Think Indigenous is a conference intended to bring together educators doing amazing things in our community. Inspired by media outlets such as RedManLaughing and Ted Talks, Think Indigenous promises to provide a unique and inspiring Education Conference experience. This year we are proud to provide the following Educational Difference Makers to the TIEC 2017 stage. More speakers will be added to the list when confirmed.
Host - Ryan McMahon
Keynote & TIEC Talk Speakers
Leroy Little Bear
Shelley C. Lowe
In 1972, under the leadership of Sol Sanderson, the Federation of Sovereign Indian Nations (FSIN) took on a policy of First Nations control over First Nations education. Sanderson's work helped create ground-breaking institutions including the First Nations University of Canada, the Saskatchewan Indian Institute of Technologies and the Saskatchewan Indian Cultural Centre. At the time, it was a vision that conflicted with that of the federal government's Indian Affairs (now called Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada).
Sanderson was FSIN chief from 1979 to 1986. For more than 50 years, he has worked to assert political rights for First Nations people. In 1982, he played a key role in having them included in the Canadian Constitution, also helping ensure treaties were entrenched in it and recognized internationally.
Sanderson — a member of the Chakastaypasin Cree First Nation — was also a founding leader of the Assembly of First Nations and active in the Treaty Land Entitlement process in the province.
He also claims to have coined the term First Nations, to replace the word Indian and establish the group as a founding nation of Canada, in the 1980s. Government of Canada archives say the term came into use in the 1970s.
Red Talk Speakers
Cort Dogniez is a proud Métis man born and raised in Saskatoon. He is a graduate of the Indian Teacher Education Program and possesses a Bachelor of Education and Post Graduate Diploma in Indigenous Studies. He is a retired teacher currently in the position of the Métis Education Program Leader based at St. Michael Community School but available to all Greater Saskatoon Catholic Schools. His role supports teachers as they connect the curriculum to Métis history and culture while engaging the Métis community in meaningful ways. The development of a Métis Education Model has provided direction for the deliberate inclusion of Métis perspectives through monthly themes. This is Cort’s ideal post retirement job.
Harry J. Lafond is the Executive Director of the Office of the Treaty Commissioner. He has a wide range of experience in the community, in politics and in academics, which he brings to the OTC. He has been Chairperson for the Board of Trustees First Nations since 2003. Previously, he served his Nation as Chief (1990-2000). Harry has worked extensively in the area of education as the Director of Education and earlier as Principal of Kihiw Waciston School at Muskeg Lake.
Harry's academic education includes: B.A.; B. Ed, and an M.Ed. He was appointed to serve on the Senate of the University of Saskatchewan (1995-2002) and was also appointed to the national Federal Task Force on Education (2003). Family is a priority and Harry spends many hours with his children and grandchildren teaching them about being Cree.
Corey has had an extensive career working on behalf of children and youth in his roles as an educator, Senior Policy Analyst for the FSIN, Provincial Superintendent for the Ministry of Education, Senior Manager for the Alberta Ministry of Education, Executive Director for Education/Post-Secondary Education and Training for the FSIN and as the First Nations and Métis Advisor for the Ministry of Education. In the role of First Nations and Métis Advisor, Corey took the lead on the government's response to the fatal shooting at a school in La Loche in January 2016.
As the Advocate for Children and Youth, Corey's priorities will be to find ways to reduce the number of First Nations and Métis children and youth in care and to improve mental health services in Saskatchewan, especially in the north where he has promised a special report on the issues surrounding youth suicides. Corey was born and raised in Saskatchewan, and is a member of the Key First Nation. Corey and his wife, Jacinda, have five children.
Tamara Starblanket is Spider Woman, a Nehiyaw from Ahtahkakoop First Nation in Treaty Six Territory. Tamara holds an LLM from the University of Saskatchewan, and an LLB from the University of British Columbia. She teaches and coordinates the Aboriginal Justice Studies Program at the Native Education College. She was recently elected Co-Chair of the North American Indigenous Peoples' Caucus (NAIPC). She is a former Director of Policing and Research and Development at the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations.
More speakers will be updated when confirmed.