2024 NOIIE Symposium

2024 NOIIE Symposium
Connections + Community: People, Practices, Promises

Dates & Times

May 10th
7:30am – 8:30am PT (Breakfast & Registration)
8:30am – 4:30pm PT (Symposium)
May 11th
7:30am – 8:30am PT (Breakfast)
8:30am – 12:30pm PT (Symposium)


Westin Wall Centre (Airport)
3099 Corvette Way, Richmond, BC


Skytrain: The Aberdeen Station or Bridgeport Station are both about a 15 minute walk from the Symposium hotel. There is also additional parking at the Bridgeport Skytrain Station.
Parking: Paid parking at the Symposium venue is limited and available on a first come, first serve basis. Please see the coupon code for parking onsite. Alternatively, there is overflow parking available at the building across the street from the hotel.

Fees & Registration

Cost: $425 + GST
*We do not offer daily rates 

Registration is now full.

Register early – space is limited. Registration closes April 30th or when all spaces are filled. Please note, we do not issue reimbursements after April 30th.

* Online registration is through Delta School District with Visa, Mastercard, American Express, or Visa debit card.
* International guests, please note: Due to a glitch in the registration system, for Province please enter BC and a generic postal code (V1V 1V1) so that you can register. Having trouble registering online? Please contact us. Registration is for the full Symposium. Daily rates are not offered.


We have a limited room block with a discounted group rate of $249+tax at the Westin Wall Centre (Symposium venue). Book early if you wish to stay here. Deadline to book discounted rooms is April 8th or until sold out. Please do not book and hold rooms you intend to release later.

Online: 2023 NOIIE Symposium Room Booking
Phone: 604-303-6565 (indicating “2023 NOIIE Symposium”)
Email: reservations@wallcentre.com (indicating “2023 NOIIE Symposium”)

Once the room block at the Westin is full, please see a list below of additional accommodation options in close proximity to the Symposium venue. Please note, schools and districts often qualify for a government rate.

River Rock Resort (10 minute walk)

Radisson Hotel Vancouver Airport (11 minute walk)

Days Inn by Wyndham Vancouver Airport (8 minute walk)

Hampton Inn by Hilton Vancouver/Richmond Airport (7 minute walk)

Versante Hotel (7 minute walk)

NOIIE Symposium Presenters

Lori Burger

District Vice Principal of Indigenous Education, Equity and Excellence (SD 52)

Lori Burger is from the Nisga’a Nation, from the community of Gitlaxt’aamiks in the Nass valley. She is Giskaast (Killerwhale), from the house of Wisin xbiltkw, and Cree from Treaty 6 territory in Saskatchewan on her mother’s side, as well as settler heritages on her father’s side. Lori is committed to uplifting Indigenous voices and passionate about Indigenous representation both professionally and personally. She cares deeply about Indigenous representation and reconciliation learning, and is actively involved in evaluating Indigenous literatures and resources for use in the K-12 public school system. She has worked with the Association of Book Publishers of BC Indigenous Books for Schools and the First Nations Education Steering Committee (FNESC) on authenticating First Peoples resources.

Lori has been involved in Indigenous education for over twenty years in roles spanning from Support Worker to Teacher, to Vice Principal and District Administration. Lori is currently the District Vice Principal of Indigenous Education, Equity and Excellence in School District 52 in Prince Rupert. Her personal and professional focus has been, and continues to be, equity and Indigenous Education for all.

Tashi Kirincic

Coordinator of Inclusive Literacy Practices, Secondary Schools (SD 37)

Tashi Kirincic is a teacher-leader in the Delta School District, located on the traditional territory of the Tsawwassen and Musqueam People. She is passionate about cultivating and sustaining spaces where teachers can connect, get curious about teaching and learning, and work together to create powerful and inclusive learning environments. Tashi is the Coordinator of Inclusive Literacy Practices for Secondary Schools in Delta. She received her Masters of Language and Literacy Education from the University of British Columbia and is a graduate of UBC’s Transformative Education Leadership Program.

