WORKSHOPS (alphabetical)

Alternative Education Program in Nuxalk Territory, Building Relationships with Families (1L 2L)

Holly Poell, Alternative Education Teacher, Acwsalcta School, NAALS Nuxalk Nation
Kim Mack, Alternative Education EA, Acwsalcta School, NAALS Nuxalk Nation

Acwsalcta School has delivered its alternative education program for the last 10 years in its present form. The school has an excellent graduation success rate, largely due the strong relationships we build with students and their families. This workshop will focus on a series of success stories within the program over the last 10 years and discuss how challenges and setbacks were addressed to further growth and better serve our students’ needs.

An Indigenous Approach to Getting Started with Physical Literacy (4M)

Dwayne Roberts, Lead Facilitator, School Physical Activity & Physical Literacy, Indigenous Sport, Physical Activity and Recreation Council
Pauline Johnson, Facilitator, School Physical Activity & Physical Literacy, Indigenous Sport, Physical Activity and Recreation Council

Developed in consultation with Indigenous communities and educators, this workshop brings Indigenous perspectives that honour the First Peoples Principles of Learning in physical literacy theory. Learn practical ways to develop students’ physical literacy and use a storytelling method to incorporate physical literacy in and around your school. At the completion of the workshop, learners will be able to: explain what physical literacy is and why it’s important; understand how physical literacy aligns with a holistic wellness approach and the First Peoples Principles of Learning; and apply movement and learning activities with students in the classroom.

Breaking Down Barriers and Building Confidence Through Technology (1C 2C)

Clayton Grice, Principal, Tl’etinqox ?esgul
Jen Stump, Elementary Teacher, Tl’etinqox ?esgul

The presentation will focus on one teacher’s journey as a community member and longtime teacher in a First Nation school. The discussion will revolve around the adversity she has overcome and the confidence she has gained through her willingness to step outside her comfort zone and create a truly open dialogue between herself, the school administration, and the support being offered through FNESC and a partnership with the Apple Canada Education Team. Through this, she has not only increased her learning with technology but is now leading the way by integrating culture into these practices and utilizing them to promote student confidence, understanding of learning, and the transition from parent/teacher interviews to student-led conferences.

Creating Resilience Through Play in High School Math and Digital Tools for Differentiation (1G 2G)

Chantel McNabb, Teacher, Connected Classrooms

In this workshop, attendees will engage in hands-on activities to ‘do the math’ and demonstrate that everyone can excel in math. The first topic focuses on how “good problems” can be used in math to create resilience, communication and confidence in students of all levels. A good problem is one that requires complex and critical thinking and visual strategies without relying on any previous math skills or knowledge. In the second part, the workshop host will demonstrate how a digital whiteboard can be used to provide confidential feedback for individual students, differentiate learning, and provide constant assessment in real-time.

Everything You Need to Know About K4 Instruction (1M)

Cindy Lee Matthew, Team Lead, Instructional Coaches, FNESC
Grace Williams, K4 Instructional Coach, FNESC

K4 is a crucial year in every student’s life. This is the time when students learn how to be in a classroom and how to be learners. There are specific skills we can teach them to help them to be ready for Kindergarten. Come and learn how to set up a K4 classroom and learn instructional strategies to help you prepare K4 students for Kindergarten and beyond.

Getting Students Ready to Learn (1F 2F)

Rob Tardif, Principal, Sk’il’ Mountain Community School

Participants will explore ideas that can promote stronger student preparedness to learn, something that is needed for any real learning to take place. This includes getting the brain and body ready to learn, and creating conditions that will allow students to have their best chance to focus and fully engage with the topic and be in the moment. Brief introductions to various programs and best practice suggestions such as the Brain Gym philosophy, the use of props such as individual seating mats and calming tools, prompts and activities to calm down or rev up a room, leading orderly and “tearless” transitions, and other strategies will be explored. Participants will be invited to add to the list of best practices during a brainstorming session near the end of the workshop, and the aim is for everyone to go home with a greater awareness of the importance of setting up ideal conditions for students to learn prior to any teaching being performed.

