Event Agenda

OCTOBER 13, 2022


Amos Key Jr.

Dehaeho:wehs aka Amos Key Jr. is a member of Mohawk Nation, gifted into the Turtle Clan of his Mother and conferred to the Sacred Circle of Faith Keepers and knowledge keepers of the Longhouse, at Six Nations of the Grand River Territory in Ohsweken, Ontario, Canada. 

Amos Key Jr. has become an educator and advocate for: Indigenous Human, Civil and Linguistic Rights; Social Justice; the Decolonization of Indigenous Education and, the Emancipation of Indigenous Peoples in Canada. This is his life’s purpose providing a blue print of service to his people. 

Currently Amos Key Jr. is: the Executive Director of SONICS/CKRZ 100.3 FM Wadrenota’ (radio) at Six Nations of the Grand River Territory, that he founded 34 years ago. He is also currently Education Program Developer with the First Nations Technical Institute, at the Tyendinega Mohawk First Nation Territory, at Belleville Ontario. He is leading the development for the foundations for Ontario’s first, Bachelor of Education Degree (B.Ed) in Teaching Indigenous Languages. Amos was just recently appointed Indigenous Advisor to the Danial’s Schools of Architecture, at the University of Toronto.

OUR Panel Moderator FOR THE DAY:

Guy Freedman

Guy Freedman is Chief of Staff of the Métis National Council. He is from Flin Flon, Manitoba and descends from the historic Metis Nation with roots in Red River dating back to 1812. Guy remains closely connected to his community.

He carries and honours his Ojibwe Spirit Names Kwingogwaági Pizhew (Wolverine Star Lynx) and is a member the Lynx Clan. Guy is a former Senior Advisor (Reconciliation) for the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (TRC) where he assisted in developing the conversation around reconciliation with Canadians.

He is a member of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights Standing Indigenous Advisory Committee and is Chair and Senior Partner of the First Peoples Group (firstpeoplesgroup.com). Guy is also a talented facilitator and moderator, trainer, keynote speaker and writer. His first book of poetry, Little Athapapuskow, (pronounced Atha Pappa Skow) A Métis Love Story, was published by Saskatchewan’s Gabriel Dumont Institute.


Traditional Welcome and Opening

Elder Irene Barbeau

Irene Barbeau is the current president of the Children of Shingwauk Alumni Association (CSAA). She has been a volunteer with the CSAA for forty years, and has previously held the post of Vice-President.. Irene is a residential school survivor, and attended the Shingwauk Residential School. She is also a member of the Board of Governors of Algoma University, a member of National Pathfinders for the National Anglican Church of Canada, and a recipient of the 150 Year Medal for making her community a safe place to live.

Irene has been involved with education at the elementary, secondary, college, and post-secondary levels in Ottawa.


Roadmap for the Day

Amos Key Jr.



Vance Badawey, Parliamentary Secretary, Indigenous Services Canada

Vance Badawey

Born and raised in Port Colborne, Vance spent
more than 35 years in the private sector – a
4th generation operator of the family business,
Badawey Marine Ltd. Founded in 1922 by his greatgrandparents, Badaweys grew from a Mom and
Pop grocery store to a ship chandler, providing food
and services to the shipping industry.

Vance began his career in public service as a City Councillor for the City of Port Colborne in 1994, and then as Mayor of the city for four terms (1997-2003, 2006-2014). During his tenure, which included serving as one of the city’s representative at Niagara Regional Council, he served on numerous local, provincial, national and bi-national agencies, boards and commissions, including the Niagara Regional Police Services Board.

A member of Métis Nation and one of 12 Indigenous members in the House of Commons, Vance continues to reside in Port Colborne.

Vance is a three-term (2015 – present) Member of Parliament for the riding of Niagara Centre, which includes the municipalities of Port Colborne, Welland, Thorold, and south St. Catharines.


