2017 Workshop Descriptions (all)

Workshop list is tentative and subject to change.

Principles of Oral Language Immersion and Teaching Dene Morphology

Presenter: Agnes Carlson, MFNERC

Audience: language instructors, educational assistants, learners of a new language, educational leaders

We are currently seeing an important shift in language efforts in many First Nations, as we often hear “our” languages being spoken during cultural events throughout the year. At this workshop, we will share language-learning strategies, specifically for teaching Dene morphology. These methods are directly utilized at summer language camps, and in culture transmission. The benefits of language camps teach young children to understand the way of our people and to lead them into Houzu eghenai.
We will also demonstrate how to create language scripts, as this is the basis for teaching Dene morphology.


Aboriginal Games and Co-operative Activities

Presenter: Blair Robillard

Audience: all

Have fun learning and exploring traditional values that are built on a foundation of respect. In this workshop, participants will learn about the diverse applications of traditional First Nations games and co-operative activities. The benefits of such activities will also be discussed, including the low to no cost of all games and activities and how they are applicable to all academic fields and curricula. The circle teachings applied to the games and activities encourage the use of holistic teachings. They also can be used for self, team and support staff assessments.


Expanding Diabetes Knowledge

Presenters: Tannyce Cook, TDC, IRTC; Vivian Omarr, TDC, FARHA; and Natalie Wowk Slukynsky, FNIHB

Audience: teachers, principals, educational assistants, administrative staff

Rates of type 2 diabetes mellitus in children are rising in Manitoba, and schools provide varying levels of student support and education. Following this session, schools will feel empowered to provide more support to students with type 2 diabetes, reduce the stigma, and increase healthy living education in schools.
This presentation will provide a snapshot of what it’s like to be a child with diabetes in Manitoba. It will also give an update on resources presently in place, and offer recommendations to expand diabetes knowledge at the community level, including in schools, by providing holistic well-being and care through knowledge, support, and collaboration.
Healthy living with physical activity and nutrition will be discussed, and mental health wellness in relation to a chronic illness will be highlighted. The session will end with a question period, discussion and recommendations for expanding diabetes awareness into Manitoba’s First Nations schools while eliminating barriers to better support children living with diabetes, and their families.


Fun, Interactive Ways to Learn Native Languages Using Handheld Devices

Presenter: Don Thornton, Thornton Media

Audience: educators, students, anyone interested in using technology to bring languages back into homes where they belong

We will introduce participants to our elegant language & culture apps, specifically made for Indigenous languages of Canada and the U.S. Our apps are beautifully tailored to each First Nation we work with and can be used for many types of language-learning programs including immersion, in-school, after-school and master/apprentice.
At this conference we will debut our new Storybook Grammar App (for Maskwacis Cree). The app – titled “Maskosis Goes To School” – uses professionally animated characters to help teach the language patterns (grammar) of Cree.
Thornton Media is a pioneer in the field and has worked with over 200 Native communities. In Canada we have created apps for Anishnaabemowin, Cree, Dakota, Lakota, Cayuga, Blackfoot, Saulteaux and many more.


Cultivating Connection to Self, Community, and Greater Meaning: The Experience of the Quiet Time Meditation Program at Songide’ewin School

Presenters: Dr. Cathy Moser and Ms. Chaya Green

Audience: grades 5-12 teachers, school administrators 

The Quiet Time (QT) program offers students and their teachers training in transcendental meditation, and provides for two, 15-minute meditation periods during the day. Although different forms of meditation have been practiced for thousands of years by many cultures, meditation is becoming more mainstream. The benefits, including healthier bodies, more creative minds, and enhanced mental health, have been scientifically studied and shared around the world.
The QT is one of several programs that is being introduced into schools. This workshop will describe the program, its benefits and its potential for schools throughout the province.