Holistic Model for Educators (3M)

Shelley Roddie, Senior Coordinator of Workshops, Sport for Life
Kim Leming, Manager, Participant Pathways & Cultural Safety Training, Indigenous Sport, Physical Activity and Recreation Council

The Indigenous Sport, Physical Activity and Recreation Council (l·SPARC), in consultation with Indigenous communities across Canada, has developed this workshop for educators working in BC schools with high populations of Indigenous learners. It is based on the medicine wheel’s core values and teachings. Topics include: teaching beyond the physical to include intellectual, emotional, spiritual and cultural needs; the four facets of the holistic model of education and teaching; collaborative development of strategies that create culturally safe, supportive and engaging learning environments that meet the needs of Indigenous students; and developing strategies to support the individualized student learning and incorporate Indigenous ways of knowing.

Indigenizing School Relationships to be Successful (3A 4A)

Spuxta Nelson, Nuxalk Language/Cultural Teacher, Nuxalk College: Lip’alhayc Learning Centre
Xikulhana Hans, Nuxalk Language/Cultural Teacher, Nuxalk College: Lip’alhayc Learning Centre
Nutsaqwaax Walkus, Nuxalk College Assistant Administrator, Nuxalk College: Lip’alhayc Learning Centre

Indigenizing and empowering change with administrators involves recognizing and valuing Indigenous knowledge, perspectives, and ways of being within an organizational or administrative context. This workshop will explore strategies for integrating Indigenous perspectives into administrative practices. Participants will learn about the importance of education and awareness, Indigenous representation, collaboration with Indigenous organizations and communities, policy changes, mentorship opportunities, and continuous evaluation.

Inquiry-Based Math Instruction and Assessment (1I 2I)

Natalie Crespo, Grade 5 Teacher, Senpaq’cin School
Lisa Munckhof, Grade 6/7 Teacher, Senpaq’cin School

Join this concept-driven workshop for a creative, inquiry-based, hands-on mathematics workshop inspired by Stanford Educational leader Jo Boaler. The session also includes practical, mini-lessons to support student learning of mathematical skills using some of Carole Fullerton’s amazing resource ideas. Delve into assessment, instruction, games, and activities to create a weekly plan tailored to an engaging learning environment. The workshop is ideal for intermediate teachers seeking dynamic strategies.

Instructional Coaches and What They Can Do to Support Your Practice (3C 4C)

Linda Newman, K-9 Instructional Coach, FNESC
Megan Burkholder, K-9 Instructional Coach, FNESC
Shelley Ewashina, K-9 Instructional Coach, FNESC
Grace Williams, K4 Instructional Coach, FNESC

Instructional Coaches follow a coaching structure that allows all educators to reflect on their practice and learn new strategies to support students in the classroom. Come and meet the coaches and learn how they can support the programs you teach, as well as help you determine the best practices for your classroom.

Introduction to Purposeful Differentiation that Supports Culture (3I 4I)

Carrie Koopmans, Learning Service Teacher, Hartley Bay School

This workshop aims to help teachers use differentiation more purposefully in their own practice to support the individual and culture. “Differentiation means tailoring instruction to meet individual needs. Whether teachers differentiate content, process, products, or the learning environment, the use of ongoing assessment and flexible grouping makes this a successful approach to instruction” (Tomlinson, C.A. (2000). This workshop will cover differentiation by Learner Profile, Interest, and Readiness, highlighting culture for each.

Land-based Learning and Cultural Revitalization at siʔáḿθət School (3K 4K)

Sarah Martz, Vice Principal, siʔáḿθət School
Cassandra Smith, Cultural Coordinator & Indigenous Support Worker, siʔáḿθət School
Nichole Huseynov, Teacher & Graduation Coordinator, siʔáḿθət School

This workshop offers a peek into the land-based education/training that students receive at siʔáḿθət School. This education and training involves the interweaving of Tsleil-Waututh Nation knowledge and culture, and students earning certificates while on the path to graduating. The presentation will highlight how our school enables traditional hands-on learning alongside community members in First Nations languages and culture, First Peoples curriculum (with a TWN twist), extra-curricular activities, co-ops and much more.

