The 2nd Annual

Hear Our Voices:

Aboriginal Education Conference


A one day conference hosted and delivered by

educators’ leading the way in the area of Aboriginal Education


Friday October 21, 2021

Greenwood Inn

1715 Wellington Ave, Winnipeg, Manitoba


Lunch Provided


Aboriginal Circle of Educators’ has been selected the

Winner of the Canadian Race Relations Foundation 2005 Award of Excellence In Education






8:00 a.m.                                 Registration (Coffee, Tea, Danish & Muffins)


8:30 a.m.                                 Opening Ceremony:  Welcome from A.C.E. Co-Chairs

                                                Debbie-Beach Ducharme & Rebecca Chartrand


9:00-10:15 a.m.                        Keynote Speaker:  Mary Courchene, Educator


10:15-10:45 a.m.                      Break


10:45-11:45 a.m.                      Session #1 (A1-A6)


11:45-12:15                             Lunch: Evergreen Room - Compliments of A.C.E.


12:15-12:45p.m.                      Keynote Speaker: Wendy Whitecloud,

                                                Faculty of Law University of Manitoba


1:00-2:00 p.m.                         Session #2 (B1-B6)


2:00-2:30 p.m.                         Break


2:30 –3:30 p.m.                        Session #3 (C1-C6)


3:30 p.m.                                  Closure



Keynote Speaker:  Mary Courchene


Born on the Sagkeeng First Nation reserve, Mary Courchene spent her formative years in the residential school system.  Mary moved away from the reserve in 1971 to pursue educational opportunities attaining arts and education degrees, first from Brandon University, and then at the University of Manitoba.


Mary’s career path has included teaching in elementary and high school, as a school counsellor and school administrator.  She also spent a period of time as an Assistant Superintendent within the Department of Indian and Northern Affairs (INAC).


As the first Principal of Children of the Earth High School (the first urban Aboriginal high school), Mary was afforded the opportunity to serve the Aboriginal community in an innovative groundbreaking education initiative.  During her tenure as Principal, Mary Courchene was an active member serving the urban community on various boards such as the Aboriginal Advisory Committee to Winnipeg Police Service; Board of Directors for the St. Amant Centre and initial Chair of the Legacy Committee for the 1999 Pan Am Games.


Mary received a YMCA/YWCA Woman of the Year award in 1992 and was the Aboriginal Community Educator of the Year in 2001.


Although Mary and her husband George have made Winnipeg their home for over 30 years, she still maintains close ties to her home community of Sagkeeng.


In 2000 Mary Courchene accepted the position of Dean of Aboriginal Education at Red River College which she held until recent retirement in August of this year. During her time at Red River College, Mary worked with communities to enhance post-secondary opportunities for Aboriginal communities through community-based training initiatives.


Topic: Anishinabe education is a philosophy based on healing curricula that is holistic and encompasses the whole person-intellectual wellness, physical wellness, emotional wellness and spiritual wellness.

As educators of Aboriginal education, it is our responsibility to promote, advocate, develop and implement healing ways in the school system. It is also our obligation to ensure that Aboriginal students are afforded the opportunity to explore their unique values and heritage in a school setting. To advance Aboriginal education in this way is fundamentally the vision to hear our voices loudly and clearly.



Lunch Keynote Speaker:  Wendy J. Whitecloud, Director of Academic Support Program  Faculty of Law, University of Manitoba


Ms. Whitecloud is originally from Sioux Valley, a Dakota community in southern Manitoba.  Upon graduation from high school in Brandon, she pursued an undergraduate degree in Calgary Alberta and worked for a number of years with the federal government in Ottawa.


While working in Ottawa, she determined that further education was required and pursued a law degree at Queen’s University in Kingston and graduated in 1984.


She has since been employed in a number of fields of employment.  She came back to Manitoba in 1991 and has since been employed as Director of the Academic Support Program with the Faculty of Law, University of Manitoba.  The program seeks to support Aboriginal and other non-mainstream students entering the Faculty of Law.


Wendy’s interests have consistently been geared toward issues related to Aboriginal people and their lives in Canada. Wendy has one child, a son; Hanwakan.


Topic: Aboriginal children and educational paths to professional careers - There are too few Aboriginal professionals in the 21st century in Canada and especially in Manitoba.  A career as a professional lawyer can be an exciting and rewarding one for any person but there are so few Aboriginal lawyers that more needs to be done to encourage Aboriginal children to continue with their education.







SESSION A: 10:45-11:45 a.m.


Session A1 Maple Room

Traditional Medicine                                          

Sakoieta' Widrick Regional Aboriginal Spiritual/ Cultural Care Coordinator, Aboriginal Health Services, Winnipeg Regional Health Authority


This workshop will address concepts of Aboriginal belief in the power and strength of plants and traditional medicine to help us achieve and live lives committed to good health and well-being. The    Creator has instructed us that for every disease or sickness that comes against us, as Human beings, there is a plant that holds the medicine to bring the body back into balance, good health and well-being."