Panel 1: The Unique Indigenous Post-Secondary Education Institution Model

Sherri Chisan, Lorrie Deschamps, Roxanne Delille,
Arnold Blackstar & Stephanie Roy

Sherri Chisan

Sherri Chisan, ipkDoc, nehiyaw iskwew onicikiskwapiwinihk ohci, is serving as President at University nuhelot’įne thaiyots’į nistameyimâkanak Blue Quills (UnBQ). She also currently holds the role of Director of Research and is lead faculty in the Doctoral Program. She joined UnBQ in 1998 to coordinate the development and delivery of the Leadership & Management Program, and then the Indigenous Artists Program and Doctoral Program. Sherri has a particular interest in Indigenous Research, and her commitment to Indigenous Knowledge and ceremony informs her work.

In 2011, Sherri received a Doctoral Degree in iyiniw pimâtisiwin kiskeyihtamowin at UnBQ. She has an MA in Educational Leadership from San Diego State University, a Bachelor of Management from the University of Lethbridge; and a Certificate in Business Administration from Blue Quills First Nations College/Lakeland College.

She has also worked with the Saddle Lake Education Authority as Associate Education Director, and with the Assembly of First Nations as researcher & policy analyst/advisor and a community liaison in Education, Languages, & Literacy. She holds a seat on many boards, including First Nations Adult and Higher Education Consortium; World IndigenousNations Higher Education Consortium Country Representative; World Indigenous Nations University Pro-Vice Chancellor; & Alberta College of Optometrists Public Member.

Bushqwa’idahmooqway (Roxanne DeLille)

Boozhoo Nindinaawemaaganniidoog (Greetings relatives).

Bushqwa’idahmooqway indaago (The sound of thunder is how I’m known to the spirit). Roxanne DeLille indizhnaakawz zhaagaanaashiimowin (Roxanne DeLille is what I am known as in this foreign language). Waabizheshii indoodem (I am a member of the Martin clan). Mushkaaziibing indoonjaabaa (I am from Bad River, Wisconsin). Nagaachiwaanong gabegikindaasowigamigindaanoki, Cloquet, Minnesota indaa. (I work at Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College in Cloquet, Minnesota).

I am a mother, grandmother, auntie and active community member. Oldest of 10 children, I am very much a contemporary Anishinaabe woman whose life has been divided between reservation and urban areas. Much the same, my education has been divided between the traditional teachings of my people and mainstream education. I have had the good fortune to sit at the feet of many great teachers and have sat in numerous classrooms, always intrigued by the ways in which we come to understand each other. Following the spirits & guidance, education was a natural profession. I am currently the Dean of Indigenous and Academic Affairs at Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College in Cloquet, Minnesota, USA, where I was previously a faculty member and taught Communication Studies (Interpersonal/Intercultural Communication) and American Indian Studies for over 20 years. As Dean, I oversee Anishinaabeg Gikindaasowinan (the People's way of knowing) programs. I am also an independent consultant, professionally specializing in leadership and relationship dynamics; and, as a spiritual consultant I provide numerous ceremonies for the community. Miiew minik gaagigidooyan, miigwetch bizindaawii’ig (Thank you, I have nothing more to say)


Networking & Health Break


Panel 2: Reflections on Indigeneity, Identity and Decolonizing Education

Maurice Manyfingers, JEANETTE VILLENEUVE, HEATHER WATTS & Shawn Singer

Dr. Maurice Manyfingers

Dr. Maurice Manyfingers – Apowo’ota’ani (Weasel Shield) is a member of the Kainai First Nation (Blood Tribe) of the Blackfoot Confederacy of Treaty 7. Maurice is the President of Old Sun Community College on the Siksika Nation. Maurice is the current First Nations Adult Higher Education Consortium (FNAHEC) Chair that consists of the five Indigenous Colleges in Alberta that includes: Old Sun Community College, Red Crow Community College, Yellowhead Tribal College, Blue Quills University, and Maskwacis Cultural College. Maurice completed his Ph.D. in First Nations Educational Leadership from the University of Calgary in 2010. Maurice also has university degrees from Gonzaga University, the University of British Columbia, and the University of Lethbridge. Maurice has been involved in elementary, secondary, and post-secondary education for over 30 years and has worked for the Kainai Board of Education (Blood Tribe), Peigan Board of Education (Piikani Nation), and the Osoyoos Indian Band. Maurice has also worked for the Government of Canada (Indigenous Services Canada – Alberta Region), the Government of Alberta (Alberta Learning/Education) School District #22 (Vernon, British Columbia), and Holy Spirit Roman Catholic School Board (Lethbridge, Alberta).