Land-based Learning for Social and Emotional Wellness and Ecological Resilience (1J 2J)

Daniella Roze des Ordons, Child and Youth Mental Health Counsellor, RCC, PhD(c nk̓maplqs iʔ snm̓am̓ay̓aʔtn iʔ k̓l sqilxʷtət Cultural Immersion School
Jennifer Kuric, Certified Education Assistant, nk̓maplqs iʔ snm̓am̓ay̓aʔtn iʔ k̓l sqilxʷtət Cultural Immersion School
Lovanda Beliveau, Mental Health and Wellness Counsellor, Okanagan Indian Band

This workshop will explore land-based learning for social and emotional wellness and ecological resilience and will include stories and practices from programs offered at Okanagan Indian Band’s nk̓maplqs iʔ snm̓am̓ay̓aʔtn iʔ k̓l sqilxʷtət Cultural Immersion School. We will explore land-based learning approaches that draw from Indigenous Ways of Knowing, experiential learning, play-based learning, and relationships with land. Through the workshop, participants will learn tools for enhancing social and emotional wellbeing, improving coping skills and emotional regulation, and increasing students’ self-confidence and sense of school belonging. Practices will be shared for developing reciprocal relations of care and responsibility for the land that foster ecological resilience and collective wellbeing. Weather permitting, this workshop will be held outdoors.

Learning Place Names with On-the-Land Teachings through Language (1A 2A)

Janice Billy, Secwepemc Immersion Teacher, Chief Atahm School
Ada Jules, Secwepemc Immersion Teacher, Chief Atahm School

The presenters are Secwepemc Immersion teachers at Chief Atahm School and learning language and learning place names is an integral part of the school’s program. The presenters will share experiences with delivering on-the-land learning with Chief Atahm’s students, focusing on how students learn new vocabulary and the place names in Secwepemctsin. Methods for understanding and learning Secwepemctsin such as TPR-Storytelling, an adapted version of WAYK, and communicative activities. Students make connections to stsptekwle (our stories) and connect these stories to the place names, presenting their learning through a storytelling format.

Literacy Stations for K5-12 (3G 4G)

Rebecca Burrows, Senior Manager, First Nations Schools Programs, FNESC
Cindy Lee Matthew, Team Lead, Instructional Coaches, FNESC

This session will provide an overview of the benefits of incorporating intentional, curriculum-focused literacy stations into daily classroom routines in the K5 to 12 classroom. We will discuss strategies to ensure that stations are robust and engaging and build upon the learning from whole group instruction. We will also offer tips to support with guided release of responsibility to build student independence and showcase a selection of literacy station examples across grade levels.

‘Mala K’ukwala (3B 4B)

Donna Cranmer, Educator / Artist
Anthony Hunt, Artist

On our spectacular coast, the First Nations have been gifted with what we Kwakwaka’wakw (Kwak’wala-speaking people) call the ‘tree of life’. After giving words of thanks, our people gather the bark, withes, roots and wood to create clothing, utensils, containers, houses, canoes and much more. All sizes of cedar bark cord were spun for daily use by our ancestors, from the finest string to heavy-duty rope. In this hands-on workshop, Anthony and Donna will guide participants through the process of spinning 2 cedar bark bracelets, a 2-ply bracelet with a shell button clasp, and a 3-ply cedar bracelet with a metal button clasp. Come and experience our cedar teachings. Each participant will leave with their own cedar bark bracelet and the experience of working with cedar bark, which they can bring to their schools and students.

Owning Ourselves: Supporting Two-Spirit and Indigiqueer Students (1E 2E)

Zakary Myers, Indigenous Dialogues Lead for SOGI 123

Too often, Two-Spirit and Indigiqueer students report feeling unsafe in change rooms, washrooms, hallways, classrooms and school yards, and also report frequently experiencing homophobia, bullying, verbal and sexual harassment, and rejection. Many report not knowing if they can ask educators for help or whether their school has a policy preventing homophobic bullying. This presentation will help educators gain a strong sense of how best to support Two-Spirit and Indigiqueer students – ensuring they feel safe to stay in school and are supported in stepping into their true selves. By providing historical and modern contexts for these identities and incorporating inclusive policies, environments, and resources, educators will gain knowledge to support their Two-Spirit and Indigiqueer students and learn about resources that they can share with other educators.