Session A2  Oak Room

Integrating Aboriginal Education at the Secondary Level  

Louella Friesen, High School Teacher, River East Transcona


The use of different resources in teaching Aboriginal perspectives at the secondary level (particularly history). Come and learn about ways to teach with an Aboriginal perspective. The instructor of this session has ample experience in teaching the Indian Act, Residential Schools and Treaties topics, including addressing current challenges and/or issues of Aboriginal Peoples. This session will also include useful take home resources.


Session A3 Willow Room

Soaring to New Heights– Aboriginal Academic Achievement      

Kevin Chief, Aboriginal Community Networker River East School Division, Winnipeg Aboriginal Sport Achievement Center


This interactive session will focus on how a continuum of support was built around Early, Middle and Senior Years goals.  Seven areas of action will be explored—professional development, staffing, community connections, resources, data collection, school initiated projects and communication strategies.  This session will also capture personal reflections around effective practices in Aboriginal Education and will highlight the positive strides Aboriginal Academic Achievement initiatives have made within school communities and the Aboriginal community.


Session A4 Elm Room

Internet  Based Resources for Aboriginal Education      

Pauline Mitsuk,  Aboriginal Resource Consultant, Louis Riel School Division


Pauline Mitsuk will give an overview of Louis Riel School Division's Aboriginal Initiative through a power point presentation.  The overview will include the Footsteps website which may used by anyone.  Although the hands on resources are available only to Louis Riel School Division, the materials list is useful as a reference point for starting your own resource centre.

Session A5 Spruce Room

Integrating the 7 Sacred Teachings                                                                                          

Brian McLeod, Aboriginal Cultural Advisor, Winnipeg School Division


The seven teachings (seven sacred laws) are becoming widely used within educational settings to assist schools to help integrate Aboriginal cultures while providing interaction between students, their communities, and within themselves.  Integrating 7 Teachings however, has the potential to provide so much more.  To learn more come and discuss these possibilities with the Winnipeg School Division Aboriginal Cultural Advisor.  This interactive session will invite members to explore possible integration strategies while gaining insight to education from an Aboriginal world-view perspective.


Session A6 Evergreen Room

The State of our Families: Do We Really Know How the Impact of “Institutional Impositions” has affected us?

Janice Millar, Aboriginal Support Teacher, Winnipeg School Division


How do we make sense of this? What can educators do to support our efforts?  This session will be open to discuss options, supports and the importance of “Building a Bridge” between schools and community.  The strength this draws may be the missing link.  Come share your concerns, bring your ideas to create an open communication between us the families we work with. Come and learn how we can all work together to move forward.    




SESSION B: 1:00-2:00 p.m.


Session B1  Maple  Room

S3 Consumer Math from an Aboriginal Perspective

Marilyn Robinson, Consultant, Program and Student Services Branch, Manitoba Education Citizenship and Youth       


This session will provide current statistical information about Aboriginal people that can be useful in classroom instruction in various subject areas, including math.   Senior 3 Consumer Math will be used as an example of how to make the connection between curriculum and Aboriginal perspectives in the classroom.


Session B2 Oak Room

First Nations Music

Lawrence Laughing, Mohawk Cultural Teacher from Awkwesasne, New York


This session will introduce participants to an awareness of First Nations music. Participants will hear the stories that accompany some of the songs. Songs will include Ojibwe and Mohawk social songs. Participants will also enjoy listening to and participate in learning one or two songs of the hand drum and water social songs of the Mohawk peoples.


Session B3  Willow Room

Integrating Aboriginal Perspective K-6                            

Louise McQuade, Aboriginal Education Consultant, Winnipeg School Division


This is the session for you!  Materials and strategies that you might use will be shared.  A circle teaching will take place and ways to use the circle in your classroom will be discussed.  You will also be given time to browse through some materials and kits created by The Winnipeg School Division.  Handouts will also be supplied.


Session B4  Elm Room

The Métis

Jacqueline Mignot, Aboriginal Support Teacher, Winnipeg School Division


This session will provide an overview of various Metis Resources (print, media, kits, community, language) that can be used in the classroom (K-12), as well as how to integrate Métis/Aboriginal   Perspectives into curriculum. Information will be provided in exploring family genealogies. Good information for students exploring/reclaiming/sharing their heritage and cultural identity. Teachers will have time to look at the resources. Handouts will be provided.


Session B5  Spruce Room

The Inuit

Nichola Batzel, Aboriginal Support Teacher, Winnipeg School Division


This session will provide participants with hands on materials that can be ordered or duplicated by your school for the creation of an Inuit learning kit. Other resources and suggestions for where to integrate Inuit culture in your curriculum will also be shared.  Participants will leave with a list of where to order resources.


