Every year in the fall, MFNERC hosts the Circle of Knowledge & Practices Conference. While the conference took place last week, the ideas and knowledge shared are still all the buzz around MFNERC. Here’s a look back at some of the highlights of this great event.
Day one began with an inspiring (and jam packed) opening ceremony, including a keynote address by author and activist Niigaanwewidam James Sinclair. (Keep an eye on our youtube channel, where his address will soon be posted.)
From there it was non-stop workshops, networking and tradeshow wandering. The theme of this year’s conference was “Traditional Knowledge and Languages: Moving Forward Through Our Past” and many engaging workshops focused directly on this theme. For example, a hands-on workshop by Pamela Courchene and Virginia Birch of MFNERC looked at how to teach math concepts through the inquiry-based project of building a tipi/mikiwap/wigwam. Elder Victor Harper gave a much-praised and well-attended workshop on the Ancestral Education System and members of Food Matters Manitoba presented tools on how to Reclaim Culture with Food.
Throughout day two, many other presentations focused on how to integrate First Nations traditional ways of learning into classroom instruction while using effective and complimentary western approaches. Margaret Hart, Ardel Smith and Georgina Moody had all kinds of fun bringing math teachers together for the purpose of creating math games to use in the classroom. While Rob Apetagon gave a well-attended workshop entitled “Using the Big Drum in School,” Wilfred Buck brought participants into a portable planetarium to learn about First Nations Astronomy.
Overall, once again the First Nations Circle of Knowledge & Practices Conference was a huge success and MFNERC would like the thank everyone who took part – presenters and participants – and we look forward to seeing you next year in Winnipeg.
Visit our photo gallery to view more images of the conference.