HUNTER CARDINAL - Master of Ceremony

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Director of Story - Naheyawin
As Director of Story at Naheyawin, Hunter works with organizations to build capacity for abundance, kindness, and reinvigorate the spirit of Treaty by implementing Indigenous principles into everyday processes and business practices. Holding a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Acting from the University of Alberta, class of 2015, Hunter has also performed across Canada as well as New York and is the Associate Director of Fringe Theatre. Recently Hunter has been awarded Best Actor in Edmonton by Vue Weekly and was just selected by Avenue Magazine as one of Edmonton's Top 40 under 40 for 2018.


Indigenous Land-Based Education
Presentation focuses on how land-based education can be an effective anti-oppressive approach to education and land defense that validates and promotes Indigenous self-determination and sovereignty.

Dr. Alex Wilson


Jackman Humanities Institute - University of Toronto
Dr. Alex Wilson (Opaskwayak Cree Nation) is a Professor and 2018 Distinguished Indigenous Scholar at the Jackman Humanities Institute at the University of Toronto. Her scholarship has greatly contributed to building and sharing knowledge about two-spirit peoples, Indigenous research methodologies, anti-oppressive education, and the prevention of violence in the lives of Indigenous peoples. Her work focuses on interventions that prevent the destruction of land and water through land-based education. 

PRESENTATION - HOListic Teachings: Enoch Cree Cultural Grounds

Speakers: Dwayne Donald & Bob Cardinal

Educators will be able to experience Land-Based Learning on Enoch Cree Nation. This session will go over how participants can connect their students to the land to enable their spiritual, mental, emotional and physical health. Bob Cardinal & Dwayne Donald will discuss how those natural connections enable Indigenous and non-Indigenous students to find their place within an educational context and enable better outcomes for students. It will discuss the importance of connections back to community, place, and the land itself.



Phillip Campiou is renowned throughout Edmonton schools for his work setting up tipis and doing teachings around this. He also hosts cultural camps out on his property and has done teachings and tipi set ups at many events throughout western Canada. Phillip brings a cultural knowledge that shows how students and staff can interact with the land. At this session participants will learn hands on about traditional storytelling, tipi teachings, and how to bring these into your schools and classrooms. He will discuss how staff and students can create this culturally appropriate Land-Based Learning systems.

PRESENTATION - Education on the Land: Strathcona Wilderness Centre (Camp Site 6 & Cookhouse)


Wilson Bearhead will discuss how he worked with Edmonton Public School board to help facilitate one-credit weekends for Indigenous students attending school in the Edmonton area. These sessions brought students out to the land in a natural teaching environment and had students learn from a traditional knowledge keeper on skills such as winter survival, traditional teachings, foods, hunting, trapping, tracking, shelters, moose hide tanning, bow making etc., This enables students to gain credit towards their high-school diplomas while gaining cultural knowledge and teachings form an on the land environment.



Through visiting historical and contemporary sites throughout the River Valley, we can begin to connect to this place now called Edmonton in renewed ways. 

The first stop in our journey will be the Rossdale Burial grounds where we will re-map Walterdale Hill and the Rossdale Flats.  As we continue our walk through Queen Elizabeth and Nelly McClung Park, we will stop and visit a few areas (including the new Indigenous Art Park), share a few stories and discuss the importance of land based learning.  Our walk will end at Stewart Steinhauer’s sculpture “Buffalo Mountain” located in W.C. Tubby Bateman Park. 

The walk will begin at 10:30 am and end at 3:30 pm.  A bus will be available at our end destination to shuttle participants back to Norquest.  The walk to the Rossdale Burial grounds is relatively light, with the remainder of the trek being moderate.  At any time during the walk participants may return back to Norquest. Please ensure you are dressed appropriately for the weather and do not forget your water bottle! 


Integrated Land Based Learning
New concepts on providing a traditional learning environment around harvesting and survival tactics. This session will provide an overview on how Traditional Teachings Inc. and Bill Woodward school plan to provide a land based learning program that focuses on Harvesting (hunting), Fur Management (trapping), survival tactics and Lakes and Rivers (Fishing).



