2019 Keynote Speakers

Kevin Tacan

Kevin Tacan (Dakota) is from Sioux Valley Dakota Nation. He is a Traditional Knowledge Keeper, Elder, and storyteller for Brandon School Division and a sessional instructor for Brandon University. Mr. Tacan is currently the board chair for Indigenous Languages of Manitoba, which serves the language needs of the seven Indigenous languages within the province. 

As a language advocate, Mr. Tacan believes our languages hold the key to unlocking Indigenous Knowledge. Developing curriculum to meet the needs of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s Calls to Action may seem an arduous task, Tacan says, but these resources will unlock potential for youth to move into the future with new insight and tools. Mr. Tacan recently wrote “Wounhdakapte” (We’ll talk), a beginner’s book and CD with stories and the alphabet to teach the younger generation.

Mr. Tacan also feels how we view language advocacy and revitalization is important today because of their impact on efforts and strategies to develop language opportunities. Our fluent speakers are a huge untapped resource, and by working together and sharing our knowledge, we can inspire semi-fluent speakers and youth to continue their language journeys.



Herman Michell

Dr. Herman Michell is an external consultant for Prince Albert Grand Council. He is originally from the small fishing/trapping community of Kinoosao, on the eastern shores of Reindeer Lake in northern Saskatchewan. Dr. Michell is a fluent Woodlands Cree speaker (“th” dialect) and has Inuit, Dene, and Swedish ancestry. He is a member of the Barren Lands First Nation (Brochet, Manitoba).

Having been involved in Aboriginal education in different capacities since the 1990s, Dr. Michell is a published author, educator, researcher, speaker, and consultant. In 2018, his book Land-Based Education: Embracing the Rhythms of the Earth from an Indigenous Perspective joined a long list of his other published works.

Dr. Michell served as president CEO of NORTEP-NORPAC for five years, a post-secondary organization in northern Saskatchewan. He was a tenured associate professor at First Nations University of Canada, teaching undergraduate courses in Indigenous health studies, education, and environment.

With 10 years of post-secondary administration experience, Dr. Michell served as vice-president academic at First Nations University of Canada and as department head of science. In addition to teaching and research, he sat on the board of governors as a faculty representative for seven years.

Dr. Michell is a trained university counsellor and has several years of experience working with Aboriginal students. He regularly visits schools and communities promoting science-related professions. Dr. Michell has made numerous presentations on bridging Western science and Indigenous Ways of Knowing in pre-service teacher programs.

In 2008, Dr. Michell completed a PhD in education from U of R in Curriculum and Instruction with a focus on the inclusion of Cree culture in science education. He graduated with a master degree in education from the U of BC in 1998 specializing in Curriculum and Instruction. He also completed graduate course work in education psychology and special education from both U of BC and the U of M.