Red Deer Polytechnic students have organized a conference to highlight and share Indigenous experiences and perspectives.
The Feb. 9-10 Indigenous Perspectives Conference was organized by the Education Undergraduate Society of RDP in collaboration with other partners, including Indigenous Student Services. Its goal is to provide RDP students, faculty, staff, alumni, educators and community members with “immersive academic, cultural and social experiences.”
Sessions include: Indigenous Games and Cross-curriculum Connections, Talking Circles, Nehiyam/Cree Language Lessons, The Spirit of the Métis and Tipi Teachings.
“The Indigenous Perspectives Conference plays an important role in the academic, personal and professional journey of many people by growing their knowledge and understanding of Indigenous experiences and perspectives,” says Annika Sudlow, vice-president of RDP Education Undergraduate Society and conference advisor.
“Through the generosity of our sponsors – Central Alberta Regional Consortium, Indigenous Student Services, and support through the Cultural Activities Trust Fund provided by the RDP Students’ Association – we are able to offer this conference at no cost, which reduces barriers to participate.”
Kendra Rosychuk, a Cree and Ukrainian powwow dancer, will be the keynote speaker on February 9. Rosychuk is a fitness trainer and health and wellness advocate, who empowers others to connect with the world around them and heal through movement. For Rosychuk, wellness extends beyond physical exercise to mental well-being and giving back to her community.
In addition, attendees will have the opportunity to participate in the opening ceremonies, smudging and prayer, along with a round dance and meal to conclude the conference.
While individuals from all backgrounds and careers are welcome to attend the conference, there are components of the sessions that link to K-12 curriculum, providing additional benefits for aspiring teachers, Bachelor of Education learners and current educators, say conference organizers. At the Indigenous Games and Cross-Curricular Connections session, participants will learn about ways to integrate the content into subjects like math, social studies and physical education.
“At Red Deer Polytechnic, we are proud to be a collaborative intellectual, cultural and social hub for students, employees, partners and members of our communities,” says Lloyd Desjarlais, director of Indigenous Initiatives. “The incredible learning opportunities presented at the Indigenous Perspectives Conference will help to advance Truth and Reconciliation and to contribute to a culturally diverse and inclusive campus and region.”
Individuals can attend the Indigenous Perspectives Conference at no cost, but registration is required. For more information and to register go to: sites.google.com/view/ipcrdu/home