Rediscovering Indigenous Identity

Presenters: Debra Beach Ducharme, Marsha Missyabit and Margaret Hart

Audience: middle years and high school teachers, resource teachers, counselors

How do you begin the process of helping young people discover who they are in a way that is meaningful, respectful and supports an Indigenous world-view? This interactive workshop will help instructors and teachers use hands-on activities to assist young people in discovering the gift of being First Nations. Three practical exercises will be shared to assist students on this journey of self-discovery: the gifts you are born with, your family, and life experiences. Be prepared to participate!


Badminton World Federation’s Shuttle Time – Badminton Programming for Children and Youth

(Please note: This workshop is off site at the University of Manitoba)

Presenters: Justin Friesen and Ryan Giesbrecht, Manitoba Badminton Association

Audience: physical education teachers and activity leaders

The Manitoba Badminton Association (MBA) is spreading the word about the Badminton World Federation’s (BWF) Shuttle Time Program across Manitoba. The program teaches activity leaders how to run badminton programs in their communities through 22 professionally created lesson plans. These lesson plans are combined with videos and teaching manuals that highlight learning outcomes for each activity, as well as modifications for making activities easier or more challenging, depending on the instructor’s group dynamic.


Integrating Technology into First Nations Land-based Education

Presenters: Edwin Beardy, Dave Thiessen and Michael Li, MFNERC

Audience: all

Land-based education is one of the foundations of First Nations education. Traditional practices such as hunting, fishing, trapping, and storytelling provide many First Nations teachings. Yet, technology has also added valuable tools to First Nations, affecting education throughout communities. How to work effectively to integrate the critical nature of digital and connected technologies into First Nations traditional teachings is a goal we aspire to reach. The focus of this workshop is how to create e-Books using GIS (Geographical Information System) technology, with the intent to preserve and record First Nations culture, educational practices, and historical, land-based traditional teachings. This workshop will also share e-Books that have been created by students and their educators using land-based activities. It will be most beneficial for those who are interested in, or working towards, land-based education programs.


Integrating Technology in Teaching Junior High and High School Foundational Math

Presenters: Chun Ong, Dave Thiessen and Michael Li, MFNERC

Audience: middle years and high school teachers

Technology is becoming more and more prominent in today’s classrooms, as students now have access to computers, tablets, and SMART Boards while learning. In mathematics, these tools can be very useful for engaging students with new material, lessons, assignments and exams. This workshop will introduce strategies in choosing technology tools such as apps, and web mathematical tools such as graphing calculators. The strategic use of these tools can support the learning and teaching of mathematical procedures and skills as well as the development of advanced mathematical proficiencies, such as problem solving, reasoning, justifying and making conclusions. This workshop will focus on how to best choose object-oriented applications directed towards specific mathematical topics and outcomes.


Teaching Residential Schools Using Literature and Stories in My Classroom

Presenters: Jenny Bone, Keeseekoowenin School and Donna Beyer, MFNERC

Audience: grades 3-6 teachers

In response to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s 94 Calls To Action, Keeseekoowenin School requested that MFNERC’s First Nations Studies Facilitators compile a Residential Schools reading package for its grade 3-4 classroom.
Jenny Bone will share her approaches and outcomes in teaching Residential Schools using the literature and stories included in the reading package. She will discuss the books shared with students and student responses. Additionally, Jenny will provide an overview of interactive, hands-on learning activities where students were able to creatively express their understanding of Residential Schools.


Physical Literacy that Uplifts the Body, Heart, Mind and Spirit

Presenter: Joannie Halas

Audience: K-8 educators

In this physically active session, we will participate in a variety of informal and lead-up games that allow children and youth to develop their movement skills in a safe, inclusive and educational way. Participants will leave the workshop with a variety of games and activities to use in the gymnasium, and ideas of how to make participation safe, fun and engaging for all students.