Questioning for Connections! Acwsalcta’s PLC for Belonging (3E 4E)

Alannah Stewart, Vice Principal, Acwsalcta School
Megan Studiner, Elementary Special Education Teacher, Acwsalcta School

Acwsalcta School’s 2023 evaluation showed kindergarten to grade three students having a strong sense of belonging, but this was not the case for the students in grades 4-7. Our Professional Learning Communities (PLC) tackles this topic using student data, hands-on culturally relevant activities, and constructive debriefs. We want to share our experience participating in a professional learning community, data collection, and applying the data to improve our practice. Our ultimate goal is for students to be able to feel and communicate their sense of belonging at school. We want to show how we have collected data and how we have interpreted and applied this data. This workshop will include videos of students sharing their perspectives of the process, engaging demonstrations of data collection, and thought-provoking discussions on how we can improve the PLC process within schools.

Red Medicine and Healing Foods (3F 4F)

Nola Mack, Traditional Foods Teacher, Acwsalcta School

Be inspired to Indigenize food and snacks in your school by Nola Mack, who creates healing foods through Nuxalk / Carrier Traditional practices. Red medicine is a fruit and berry compote, made with Indigenous plants and teas, which can also be made into fruit leather and warmed smoothies. Nola’s connection and dedication to her traditional foods was instilled in her at a young age and has carried into all aspects of her life and work. Her workshop is designed to support school food programs.

Sagaytgawdi suwilaawksa (1H 2H)

Marilyn Bryant, Vice Principal, Lax Kw’alaams Wap Suwilaawksa
Marcey Dudoward, Language Teacher, Lax Kw’alaams Wap Suwilaawksa

At Lax Kw’alaams Wap Suwilaawksa, the school year begins with a week without walls. The focus of the week is to develop relationships between students, teachers, educational assistants and the community. Groups of students work with teachers, EAs and community volunteers to develop a relationship with each other outside of the classroom. Over four days, the groups participate in activities that take them outside of the classroom and school. These include outdoor learning, cooking, language & culture, community service, and team building. These activities and follow-ups focus on four basic needs: mastery, generosity, spirituality and a sense of belonging. The relationship built then is strengthened through land-based learning and language and culture classes and events.

Skyzeh Habi Yikh – Child of Chiefs, House of Learning (3H 4H)

Susan Derksen, Science/Math Teacher, Skyzeh Habi Yikh (ICOUNT)
Kathleen Morin, Principal/Teacher, Skyzeh Habi Yikh (ICOUNT)
Jessica Michell, Culture/Language Teacher, Skyzeh Habi Yikh (ICOUNT)
Travis Hebert, Digital Media/Art, Skyzeh Habi Yikh (ICOUNT)
Brennan Mckinnon, Music, Skyzeh Habi Yikh (ICOUNT)

Skyzeh Habi Yikh is a unique learning experience for grade 8-12 students who have access to one-on-one support in academics and elective learning to help them reach their goals. Our approach is student-centered project-based learning. We strive to meet students’ social/emotional needs by finding tools to help them build resilience and self confidence. In our programs, we offer learning on the land experiences with strong cultural teachings.

Student Record Keeping (2M)

Angie Cooper, Student Information Systems Coordinator, ȽÁU, WELṈEW̱ Tribal School
Keri Blacker, Regional Principal – Teacher Certification, FNESC

Effective and appropriate record-keeping is a fundamental part of school operations. Maintaining records is an important part of a school’s efforts to: track student progress over time; record credits earned toward graduation; monitor student attendance; ensure smooth transitions when there is staff turnover; enable a continuation of services if a student transfers to another school; coordinate school-based and community services; and maintain accountability for services and programs provided to students. The First Nations Schools Association and First Nations Education Steering Committee have prepared a Handbook to assist schools with maintaining student records. In this workshop, you’ll hear first-hand from a Student Information Systems Coordinator with regard to maintaining a filing system and build your own template file to take back to your school.

