HOL 2019 MC

Dennis Chartrand

 Presenter Dennis Chartrand is a Anishinaabemowin Language agent originally from Duck Bay, Manitoba and now resides in Winnipeg. Along with facilitating Returning to Spirit program, he is the creator of CHOOM who is the character he uses to promote, create, and share Anishinaabe Language experiences. Dennis is also a radio host for Native Communications Incorportated where “Da Minos” shares Anishinaabemowin with his audience which reaches 95% of Manitoba. Dennis continues to share, create, and play to showcase the joy of Anishinaabemowin.   


HOL 2019 Keynotes



Regional Chief Kevin Hart



Ron Cook

 Ron Cook was a fisherman on Lake Winnipeg for 15 years and lived a traditional lifestyle with his wife and five daughters. In 1992, his interest in his first language (Cree) inspired him to enter BUNTEP when they offered a program for training Native Language teachers, graduating in 1997 with honours. He taught Cree at Grand Rapids School for five years before he moved to Thompson to teach at Wapanohk Community School in the Cree bilingual program. He was the Cree Language/Indigenous Perspectives Coordinator for the School District of Mystery Lake from September 2016 until he retired in June 2018. He is currently the curriculum consultant for the Centre for Aboriginal Language and Culture at the University College of the North. 

HOL 2019 Presenters


Byron Beardy


Byron Beardy is originally from Garden Hill First Nation but was raised in Wasagamack First Nation in the Island Lake region of Manitoba. Fluent in his Anishininew (Ojibwe-Cree) language, Byron utilizes his language skills in everyday life. With his busy hectic schedule helping raise their 5 grandchildren, Byron also does Anishininew (Ojibwe-Cree) translation, interpretation, narration, transcription services and is the Anishininew (Ojibwe-Cree) Language examiner for Winnipeg School Division 1. 

In his early years, Byron grew up in Wasagamack with his mother and maternal grandparents where he says he had the privilege of eating everything edible from the land and learning and living in language to which he continues to enjoy today. He has also lived in the urban setting with his father, late Jackson Beardy, where he, again says, was fortunate to have lived and learned the ‘contemporary’ way of life.


Ken Paupanekis


 Ken Paupanekis is a retired educator whose teaching experience includes: a classroom teacher, elementary school vice principal, high school principal, native language consultant, professor of education and school superintendent. Major projects in Cree language include the creation of on line Cree Language Courses for the University College of the North and author of Pocket Cree- A Phrasebook for Nearly All Occasions. Ken is currently a part time sessional Cree language instucturor at the University of Manitoba.  


Agnes Carlson

Agnes Carlson is a member of the Northlands First Nation, located

in northwestern Manitoba but originally from Reindeer Lake area,

near Brochet. Agnes is a proud grandmother of two beautiful

boys, blessed with the gift of life with her two sons, whom are now

33 and 30 years old. Today she works with her mother and some

of the Elders from back home; in recording their stories and their

songs as well as producing many Dene language books.


Donna Beach


Donna Beach is an Aboriginal Languages Consultant Contractor for Manitoba Aboriginal Languages Strategy. (MALS) She has been working with this organization since 2016. Her duties have required her to assist MALS in revitalizing, retaining and promoting Aboriginal Languages for Manitoba. Her duties have included, working in collaboration with MALS Grandmothers and Grandfathers, professional development for Aboriginal teachers, conducting research and developing MALS Annotated Bibliography.

Donna has a Masters in Education and has worked as a classroom and Ojibwe language teacher as well as a School Principal and Vice- Principal for numerous years.


Red Bear (Bernard) Robinson


I am a proud Father and Grandfather, two daughters and a son. I also have two wonderful grandsons, 2 yrs and a nineteen year old.

I am a member of Three Fires Society, Midewewin (Ojibway Medicine Society), which is recognized as a carrier of Aboriginal Teachings. I have also been presented with and carry a Sacred Pipe and a Warrior Eagle Feather.

As well, as being well educated in the Aboriginal world, I have a Masters of Social Work degree. I am presently doing a PHD at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education. The topic for my PHD studies is the Storytelling Method. I have finished my 2nd year of a PHD in LLE. Working with Aboriginal Elders and Storytellers, I use a new, “very old” Storytelling method of teaching and learning Ojibway.


Patricia Ningewance


Waabibizhikiikwe is of the Bear clan. Pat Ningewance is Ojibwe from Lac Seul, Ontario and has worked in native language for many years as a translator, interpreter, professor, and book publisher at Mazinaate Inc. she is vice-president of the Indigenous Language Institute based in Santa Fe, New Mexico. 