JUMP Math: An Introduction to Using the JUMP Math Strategies and Resources to Make Math Classes Come Alive

Presenter: Liz Barrett, JUMP Math

Audience: grades 3-6 teachers

In this workshop we will explore the JUMP Math resources you can access to reach and teach your class math. Enjoy hands-on activities with geometry such as building Pyramids and Prisms, and making predictions. We will also explore fascinating patterns in math such as Fibonacci numbers – nature’s numbering system.


Nakiskamohtahowin: A Cree Sexual Health Glossary

Presenters: Albert McLeod, Cultural Adaptation Services and Margaret Poitras, All Nations Hope Network

Audience: teachers, language teachers

The language, social skills and identities of young people can be strengthened when they are instructed in their traditional language. Learning about Cree words that describe sex biology and behaviours can be fun and informative. Linking the physical, emotional, mental, spiritual, and sexual aspects of life is a holistic approach to mino-pimatisiwin.
The learning objectives of this workshop are threefold: to inform educators about Cree words that can be used to discuss sexual health, to strengthen the Cree cultural paradigm through the promotion of the Cree language, and to link the Cree language to land-based and spiritual belief systems.



(Please note: This workshop is off site at the University of Manitoba)

Presenter: Michele Sung

Audience: K-12 physical education teachers

Get ready for an active workshop that will involve technical stations and small side games related to basketball.


Heart Smart Kids – A Classroom Resource for Grades K-6

Presenters: Amanda Nash, Heart and Stroke Foundation, Norbert Mercredi and June Montour, MFNERC

Audience: K-6 teachers, administrative staff

Heart Smart Kids (HSK) is a unique classroom resource focused on enabling elementary school teachers to more effectively promote awareness, and educate students on holistic well-being though activities around the basics of healthy living, physical activity and nutrition. This resource has been used in BC for the past 20 years and the Heart and Stroke Foundation is looking to expand its availability to First Nations across Canada. This session will engage teachers and administrators while reviewing the Indigenous related content of HSK to ensure it better reflects regional cultural differences and discuss how it could support their work. We will highlight the success of HSK in BC’s First Nations and together we will review the resource, educator training and example activities. The session will end with discussion and recommendations of integration of HSK into Manitoba First Nations schools while promoting best practices for academic, language and culture.


Physical Literacy: A Path to Well-being

Presenter: Paul Paquin

Audience: K-12 physical education and classroom teachers, school physical activity facilitators

Physical Literacy is the new buzz word that describes the fundamental line of development for engaging in lifelong physical activity in a variety of ways. Participants in this workshop will deepen their understanding of the concept of physical literacy and how it is addressed in today’s physical and health curriculum. The role of the whole school in supporting student and community well-being through the physical dimension will also be discussed as it relates to physical activity programming and opportunities throughout the school day.


Building Confidence in Mathematics: Mental and Emotional Well-being Begins Through Starting Small

Presenter: Peter Andres, JUMP Math

Audience: K-8 teachers

Success starts small. This workshop will focus on the theme of building confidence in students (and teachers) as a necessary part of mental and emotional well-being.
Participants will learn basics in Variation Theory, experience the scaffolding of JUMP math, receive free lesson plans designed for Manitoba Curriculum (games and activities for learning centres and play-based learning), and how to implement carefully scaffolded lessons in order to build confidence and support the well-being of students.


Do You Know Your Stuff? Volume 2

Presenter: Bob Genaille and Peter Bignell, MFNERC

Audience: grades 3, 7, 8 teachers, administrators, educational assistants

Administering the Collection of Assessment Results (CAR) is very necessary, yet completing the aggregate reports can be very tedious. Teachers in Grades 3, 7, and 8 have the added pressure of completing these reports every year. In this session we will share ideas and resources that other teachers have been doing in their classrooms to meet the “demanding” CAR. We will also present hands-on activities to try in your classrooms. We will look at the CAR template and complete aggregate templates. The idea here is to share, discuss, laugh and have fun, knowing all the while that we, as educators, know where we stand in the grand scheme of the assessment world.


