Presentations and Workshops

All of the presentations, workshops and breakout sessions are now available. 

Please scroll down to register for presentations, workshops and breakout sessions!


Symposium Schedule 2018 (pdf)


Saturday Morning Presentations (9:00am-10:00am)


Alyssa Gagnon

Bio: Alyssa’s spirit name is nipi, which means water in Cree. Her family is from the James Bay and she grew up on Taykwa Tagamou (New Post) territory near Cochrane, Ontario. She is a First Nation Studies graduate from Western University, a third year student in the Midwifery Education Program at Ryerson, an artist, and a mother to two young children. 

Title: Reclaiming Cree midwifery in Northern Ontario: A journey of healing and resilience

Summary: This presentation hopes to shed light on the triumphs and barriers in reclaiming birth in our communities. My hope is that participants will leave with a strong sense of how Indigenous midwifery care can change the future in urban contexts, but more specifically in remote, northern Ontario. I will conclude my presentation by sharing some of my experiences in a recent journey to Attawapiskat, Ontario to complete an 8-week placement.

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Sakihitowin Awasis

Bio: Awâsis is a Michif Anishinaabe two-spirit land defender, writer, geographer, and spoken word artist from the pine marten clan. Based out of Deshkan Ziibiing (Antler River/London, Ontario), her Phd research focuses on Anishinaabek pipeline resistance and procedural justice in energy decision-making.

Title: A Blanket for Anishinaabe Kwewag 

Summary: Drawing on the Native Women’s Barn Quilt Trail that runs through the territory of the Deshkan Ziibiing Anishinaabeg and conversations with Anishinaabe kwewag, this presentation will explore the connections between coming-of-age ceremonies, moon teachings, and women’s ongoing leadership in water protection. 

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Chrystal Dawne

Bio: Drawing on lived experiences, Chrystal Dawne shares stories of her experiences and has featured on the New Journeys website, the 2016 Carleton University Literary Showcase, the Power of Indigenous Arts Conference, Trophy’s Pop Up City of Stories, and now as a Storytelling workshop facilitator for youth in her community.

Title: Finding A Time in Your Story: Matriarchal Reflections for Families At Risk

Summary: This presentation will address 'youth at risk' and inter-generational trauma.  She will begin with a reading from her writing segues reflecting on youth homelessness in the 90s & contrasting that with her understanding as a parent of teens in 2018. She will share the ways sovereignty can be obtained through homeschooling, cultural & traditional roles as well as identify the role culture played in her own healing story, which has made it accessible for her own children who will not question if they belong. The presentation will also focus on inter-generational wellness within reach for many coping with legacies of trauma, & disabilities which thrust us into able-ism discussions. 

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Juliana Lesage-Corbiere

Bio: Juliana Lesage-Corbiere is a fourth year student at Trent University in the Indigenous Environmental Studies/Sciences Program. she is an Ojibway woman from Batchewana First Nation and a part of the Wolf Clan. She is  a youth representative of her First Nation. 

Title: Indigenous Women's Role In Resurgence and Resistance Movements.


Her presentation will examine women's roles in resurgence and resistance movements in Chiapas Mexico while drawing parallels to women here on Turtle Island where the men are often perceived as dominant. She will examine Indigenous Resurgence and acknowledge the women who have always been at the front lines and who continuously weave rebellion in the midst of the barriers that have been set in place for us. 

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Laura Hall

Bio: Laura Hall comes from a family of Haudenosaunee and British-Canadian kin. She is a member of the Indigenous Social Work faculty at Laurentian University and lives in the area known as N'Swakamok.

Title: In Deeper Waters: Indigenous women's laborings and environmental life-givings

Summary: She will discuss her dissertation, entitled ‘In Deeper Waters, Indigenous, Gendered Approaches to Sustainability’ which looks at the links between environmental sustainability, gender based oppression, and Indigenous cultural resurgence/s. Talking about the systemic nature of violence against Indigenous women means that we have to unpack the ways that policing, legislation, governance and mainstream economic development, contribute to or are root causes of, violence against Indigenous women, girls and Two-spirit people.

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Gabrielle Doreen

Bio: Yakotennikonhrare yonkya'ts. She is from Tyendinga Mohawk Territory. She graduated from Trent University in 2011, in Indigenous studies and a diploma in Kanien'keha language. She is currently a graduate student studying Indigenous Land-based Education with the University of Saskatchewan and a professor at McGill University in the Indigenous Studies department.