Keynote Speakers

Brad Baker

Associate Superintendent of Indigenous Education, BC Ministry of Education & Child Care

Tsnomot (Brad Baker) is a proud member of the Squamish Nation, on Secondment with the Ministry of Education and Child Care as the Associate Superintendent of Indigenous Education, where he has the opportunity to enhance the awareness and values of Indigenous Education across Canada and the United States. Brad is also the Superintendent of Appeals for the Ministry, and will also be graduating from UBC with Doctor of Education in two weeks. Prior to this, Brad was an educator for 30 years in the North Vancouver School District, including as a District Principal involved in Indigenous Education and Safe Schools portfolios. Brad is a Board Member for ViaSport BC and the Gord Downie-Chanie Wenjack Fund and a member of Rugby Canada’s Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Accessibility Committee. Brad was also recently elected as a General B Member for the Canadian Olympic Committee. Brad’s mottos are for all of us to understand “Truth Before Reconciliation” and to “Go Forward With Courage.”

Jo Chrona

Speaker, Education Consultant and Advocate, and Author

Jo Chrona is a speaker, education consultant and advocate, and author of Wayi Wah! Indigenous Pedagogies: An Act for Reconciliation and Anti-Racist Education (2022). Jo Chrona is Ganhada of Waap K’oom and is a member of the Kitsumkalum First Nation, a Ts’msyen community in British Columbia. She is also of European ancestry.

Jo’s professional experience includes over 25 years teaching in both the K-12 and post-secondary systems in BC, working as a Policy Analyst and Curriculum Manager for the First Nations Education Steering Committee, an Advisor to the BC Ministry of Education, and a Faculty Associate in SFU’s BC Teacher Education Program. Jo has also been involved in curriculum development and resource writing, professional learning through inquiry networks, and Indigenous education. She participated in aspects of educational transformation in BC’s K-12 system, as well as managing and contributing to the development of authentic Indigenous teacher resources.

Jo has a Bachelor of Arts (English Major; Women’s Studies Minor) from SFU, a Diploma of Education (Guidance Studies) from UBC, and Master’s Degree in Educational Technology from UBC. Jo is passionate about helping create systemic change in K- 12 education systems to help create truly inclusive, strength-based education experiences for all learners. She currently consults and provides professional learning sessions that focus on the intersections of Indigenous education and anti-racism.


Melissa Larkin
Darkspark Director/Co-Founder

Melissa Larkin is a skilled vocalist and songwriter. She has toured and performed for over 10 years, and worked as an arts educator since 2010. In 2007 she created The Forgotten Tour, which brought live music to people and places abandoned by mainstream touring acts. She toured 36 cities in Canada and the western United States facilitating song-writing workshops for at-risk youth, homeless shelters, old age facilities and more. Throughout her career she has used song writing to facilitate engaging educational programs. In 2012, she became an accredited arts educator through the Royal Conservatory of Music. Following this, Melissa created and launched DARKSPARK with creative partner, D’Ari Lisle, to educate and empower students. Melissa graduated with a Scholars Electives honors degree from University of Western Ontario in literature and social justice studies.

D’Ari Lisle
Darkspark Director/Co-Founder

D’Ari Lisle is a proficient producer, songwriter, vocalist and multi-instrumentalist who has been a touring performer and front man in several successful Canadian bands for over 15 years. He has been involved in every aspect of the music industry – writing, recording and producing records, working in management and agency offices, as well as producing short films and music videos. In 2012, he assisted Melissa Larkin in developing the DARKSPARK program and contributes his skill in recording and multi-media to the experiential learning experience of students participating in DARKSPARK. D’Ari studied New Media at Ryerson University, Toronto.


Rosa Fazio

Consultant, Level Up Ed

Rosa Fazio draws on her 23 years of experience as a school leader, honored as one of Canada’s Outstanding Principals, to foster a cohesive staff dedicated to school improvement, with a focus on enhancing equity and quality. Her driving force is cultivating belonging and connection towards collective action, encapsulated in her belief, “Individually we can’t. Together we can.” As an educational consultant, she collaborates with school leaders aspiring to lead with intention and impact.  Connect with Rosa on her website at http://leveluped.ca.