Thanadelthur (aka “Slave Woman”): A Dene Woman who Contributed to the Hudson Bay Company

Presenters: Lucy Antsanen and Jennifer Williams, MFNERC

Audience: education leaders, educators, educational support workers, historians, anyone who wants to learn about Manitoba history

This workshop will explore the story of Thanadelthur, how she contributed to Canadian history, and how she negotiated peace between the Dene and Cree. Through examining the life of Thanadelthur we will discuss who the Dene people are and what it means to be Dene. We will also demonstrate how shared stories of Aboriginal groups, families and Elders enrich personal and family history, and how knowing our history, and knowing where we come from, can help us to be stronger people in the future.


Enhancing and Connecting our Schools with Today’s Technology & Wellness – Work Smarter, Not Harder

Presenters: Melissa Granovsky and Sabrina Hochman, MFNERC

Audience: classroom teachers, resource teachers, administrators

Bring your smart device and let’s explore how technology can be used in the classroom to enhance and enrich the learning experience! We will explore interactive and engaging applications that can be used in your classroom to engage and connect with your learners and build their digital citizenship. We will also explore technologies that support learner adaptations, as well as introduce technologies that can help teachers access documents from anywhere, stay better connected, organized, and monitor student progress. Weaved throughout the presentation are various ways to encourage teacher wellness inside and outside of the classroom. Please note, many of the interactive activities in this session will require a g-mail account for login, so it is recommended that you have one.


Building School Capacity: Using Data to Raise Students’ Reading Achievement

Presenters: Gloria D. Sinclair, Irene Huggins and Sharon Bear, MFNERC

Audience: school leaders

In this session we will explore the effective use of assessment data to improve students’ literacy achievement. Participants will learn how use a Reading Assessment Wall to monitor the progress of students in reading, how to use the data to identify students’ learning needs, and plan effective responses to these needs. We will also include planning effective interventions and professional development for teachers.


Emergency First Aid with CPR & AED

(Please note: This workshop is a 6.5 hour certification course that will take place on Tuesday, May 9, a minimum of 10 participants is necessary)

Presenter: Bryan Wall, St. John Ambulance

Audience: all

The primary focus of this workshop is CPR Level C (adult/infant/child), AED (defibrillator), and emergency situations (ie. chocking, bleeding, asthma, allergies). The course is aimed at individuals working within 30 minutes of a medical facility in low hazard work environments. It is suitable for anyone who provides care for infants, children and/or adults, federal government employees, home care providers, coaches, spectators at any amateur sporting event, educational support staff, teachers, office or retail workers and parents.


Building Brains for Success in School and Life

Presenter: Susy Komishin, MFNERC

Audience: all

This workshop will provide participants with an understanding of how experiences impact the architecture of the brain. Participants will play the brain architecture game to gain awareness of how the experiences we provide in the early years impact students’ mental, physical, spiritual and emotional well-being. Participants will also discuss the types of programs and strategies that educators can implement to create positive learning environments.


Programs at the Crisis and Trauma Resource Institute

Presenter: Tricia Klassen, Crisis and Trauma Resource Institute

Audience: educators, parents, grandparents

Three themes will be presented in this workshop: helping children, self-injury behavior in youth, and understanding mental illness in children and youth. We will highlight a number of strategies that can assist educators and caregivers to connect with children who are experiencing crisis in their lives. We will also provide a general overview of self-injury behavior in order to help participants in understanding the experience and motivations of adolescents who intentionally injure themselves. Finally, we will offer information for anyone seeking a better understanding of the complexities that surround mental illness with children and youth.



(This workshop is off site at the University of Manitoba)

Presenter: Vanessa Martinez Lagunes

Audience: K-12 physical education teachers

Get ready for an active workshop that will involve technical stations and small side games related to soccer.