Traditional Teaching Inc.
Justin Bourque is a 5th generation Métis man born in Fort McMurray, Alberta but raised in the small community of Anzac and on his family’s adjacent trapline. He has 21 years of experience in the Oil and Gas industry, fulfilling many critical roles such as: Turnaround, Maintenance and Planning Manager roles.

Using the skills and the way of life that he was raised in, Justin has seen himself transition from a student in the traditional way of life to a passionate teacher and recipient of the 2017 RARA Trapper of the year award. 

Justin founded Traditional Teachings Inc. in April of 2018. He has since worked with Bill Woodward School in Anzac to developed a Land-Based Learning Program that integrates safety, regulations, practical skills and traditional knowledge. This program is intended to provide a new learning experience for our youth, and ensure the traditional way of life is preserved and passed on to future generations.


The Shaping Influences of ‘A Capable Person’ – Honouring Land, Indigenous Peoples and Time Partners in Place: Bridge to Reconciliation
Land-based legends, oral traditions, storytelling, and ancient cultural and spiritual teachings enliven the narratives of many Northwest Territories (NWT) Indigenous Elders, revealing northern story lights for those who choose to experience, learn and make meaning from them. Angela chose to make meaning from these stories in her doctoral research that provided a re-interpreted lens from which to view contemporary Indigenous pedagogy and practices to inform Indigenous education in the NWT, including Land-Based Learning. The conceptual framework that she was gifted outlines four structures of the tipi showing the overall shaping influences that guide the growth and development of ‘a capable person’ that will inform this Land-Based Learning Symposium session.



Government of the Northwest Territories (NWT)
Dr. Angela James is the Director of the Indigenous Languages and Education Secretariat for the Government of the Northwest Territories (NWT), Canada. In her current role, Angela oversees the NWT’s new Indigenous Languages Framework and Action Plan outlining the changes to the new Indigenous Languages and Education Policy, which is operationalized by two exciting new Indigenous documents: the Our Languages Curriculum and new Indigenous Languages and Education Handbook focusing on languages, land-based learning and Indigenizing education in the NWT.

Angela began her career as classroom language teacher, then an Indigenous education camp coordinator, and then as a school principal for twelve years in an Indigenous community school. Angela’s work centres on raising children to becoming, being and believing as 'a capable person,' and on the perspectives of Indigenous educational theory and land-based learning. A Manitoba Métis, Angela has made Yellowknife, NWT her home for the past 40 years with her husband, three children, twin grandsons, and forty husky sled dogs.


Partners in Place: Bridge to Reconciliation
Partners In Place is an initiative undertaken by Connect Charter School, Tsuut’ina Education, Mount Royal University, and the Outdoor Council of Canada to establish a relationship between educational and cultural communities that recognizes the value of Indigenous ways of knowing, teaching, and learning within a public education context. Funded in part by a Calgary Foundation grant, Partners In Place has evolved into an exemplar of collaboration and mutual respect that is rooted in developing a sense of ‘place’ and an understanding that we build bridges to reconciliation through open communication, trust, and sharing of a common vision to share, grow, and learn from each other.



Connect Charter School
Dr. Phil Butterfield is Principal of Connect Charter School in Calgary, Alberta.  He has been with Connect for 14 years as a school counselor, assistant principal, and is now in his third year as principal.

In 2017, Dr. Butterfield and the Connect staff implemented an innovative educational model that extends the school’s foundation of inquiry-based learning and incorporates experiential and place-based educational principles. The model provides opportunities for students to connect learning with real world applications and gain a greater appreciation of their role as a contributor, rather than a consumer within their community.  A key element of this initiative has been development of a partnership with Tsuut’ina Education and deepening of our understanding of the need for cooperation and collaboration in order to build a bridge to reconciliation.



Tsuut'ina Nation
Dzinsi Guja, Siza, Valerie McDougall, at’a.  Tsuut’ina guts’istłini at’a is the Director of Education for the Tsuut’ina Nation.  Valerie received her Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Education through the University of Lethbridge, and her Master’s Degree in School Administration through Gonzaga University, Spokane, WA.

