitments grow.

This fourth Gathering builds upon the learning and experiences that CASS and our education partners have gained and promises to be our best Gathering yet as we learn from and with the First Nations, Métis and Inuit peoples of this land, from across Alberta and beyond.

We are honoured to be hosting an amazing lineup of keynote speakers.

We also have an incredible array of sessions that offer a balance of First Nations , Métis and Inuit learning about languages, cultures, experiences, and perspectives. Traditional ceremony and practices  will be included throughout the Gathering.

There will be a beautiful Indigenous Market Place for some unique opportunities to shop and support local Indigenous artisans.

We are also proud to be going greener this year finding a balance between saving trees and providing delegates with enough information in hand to ensure smooth movement from session to session.

Please join us as we come together to hear one another, share with one another and breath life into reconciliation education for all of our children.

PDF  Download Brochure

For questions, you may contact claudine.cortes@cass.ab.ca

Keynote Speakers

Wednesday Evening Keynote Speaker: Jesse Wente, Broadcaster, Advocate & Pop Culture Philosopher

Jesse Wente has appeared on CBC Radio’s Metro Morning as film and pop culture critic for 20 years. He previously served as Director of Film Programmes, at TIFF Bell Lightbox, where he oversaw theatrical, Cinematheque and Film Circuit programming. A self-described ‘Ojibwe dude’ with a national and international lens, he encourages audiences to consider diversity and inclusion into the future view of their organization, industry and country.

Jesse will talk about the importance of First Nations, Metis and Inuit knowledge, experience, systems, etc. in education systems and education communities for all students.

Thursday Morning Keynote Speaker: Dr. Cindy Blackstock, Executive Director, First Nations Child and Family Caring Society of Canada

A member of the Gitksan First Nation, Cindy has 25 years of social work experience in child protection and Indigenous children’s rights.

Her promotion of culturally based and evidence informed solutions has been recognized by the Nobel Women’s Initiative, the Aboriginal Achievement Foundation, Frontline Defenders and many others.
An author of over 50 publications and a widely sought after public speaker, Cindy has collaborated with other Indigenous leaders to assist the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child in the development and adoption of a General Comment on the Rights of Indigenous children.

Thursday Noon Keynote Speaker: Aaron Paquette, Métis Artist, Author and Speaker

He is a bestselling, award-winning author, an artist, and a highly in demand Keynote Speaker and Facilitator. He is also a politician elected to Edmonton City Council in 2017, an illustrator, goldsmith and cathedral stained glass artist.

In great demand, Aaron is an engaging, exciting and inspiring speaker and gives generously of his spirit in laughter, joy and learning.

A skilled communicator, Aaron has worked with Alberta Education in Professional Development, Reconciliation, Literacy, Overcoming Obstacles, Residential School & Forced Adoptions, Creativity, etc.

He has worked for years with the Edmonton Public School Board with both in-class sessions and special sessions for promising young artists. The Catholic School Boards in the Central and Northern Alberta region have also enlisted Aaron in many projects ranging from elementary school visits that tie art into curricular learning to mural painting with High School students.

Thursday Banquet Keynote Speaker: The Honourable Senator Murray Sinclair IPC LLP

Senator Sinclair served the justice system in Manitoba for over 25 years. He was the first Aboriginal Judge appointed in Manitoba and Canada’s second.

He served as Co-Chair of the Aboriginal Justice Inquiry in Manitoba and as Chief Commissioner of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC). As head of the TRC, he participated in hundreds of hearings across Canada, culminating in the issuance of the TRC’s report in 2015. He also oversaw an active multi-million dollar fundraising program to support various TRC events and activities, and to allow survivors to travel to attend TRC events.

Senator Sinclair has been invited to speak throughout Canada, the United States and internationally, including the Cambridge Lectures for members of the Judiciary of various Commonwealth Courts in England.

He served as an adjunct professor of law at the University of Manitoba. He was very active within his profession and his community and has won numerous awards, including the National Aboriginal Achievement Award, the Manitoba Bar Association’s Equality Award (2001) and its Distinguished Service Award (2016) and has received Honorary Doctorates from 8 Canadian universities. Senator Sinclair was appointed to the Senate on April 2, 2016.

Friday Morning Keynote Speaker: Jenna Joyce Broomfield, Inuk Lawyer, Throat Singer, Activist

She has focused her career on her passions which include; working with/for her community and the greater Indigenous community, working towards amplifying voices in the community, working with others to protect indigenous rights, contunially challenging stereotypes/preconceptions, and the promotion of continuing cultural pride.

Born and raised in a small central-northern community, North West River, Nunatsiavut (Labrador), Jenna was raised semi-traditionally as a direct result of colonization and the rapid changes it brought about to the region, including but not limited to the changes and traumas resulting from; christianization, the residential schools, sixties scoop, (tb/indian) hospitals, HBC/trading posts.

As a teen she craved to learn more culturally but sometimes had to navigate through suppressive reactions from others, as a result of the deep internalized shame, and repetition of colonial erasure narratives.

Jenna’s deep sense of cultural pride was able to grow, thanks to the knowledge held by family and community members who were willing to share with her along her journey. She continues to learn today and may never stop.

Her community and culture has laid the groundwork and provide the grounding necessary for her to navigate through her western-education and career.

She does her best to give back by always working to contribute to her community in some capacity, alongside others; volunteering, educating others, speaking out and by modeling a healthy lifestyle for her younger relatives as her older relatives did for her.

Friday Closing Keynote Speaker: Richard Van Camp, Dene Author

Richard is a proud member of the Tłı̨chǫ Dene from Fort Smith, Northwest Territories and the author of two children’s books with the Cree artist George Littlechild: A Man Called Raven and What’s the Most Beautiful Thing You Know About Horses?

