Conference Updates

This Blog is meant to showcase news and other events surrounding "The Writing Stick: Sharing Indigenous Stories". 

Support with Travel Costs

posted May 15, 2017, 12:23 PM by Tanya Ball

We already have 125 attendees, and more continue to register.

We also have good news for people outside of Edmonton who need help with travel costs. The Writing Stick organizers now have funding in place for limited support to assist with travel costs. Support will be awarded on a first-come first-served basis. The organizers will reimburse up to 50% of economy airfare, train tickets, bus fares, or receipted gas expenses for people attending the conference and residing outside of Edmonton. To apply, please email Cathie Crooks at with your estimated costs. 

Call for Volunteers!

posted May 15, 2017, 8:34 AM by Tanya Ball

We are looking for volunteers to help with our conference "The Writing Stick: Sharing Indigenous Stories" for June 8-10 ( This conference is meant to foster conversations on editing and publishing Indigenous stories and writers.

Why should I volunteer for this conference?

  • This conference would provide an excellent opportunity for those who are interested in learning more about Indigenous culture and protocol.

  • It will provide ample networking opportunities

  • Volunteering will get a free ticket to the conference, which includes 3 days of meals and programming!

What will volunteers be doing?

  • Be available for an orientation the week of May 30th (the time will be determined through a DoodlePoll)

  • Registration

  • Gathering delegate and speaker packages

  • Offering directional assistance

  • Assisting Elders and their helpers

  • Set up and take down

  • Assisting speakers

  • Answering questions

  • etc.

What times will you need volunteers?

  • Thursday 3:00pm to 9:00pm

  • Friday 7:30am to 10:00pm

  • Saturday 7:30am to 3:00pm

  • Plus a 1-2 hour orientation. The date is TBD through Doodle Poll

**Please note that these times may alter**

How do I volunteer?

Easy! All you need to do is email Tanya ( to say that you are interested. There are only 20 positions available, so please email ASAP. Volunteers will be decided upon a first come, first served basis.

Location Confirmed!

posted Mar 8, 2017, 12:49 PM by Tanya Ball   [ updated Mar 8, 2017, 1:09 PM ]

Lister Centre

The location for The Writing Stick is officially confirmed. The evenings of June 8 and 9 will be held in the Dining Hall at Lister Centre, located at 1-047 Lister Centre.


Edmonton Clinic Health Academy

We will be spending the remainder of the conference (June 9 and 10) at the Edmonton Clinic Health Academy (ECHA) on the University of Alberta Campus.

Haven’t been there before? No problem! It’s located directly across the street from the Stollery Children’s Hospital. The outside of the building is recognizable — it’s the one with the rainbow windows!

The address is 11405 87 Avenue NW Edmonton, AB T6G 1C9.

Specific room information will be available once registration has opened.

For more information on ECHA:

For more information on Lister Centre:

Lewis Cardinal Joins The Writing Stick

posted Jan 26, 2017, 9:10 AM by Tanya Ball   [ updated Jan 26, 2017, 9:16 AM ]

Another day, another teaser! The Writing Stick is proud to announce another confirmed participant: Lewis Cardinal.

Cardinal is a communicator and educator, dedicated to creating and maintaining connections and relationships that cross cultural divides.  His work has mirrored his personal vision of a socially just and responsive society.  His long track record of public service includes founding board member of Racism Free Edmonton, founding Board Member of Alberta Aboriginal Arts, Co-Chair of the Aboriginal Commission for Human Rights and Justice, and Trustee of the Council for a Parliament of World Religions, to mention only a few.

Cardinal has received Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee Medal for Public Service, the IndSpire Award for Public Service (the highest award given to an Indigenous person by Indigenous people in Canada), the Province of Alberta’s Centennial Medal for his work in Human Rights and Diversity, the Distinguished Alumni Award from Grant MacEwan University, the Human Rights Award of Recognition from the Centre for Race and Culture, and recently was conferred the Honorary Degree of “Doctor of Sacred Letters” from St. Stephen’s College at the University of Alberta.

Cardinal’s consulting company, Cardinal Strategic Communications, specializes in Indigenous Education, Governance, and Communications.

Cardinal will bring the three days of programming to a close by providing the conference summary, which is set up for early Saturday afternoon (June 10)

Announcing Keavy Martin

posted Jan 12, 2017, 12:05 PM by Tanya Ball   [ updated Jan 12, 2017, 12:30 PM ]

As our conference date is approaching, we are receiving more speaker confirmations!

At this point, we would like to announce Keavy Martin as another guest speaker.

Martin is a settler scholar of Indigenous literatures at the University of Alberta, in Treaty 6 and Métis territory. She is the mother of a two-year-old son, the author of Stories in a New Skin: Approaches to Inuit Literature, the co-editor (with Julie Rak and Norma Dunning) of Mini Aodla Freeman’s memoir Life Among the Qallunaat and also (with Dylan Robinson) of Arts of Engagement: Taking Aesthetic Action In and Beyond the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada. In 2015, she became a Member of the Royal Society of Canada's College of New Scholars, Artists, and Scientists.

Martin is tentatively scheduled to participate in a Roundtable discussion on Friday morning (June 9).

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