Lighting the Fire 2013: Day Two Recap

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Lighting the Fire 2013: Day Two Recap

Day 2 of the Lighting the Fire Education Conference dawned bright and early, kicked off with drumming by the Joe Creek Drum Group from Roseau River, and welcoming remarks from Chief Garrison Settee of Cross Lake. Both set the stage for the key event of the morning, the graduation ceremony for University College of the North’s Educational Assistant Program.

Educational Assistant Program Graduation

MFNERC, in partnership with University College of the North, has helped create the Educational Assistant Certificate program. The program is designed to provide students with the knowledge, skills and hands-on training needed for careers as Educational Assistants to students, teachers, counsellors and other educational professionals in a variety of settings. Ten graduates were on hand to receive their certificates, as were many proud family members and friends. One of the highlights of the ceremony was a very enthusiastic performance by the grade two and three choir from Ginew School.

Day two’s morning festivities concluded with a Keynote Address by Wab Kinew. Both humourous and engaging, during his presentation it became obvious why he was named one of Postmedia News’s “9 Aboriginal movers and shakers you should know.” He spoke with an unparalleled energy and passion on a variety of topics including traditional education, “Today we are told this lie that we are not an educated people. But we’ve been educating ourselves for thousands of years.” As well as the treaty promises made around education, and what is needed today for our young people to succeed. “There’s a growing body of research that tells us what our grandmothers already know…culture and language matter.” He also shared some resources and reminded us all to celebrate students who achieve at math, science, and language arts, not just sports.

Wab Kinew

Then it was more networking and shopping at the tradeshow during the lunch hour before afternoon workshops got underway.

Workshop Attendees.

With over 700 delegates in attendance it was inspiring to see so many workshops filled to capacity. Among these were Integrating Outcomes across the Curriculum with MNERC’s Rudy Subedar; Readers Workshop presented by teachers from Sergeant Tommy Prince School; Dyslexia Signs and Symptoms with Richelle Lovegrove from MFNERC; and Functional Behavioural Assessments with MFNERC’s Gina Schall.

With the workshops for the day concluded, it was time for everyone to let their hair down and enjoy some music and jigging at the Lighting the Fire Banquet.

Young fiddler Kevin McAllister from Cross Lake provided the night’s entertainment with lively humour and incredible music. He spoke about how he was bullied in school, but found acceptance through his fiddle playing. And he got many of the over 500 attendees up on there feet and jigging the night away.

A late night conclusion to a wonderful day at the Lighting the Fire Education Conference.

Interesting characters spotted at the Tradeshow.

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