In 2014, Valerie, moved back to her home community, to work as Vice Principal, then Principal and has since been in the position as Director of Education for 3 years.

Valerie has worked to develop and maintain positive relationships with outside organizations for the success of all students on and off the Nation.  Partners in Place:  Bridge to Reconciliation, is one sustainable relationship in which reconciliation can be an example of.

 “Culture and Language, traditional values, knowledge, land and keeping the stories alive through our Elders, are important to the Education of Tsuut’ina students.”


Indigenous Place Names
One of the first acts of colonization and settlement is to name the newly “discovered” land in the language of the colonizers. The next step is to name the existing landscapes into the colonizer’s language. All the rivers, lakes, hills, mountains and prominent landmarks as well as their settlements are given names in the language of the colonizer. This is done, despite the fact, that there are already names for these places that were given by the original inhabitants. These names are more significant as having some sort of connection to the original inhabitants. This connection may have a spiritual, cultural or an historical significance as they are often having the same place name by other tribes as well. The process of creating an inventory of local name places will be another exercise in reclaiming the Indigenous languages. It would also increase the understanding of the Indigenous people’s relationship to the land. The culmination of this activity is to produce a map with the original Indigenous name places for the rivers, lakes, landmarks and other prominent landscape features.

Bruce Cutknife


Maskwacis Education Schools Commission
Bruce Cutknife is a member of the Samson Cree First Nation in Maskwacis Alberta. Bruce was born and raised on the Bear Hills Maskwacis community with Cree as his first language. He attended the Ermineskin Indian Residential School up until grade 9. He was then moved to Edmonton to attend High School.

In 1974 Bruce completed his High School in Ponoka Alberta. After working a few labour jobs Bruce went back to school at the newly established Maskwacis Cultural College in 1976. Bruce then started to work with the Living History Program of the Maskwacis Cultural College. His duties included Audio and Video recording of Elders talking about local history. This involved working with Elders to collect and archive the Cree language, work with the Cree Syllabics and use them in the collection and archiving of local history.

Bruce went back to school to complete his undergraduate studies. He received his BA in History/Native Studies from the Augustana University College in Camrose Alberta. After graduation Bruce worked local Radio and Television, taught Cree Language, Cree Studies and History courses at the Maskwacis Cultural College. Bruce was also the Director of Education for the Samson Cree nation and is now the Indigenous Education Coordinator for the Nipisihkopahk Education Authority.

Bruce has worked on numerous projects related to Cree Language, Cree Culture and Cree History. These include Power Point Presentations on the Cree Place Name Map, First Nation History Presentation, Treaties and the History of the Residential School. Bruce’s hobbies and other areas of interest include photography, music, archery, travel, traditional music and dance. Most recently Bruce has received the Lois Aspene Alumni Award from Augustana University and the Pioneer of the Year Award from Wetaskiwin Alberta.


Reclaiming Cultural Practices
This session will showcase the development of Land-Based learning camps within the KeeTasKeeNow Tribal Council Education Authority (KTCEA) service area. KTCEA has 7 years of experience in developing and implementing Land-Based earning camps for all grade levels. KTCEA will allow participants to get a clear picture of the program development in the hopes of sharing best practices and any difficulties that may lie ahead for those wanting to develop a Land-Based earning program that focuses on traditional skills while weaving Alberta curriculum into teaching on the land.