Bryan Gidinski

Educator (SD 41), Advocate, Consultant and Speaker

Bryan Gidinski is an educator, advocate, consultant, and speaker with more than 25 years of teaching experience. He develops curriculum in creative and innovative ways that are engaging for students. This also includes leadership in enhancing LGBTQ+ representation in curriculum, and providing practical ways for educators to integrate understandings about Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity into classrooms and communities. Bryan is a popular presenter who has lead workshops, presented webinars, and facilitated inquiry projects. Connect with Bryan on his website at http://www.lostboysconsulting.ca/.


Dr. Therese Hopfenbeck

Professor of Educational Assessment, Melbourne Graduate School of Education, Assessment and Evaluation Research Centre (AERC)

Therese Profile PicDr Hopfenbeck’s research agenda focuses upon bridging research on self-regulation and classroom-based assessment and making sense of international large-scale studies in education. She has been and expert advisor on the implementation of formative assessment programs in India, South Africa, Tanzania, Norway and the Emirates and carried out policy work for UNESCO/OECD and the Norwegian Ministry of Education Norway.

Before taking up the position in AERC, she was Director of the Oxford University Centre for Educational Assessment and continues to be a Visiting Fellow at Kellogg College. She has been the recipient of funding from ESRC-DFID, OECD, The Norwegian Research Council, Education Endowment Foundation, State Examinations Commissions Ireland, Jacobs Foundation and the International Baccalaureate totalling more than £2 mill in addition to a single grant of £4 mill in collaboration with SLATE: Centre for the Science of Learning & Technology at the University of Bergen, Norway. She is Adjunct Professor of the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), member of the Visiting Panel for Research at the Educational Testing Service (ETS) in Princeton, chair of the expert PISA 2025 Questionnaire Framework group, appointed by OECD and ACER (2022 – 2026). Dr Hopfenbeck is the elected President of The Association for Educational Assessment-Europe (2022-2024) and Lead Editor of the journal Assessment in Education, Principle, Policy and Practice.

Judy Halbert & Linda Kaser

Co-directors, Networks of Inquiry and Indigenous Education
Co-leaders, Transformative Educational Leadership Program, UBC

Dr. Judy Halbert and Dr. Linda Kaser are co-directors of the Networks of Inquiry and Indigenous Education (NOIIE) and co-leaders of the Transformative Educational Leadership Program at UBC (TELP). They have served as teachers, principals, district leaders and have seconded directors at the Ministry of Education. Judy and Linda consult extensively with school systems internationally, and are deeply committed to achieving equity and quality for all learners—and to networking for innovation and improvement across systems.

Judy Halbert and Linda Kaser were identified by the Big Change Organization as Pioneers for their work with NOIIE and in 2019, along with Debbie Leighton Stephens, they were awarded the Cmolik Prize for the enhancement of public education in British Columbia.

Judy and Linda are co-authors of Leading Through Spirals of Inquiry (2022), The Spiral Playbook (2017), Spirals of Inquiry for Equity and Quality (2013), Leadership Mindsets: Innovation and Learning in the Transformation of Schools (2009) and with Helen Timperley, A Framework for Transforming Learning in Schools: Innovation and the Spiral of Inquiry (2014).

Catherine McGregor

Associate Dean, Graduate Programs and Research, Faculty of Education, University of Victoria 

CatherineBioCatherine McGregor currently serves as Associate Dean, Graduate Programs and Research in the Faculty of Education. Her research is in the field of leadership; she investigates the role leaders can play in schools and communities that enable socially just and transformational change. With a strong interest in equity, inclusion and allyship, her work also includes working with public sector agencies in advancing equity goals and priorities. She recently co-edited with Dr. Shailoo Bedi a book entitled Diversity leadership in education: Embedding Practices of social justice (2024) McGill-Queens Press.