Heather Souter


Heather Souter is a Michif (Metis) living in Camperville, MB. She is a speaker and an adult learner of Michif with a background in interpretation and language teaching and holdsa MEd Revitalization from the University of Victoria. A long-time language revitalization activist and advocate, Heather presently runs the P2WILRC Master-Apprentice Program Pilot Project and teaches Michif at the University of Manitoba.


Verna Demontigny


Verna Demontigny is a Michif (Metis) living in Brandon, MB but her family was originally from the community of Ste. Madeleine, MB.  She is a long-time advocate and mother-tongue speaker of Michif.  Verna teaches Michif in the K-12 school system and at the University of Brandon.  She is a Master speaker in the P2WILRC MAP Pilot Project and the Co-chair of P2WILRC.


Charles Ettawacappo


Charlie Ettawacappo is a Swampy Cree (Ininiw) from Norway House Cree Nation and is currently a Land Base Coordinator for Area 5 working with both Helen Betty Osborne Ininiw Education Resource Centre and Jack River School. 

Charlie graduated in 1998 with a 4-year Bachelor of Education at Brandon University Minors in Physical Education, Native Studies and Social Studies. He worked in Rossville School for 7 years in Phys.Ed, Outdoor Ed. And Health and moved to HBOIERC to continue working in the same position. He started working as a Native Studies Cree teacher for grades 7/8 and moved on to becoming a high school teacher to teach the Cree language, Canada in the Contemporary World, Native Studies, grade 12 Current Topics in Aboriginal Studies, Phys.Ed, Outdoor Ed. and Health.


Dave Swanson


Dave Swanson has been a classroom teacher, school administrator and superintendent with Frontier School Division for over 30 years.  He was part of a team and lead in the development and implementation of initiatives in our way of life, languages and land based education within the school division.  He worked for MFNERC as a school administration specialist which had him working directly with school administrators in developing school improvement plans and staff professional development.  Dave has been a part of numerous committees and initiatives with the Province of Manitoba Indigenous Education and Training, Frontier School Division, MFNERC, UCN, MASS and other Indigenous organizations.  

Currently, Dave is working on land use planning and natural resources management within the traditional territory of the Norway House Cree Nation.  He is also doing some teaching with UCN and supervising UCN student teachers in their placements at various schools in Northern Manitoba.  Dave continues to be involved with initiatives that promote and preserve our way of life, languages and land based learning.  He says he is ready to fight for the very survival of our languages and way of life.


Sheldon Cote


I am an Anishinaabe man with roots from Cote and Waywaysecappo First Nations. I am knowledgeable with traditional and contemporary teachings and have thorough understanding of Indigenous community dynamics. I have had many teachers from all Nations that have helped me on my healing journey. I have been on my healing journey for many years and have relearned my traditional language. I have learned to use my lived traumas and experiences to help myself and others. I have been gifted a bundle that has carried me for many years and share that knowledge, through ceremonies, workshops, gatherings, and everyday living. I am very humbled and grateful to be invited to many communities and organizations to share what I can with the people. 



Kevin Tacan

Kevin Tacan is from Sioux Valley Dakota Nation where he was raised alongside his nine siblings. Kevin holds a diploma from Yellowquill College in Economic Development, a certificate from Assiniboine Community College in Applied Agriculture as well as a degree in

Native Studies from Brandon University with a minor in the language. Kevin has taken on various positions in his community in different areas including governance and business development; he also sat on the Board of Governors at Assiniboine Community College for six

years, and served as Vice-Chair for three. Kevin has been with the Brandon School Division since 1996 as a Cultural Consultant as well as a Professor in the Native Studies Department at Brandon University teaching the Dakota language. He currently sits on the Board of Directors of Indigenous Languages of Manitoba as the Chairperson.

Kevin dances men’s traditional powwow, sings and plays flute music, as well as emcee’s many powwows and conferences including the Winterfest conference on languages in Brandon, MB. In his free time, he does team roping, as well as many workshops and presentations on his language, culture and traditions.


Joyce Noonen


Joyce Noonen is from the Cree community of Gods Lake Narrows. She has been with the Selkirk Mental Health Centre (SMHC) since 1999, and goes above and beyond the daily expectations by taking her clients to their home communities for visits and educating families on mental disabilities in English and Cree. Joyce works diligently to improve the existing standards at SMHC by bridging the gap between Indigenous and non Indigenous perspectives, cultural practices and beliefs as well as the racism that exists for Indigenous people living with mental illnesses, a topic she is passionate about and discusses a lot with a variety of committees.

