World indigenous conference shines spotlight on Six Nations​

April 14, 2015

Six Nations Polytechnic is co-hosting a major international conference expected to draw thousands of indigenous people from Canada and around the world in 2017.

The World Indigenous Peoples Conference on Education is scheduled for July 24-29, 2017 in Toronto.

Six Nations Polytechnic (SNP) partnered with TAP Resources, an event management firm that specializes in indigenous events, to win the competitive bidding process.

The Six Nations’ organizations are working with Tourism Toronto and the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.

“We’re really excited about it. There’s a lot of interest from across the country and around the world,” said Rebecca Jamieson, SNP president and CEO.

“I think we’re going to see up to 5,000 people attend,” she told Brant News.

The World Indigenous Peoples Conference on Education (WIPCE) is held every three years. The 2014 event held in Hawaii attracted 3,200 delegates.

The conference draws First Nations from Canada, Native Americans from the United States, Aborigines from Australia, Maori from New Zealand, Ainu from Japan, Sami from Norway and others.

“We also want it to be an opportunity to welcome the broader public to meet these indigenous people and learn about indigenous peoples from around the world,” Jamieson said.

The conference will be an opportunity to showcase Six Nations.

“We’re definitely going to have tours here,” Jamieson said.

The timing is good because the conference begins immediately after the Grand River Champion of Champions Pow-wow.

“We’re leaving it open to other First Nations and their territories to see if they want to come forward and organize things as well,” Jamieson said.

SNP plans approach school boards across Ontario to further the First Nations, Metis, Inuit Policy Framework taught in schools. Potentially, high school students could earn credits for participating in the conference, Jamieson said.

Canada’s sesquicentennial is in 2017.

“It’s a good story to tell – in 2017 the indigenous people are still strong and continuing to take care of things in the way that we know best,” Jamieson said.