Jason BigCharles


Jason Bigcharles is a father of 7 and grandfather of 5. He is Metis’ from the Metis’ settlement of East Prairie. He has lived on the East Prairie Metis’ Settlement his whole life. He has been a teacher for 16 years. Although he is Metis’, his family is deeply rooted in Woodland Cree cultural practices and spiritualism. They continue to maintain a very high subsistence lifestyle, carrying on those traditions. Currently he works as an Outdoor Education/Cree Culture Specialist for the KeeTasKeeNow Tribal Council Education Authority (KTCEA), going into schools and mentoring teachers and students in Woodland Cree traditions and practices. He plans and administers Land-Based-Learning Camps to students of all ages which focus on traditional Land-Based teachings of the Woodland Cree Peoples both traditional and contemporary.  KTCEA currently offers 13 camps per-school year. Jason Bigcharles plans, administers and presents at these camps. He is a powwow dancer, storyteller, hunter, trapper and medicinal plant gatherer. The majority of his time away from work is spent on the land hunting, trapping, gathering medicinal plants, instructing his children and visiting elders. Along with being dedicated to his traditions and spiritualism, he is also dedicated to lifelong learning and the belief that learning never stops.


Land-Based Cree Immersion Education
KKeeping our Indigenous Languages inside the schools and classrooms does not fit very will with the natural flow of learning them. “askiy ohci ôma kipîkiskwêwininaw” was a sentence shared with me from Late Ernest Piche, a local elder from the Primrose Lake Territory. He shared that our language was natural out on the land. The session will give program strategies, how to partner with specialized programming, and how to develop your own communities to provide your own language Land-Based education programmes.



University nuhelot’įne thaiyots’į nistameyimâkanak Blue Quills & University of Saskatchewan

Dr. Kevin wâsakâyâsiw Lewis is a nêhiyaw (Plains Cree) instructor, researcher and writer. Dr. Lewis has worked with higher learning institutions within the Prairie Provinces of Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta in the areas of Cree Language Development and Instructional methodologies. His research interests include language and policy development, second language teaching methodologies, teacher education programming, and environmental education. For the past 15 years, Dr. Lewis has been working with community schools in promoting land and language-based education and is founder of kâniyâsihk Culture Camps ( a non-profit organization focused on holistic community well-being and co-developer of Land-Based Cree Immersion School kâ-nêyâsihk mîkiwâhpa. Dr. Lewis is from Ministikwan Lake Cree Nation in Treaty 6 Territory.


Land-based Learning in Aspen View Public Schools
This session will outline and go over The Aspen View Public Schools Land-Based Learning Experience. This program was developed to introduce staff and students to an Indigenous paradigm of learning by engaging students at a deeper level of participation in which they live fully and consciously. The Land-Based program is predicated upon a holistic lifestyle approach, utilizing four quadrants to acquire knowledge: physical, spiritual, cognitive and emotional. From opportunities such paddling, survival skills, traditional aboriginal food preparation, blanket exercise, First Nation crafts, Indigenous plant identification and use, combined with core curriculum classes instructed via cooperative methods; students used the ‘land as text’ as a means for experiential education.



Aspen View Public Schools   
Dianne Jewell has worked in the education system since 2005, and is currently the Principal of a K-10 school in Grassland, Alberta. She is excited to share her knowledge with her community and looks forward to Indigenous teachings becoming a part of the public education system.



Aspen View Public Schools
Desmond Nolan is a principal of a grade 7-12 school in the community of Athabasca. His educational career began as a teacher in 2002. Besides teaching in the public system he is an active member of the Alberta Hunter Education Instructors Association teaching many outdoor related courses. Since childhood Des has been an avid outdoorsman. Growing up fishing , hunting, camping and trapping enhanced his love of nature and respect for animals and their environments. His adventures as a youngster has brought about his desire to introduce students to the outdoors. As an educator he ensures his students and family experience what our land has to offer.


Tsuut’ina Land-based Language & Cultural Curriculum Practices in Education
Tsuut’ina Education has built positive working relationships with the Tsuut’ina Gunaha Institute, other departments, Elders/Knowledge keepers, administrators, teachers, and community members to reintegrate language and culture into all classrooms from K4 – Grade 12 including Bullhead Adult Education Center on Tsuu’tina Nation. Through these partnerships we can offer language and culture PD Days for all education staff, seasonal camps, Land-Based education, and daily language and culture lessons for all students. These teachings are the foundations of the development of Tsuut’ina Curriculum that is being created.