While working with the SMHC, Joyce is leaned upon as she demonstrates a commitment to the ever changing environment within the centre, she promotes Indigenous cultural practices; arranging feats, entertainment pow wow dancers, and singers. Joyce shares her Ininiw (Cree) knowledge of traditional concepts and beliefs while encouraging Indigenous spirituality, ceremonies and other practices in her workplace.

Joyce is a devoted Cree speaker who also reads and writes in her language. She continues to be extremely active in sharing her Indigenous culture and language by forming a pow wow club for children ages 2-16; including crafts, traditional drumming and songs. Joyce is also a teacher of the Cree language for many organizations in Winnipeg.


Grace Schedler


Grace was born in Norway House, Manitoba but grew up in God’s Lake Narrows, a Cree community 598 km north east of Winnipeg. Grace speaks and writes in Cree and has taught Cree classes for U of W, Indigenous Languages and Friendship Centres.

Grace has been the Senior Courtworker for the Aboriginal Court Work Program for 19 years and was in Acting Director status when the Director was off on secondment for 4 years where she was represented the courtwork program at the Federal/Provincial/Territory table. She represents the program on the following interdepartmental committees; Drug Treatment Court, Reclaiming Our Identity -corrections, Pitama and Eagle Feather court committee.

Grace is actively involved with Civil Air Search and Rescue (CASARA) and was communications director or 3 years. She served on the Board of Directors of Macdonald Youth Services for 10 years, and currently on the Board of directors for Indigenous Languages of Manitoba and Palliative Care Manitoba. 


Linda Allen

 Linda Allen is a mother of 4 beautiful children and Kokum to 5 precious grandkids. She is originally from Fort Frances, ON and is in her 3rdyear being an Ojibwe Language Instructor for Louis Riel School Division. She loves her job very much because she gets to meet many students who are eager to learn the Ojibwe language and culture. To her job, she brings her creative mind where she can develop lots of resources for co-workers to use in the classroom.  


Shirley Ewanchuk

Shirley Ewanchuk is a mother of three great kids! She has had the opportunity to work in many exciting capacities such as museum curator, tribal and regional health director, senior policy analyst, and home ec teacher and feels incredibly honoured to share what knowledge she has gathered over the years. 

Four years ago she came onboard with the Louis Riel School Division to create an Ojibwe Language and Culture Exposure Program. She wasn’t a speaker, but a teacher and has since developed some language skills as well as created a nature and play based language program.  They are now at 5 full time staff and serves approximately 1000 students and staff in their journey learning about the Ojibwe people, our language, and our culture.


Dawnis Kennedy

Dawnis Kennedy is Anishinaabekwe from Roseau River Anishinabe First Nation, Manitoba. Dawnis holds a Master of Laws degree and is pursuing an SJD about Anishinabe Onakonigewin and culture-based education. As the Manitoba Indigenous Cultural Education Centre’s community connection coordinator, she engages in learning and sharing indigenous languages in classrooms and community through interactive presentations and activities. She also is working with language teachers and speakers to develop language learning games and resources at the beginner level. 


Laura Forsythe

 Laura Forsythe a proud Metis woman is a Research Assistant for NCCIE and a Ph.D. Student in the Department of Native Studies. Forsythe holds a BA in First Nations Studies, a B.Ed. specializing in Indigenous Perspectives in Education, a Post-Baccalaureate in Early Learning from Simon Fraser University and a Masters with a specialization in Indigenous Education and self-government. As a Research Assistant with NCCIE Forsythe has interviewed dozens of Educators looking to share successes with other educators. 


Roger Roulette

  Roger Roulette was born and raised in a village near MacGregor, Manitoba. Roger’s first language was Ojibwe and learned English as a second language. He has been involved with Aboriginal languages since 1988 including oral histories with the Manitoba Museum and The Manitoba Indigenous Cultural Education Centre (MICEC). Roger also worked in linguistics for 5 years and taught at the University of Manitoba as an Ojibwe language instructor for 13 years. Roger continues to share his knowledge, culture and language with others while working with Indigenous Languages of Manitoba (ILM) and MICEC in writingand developing language materials.


Dr. Maureen Matthews

  Maureen Matthews is the Curator of Cultural Anthropology at the Manitoba Museum where her most recent exhibit "We Are All Treaty People", developed in collaboration with Manitoba First Nations elders, won a national award for exhibit excellence.  In November 2017 Dr. Matthews received the Governor Generals History Award for Museum Excellence an outreach project “Spirit Lines” as well as and an International Guardians of Culture and Lifeways Award from the Association of Tribal Archives, Libraries and Museums. Her recent book, Naamiwan’s Drum: the Story of a Contested Repatriation of Anishinaabe Artefacts, won the 2017 Alexander Kennedy Isbister Award for Non-Fiction at the Manitoba Book Awards.


