Spirit Bear's Teacher Professional Learning Summer Retreat

Posted on Wednesday, July 21, 2021

Spirit bear

Kwey Kakina, Tansi, Tawnshi, Bonjour, Hello,  

The Faculty of Education at the University of Ottawa in collaboration with the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society of Canada (Caring Society), are hosting Spirit Bear’s Virtual Teacher Professional Learning Retreat which is a SSHRC funded opportunity for all! 

Event description:  Spirit Bear is a proud mem”bear” of the Carrier- Sekani Tribal Council and a “bear”rister who works with children to stand up for fairness for First Nations children and youth! That is why our retreat is central to the four stages of reconciliation: truth-telling, acknowledging, restoring, and relating. This work can support Métis and Inuit children, youth, and families too.   

This learning retreat will expose educators to real life examples of how teachers and students have actively learned about colonialism and engaged in implementing the TRC Calls to Action. We also hope that the retreat will help administrators, educators, researchers, and future teachers better understand the lived experiences of First Nations, Metis, and Inuit children, youth, and families and are able to prepare learners to uphold their reconciliation responsibilities. 

Date: Wednesday, August 18 and Thursday, August 19, 2021

Time: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. EST

Registration: Spirit Bear’s Teacher Professional Learning Summer Retreat

There is no cost to attend this retreat, and all sessions will be translated simultaneously (English-to-French and French-to-English).


Larry Audlaluk, Inuk author and Order of Canada receipient

Wilson Bearhead, Nakota Elder, Wabamun Lake First Nation community member, author, and educator from Treaty 6 territory

Charlene Bearhead, author and educator on Treaty 6 territory

Cindy Blackstock, PhD, Gitxsan First Nation member, Executive Director of the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society of Canada and professor at McGill University

Christian Coocoo, Atikamekw Cultural Services and Guidance Coordinator for the Atikamekw Nation

Dwayne Donald, PhD, Nêhiyaw Papaschase scholar and teacher educator at the University of Alberta on and also from Treaty 6 territory

Geneviève Ethier, Métis educational consultant

Joannie Gill, Inuk educational consultant

Cedar Iahtail, Attawapiskat and Peawanuck First Nations member and student at the University of Ottawa on unsurrendered Algonquin territory

Reeta Koostachin, Attawapiskat and Fort Albany First Nations member and student at the University of Ottawa on unsurrendered Algonquin territory

Etienna Moostoos-Lafferty, Nêhiyaw scholar and teacher from Treaty 8 territory

Dale Saddleback, Nêhiyaw Traditional Knowledge Keeper,  scholar, and teacher from Treaty 6 territory

Anita Tenasco, Algonquin educator from Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg

Jenny Tenasco, Algonquin educator from Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg

Spirit Bear, mem”bear” of Carrier-Sekani Tribal Council: Honorary degree holder and Bearrister of the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society of Canada

Resources to be reviewed are:  

  • Temporary Website for Spirit Bear’s Virtual School for Teachers  
  • Spirit Bear’s Beary Caring Curriculum   
  • ‘I am a witness’ learning guide   
  • Spirit Bear Digital School Planner 

We sincerely hope that you can join us. Please register for this retreat and share with your communities. We have important work to do!  

Miigwetch, Hiy Hiy, Maarsii, Thank you, Merci 


Lisa Howell, PhD Candidate at the University of Ottawa’s Faculty of Education on unsurrendered Algonquin territory

Nicholas Ng-A-Fook, PhD, Professor at the University of Ottawa’s Faculty of Education on unsurrendered Algonquin territory

Madelaine McCracken, Red River Métis PhD Graduate Student at the University of Ottawa’s Faculty of Education, and Education and Public Outreach Coordinator at the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society of Canada on Treaty 7 territory and NW Métis Homeland

Special gratitude to:

Mélissa Villella, PhD Candidate at the University of Ottawa’s Faculty of Education on unsurrendered Algonquin territory

Melisa Brittain, PhD, Research Associate for the First Nations Children's Action Research and Education Service (FNCARES) at the University of Alberta on Treaty 6 territory

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