Session B6 Evergreen Room

Animating Holistic and Critical thinking in Aboriginal Education

Dr. Laara Fitznor,  Assistant Professor, Adult Education, Faculty of Education University of Manitoba

In this session I will discuss critical themes, issues, and perspectives in Aboriginal education that have the potential to transform our thinking about education, learning and teaching. Also, I will discuss the ways that pedagogies in Aboriginal education may move us to transform that way we think and act in our intrapersonal and interpersonal home/work.










SESSION C: 2:30-3:30 p.m.


Session C1  Maple  Room

Storytelling using Technology

Lawrence Cote, AV Technician, the Winnipeg School Division


This session will show participants how technology and oral traditions or storytelling can be combined to enhance the traditions of storytelling.


Session C2  Oak Room

Meeting the Physiological Needs of Students

Angela Busch, Southeast Education Centre


Did you know that the ideal start time of lower elementary grade children is approximately 8:00am?  Or that the ideal start time for Senior High School students is somewhere around 10:00am?  Does this sound kind of wacky?  Well it actually makes a great deal of sense once you take the physiological needs of the students into account.  Adolescents’ brains do not start functioning at their optimum capacity until around 10:00am, and provided they have had adequate sleep.  Other physiological factors to consider are proper lighting, adequate nutrition, sufficient water consumption and “bathroom breaks”.

What can you do to meet the physiological needs in your classroom?  In your school? 


Session C3 Willow Room

Integrating Aboriginal Perspectives for Beginners

Linda Marynuk, Aboriginal Support Teacher, Winnipeg School Division


This workshop is for everyone who would like to learn and understand the integration of Aboriginal perspectives into the school curriculum. Perceived benefits include raising awareness, sensitivity and improving student-teacher relationships.  Handouts will also be available for participants.


Session C4 Elm Room

The Genesis of Canadian Treaties – A Sacred Relationship

Anita L. Keith, Aboriginal Author


The purpose of this presentation is to look at the history of the treating-making process from pre-contact through to the signing of the number treaties.  Specifically this presentation compares the different worldviews and perspectives of the Aboriginal people with those of the colonizers.  To understand the treaties as covenant relationships it is imperative that we understand the role that ceremonies (rituals) played and play today in the lives of Aboriginal people. 


Session C5 Spruce Room

Manitoba's Aboriginal Education Action Plan

Helen Settee, Director, Aboriginal Education Directorate (will be accompanied by colleagues)


This session will provide an update and overview on Manitoba's Aboriginal Education Action Plan. The presentation will also engage participants in circle discussion on key areas related to Aboriginal        perspectives, Aboriginal languages and teacher education and Aboriginal focused research.  Come    prepared to hear some information and share insightful work occurring in various areas of the province.


Session C6 Evergreen Room

Integrating Aboriginal Arts

Louis Ogemah, Aboriginal Artist & Founder of the Urban Shaman Gallery


This session will look at ways in which Aboriginal art can enrich any art program and as well look at tried , and projects that have been successful in schools.  Come and share in this art experience that will give you fresh ideas on how to utilize legends (storytelling) as the basis for creating Aboriginal art.






Registration Form:

Confirmation to be sent to:


Name:  _____________________________________________________




Phone:  (w)________________________  ( H)_____________________________


Fax:___________________________ E-mail:______________________________



Please choose your session choices using the following table.


SESSION A: 10:45-11:45 a.m


Session A1 _____ A2_____ A3______ A4____A5 ______ A6 _____


SESSION B: 1:00-2:00 p.m.


Session B1 _____ B2_____ B3______ B4 ____B5 ______ B6 _____


SESSION C: 2:30-3:30 p.m.


Session C1 _____ C2_____ C3______ C4 ____C5______ C6______


Registration Fees:

Early Registration by October 5, 2005:  $100.00  

*Please note after October 5, 2005:  $125.00

Special Student Rate:  $50.00

Lunch Provided


Please make money orders and cheques payable to The Aboriginal Circle of Educators’ and send to

1265 Barratt  Avenue, Winnipeg, Manitoba R2M 2N1. 


For Hotel Reservations:

The Greenwood Inn ,

1715 Wellington Ave, Winnipeg, Manitoba

$99.00 a night (single or double)

Must mention you are attending the

Aboriginal Circle of Educators’ Conference


To register or for more information contact:

Marlene Gallagher:  Aboriginal Circle of Educators Coordinator

1265 Barratt Ave, Winnipeg, MB  R3G 0L9

Phone: (204) 333-9805  Fax: (204) 783-2986

E-mail: [email protected]

For more information on conference workshops visit