Wanda Barker


Wanda Barker is Anishinaabe from Hollow Water First Nation. She has been working in the area of language and culture revitalization for decades.  She has been teaching in grade schools, universities, colleges and for various organizations such as New Directions since 1989. She considers her language a gift, a key marker of her identity, but also believes that it is a responsibility to advocate for and to teach the language.  She has also worked in curriculum and resource development and has published several Anishinaabe cultural alphabet books as well as a children’s Ojibwe songbook and instructional guide. This past year she has returned to teaching students at Little Black River First Nation from Nursery to Grade 10. She also continues to teach families and adults at New Directions on Saturdays. Wanda is very passionate about moving forward to develop and implement more language and cultural programs such as language nests, bilingual or immersion programs and master-apprenticeship programs. She feels that if language is to be revived, it will take the whole community to be part of the movement. She has worked with many fluent speaking Elders/Knowledge Keepers and knows that time is of the essence in soliciting their assistance for language and cultural revitalization as it is mainly that age group that is still fluent in the First Nation languages.  


Gloria Barker


Gloria Barker is currently working as a language teacher at the Riverbend Community bilingual program at Seven Oaks School Division. Anishinaabemowin is her first language and she is originally from the Hollow Water First Nation. Gloria has taught the language in various schools and First Nations in Manitoba and Ontario. She is becoming well known for her special skills as an Anishinaabemowin songwriter and singer. She has co-produced the Ojibwe Songs for Children with her sister Wanda as well as some songs for older students and adults. She has also finished a childrens’ songbook for the Seven Oaks School Division. Gloria is a role model for her expertise in utilizing various strategies to teach the language using the double vowel system. She has written a Anishinaabemowin vowel sound that is gaining popularity among language instructors as music is one of the effective strategies of language learning. 


Sheila Redsky


Sheila Redsky, from Shoal Lake 40 First Nation, is learning Anishinaabemowin through weekly language classes instructed by Wanda Barker. Growing up in foster care, Sheila did not have the opportunity to maintain her culture and learn her language. To understand who she is and where she came from, Sheila is passionate at advocating learning the language and sharing the knowledge with others. She is gaining proficiency in reading and writing the Ojibwe language using the double vowel system. 


Carol Beaulieu

  Carol Beaulieu is a wife, mother and grandmother who has advocated and supported Indigenous languages and culture for many years. Sharing experiences and information is what she finds most enjoyable.


Richard Laurin


Richard Laurin is an independent Private Consultant and Project Manager for various not-for-profits museums across Canada. He was the Project Lead for the Manitoba Aboriginal Language Strategy’s (MALS) Aboriginal Languages Teacher Education Program (ALTEP) Phase I in 2017-2018. He also assisted in consolidating the ALTEP Phase II report in 2019.  In addition to his work with Aboriginal languages in Manitoba, he co-ordinated the publication of the art book The Good Lands and managed the Manitoba Museum’s 2017 award winning project Spirit Lines. Currently, Richard manages the development of the McMichael Canadian Art Collection’s trilingual Inuit Art website called Iningat Ilagiit. It is expected to launch in Early 2020. 

Richard has a Master of Museum Studies from University of Toronto and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Guelph. Richard is a member of the Métis Nation of Ontario and grew up in Penetanguishene, Ontario.


Westin Sutherland


Aaniin. Boozhoo. My name is Westin Sutherland, and my spirit name is Wiijii-aabawi Makwa. I am from Peguis First Nation here in Manitoba. I got interested and started learning the Ojibwe language when I was in high school, which eventually led to my interest in media as well. So today, I work towards translating and producing cartoons in our language.


Lloyd Swampy

Anishinaabe given name is Aazaawaabinesi Inini doodem is the Aname clan from the Sagkeeng First Nation. A midewi’inini and a sundancer for the Anishinaabe People of Sagkeeng brought up by his grandfather “ Choomii” who tuaght him how to hunt, fish, gather & harvest. His great grandmother “Tanikwe” and the elders have tuaght him the anishinaabe teachings. He followed the educational pathway of his clan, by becoming a teacher and traditional ceremonial teacher of the language, teachings and way of life. He has six children, 13 grand children and one great grand child. married for 35 years and employed for the Manitoba First Nation School System as a Language & Culture Coordinator.