A Niagara University-organized conference being held Friday in Toronto will help educators learn teaching methods for students who hail from indigenous communities.

The Indigenous Education Conference will be held from 9 a.m.-2:30 p.m. on Feb. 9 at Pope Francis Catholic Elementary School.

“This conference is part of an ongoing initiative within our university and college, specifically, to embrace the diversity of students in schools by providing the men and women educating them with the tools to help them flourish,” said Dr. Chandra Foote, dean of NU’s College of Education.

Friday’s conference will also include an acknowledgement that Pope Francis Catholic Elementary School rests on traditional territories.

First Nations storyteller Robert Cutting, an author and series editor for Rubicon Publishing’s Turtle Island Voices series, is the conference’s plenary speaker. Following the plenary session, a selection of workshops for attendees will be held throughout the morning and afternoon.

Morning activities will include:

  • Q-and-A with James Hodgeson, Nish Designs
  • Q-and-A with Robert Cutting
  • Seminar with Greg Wilson: “Educational Technology and First Nation Learning Environments”
  • Seminar with Vanessa Pinto and TCDSB team: “Indigenous Education through a Catholic Lens”
  • NOW Play: “Culturally Responsive Play-based Activities in the Classroom”
  • Seminar with Jayson Moore

Afternoon activities will include:

  • Seminar with Kim Wheatley: “Walking in Our Moccasins”
  • Seminar with Robert Cutting: “Hey, Teach!”
  • Seminar with Greg Wilson: “An Anishnaabe School Calendar: A Small Proposal”
  • Seminar with Vanessa Pinto: “Indigenous Education through a Catholic Lens”
  • NOW Play: “Culturally Responsive Play-based Activities in the Classroom”
  • Seminar with Jayson Moore

The conference is one of many initiatives undertaken by Niagara University to expand its understanding of First Nations peoples. For example, Niagara recently established a new sequence of university-level courses that introduce students to the Tuscarora language and culture, and teacher candidates complete field experiences at the Tuscarora Indian School, one of the few in New York State’s educational system that is situated on Native American territory and dedicated to serving students from that community.

Niagara University’s College of Education offers undergraduategraduate, and doctoral programs in several fields of study. The college is accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) and by the Ontario College of Teachers for its program of professional education for teachers that is offered under consent of the Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities in the Province of Ontario.


To learn more, please call 716.286.8560 or visit www.niagara.edu/education.

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