His novel, The Lesser Blessed, is now a feature film with First Generation Films; his collections of short fiction include Angel Wing Splash Pattern, The Moon of Letting Go and Other Stories, Godless but Loyal to Heaven and Night Moves. He is the author of four baby books: Welcome Song for Baby: A Lullaby for Newborns; Nighty Night: A Bedtime Song for Babies and Little You (now translated into Cree, Dene and South Slavey!) and We Sang You Home, and he has two comic books out with the Healthy Aboriginal Network: Kiss Me Deadly and Path of the Warrior. His graphic novel, Three Feathers, is about restorative justice; his new novel, Whistle, is about mental health and asking for forgiveness and his graphic novel, The Blue Raven, is about mental health and the power of culture and friends. His Eisner nominated graphic novel, A Blanket of Butterflies, is about peacemaking where a grandmother is the hero of the story and his latest graphic novel, Spirit, is about suicide prevention. His latest novella on Reconciliation is “When We Play Our Drums, They Sing!” with McKellar&Martin is also a flip book with Monique Gray-Smith’s “Lucy and Lola.”  Cinematic adaptations of his work include “Mohawk Midnight Runners”, by Zoe Hopkins based on Richard’s short story, “Dogrib Midnight Runners” from The Moon of Letting Go,  Kelvin Redver’s adaptation of “firebear called them faith healers”,  and Jay Cardinal Villeneuve’s adaptation of “Hickey Gone Wrong”, based on Richard’s comic book with Chris Auchter and “Three Feathers”, which is available for viewing in Bush Cree, Dene and South Slavey as well as English, based on his graphic novel.

You can visit Richard on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and at www.richardvancamp.com

Conference Reading and Resource Materials

Archived Presentations

Past Presentations

Gathering Supporters


Nelson is Canada’s leading educational publisher providing innovative products and solutions for learners of all ages. Nelson values and respects the lifelong learning continuum and dedicates its business efforts to the diverse learning needs of students and educators alike.

Nelson is active in Canada’s K-12, Higher Education, Professional Learning, Business, Industry, and Government markets. Our success now and in the future is based on our strong partnerships and ongoing relationships with educators across the country. Together, we are making a positive difference in the lives of Canadians by producing the highest quality educational products and services.

An Edmonton based provider of education related software, professional customization services as well as business consulting.  Our flagship solution Dossier Systems enables schools to manage inclusive education needs, create data driven student profiles, as well as aggregate data from separate systems for analytic and benchmarking purposes. Intellimedia is a leading expert in customizing PowerSchool to tailor to the needs of individual districts.

 AVI-SPL supports the continual evolution of today’s K-12, higher education, and charter schools. Our clients include primary schools, colleges and universities, but can be applied in any learning environment. Our video communications, simulation and visualization systems, and distance learning AV solutions can improve connections among faculty, staff, students, and beyond. AV systems also help foster student learning and information retention by providing rich interactive experiences for their users. AVI-SPL can help educators create a powerful learning environment for their students, faculty, and community.


Spectrum Nasco’s nine discipline-specific educational catalogues have been instrumental in bringing the classroom to life with products designed with a common purpose – education.   Our catalogues cover Arts & Crafts, Early Learning, Elementary Mathematics, Elementary Science & Technology, Literacy, Physical Education, Special Education, Secondary Mathematics, and Secondary Science.   They contain thousands of products that are used around the world in educating children.

Pearson Canada’s innovative learning solutions are created in collaboration with Canadian educators, with an emphasis on pedagogy, efficacy and best-in-class content. Pearson Canada, a leading educational publisher, sees the diversity of Canada’s students as a strength and is committed to developing a full array of core curriculum, supplementary, assessment, professional and early learning resources to help students of all ages learn at their own pace, and in their own ways. Pearson Canada represents leading professional learning educators from Canada and around the world, including Heinemann, Pearson ERPI, Annick Press, Teacher Created Materials (TCM), Taanishi, Routledge Press and more.

Printer World offers the sale and service of multifunctional office devices, wide format printers, and full-service printing solutions.  In addition, we sell toner and ink cartridges for most manufacturers of office printers.

Make YTC your college.

We are committed to student success, providing a high quality education grounded in our First Nations cultures and languages, for Indigenous and non-Indigenous students alike.

First Nations, Metis and Inuit Foundational Knowledge Professional Development for Teachers, Educational Leaders and Superintendents

Indigenous Programs at the Faculty of Extension offer stand alone courses as well as citation and certificate programs. These courses provide professional learning and capacity-building opportunities for teachers, educational leaders and superintendents to gain foundational knowledge regarding First Nations, Metis and Inuit peoples. Courses include but are not limited to: Worldview & History, Current Issues in Indigenous Relations, Indigenous Laws and Lands, Environment and Livelihood, Indigenous Leadership and Understanding Indigenous/Canadian Relations through Visual Literacy. Contact: uab.ca/Indigenous Relations or 780.492.7237.

The Gathering is FULL


Goals for the First Nations Métis and Inuit Education Gathering include:

  • an increase in awareness and understanding of foundational knowledge of First Nations, Métis and Inuit for the benefit of all students;
  • an increase in capacity building to meet the learning needs of First Nations, Métis and Inuit students; and
  • an increase in understanding how to engage and collaborate with First Nations, Métis and Inuit leaders, elders, communities and organizations.

CASS Professional Learning Goal for 2019-20

  • Deepening the understanding and applying the learning to support implementation of professional practice.

April 10 (evening) - 12, 2019


Conference occurs at the Fantasyland Hotel,
17700-87 Avenue, Edmonton, AB

Reservations can be made by calling (780) 444-3000 or toll-free 1 (800) 737-3783. MUST mention that you are attending the CASS/Alberta Education FNMI Conference 2019 to receive the rate of $154 + tax.