Title: Reconnecting the Student with Land through Education and Language

Summary: This presentation is based on her accumulative work in language revitalisation, curriculum development and relationship with land to develop an education model where land is curriculum, classroom and teacher. This model is intended for her community, taught in immersion using our dialect at the primary level. The presentation highlights how wampum, the cycle of ceremonies, Ohén:ton Karihwatéhkwen, importance of place names, stories, traditional practices, songs and dances will be the focus of learning for the purpose of grounding their students in who they are and to give them the tools needed to be successful in developing their gifts.

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Rheanna Robinson

Bio: Rheanna is a Metis scholar and Assistant Professor in the Department of First Nations Studies at UNBC and Senior Advisor to the President. Most importantly, she is a proud mom to her sons Sean (Yagabax) and James (Jagabax) who are also of Nisga'a ancestry.

Title: Aboriginal post-secondary institutes and Indigenous knowledge: Understanding the promises and challenges of integration

Summary: This presentation examines promises and challenges of integrating Indigenous Knowledge (IK) into the academy from the perspectives of representatives from three Aboriginal post-secondary institutions in British Columbia. Topics include: a) challenges and benefits of integrating IK; b) the challenges and benefits of partnerships; and c) formal policy for Aboriginal institutes. Emerging themes include: Elders have a core role; the integration of IK at a post-secondary level impacts higher learning; Aboriginal institutes lead in partnership building; and Aboriginal post-secondary institutes demonstrate resiliency. To represent my position as a Métis scholar I present my findings through the framework of the Métis Sash.

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Saturday Morning Workshops (10:20am-11:50am)


Christine Luckasavitch

Bio: Christine is an Algonquin Anishinaabekwe of the Crane Clan. She is the Owner of Waaseyaa Consulting, an Indigenous cultural heritage consulting company.

Title: An Algonquin Anishinaabekwe in Ontario: A Confrontation in Indigenous Identity 

Summary: Colonization has resulted in the loss of a unified traditional identity for Algonquin people in Ontario. As generations have passed, many Algonquins now find ourselves isolated from our traditional knowledge and ways of being. With this disconnect, we are unconsciously morphing in to a new identity as a result of the current land claim process affecting our traditional territory.  This workshop will explore the relatively unknown history of the Madaoueskarini Algonquin people while discussing the potential impacts of a land claim settlement on the future identity of the people of the Algonquin Anishinaabe Nation.

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Regina Hartwick & Quazance Boissoneau

Bio: An Anishinaabekwe from Ardoch Algonquin First Nation, Regina is a PhD Candidate in Indigenous Studies at Trent University and Manager of the Aboriginal Resource Centres at Humber College. Both her research and work intersect, engaging the interconnection between resistance, resilience, forward movement and resurgence in life and everyday practice.

Bio: An Anishinaabekwe from Garden River First Nation, Quazance is a student in Carleton University’s Public Policy and Administration post-graduate diploma program, and an Aboriginal Liaison Officer at Humber College. A former athlete, she is passionate about Indigenous wellbeing, and strives to promote positive self-identity for Indigenous people living in two-worlds.

Title: Kinoomaagoziwin: Finding Our Sense of Self, Purpose, and Place

Summary: In Anishinaabemowin, the word for education is ‘kinoomaagoziwin’ – the process of learning how act, live, and be within an ecology that is inclusive of life and all it’s relations. It’s a journey that helps us find our face - that sense of self, purpose, and foundation that carries us forward as we progress through life. Presenters share their personal reflections and understandings of what it means to be “educated,” and how learning has shaped and strengthened their identity as Anishinaabekwe. It will explore the importance of autonomy in education, highlighting everyday acts of resurgence in lives and educational practice.

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Mary Chakasim With Neegahnii, Danasco & Mattinaway Chakasim

Bio: Mother of 3 co-founders of Young Warriors of Turtle Island; lawyer, part time college prof. Member of Attawapiskat First Nation from Moosonee, Ontario.

Title: Young Warriors of Turtle Island

Summary: Will share a participant driven program developed by 3 young homeschooled sisters (now 13 & 10), all Mushkegowuk Cree members of Attawapiskat First Nation, raised in Moosonee, Ontario; Young Warriors is the Chakasim sisters' response to the impact of residential schools, First Nation youth suicides, First Nation kids in care who are taken away from their communities, the disparity of school funding on reserves and Missing & Murdered Indigenous Women. Their program gives First Nation kids, and now adults  (more news to share!), a tool to guide their reconnection to their histories, cultures, languages, community, elders and other First Nation experts.

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Vicky Boldo, Elizabeth Fast, Moe Clark & Jamie-Lee Deschenes

Bio: Vicky Boldo is a Cree/Métis/Coast-Salish/European adoptee from the 60’s, provides cultural support for Indigenous students at Concordia University. She is Co-Chair of the Montreal Urban Aboriginal Community Strategy NETWORK, a board member for the National Indigenous Survivors of Child Welfare, but importantly Vicky is a mother of four and grandmother four.