In this session the audience will be shown how we built these working relationships, how we began involving and incorporating language and culture in our schools, how we developed a school calendar of Tsuut’ina Land-Based cultural teachings incorporating the language, what we are offering for seasonal camps, and how these teachings will be incorporated into the curriculum.


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Tsuut’ina Board of Education  
Teena received her Bachelors of Education with a minor in Math from the University of Calgary in 1999. She began her teaching career working for Calgary Board of Education. Her dream was to become an educator and teach her own people. She moved with her children to her their homeland on the Blood Reserve. Teena worked for the Kainia Board of Education for 14 years. During this time she returned to school part-time at the University of Lethbridge receiving her Master’s Degree in FNMI Curriculum Leadership in 2012.

Teena was called back to her homeland of Tsuut’ina in 2016. She began working as a teacher and soon became the Vice Principal at Chiila Elementary. In the fall of 2017 she accepted the position of Tsuut’ina Curriculum Developer for Education. Today, Teena works closely with Tsuut’ina Elders, Tsuut’ina Gunaha Institute, and educators to develop Seasonal Cultural Teachings for Grades K4- Grade 12. She is currently developing Tsuut’ina curriculum and implementing Tsuut’ina language and culture teachings within the current Alberta curriculum in all subject areas.



Tsuut'ina Education Dept.
As a Cultural Teacher of the Tsuut’ina Education, Cameron Crowchild is both diligent in his teachings and committed to the profession.  He joined the education system in May 2018.

Prior to joining the Education System, Cameron was a bus driver for 5 years, he enjoyed his job as it enabled him to be around different types of people every day, the teachers, parents, school officials; the most rewarding was being around the children and being able to share teachings every day.  He believes that being able to communicate and understand all types of personalities is an important trait to have.   Besides being a bus driver Cameron was an Alcohol and Drug Addiction Counsellor for 13 years.  His ultimate dream is to put his training from Moose Mountain Log Homes Inc. and Gabriola Island School of Building Arts and build his dream Timber bent home.

Cameron was born and raised in Tsuut’ina Nation, he obtained his high school education in and around Calgary.  What is important to Cameron is the education he received from his parents, both maternal and paternal grandparents, they taught him ways of Tsuut’ina and Cree.  His classroom and playground was in his backyard the natural environment of mother earth.  Cameron and his siblings would adventure out into the woods, to observed the animals around such as the:  grouse, badgers, porcupine, horses, and birds.  From each observation he learned something about how we are all connected to Mother Earth and how it’s important to continue to co-exist with the animals.

Cameron believes this was the best education he received, as he learned about our connections to the land and the cosmic universe.  In Cameron’s adult years he attended ceremonies where he continued to learn about who we are as Dina-tii, and learning about our traditional way of life and how continuing to attended these ceremonies is where our education starts. 

He is now married to Yolanda Young Pine-Crowchild, a Director of TsuuT’ina Healthy Living Program.  He has four children Jessi, Alexa, Tasheena and Johan and 3 grandchildren.



Tsuut’ina Chiila Elementary
Randy Dodginghorse was raised and resides in Tsuut’ina Nation. He was formally educated through Calgary attending elementary, high school and University of Calgary

Randy was raised around many Tsuut’ina elders throughout his life and was fortunate enough to be exposed to the Tsuut’ina language and culture. Randy has been actively involved in many Tsuut’ina community activities and projects.

Recently, Randy has supported the Tsuut’ina Education Department in Facilitating/Teaching Adult Education and is now currently part of the Chiila Elementary Cultural Team.


Vera Starlight is from Tsuut’ina Nation, her parents are Chief Jim Starlight and Maryjane. There, use to be 14 of members of the family family. ?inoo (grandmother) Bessie used to teach Vera and her siblings the stories of the Buffalo days (when the earth was green, pure, and untouched):

“dzanagha gu (a long time ago), xani-tii dzinisi ogha (during buffalo days), there were many Tsuut’ina. You could see teepees all over, people camped under Nose hill when there was a sundance. K’atini za (men only) were only allowed to go to the sundance. No ts’ika (women) uwa (and) ts’idonka (children) were not allowed to go, because the sundance had to be quiet. When it was dusk, ts’ika (women) use to chase ts’idonka (children) into the teepees/tents, because they could not be outside when it was dark. Children that were from a different family would be brought into the teepee/tent to spend the night. In the morning the women would help the child look for his family. If they couldn’t find the parents, the child would be adopted into that family.”

