Saskatoon’s Indigenous engagement conference announces 2019 speaker lineup
September 12, 2019
The Wîcihitowin Indigenous Engagement Conference is pleased to announce the following key note speakers at this year’s conference: The Honourable Dr. Lillian Dyck, award-winning physician Dr. Alika Lafontaine, Season 7 Amazing Race Winners Dr. James Makokis and Anthony Johnson, University of Alberta Associate Professor Dr. Sean Lessard and University of Winnipeg Assistant Professor Dr. Marc Kuly.
“We are honoured to have such a wonderfully diverse range of speakers at this year’s conference. Our theme this year is particularly meaningful – it is inspired by the late Elder Walter Linklater whose world view teaching of “being a good person and trying to live a good life” continues to guide people on a path to reconciliation,” said Elder Gilbert Kewistep and Indian residential school survivor.
Held on October 16 and 17, the Wîcihitowin (wee-chee-HEE’-toe-win) conference brings together leading experts, community and business leaders, elders and youth to discuss the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s Calls to Action and address Indigenous engagement and inclusion issues.
Early bird tickets are available from wicihitowin.ca until September 15 and include breakfast and lunch on both days. Groups of 10 are available at the early bird pricing.
The 2019 theme for the conference revolves around the number five because of its significant meaning in the lives of thousands of Indigenous people across Canada. It was at this age that many children were removed from their families and sent to live in Indian residential schools, as a way to assimilate Indigenous children into Euro-Canadian culture.
Now in its fifth year, the Wîcihitowin Indigenous Engagement Conference is commemorating these children and is demonstrating respect to the survivors of Indian residential schools, Indian day schools, missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls, and the sixties scoop by recognizing that they were, and continue to be, seeds for change.
This conference is presented in partnership with the United Way of Saskatoon, Aboriginal Friendship Centres of Saskatchewan, Saskatchewan Health Authority, Johnson Shoyama Institute of Public Policy and the City of Saskatoon, and supported by community investors Nutrien, Saskatoon Community Foundation and Affinity Credit Union.
Wîcihitowin is Cree/Saulteaux for “helping each other” or “working together”, which is an important component of delivering enhanced programs and services.