Public Education in a Changing World:
This session will focus on how we can embed Indigenous histories, traditions, perspectives and contemporary realities into K-12 education; the role of Friendship Centres across Ontario; and the education priorities of urban Indigenous communities.
Co-Host, The Secret Life of Canada, CBC Podcasts
Falen Johnson is Mohawk/Tuscarora (Bear Clan) from Six Nations Grand River Territory. She is a writer and podcaster. Her plays include Salt Baby, Two Indians, and Ipperwash have played across Canada. Her writing has been featured in Brick, The Canadian Theatre Review, and Granta Magazine. She co-hosts The Secret Life of Canada (CBC Podcasts) with Leah Simone Bowen.
Colinda Clyne (OCT) Anishinaabe kwe (Kitigan Zibi), Curriculum Lead for First Nations, Métis and Inuit Education, Upper Grand District School Board. An educator for 27 years, Colinda has been leading and facilitating professional development for over 18 years. In her current role, Colinda creates the system wide action plan for Indigenous education in her board, building capacity in K-12 teachers and administrators, connecting Elders and knowledge keepers with educators and students, and implementing strategies to improve Indigenous student well-being and academic success. This work is grounded in relationships and she works hard every day to build and strengthen relationships within her local community, school communities and beyond. She has also worked as an Indigenous content consultant and writer for publishers such as Scholastic Canada, Rubicon, Annick Press and Portage & Main.
Greg Querel is Métis from the historic Red River Métis Community. He holds a Master of Arts in Indigenous Governance from the University of Winnipeg and is currently a PhD Student in York University’s Education: Language, Culture and Teaching program. He has worked as Education Policy Analyst for the OFIFC for over 5 years.
The Ontario Federation of Indigenous Friendship Centres works to support, advocate for, and build the capacity of member Friendship Centres across Ontario. Emerging from a nation-wide, grass-roots movement dating back to the 1950’s, Friendship Centres are community hubs where Indigenous people living in towns, cities, and urban centres can access culturally-based and culturally-appropriate programs and services. Today, Friendship Centres are dynamic hubs of economic and social convergence that create space for Indigenous communities to thrive.