About the Conference

Connecting Indigenous Peoples in North America: Crafting a Community of Shared Knowledge

This meeting will enable members of Indigenous communities working in North American higher education to share their experiences, challenges, good practices and aspirations.  There are two desired outcomes:  1)  to create an inclusive community of interest offering resources, connections and ever widening opportunities to members for success through an international network; and 2) to explore how this network’s knowledge can be shared most productively while identifying the issues and challenges that are most pressing as well providing strong examples of successful practice.

The Consortium for North American Higher Education Collaboration (CONAHEC) will organize this event through its new North American Center for Collaborative Development (NACCD).  The event will be hosted at the First Nations University of Canada in Regina with the guidance of leaders from Indigenous communities throughout North America. Fundamental to CONAHEC and NACCD’s missions is the spirit of collaboration; particularly, the idea that we are stronger and can achieve more when we invest the time and energy needed to understand one another and find ways to work together.  It is in this spirit of collaboration that we invite those interested in creating a North American community of people, organizations and institutions interested in the success of Indigenous peoples to participate in this meeting to build relationships, to learn from one another, and to develop strategies for cooperative action.

The history of the experience of the Indigenous peoples of North America while varied, has some common elements. The impact of imperialism in Mexico, the Unites States of America and Canada, while different in each case, is now acknowledged and there is a growing awareness of the need for reconciliation. The concept of reconciliation centers on rebuilding damaged relationships, is particularly appropriate for repairing relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples. Indigenous Communities have developed a repertoire of specialized knowledge through their close relationships with their ancestral territories, other living entities and the world around them. Creating a community of interest where Indigenous educators and thought leaders can share their knowledge of effective educational practices both amongst themselves but also with non-Indigenous educators provides a unique opportunity for courageous innovation in pedagogical practices based on this knowledge acquired over millennia.

The NACCD is committed to creating a roadmap towards a collective vision of collaboration amongst Indigenous educators and between Indigenous and non-Indigenous educators to address current and future challenges. It is only through robust collaborative dialogue and sharing that Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities will move forward together in a good way.  We invite those working with Indigenous Communities in higher education to share successful practices, innovative models and lessons learned.  Please visit the Call for Proposals to submit an idea of a presentation or discussion.