It is from these stories, and how she was raised, that Vera became interested in teaching. She has been working with the Tsuut’ina Cultural program since May 2018. Her teaching methods include both basic cultural and traditional values. She uses research and elder feedback to ensure she is teaching the material in the way it was intended.

As Tsuut’ina culture is mostly oral history, Vera found material from the Tsuut’ina Gunaha Institute which was created by Bruce Starlight. She recognizes that there is so much to teach, and so little time and appreciates how fortunate she was to have heard the stories from the late, Bessie Meguinis. Her goal is to share these stories with her students so that they can pass the tradition to their children and grandchildren.


Land-Based Learning on the River Lots
This session will illustrate the history of the Metis River lots system in St. Albert, the oldest non-Fortified Community. River lots 23 and 24 will be open to share the story of the Metis and Francophone communities that shaped the Prairies, historical houses, functioning gardens and many family histories to share on our interactive site.



Musée Heritage Museum
Sharon Morin is the Metis Knowledge Keeper and Program Manager for Museum and Heritage Sites as well as Director of Programming Michif Cultural Connections. She has 15 years experience in educational program development.



Musée Heritage Museum
Amy Samson is the Heritage Site Curator at the Musée Héritage Museum. She has a PhD in Canadian social history. She previously worked as the Historian for the Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry at the University of Alberta.


Treaty Talk: Sharing the River of Life is an educational film about the oral teachings of treaties.  The film is set in Saddle Lake Cree Nation and St. Paul, AB and explores the need to understand the colonial history and the Indigenous perspective of treaties. Educators will walk away with a deeper understanding around the need for ally work as we are all called to embed Indigenous knowledge in our teaching at all academic levels (in-school and post-secondary). Come join us and witness this just released local educational film. 

NOTE: Local members of the film may be on-hand to answer questions after the viewing.(May include: Ward Antoniuk, Lloyd Cardinal, Dr. Diana Steinhauer, Vincent Steinhauer, Pam Quinn, Florence Quinn, Tanya Fontaine, Steve Andreas or St. Paul Mayor Miller.)



University of Alberta
Dr. Patricia Makokis resides on the Saddle Lake Cree Nation with her husband Eugene, and is mother to adult children, Janice and James and is proud Kokum (grandma) to grandson, Atayoh.  The family are all road warriors commuting between Saddle Lake and Edmonton on a regular basis.

Pat works at the University of Alberta in the Faculty of Extension. She is the Director of Indigenous Programs and teaches in the Indigenous Community Industry Relations (ICIR) Program. She is a grassroots community mobilizer and servant of the PEOPLE.

NOTE: Other members of the film team may be in attendance.  



Learning on Country
Improving education outcomes for Queensland’s Indigenous students by strengthening their connection to identity, culture and language through on-country programs.



Mr Selwyn Button is a Gungarri man from South West Queensland raised in Cherbourg.

Mr Button was appointed as the Assistant Director-General, Indigenous Education – State Schools in August 2014.  He has overseen the most significant improvements in educational outcomes for Indigenous students in Queensland state schools including Year 12 outcomes, NAPLAN performance and attendance rates. Prior to this he held the position of CEO of the Queensland Aboriginal and Islander Health Council (QAIHC) and was formerly the Chairperson of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Community Health Service Brisbane Limited.

Mr Button has also held positions as the Director, Indigenous Health Policy Branch within Queensland Health, and has worked in a variety of government policy development roles within the Department of Education and Training. He is a former teacher and served as a Police Officer with the Queensland Police Service.

Mr Button is a current Director of The Lowitja Institute, Queensland South Native Title Services, and the Queensland Rugby Union, has served on numerous other councils and committees including the Queensland Indigenous Education Consultative Committee, and Queensland Council of Social Services.