Bio: Elizabeth Fast is Métis from St. François-Xavier, Manitoba, an associate professor at Concordia University, teaches in the First People’s Studies Program, has two decades of community-based researcher experience that focuses on Indigenous youth in particular, the understanding of cultural needs and identity. Elizabeth is also a mother.

Bio: Moe Clark is a multidisciplinary Métis artist, looping pedal mistress, spoken word poet, educator, artistic producer, public speaker, and activist.

Bio: Jamie-Lee Deschenes is Métis and is a Bachelors of Arts student at Queen’s University completing an honors degree in Psychology. 

Title: Miskasowin – Finding One’s Place Within the Circle

Summary: This workshop will take the format of an Indigenous sharing circle. The subject that will be explored is “reconnecting to identity and culture”. The facilitators will open the circle with ceremony and everyone is welcomed in. We will explore the question “how does self-determination “identify” in the decolonization process?” and will invite exploration of social transformation processes that acknowledge current rights and struggles of Indigenous, minority and marginalized people. This workshop centers Indigenous people and their struggles while inviting allies to sit with us and explore shared visions and goals.

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Theresa Benedict & 4050/4051 Team

Bio: Theresa Benedict is a 4th student at Trent University in the Indigenous Studies program. She is a Mohawk from the Mohawk Territory of Akwesasne and is a part of the Snipe Clan. 

Title: Building healthy alliances and relationships between Indigenous people and Non-Indigenous/Settler peoples

Summary: This workshop will be  facilitated by students from Indigenous Studies 4050/4051 on the topic of Building healthy alliances and relationships between Indigenous people and Non-Indigenous/Settler peoples. The topic of the activity is: “What baggage do Indigenous and Non-Indigenous people each bring to a relationship?” Participants are asked to engage in the group activity and discuss ideas about alliance building and reconciling relationships. 

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Jacob Gale

Bio: Jacob Gale is a proud Mi’kmaw from Eskasoni First Nation, Nova Scotia. He is a father to two beautiful daughters and one step son. He is an advocate for experiential learning. Jacob takes pride in reclaiming lost identity and has facilitated many workshops, conferences and training sessions across this Country.

Title: Intergenerational Trauma & How to Deal With It

Summary: This workshop uses an Indigenous style and perspective. We will open up first by acknowledging and honouring our ancestors who walked before us. Together we will take a journey by looking through a lens of a pre-contacted Indigenous community. Following this, we will break down the Intergenerational trauma that Aboriginal peoples have faced and show what our community looks like presently. We then focus on next steps we need to take as a community and how we should move forward. The workshop will also incorporate music, experiential learning and laughter.

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Saturday Afternoon Presentations (2:15pm-3:15pm)


Barbara moktthewenkwe Wall

Bio: Barbara, Bodwewadmii Anishinaabekwe, is a dual scholar and Ph.D. candidate in Indigenous Studies at Trent.  Her research focus is the recovering and revitalization of Indigenous Knowledge. Barbara is a lecturer in the Indigenous Environmental Studies/Sciences program, and the Indigenous Studies diploma program. Barbara is a mother, daughter, and Grandmother. 

Title: Re-Articulating Bodwewaadmii Identities—Healing Generations through Revitalization

Summary: The Bodwewaadmii diaspora removed families and communities from our homelands adjacent to Lake Michigan; disconnecting our people from our Knowledge systems, practices, language and one another. Individual and collective identities were hidden, altered or forgotten. Bodwewaadmii identities are being re-articulated as our communities in Canada and the United States work to revitalize language, ceremony, practices and ways of knowing. This presentation shares research focused on how Bodwewaadmii people within widespread communities are revitalizing women’s water knowledges and practices, by drawing on and healing identities across generations.

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Tasha Beeds

Bio: Tasha Beeds is a Professor and PhD Candidate in Indigenous Studies. Of nêhiyaw ancestry, she is a 2nd degree Midewiwin initiate and a Water Walker. She is dedicated to moving in Ceremony for the Water, Lands, and continual resurgence and revitalization of Indigenous thought, knowledges, and sovereignty.

Title: Movement and Ceremony: The Consciousness of nipiy/Nibi (Water)

Summary: Although a relatively new movement, Water Walking is a manifestation of our Ceremonies that are still present, despite the repeated attempts to destroy them through colonization. The same colonial processes are inexplicably linked to the destruction of okâwîmâwaskiy, Mother Earth and the Waters. Our respective Ancestors, however, have left us bundles of knowledge that can help us shift our consciousness. Like our Ancestors, we move our bodies in Ceremony to articulate our relationship with the Earth and Waters, protecting the Beings who will sustain us for future generations so our grandchildren will know them and know life.

