Individual Professional Learning Opportunities

All sessions listed below require registration through the Professional Development Registration website.  Staff must register themselves for their own sessions.  *If you need support while registering, please contact Nashiban Jina, 780-429-8230.

First Nations, Métis, and Inuit Education Professional Learning Sessions 2017/18

Registration available through PDR

Teaching Secret Path:  Exploring Residential School Education in the Jr. High Classroom

Secret Path is an album recorded by Gord Downie of the Tragically Hip released in 2016. The album was accompanied by a graphic novel and an animated television movie illustrated by Jeff Lemire. The project is a concept album about Chanie Wenjack, a young Anishinaabe boy from the Marten Falls First Nation who died in 1966 while trying to return home after escaping from an Indian Residential School.  Gord Downie’s work and involvement with the Wenjack family has become an inspiring story of reconciliation.  Secret Path can be used in the Jr. High School classroom to help teach students about the Residential School System and the concept of reconciliation in present day Canada.  In this session, participants will explore a series of lesson plans to accompany Secret Paths, including additional resources, videos and assessments.  A Residential School Survivor will be joining the session to provide deeper understanding and awareness of a Residential School experience.    

Facilitators: Adam Ambrozy & Rocky Morin

Date:  January 24, 2018, 8:30 am - 4:00 pm, lunch and snacks provided

Location:  Woodcroft (13750 Woodcroft Avenue)


Weaving Indigenous Knowledge and Literary Texts in the High School English Language Arts Classroom

Weaving indigenous knowledge, culture, history, and perspective into the English curriculum is an important practice and will soon become part of regular practice for many teachers.  In this session, teachers will be presented with current resources and a variety of texts that can be used to help weave First Nations, Métis, and Inuit content and curricular outcomes.  Participants will explore resources to accompany Dreaming in Indian, Secret Path, and much more!

Facilitators: Adam Ambrozy & Conor Kerr

Date:  January 31, 2018 (8:30 am - 4:00 pm)

Location:  Woodcroft (13750 Woodcroft Avenue)  

Learn How to Facilitate the Blanket Exercise:  Exploring Canada’s History

This session is designed to engage educators in a highly interactive process that builds understanding of how the history of treaty making and colonization of Canada impacted indigenous peoples throughout the years and continues to impact them today. Participants reflect on how this exercise will increase their understanding of historical and contemporary realities of indigenous students, families and community members. In addition, participants explore how this exercise can be used within a social studies classroom from Grade 4 onward.  Participants will learn how to facilitate the Blanket Exercise.  

Facilitator:  Jeremy Albert

Date: January 17, 2018, 8:30am - 4:00pm, lunch and snacks provided

Location: Woodcroft (13750 Woodcroft Avenue)

The Brain Architecture Game: A game about the powerful role of relationships on early brain development
Building educator capacity by:  Connecting intergenerational trauma and the legacy of residential schools to neuroscience principles.  Playing the Brain Architecture Game allows educators to learn how stress can impact a child’s development and ways to create supportive educational environments. This session is designed for senior administrators, school administrators, teachers, educational assistants, school psychologists, and support staff. Facilitation includes Indigenous perspectives and content on the legacy of residential schools and intergenerational trauma.

Facilitator:  Kerrie Gladue

Dates:  January 22, 2018 (1:00 pm - 4:00 pm)

Location: Woodcroft (13750 Woodcroft Avenue)

Looking Forward and Back:  Explore Art Techniques and Indigenous Land, History and People

Drawing on the land, history and people of treaties 6,7 and 8, participants will learn how to use inkjet photographs to create gel transfers on wood. By applying drawing and painting techniques over top of the transfer, they will create a unique, multi-layered piece of art.

Facilitator:  Rebecca Pickard

Date:  January 15, 2018, 8:30 - 4:00 pm, lunch and snacks provided

Location:  Highlands School (11509 - 62 Street)

amiskwaciy wâskahikan:  Exploring Edmonton’s Indigenous History Through Place Based Education

In this session, participants will be introduced to an Edu-Site resource that explores the history of the Edmonton area from an Indigenous perspective.  The session will also include a river valley walk as a way to connect with and explore some of these areas.  In the morning, participants will explore this history from a variety of sources which include visual maps, place names and the Edu-Site resource.  The afternoon will involve a walk throughout the river valley where participants will be able to learn about specific areas which are related to the Edu-Site resource.

Facilitator: Jeremy Albert

Dates: May 16, 2018 (8:30am - 4:00pm), lunch and snacks provided

Location: Woodcroft (13750 Woodcroft Avenue)  and River Valley

Educator Field Trip: Full Day retreat with Elder Bob Cardinal May 25/18

Educators will be spending a full day retreat with Elder Bob Cardinal at his traditional classroom. The goal of the retreat will focus on holistic teachings, connecting to the land and well-being while offering teachers an opportunity to examine their own social, emotional, physical, mental and spiritual well-being. The retreat will emphasis how educators can bring Indigenous understanding into their work with students from all backgrounds. It will also emphasis how to maintain a personal holistic balance to allow for focus on students and their individual needs.

