Annual Awâsis Conference
April 30 – May 2, 2008
Awâsis is a Special Subject Council of the Saskatchewan Teachers’ Federation. This Council has existed for over 30 years. Its primary goal ensures and assists in the continued growth and improvement of Aboriginal education by hosting an annual conference.Awâsis, the Cree term for child, was selected as the name by the Council to emphasize the focus of the Council’s objectives. The Council is committed to the belief that we can support children by supporting the individuals who most influence their lives and well-being. For this reason, the Council’s aim is to facilitate and support teachers and other educators in ensuring they provide quality education for Aboriginal students and communities. Conference presenters are invited because they are respected for their knowledge and that they have the ability to contribute to the growth in one or more areas of the wholistic approach.
The annual Awâsis Conference has increasingly been supported by educators, counselors, social workers, health care workers, administrators, elders, parents, students, First Nations community leaders and members. Attendance continues to grow and has increased in the last five years from 500 to over 1000 participants. Although a high majority of the participants and presenters are of First Nations and Métis ancestry, the conference now attracts many non-Aboriginal participants who are seeking new resources and strategies in utilizing their own instructional methods in Aboriginal education.
Elders play a vital role at the annual Awâsis Conference. Participants are given the opportunity to visit with Elders and present their issues and questions to an Elders’ panel which consist of representatives from various Aboriginal cultures and heritages. Participants are encouraged to partake in the conference activities such as the Elder’s lounge, the pipe ceremony, and the cultural dances and songs.
For more information, please visit the website.