Developing a First Nations Curriculum Framework (FNCF) in Manitoba

Presenters: Violet Okemaw and the Research & Development Team, MFNERC

Audience: classroom teachers, principals, education directors, community members

For many decades, First Nations have desired culturally appropriate curricula; curricula informed and written by First Nations. Grounded in our stories, our languages and our ways, the FNCF and support documents will provide First Nations resources for culturally appropriate programming for classroom instruction. Our own cultural curriculum can help in the positive development of our children’s identities, and help First Nations on our common path of hope, where First Nations education is once again firmly in the hands of First Nations people.
MFNERC’s Research and Development team implemented a three-part advisory process with First Nations to gather data and develop the first drafts of the First Nations Curriculum Framework (FNCF). Currently, research facilitators are conducting individual community meetings to introduce and get feedback on the draft FNCF. This session will provide background information, as well as current and upcoming FNCF curriculum development activities.


Research & Development Projects

Presenters: Violet Okemaw and the Research & Development Team, MFNERC

Audience: classroom teachers, principals, education directors, community members

In this session, we will present a series of poster boards on various curriculum development support projects and resources managed and lead by MFNERC’s Research & Development team. The displays will also include publications and productions completed to date.
Topics will include the Archives initiative, teacher and student resources, and information on land-based education programming.


Moocikun! Hands-on Science Excitement!

Presenter: Wilfred Buck

Audience: educators, educational assistants, administrators

In this workshop, participants will actively engage in five or six hands-on science activities that will not only demonstrate scientific principles, but will also be fun to do! Handouts will be available that show curriculum connections, scientific principles, and list materials needed.


Language & Culture Teachings

Presenters: William Dumas, Melody Dumas, Stella Young, MFNERC

Audience: language teachers, First Nations Studies teachers

This workshop will examine how to set up an effective language teaching classroom, as well as resources that teachers can develop into units and lesson plans. A one- year plan can be developed using the annual seasons of a community that highlights when to teach specific units. We will also be touching on how to use technology that is available in your school to produce resources and posters.


Breathing Fundamentals

Presenter: Adrienne Shum

Audience: all

Breathing practices have been shown to help alleviate pain, manage stress, and cultivate awareness. This workshop will explore yogic breathing (pranayama), which is the next step along the journey to a deeper and subtler yoga practice. Pranayama is translated from Sanskrit as, “control of the breath.” The breath is the bridge between the body and mind, hence learning to become intimate with the breath will result in a deeper understanding of the body-mind connection. This session will cover the basics of pranayama, including posture and breath duration. The techniques explored in this class are an excellent complement to a more physical style of yoga practice.


Youth & Elders Panel

Presenter: TBA

Audience: all

This workshop will be an opportunity to hear perspectives from some of our outstanding youth and Elders as to what “the good life” means to them in the 21st Century. Come and listen to their stories, their understandings and how they themselves live the good life!


Films That Educate, Films That Advocate

Presenter: Ervin Chartrand

Audience: high school educators and students

In this workshop, filmmaker Ervin Chartrand will share with participants his background growing up in Winnipeg as an indigenous child, then young man. He will share the difficulties he went through and how he turned his life around to become one of Manitoba’s outstanding filmmakers. He will share his films with the audience followed by a Q&A.


Collaboration and Connections: Hands-on Activities and Online Support and Resources for Teachers

Presenters: Shelley MacDonald, Artie Martin and John Scully, The Royal Conservatory

Audience: teachers, principals, education directors

Do you want your students to experience classroom instruction in new and powerful ways– where they are at the center of learning? Where thought replaces memory regurgitation and emotional responses and personal experiences of students replace a worksheet? In this collaborative workshop we will provide access to culturally appropriate online tools and resources to help build knowledge and understanding with peers from other Indigenous communities who are experiencing similar challenges and successes incorporating their traditional languages and culture to the school curriculum. Our media-based program connects teachers with Indigenous Elders and artists through interactions in a virtual learning environment to explore relevant educational issues, curriculum and traditional Indigenous values in a contemporary world. For the hands-on portion of this workshop, we will be connecting with Elder Nk’xetko online, a member of the Ntle’kepmx Nation (one of five Interior Salish tribes in central B.C.), modelling the digital interactions that this innovative program offers to expand the range of creative learning opportunities that are possible for Indigenous communities.