Supporting Students Who Have Exceptionalities (1D 2D)

Aimee Beauchamp, Director, Special Education Programs, FNESC
Kyla Blair, Senior Manager, Special Education, FNESC
Sarah Wex, Senior Manager, Special Education, FNESC

FNESC Special Education Program (SEP) staff will share the key aspects and considerations for supporting students who have exceptionalities, using the new guide – Supporting Students Who Have Exceptionalities: A Discussion Guide for First Nation Schools. They will discuss the concept of inclusion as it relates to students with exceptionalities, school-wide approaches to providing support, and the intersection of universal and essential supports. They will also discuss effective roles and responsibilities for both individuals and communities in supporting students who have exceptionalities.

Technology for the Ages (3J 4J)

Shannon Rerie, Teacher, Sxoxomic Community School

This is a quick rundown of a variety of different technology tools available on the internet that the presenter has compiled over the years to help teachers in the classroom. Resources include everything from brain break activities to online tools that help with curriculum and content to relationship building. See the tools that can support you in the classroom on a day-to-day basis, which also help improve classroom attendance, and tools that can be pulled out occasionally when needed.

Thinking Classrooms: An Introduction (1B 2B)

Ryan Hanley, Principal, Esk’etemc / Sxoxomic Community School

While conducting research in 40 classrooms in 40 different schools, Peter Liljedahl made an observation: “In a typical one-hour lesson, 75% – 85% of the students exhibited non-thinking behaviours for 100% of the time. The rest of the students exhibited non-thinking behaviours for all but 8-12 minutes of time.” This issue led Liljehdahl and the teachers he worked with to develop a series of practices designed to get 100% of students thinking for a much greater percentage of time during each lesson. The goal of this workshop is to model the first three practices. It will give you practical strategies you can take into your classroom to implement right away.

Transitions: Preparing Youth for Post-Secondary and Careers (3D 4D)

Rob Matthew, Principal, Chief Atahm School
Mandy Marcy, Specialist, Graduation Programs, FNESC
Joe McHale, Senior Manager, Secondary Graduation and Adult Education, FNESC

In this workshop, participants will learn about the Adams Lake Band’s program using the FNESC planner, Guiding Your Educational Journey: A Handbook for Parents and Students and the BC WorkBC publication, BC’s Career Guide for Indigenous People. The two resources were followed up with post-secondary education presentations in our community, individual family sessions, and field trips to UBC-Okanagan and a major job site in Kelowna. Mandy Marcy will present on Accessing Credits for the BC Graduation Certificate. Participants will be provided with the planners and useful planning web links.

Using Collaboration and Student Empowerment to Manage Multigrade ADST Classrooms (1K 2K)

Blake Wolter, High School Teacher, Skeetchestn Community School

Teaching Applied Design, Skills, and Technologies (ADST) for multi-grade classrooms can be especially challenging, as skill levels differ radically and require a great deal of hands-on learning. This workshop will show examples and discuss solutions for creating wonderful, easy lessons that can be enhanced with student mentorship opportunities. If time permits, we can discuss different issues teachers are having, from tech troubles to maintaining classroom engagement.

Utilizing Supports and Services to Develop an Effective Special Education Program (3L 4L)

Aimee Beauchamp, Director, Special Education Programs, FNESC
Kyla Blair, Senior Manager, Special Education, FNESC
Sarah Wex, Senior Manager, Special Education, FNESC

FNESC Special Education Program (SEP) staff will discuss a variety of supports and services available to First Nation schools. They will explain how these supports can strengthen Special Education Programs through the development of clear frameworks. This workshop will also provide an overview of policy development for SEP Programs, SEP funding, coaches and specialists, and utilizing assessments. There will also be time for questions and answers related to Special Education Programs.