Facilitator:  Elder Bob Cardinal and Conor Kerr

Date: May 25, 2018, 9:00 am - 4:00 pm (morning refreshments and lunch will be provided).  **Participants to meet at the River Cree Parking lot at 9:00 a.m. where you will follow Conor Kerr out to the Culture Grounds on Enoch.

Lead Teacher Session for Newly Identified Lead Teachers (full-day) - This session is intended for newly identified First Nations, Métis, and Inuit Lead Teachers and principals

Session Date:  October 18

Location:  Woodcroft (13750 Woodcroft Avenue)

Time:  8:30 am - 4:00 pm (morning refreshments and lunch will be provided)

2017/18 Lead Teacher Sessions  (two full-days) - These sessions are intended for returning First Nations, Métis, and Inuit Lead Teachers, those that have attended the session for newly identified lead teachers and principals.  Principals are invited to join the sessions from 8:30 am - 12:00 pm.  Further information on session topics will be provided.

Location:  Woodcroft (13750 Woodcroft Avenue)

Time:  8:30 am - 4:00 pm (morning refreshments and lunch will be provided)

Session Dates (fall):

October 23, Kent Pharis’ Leadership Group

October 24, Leona Morrison’s Leadership Group

October 27, Kathy Muhlethaler’s Leadership Group

November 1, Liz Yule’s Leadership Group

November 2, Mike Suderman’s Leadership Group

November 6, Ron MacNeil’s Leadership Group

Session Dates (spring):

April 12, Kent Pharis’ Leadership Group

April 17, Leona Morrison’s Leadership Group

April 18, Kathy Muhlethaler’s Leadership Group

April 19, Liz Yule’s Leadership Group

April 25, Mike Suderman’s Leadership Group

April 26, Ron MacNeil’s Leadership Group

We Are All Treaty People:  Treaty 6 Basics

“We are all treaty people” Have you ever heard this statement and wondered what it meant? In this session, participants will be introduced to some Treaty 6 basics along with what it means to be a treaty person. The following questions along with many others will be addressed:

  • What is a Treaty?

  • Why do we have treaties?

  • What are the numbered treaties?

  • What is the meaning of “Spirit and Intent”?

  • When and where was Treaty 6 signed?

  • Who are the treaty partners?

  • What are the treaty provisions?

  • Who benefits from treaties?

  • Do treaties expire?

Facilitator: Jeremy Albert

Date: November 22, 2017 (8:30am - 4:00pm), lunch and snacks provided

Location: Woodcroft (13750 Woodcroft Avenue)

First Nations Traditional Games: Engaging and Motivating Physical Activities

Description: Participants will have the opportunity to learn and experience traditional First Nations games and will learn about the protocol for gathering the required materials and respectful teaching practices for sharing the games with their students. Traditional games were often played to increase endurance, hand-eye coordination as well as promote cooperation. In addition, participants will learn and experience simple games designed to increase physical activity through fundamental movement skills designed for students of all ages and skill levels.

Facilitator:  Leaha Sansregret

Date:  November 15, 2017 (8:30 am - 12:00 pm)

Location:  Woodcroft (13750 Woodcroft Avenue)

Introduction to Traditional Foods

Description: Educators will learn about the traditional gathering and preparing process of foods and gain a better understanding of what a traditional diet consisted of and its importance.  They will compare traditional perspectives of food with the modern day view and gain a greater appreciation of this element of culture.  Educators will have the chance to make a simple version of Pemmican with things you can get at the grocery store.

Facilitator:  Conor Kerr

Date:  November 22, 2017 (1:00 pm - 4:00 pm)

Location: Woodcroft (13750 Woodcroft Avenue)

Exploring Indigenous Lullabies and Traditional Parenting Practices to enhance teaching and learning in Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten Classrooms

Spend the day learning from different Elders and Knowledge Keepers.  In this session, participants will be introduced to traditional parenting practices and teachings from an Indigenous perspective.  This session will also introduce participants to the history of Indigenous lullabies and Indigenous Swing Therapy to emphasize the importance of language and culture going hand in hand.  Participants will engage in all activities and will have a toolkit of resources to use in their classrooms.

Facilitator: Elders, Knowledge Keepers and Tricia Giles-Wang

Date: Thursday, December 7, 2016, 8:30 am - 4:00 pm, lunch and snacks provided

Location:  Woodcroft (13750 Woodcroft Avenue)


Fostering Culturally Responsive Schools:  First Nations, Métis, and Inuit Protocol

This sessions will assist participants to feel better prepared to engage with First Nations, Métis, and Inuit Elder, Knowledge Keepers, and Cultural Advisors.  Cultural and District formation will be shared on offering tobacco, gift-giving and honourariums.  The intent of this session is to foster your confidence when inviting and hosting First Nations, Métis, and Inuit Elders, Knowledge Keepers and Cultural Advisors to your classroom or school.    

Facilitators:  Elder, Knowledge Keeper, Kerrie Gladue and Kristen Miller

Date:  December 15, 2017 (1:00 - 4:00 pm)

Location:  Woodcroft (13750 Woodcroft Avenue)