Coordinator, Social Work Education Circle

National Indigenous Accreditation Board (NIAB)

Tanisi.  I am a member of the Samson Cree Nation, which is one of the four Cree communities that surround Maskwacîs in Treaty No. 6 Territory.  My daughter and I are currently blessed to reside as guests within the foothills of Treaty No. 7 Territory.  My research interests are centred around using visual methods to share the storywork of Indigenous Institutes of Higher Learning (IIHL).  Through my role as Coordinator of the NIAB Social Work Education Circle, I have the pleasure of learning from a diverse group of Knowledge Keepers, community organizations, IIHL alumni, and educators.  I extend gratitude to the Indigenous Institutes Consortium for bringing us together so that we can dream and create education systems that are sourced within local landscapes, languages, and knowledges.  


Heather Watts [she/her] is Mohawk & Anishinaabe from Six Nations of the Grand River Territory. Education has been a central part of her work over the past ten years, graduating from Syracuse University with a degree in Inclusive Education, Columbia University Teachers College with a degree in Literacy Coaching, and from the Harvard Graduate School of Education (HGSE) in the Education Policy & Management Program. Heather has also taught elementary grades in New York City and Rochester, NY. 

Heather is currently a fourth-year doctoral student at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education – University of Toronto, in the Social Justice Education program. She has recently been awarded a Joseph-Armand Bombardier Canada Graduate Scholarship, through The Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC), a highly competitive national award competition.

Professionally, Heather is the Education Manager for the Six Nations Lifelong Learning Taskforce, researching and engaging with the community around draft recommendations for a lifelong learning education system grounded in Haudenosaunee languages and culture. She is also the President of an all-Indigenous consulting firm, First Peoples Group. Her work centers Reconciliation and reclamation of Indigenous ways of knowing in modern-day education systems.

Shawn Singer

Shawn Singer M.Ed., BSW, born within the Blackfoot Confederacy and a member of the Kainai Nation. Have been a social worker since 1996, with a Bachelor of Social Work and a Master’s degree in Educational Research both from University of Calgary. Also, alumni of two Indigenous institutions, University Blue Quills, and Red Crow College. Shawn’s interest in creating opportunities for Indigenous and non-Indigenous to develop and maintain good relationships as instructed by Blackfoot ontology. Currently, Shawn is working closely with many business units within city of Calgary to assist in educational and meaningful understanding of what is it means to be an Indigenous person. With many interests, Shawn’s focus is removing historical barriers for Indigenous people while creating safe spaces for 2 spirit people. With this inclusive focus, Shawn encourages all to experience and participate with all Indigenous people both in Urban and neighboring nations.



Ends at 2pm.


Core Funding for Indigenous Post- Secondary Institutions: Business Case

Matthew Mendelsohn

Matthew Mendelsohn is currently a strategic advisor and public policy researcher and entrepreneur. He is a Visiting Professor at Toronto Metropolitan University and a Senior Advisor at BCG. He has served as a Deputy Minister in the federal and Ontario governments, and was the founding Director of the Mowat Centre at the University of Toronto. Previously, he was a tenured faculty member in the Department of Political Studies at Queen’s University and has been an active board member for many organizations that work to improve community well-being, healthy democracy, and economic and social inclusion.


Panel 3: How Indigenous Post-Secondary Education Institutions Support Lifelong Learning and Local Labour Markets

Kelly Lendsay, Norma Sunday, Dawn Madahbee Leach & Adam Hopkins

Kelly Lendsay

Kelly Lendsay, a social entrepreneur, is internationally recognized as one of Canada’s foremost innovators and organizational development experts in Indigenous engagement and workplace inclusion systems, models, and corporate/Indigenous partnerships. His dynamic communications style and passion for innovation has earned him the reputation as an engaging thought leader and effective bridge-builder fostering trusted partnerships for workforce and economic development across Canada, USA, Australia and abroad. He was honored by the University of Saskatchewan as one of their “100 Alumni of Influence” in the last century whose accomplishments have been recognized for influencing the growth and development of the university, the province, and the world. A proud Canadian Indigenous leader of Cree and Métis ancestry, he moves seamlessly between both worlds fostering economic inclusion, wellbeing, and prosperity for all. He is a 2022 semi-finalist for Indigenous Entrepreneur of the Year award hosted by the CANIES Innovation and Entrepreneurs Foundation. 

