On November 2nd and 3rd, Six Nations Polytechnic hosted its Fourth Annual “Champions for Change” Indigenous Education Conference, attracting more than 100 delegates including attendees and speakers.
Champions for Change provides a forum for sharing innovative ideas, paths, and actions for educational practices that has guided the path for Indigenous communities through recovery, revitalization, and ultimately, restoration of our culture and languages.
Topics explored within the conference focussed on different perspectives of current and emerging Indigenous education issues.
The conference also featured a youth panel, and a performance piece written by Rick Hill and directed by Little Red Barnes Productions. Speakers included: Tom Deer, who provided listeners with an in-depth explanation of the Thanksgiving Address; Bonnie Healey, Operations Manager at Alberta First Nations Information Governance Centre, who presented on the importance of cultural safety for Indigenous peoples in school and the work place; Steve Heinrichs, Director of Indigenous Relations for the Mennonite Church Canada and editor of the compilation novel “Wrongs to Rights”; and Nathan Tidridge, Author and Teacher at the Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board who discussed the importance of Treaty relationships and his experiences during his research.
The conference concluded with a gala luncheon honouring individuals who have made significant contributions to the organization. It also featured a special video presentation and funding announcement on the World Indigenous Peoples conference on Education taking place in July 2017 and co-hosted by Six Nations Polytechnic and TAP resources.