Holding the Feather: Giving Youth Space

Presenters: Pablo Joseph, Shaun Elder and Shelley MacDonald, The Royal Conservatory

Audience: teachers, principals, education directors

Drawing on the recent experiences of students and teachers in Oxford House First Nation, this workshop will lead educators in an exploration of what it means for students to hold the feather – take ownership of their work and contribute to their peers’ learning. Teachers will explore how to give students permission to bring their voices forward; how to structure learning so as to give a place of importance to every learner’s perspective and contribution; and how to encourage student leadership and collaboration. 
The medium through which this learning process is explored is digital music creation. Educators will explore an innovative iPad application developed by The Royal Conservatory of Music, YouthBeat, which provides a variety of tools to support student-led learning and creativity. This workshop – and the YouthBeat program itself – are intended to add music to the toolkit of generalist teachers. No musical training or formal knowledge is required for this workshop or for the program itself. YouthBeat provides a safe and stimulating environment for students to explore self-expression, exercise self-management, and for creative collaboration with their peers. It can be offered both as an in-class and after school offering. It supports extensions to literacy and numeracy as well as language and culture. In this hands-on workshop participants will explore this app and how to apply its instructional elements to their current teaching practice.


Awasissak Oschi (For the Children)

Presenter: Don Robertson

Audience: all

This oral presentation will look at the place of children at home and in the community. It will address a child’s place in culture and the traditional way of life, including how support was provided. Time permitting, it will also emphasize the need to build a strong family foundation as an important part of ensuring a successful education experience for children.


Beginner Yoga – Physical Limitations Session

Presenter: Robyn Lazar

Audience: all

“Allow yourself to be a beginner. No one starts off being excellent.” Yoga can seem intimidating, and finding the right class can be confusing. In this beginners class we will start from the ground up, keeping an eye on your alignment every step of the way. You will discover how your breath can ease not only your mind, but help you deepen into your practice as well.


Early Years Games with a First Nations Perspective

Presenters: John Monias, Lorrain Harper and Tanya Dawn McDougall

Audience: teachers, educational assistants

This workshop will overview some games that incorporate First Nations perspectives when working with children. The presenters offer many years of experience working with First Nations children in the early years.


Ojibwe Bilingual School Seven Oaks School Division

Presenters: Rebecca Chartrand, Gloria Barker and Kim Guimond

Audience: all

This session will offer an overview of the events that led to the opening of the K-3 Ojibwe bilingual school. It will include teacher insight on the making of an Ojibwe bilingual program, lessons learned, and suggestions for other educators.


The Rec and Read/Aboriginal Youth Mentorship Programs (AYMP) for All Nations

Presenters: Aaron Fontaine, Sagkeeng First Nation, Heather McRae and Joannie Halas, University of Manitoba

Audience: educators

Rec and Read/AYMP is a communal, relationship-based after school physical activity, nutrition and educational program that involves children, youth and adult mentors who work together to plan and deliver weekly activities. Informed by Indigenous teachings and worldviews, AYMP builds on the strengths, energy and leadership of youth to build healthy, inclusive communities where all children and youth have safe healthy places to be, belong, grow and give of themselves.


Creating Community Awareness for Young Children (Come Network, Plan and Create!)

Presenters: Bev Morrisseau, Crane River, Mindy Sinclair and Jessica Chisholm, MFNERC

Audience: early years educators

Each of our First Nations is unique, and we live, play and work within our individual communities. While children grow and develop they are learning about the world around them. This workshop will provide the opportunity to create community-based activities that teach children about their individual First Nation. There will also be an opportunity to network, share ideas and build on one another’s creativity in teaching early learners.  


Workshop list is tentative and subject to change.




connect library

    Hidden Friends

    Baapi & the Memegwesiwak. Available in our online shop.