Fireside Chat (Ashley Richard & Mihskakwan James Harper)
Ashley Richard and Mihskakwan James Harper delivered an engaging and entertaining fireside chat. Ashley shared her personal experiences with educational pursuits and opened up about the traumas that hindered her progress in fully embracing her talents as a student. Ashley received encouragement from some of her teachers and pursued post-secondary education, drawing strength from the legacy of her grandmother Mary Richard. Ashley connected with the on-campus Indigenous community and sought support to help navigate her educational journey. Recognizing the need for a change, she switched subjects and enrolled in a program that aligned better with her educational goals and with her gifts. With a new focus, Ashley was highly involved in the Indigenous community on campus and continues to make a difference today. In all of this, she walks the same path as her grandmother.

Keynote Speaker (Sheila North)
Sheila North delivered an inspiring and thought-provoking keynote presentation, shedding light on the unique journey of transitioning from the North to an urban environment. With honesty and vulnerability, she openly discussed the obstacles she faced, including moments of adversity, while sharing her unwavering determination to overcome them—a determination she aptly called “relentless.” Sheila spoke passionately about her children and the significant work she is engaged in for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Relatives. As she delved into her personal roots, Sheila emerged as a shining example of resilience—a genuine role model who motivates and inspires us all.

Otēnāhk – Where the heart is (Ron Cook & Shelley Cook)
Elder Ron Cook began his session by introducing himself and speaking about his parents, Walter and Nora Cook, who taught him his language. He also shared about the teachers and Elders he has learned from over the course of his life. Throughout the session, Elder Ron taught attendees different phrases in nēhinawēwin and showed us how values and worldview are integral to the words themselves. This presentation contained many traditional teachings that respectfully will not be printed.