Leona Prince

Director of Instruction, Indigenous Education (SD 91)

Siy Leona Prince sadnee. Lhts’umusyoo habilh dzees zilh. Lusilyoo haba dza gel dzut. Sne’ Joyce Prince tl’a Sbeb Gordon Barfoot habatnee. Leona Prince is a Dakelh woman from the Lake Babine Nation and Nak’azdli and belongs to the Lhts’umusyoo Clan. She is a descendant of Stiche and Chief Kwah. She is the mother of three amazing children and is a passionate award-winning educator.

In 2017, she was awarded the Alumni of the Year award for Professional Excellence by the Alumini Association of UNBC, her alma mater. She also received an Indspire Award for Educational Leadership at the 2018 Guiding the Journey Educator Awards. Leona is a sought-after speaker and has authored two children’s books, A Dance Through the Seasons, and Be a Good Ancestor which was released in the spring of 2022.

xʷməθkʷəy̓əm Elder Martin Sparrow

At Moon Tide Reconciliation, Martin shares his knowledge and skills through cultural workshops on cedar weaving, carving, and smoked fish. In the Sparrow Smoke House, located in the Musqueam Nation, Martin teaches traditional methods of smoking fish, passing on these important skills and traditions to the next generation.

Martin is dedicated to preserving and sharing Indigenous history and traditions, and to promoting understanding and respect between cultures. He works to create cultural safe spaces and to empower youth to give back to their elders and community, and to build a more equitable and just future for all.”

Syilx & Nlaka’pamux Knowledge Keeper Shona Sparrow 

Shona is a master facilitator of the Kairos Blanket Exercise, a powerful tool for promoting understanding and awareness about the history and impacts of colonization on Indigenous peoples. She is dedicated to creating cultural safe spaces and empowering youth to give back to their elders and community through education and mentorship. At Moon Tide Reconciliation, Shona works to bridge the gap between youth and elders and to build a more equitable and just future for all.



Siqiniup Qilauta (Sunsdrum)

Siqiniup Qilauta, also known as SUNSDRUM, is a group that showcases Inuit cultural performances such as throat singing, drum dancing, storytelling, games and songs. The name Siqiniup Qilauta is derived from an Inuit legend about the sun, where a complete halo around the sun symbolizes good luck and represents a drum. Lynda Brown and her daughter, Papatsie, are connected to Pangnirtung, Nunavut, and reside in Ottawa, Ontario.

Lynda Brown is an accomplished performer, Royal Canadian Geographic Society Fellow, and works for Students on Ice. Her daughter Papatsie, or Keely, is a High School student who works at an Inuit after school program in Ottawa. Both are proud to share their cultures with others.

Dr. Nikki Yee

Assistant Professor, Teacher Education Department, University of the Fraser Valley, Stó:lō Téméxw

Nikke Yee BioNikki Yee (she/they) is a settler scholar of Chinese and Mennonite ancestry. She unlearns and learns on Stó:lō Téméxw as Assistant Professor at the University of the Fraser Valley. Their research explores how to open decolonizing possibilities in education to create warm and inclusive learning contexts for Indigenous (and all) learners.


*Program details subject to change. 

Program – Day 1

Friday May 10, 2024

7:30 – 8:30 am Breakfast & Check-in

8:30 – 9:00 am Welcome to the Symposium – Tashi Kirincic (SD 37) & Lori Burger (SD 52) – I Am poem

Acknowledgement of Territory – xʷməθkʷəy̓əm Elder (Martin Sparrow) & Syilx and Nlaka’pamux Knowledge Keeper (Shona Sparrow) 

9:00 – 9:15 am Connections & Community – Linda Kaser & Judy Halbert, NOIIE

9:15 – 9:30 am Network Reads #1 (see Network Reads tab)

9:30 – 10:00 am Understanding the Importance of Connectedness – Leona Prince (SD 91)

10:00 – 10:30 am Stretch and Network

10:30 – 10:40 am Indigenous Transitions Video #1 – Shuswap Middle School (SD 83) 

10:40 – 11:10 am NOIIE Indigenous Transitions: Connections, Community and Impact Jo Chrona & Catherine McGregor

11:10 – 11:25 am Live Learning Burst #1 Bryan Gidinski (SD 41)