He has been leading the charge designing new systems and Indigenous engagement strategies, growing the organization into an award winning, ISO-certified enterprise. In 2008, he was invited by the Australian Government (Education, Employment and Workplace Readiness Department) to conduct public and private sector workshops in Canberra, Sydney, and Brisbane sharing models and practices in Indigenous workplace inclusion strategies and systems. In 2009, he developed a partnership with the National Native American Human Resource Association in the United States; and over the past decade Kelly has generated more than a dozen sectoral partnerships in Canada and abroad including the World Indigenous Higher Education Consortium in 2022. In 2020, Lendsay founded “Luminary: Advancing Indigenous Innovation for Economic Transformation, Employment and Well-Being” with more than 140 Luminary partners from the academic, Indigenous business and NGO communities from Canada, USA, and Australia. This new Indigenous innovation eco-system is a ‘global first’ to accelerate research, innovation, and research talent development in Canada and abroad.


Norma Tarbell-Sunday is the Associate Director for Post-Secondary & Continuing Education for the Ahkwesahsne Mohawk Board of Education (AMBE) and has held this position for four years. She represents the Iohahi:io Akwesasne Education & Training Institute.

Norma is Mohawk from Akwesasne from the southern (American) portion of the territory. She was fully educated in New York State and is a permanently certified School Counselor with the New York State Education Department.

Her professional background includes an adjunct faculty position at a private college in New York State, a director of a New York State Education program at a private university, counseling at both institutions, and most recently the Manager of the Post-Secondary Assistance Program for AMBE.

Norma is heavily involved with AMBE’s strategic planning, structural readiness and its quest to become an independent school board. She is most proud with the growth of the Post-Secondary Assistance program and the growth of Iohahi:io.

Norma’s life outside of work revolves around her husband, two children, and her large extended family. Her hobbies include a deep passion for nutrition science

Adam Hopkins

Adam Hopkins is Lunaapeew and Anishnaabe from Eelūnaapèewii Lahkèewiit, formally known as the Delaware Nation, Moraviantown. Eelūnaapèewii Lahkèewiit is located in the southern part of the province of Ontario (Canada), located about halfway between London, Ontario and Detroit, Michigan (USA). It is one of two Lunaapeew communities in Ontario. He spent most of his childhood in Eelūnaapèewii Lahkèewiit (his father’s community) and his summer’s in Bkejwanong (his mother’s community), which is part of the Three Fires Confederacy. He currently lives in Nogojiwanong (Peterborough), Ontario with his partner, Jennifer and his children, Leighton and Myléne

Adam currently works at First Nations Technical Institute (FNTI), located on Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory, just outside Belleville, Ontario. FNTI is the largest and oldest of the nine Indigenous Institutes in Ontario, all of which are publicly funded, post-secondary places of higher learning. FNTI currently has just over 600 students enrolled in post-secondary programming, in locations across Ontario.

Adam provides leadership for the following departments at FNTI: Standalone Programs, Partnered Programs, Information Technology, Indigenous Knowledges and Dissemination and the First Peoples Aviation Program. Adam was one of the leads at the institute that successfully guided FNTI through its first organizational review with the newly formed “Indigenous Advanced Education Skills Council” (IAESC). IAESC is the quality assurance council for all the Indigenous Institutes in Ontario. He is also assisting with the institution’s plans for accreditation renewal with the World Indigenous Nations Higher Education Consortium.

Adam moved to FNTI after working for nearly a decade in mainstream post-secondary education. As a firm believer in community driven education that is grounded in Indigenous knowledges and Indigenous ways of knowing and understanding the world, he can’t imagine a more ideal place to work and grow than FNTI.


Networking & Health Break


Reflections on the Day & The Importance of Indigenous-Controlled Education for Indigenous People and Communities


Next Steps & Key Takeaways

Rebecca Jamieson, President/CEO of Six Nations Polytechnic and Chair of the IIC


Traditional Closing

Irene Barbeau, Elder


Networking Hour