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Robyn Bourgeois

Bio: Robyn Bourgeois (Laughing Otter Caring Woman) is a mixed-race Cree academic, activist, artist, and author. She is currently Assistant Professor in the Centre for Women's and Gender Studies at Brock University.

Title: Supporting Indigenous Women's Leadership Across the Lifespan

Summary: This presentation focuses on Indigenous women and leadership drawing upon our traditional matriarchal teachings as well as my experiences working in activism and community development with Indigenous communities across Canada. This will be followed by an open discussion about how we can better support Indigenous women's leadership. Using the tools of graphic facilitation, these findings would be shared back with the conference and its participants in an info graphic.

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Moe Clark & Jessica Barudin

Bio: Moe Clark is a Métis multidisciplinary artist, facilitator and artistitic producer, Moe Clark fuses together vocal improvisation with multilingual lyricism to create meaning that is rooted in personal legacy and ancestral memory. In 2016 she launched nistamîkwan, a transformational arts organization.

Bio: Jessica is Kwakwaka’wakw from the Namgis First Nation. She is a Sundancer, Lifegiver and Indigenous Health Advocate. Jessica is co-founder of Cedar and Gold, offering yoga and community wellness programs to Indigenous communities across Turtle Island.

Title: Embodying the Elements

Summary: Embodying the Elements workshop invites participants into a moving meditation to help connect with earth, water, fire and air energies within the territory of our bodies and the workshop space. Through a combination of gentle movements, stillness, visualization, breathwork and song we will be encouraged to embody each element and awaken our spirits. Body becomes landscape, site of prayer, in this exploratory and playful workshop

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Amy Shawanda

Bio: Amy is Anishinaabe Kwe from Wiikwemkoong, Mnidoo Mnising. Currently enrolled in the PhD Indigenous Studies Program at Trent University.

Title: Manifesting Indigeneity? Examining Anishinaabe identity politics

Summary: As she scrolls through Facebook  a post strikes  a cord within her… "What makes me Anishinaabe and who has the authority to legitimize my heritage?" Since that particular post she has been struggling with her identity as a full-blooded, status card holding, ceremony attendee, former jingle dress dancing- Anishinaabe kwe. This is a spoken word piece about what qualities one must possess without having their background scrutinized and who has the authority to validate it. Together we explore the ever-growing list of check boxes of Anishinaabe identity.

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Xina Cowan

Bio: Xina is of Mohawk, Irish and Scottish descent, and resides in Montreal. Over the years, her work has revolved around cultural and media development within Indigenous communities. Currently, she is the Editor-in-Chief of WIOT Magazine and an Associate of Indigenous Fashion Week Toronto.

Title: Activism Through Fashion: Indigenous Fashion Week Toronto 

Summary: This presentation will explore contemporary Indigenous fashion, craft and textiles and their significance within our communities. Collectively they have many purposes, illustrating our cultures’ beauty, traditional practices and ways of knowing. They have been especially important to Indigenous women who, for generations, have been master creators. Our presenters will highlight the evolution of Indigenous fashion over the last three generations with a particular emphasis on its impacts today; both within Indigenous and Non-Indigenous communities. This will be followed by a discussion of where Indigenous fashion is headed, and how it can best support the development of our future decolonized generations.

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Site Content


Shandra Spears Bombay

Bio: Shandra Spears Bombay is an actor, singer and writer. Shandra’s one-woman show, If This Is The End, has been performed as a work in progress in several festivals. Raised in Chatham, Ontario, Shandra is a member of Rainy River First Nations/Manitou Rapids and makes her home in the Toronto area.

Title: If This Is The End

Summary: A transracial adoptee stands in the ruins of the Canadian dream. Never quite living up to her potential, never quite settling down, she strolls through cultural genocide like it’s a familiar white suburban neighbourhood in a small Canadian town. “Holding nothing back, Spears Bombay owns the stage with her vulnerability, humour, and sadness” – Anishinabek News

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Moderated Breakout Sessions(3:35pm-4:35pm)

Breakout Session One

Revitalizing and/or Decolonizing Indigenous women’s maternal care and birthing experiences and practices

Moderator: Barb Wall

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Breakout Session Two

Fostering Youth Self Esteem/Self Worth

Moderator: Regina Hartwick

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Breakout Session Three

Bringing Our Men Back to the Circle

Moderator: Nikki Auten

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Breakout Session Four

Dealing with Lateral Violence and Micro-Agression

Moderator: Catherine Davis

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Breakout Session Five

Bringing Our Indigenous Selves to the Workplace

Moderator: Catrina Marchant

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Breakout Session Six

Wellness Through Traditional Practices & Activities

Moderator: Amy Shawanda

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