11:25 – 11:40 am Network Reads #2 (see Network Reads tab)

11:40 – 11:50 am Indigenous Transitions Video #2 – Charles Hays Secondary (SD 52)

11:50 – 12:00 pm Story Studio, Loose Parts & Playful Inquiry  

12:00 – 1:00 pm Lunch 

1:00 – 2:00 pm Breakout Sessions #1 (see Breakout Session 1 tab)

2:00 – 2:15 pm Stretch & Network

2:15 – 3:15 pm Breakout Sessions #2 (see Breakout Session 2 tab)

3:30 – 4:00 pm Siqiniup Qilauta (Sunsdrum)Lynda Brown and Keely Nicholson

4:00 – 5:00 pm Social Hour (with cash bar)

*Program details subject to change. 

Program – Day 2

Saturday May 11, 2024

7:45 –  8:30 am Breakfast

8:30 – 8:40 am Welcome to Day 2 – Tashi Kirincic (SD 37) & Lori Burger (SD 52)

8:40 – 9:10 am  Self-regulated Learning Research Group – Dr. Therese Hopfenbeck & Dr. Nikki Yee 

9:10 – 9:20 am Indigenous Transition Video #3 Ladysmith Secondary (SD 68)

9:20 – 9:35 am Live Learning Burst #2 Rosa Fazio, Level Up Ed

9:35 – 9:50 am BC Ministry of Education and Child Care Brad Baker, Associate Superintendent of Indigenous Education

9:50 – 10:00 am Indigenous Transition Video #4 Smithers Secondary (SD 54)

10:00 – 10:30 am Stretch & Network

10:30 – 11:20 am Empowerment Through Song (Darkspark) – Melissa Larkin & D’Ari Lisle

11:20 – 11:30 am Moving Forward – Judy Halbert & Linda Kaser, NOIIE

11:30 – 11:50 am Connections & Community: Four Perspectives

  • David Istance
  • Makala Paaukula
  • Debbie Leighton-Stephens
  • Stephen Lethbridge

11:50 – 12:00 pm Closing – Tashi Kirincic & Lori Burger

Breakout Session #1

Friday May 10, 1:00 – 2:00pm


The Spiral Youth Network (Sweden)
The Spiral Youth Network is an international forum where young learners aged 10-12 connect and discuss important issues. With inquiry, curiosity and the English language at the core, the learners will grow and learn more about themselves and the world around them.
Presenters: Anna Fahlin, Oskar Prato, Camilla Falk, Erik Patetsos Wikstrom 

Transforming Education with LYFTA’s Storyworlds
Step into a borderless classroom with LYFTA’s Storyworlds. Transforming education, it immerses students in global cultures, challenging stereotypes and nurturing empathy. Designed for today’s digital age, it empowers educators to inspire meaningful actions for a more inclusive world. Explore how LYFTA is reshaping learning, one story at a time.
Presenters:  Colleen DeVeyrac (SD 74), Joanne Calder (SD 37), Jody Billingsley (SD 37), and students from Beach Grove Elementary (SD 37)


George Elliot’s Cognitive Engagement Journey in the OECD Schools+ Network
Come hear the learning story of a collaborative, innovative, high-school team as members of the current OECD Schools+ Network, the next big, global learning study to be released by the OECD in 2025.  What we’re doing, how we’re doing it, and what we’re learning along the way will be shared! View Breakout Presentation here.
Presenters: Jim Laird (SD 23), Nina Ferguson (SD 23)

An Aotearoa Experience in Starting the Spirals Journey (New Zealand)
Come learn with a team of leaders from Te Kura o Ōtaki (Ōtaki Primary School) whose school offers unique pathways for learners in total immersion te reo Māori and a bilingual pathway. They started the Spirals with Rebbecca Sweeney’s support just over a year ago and will be sharing their experiences with you from their special setting.

Presenters: Becc Sweeney, Rauru Walker, Yvonne Tahere, Janeen Marino, Herewini Katene, Louise Conwell


Naayut ‘Nüün? (Who Are You?)
In this session we will share how important it is for both our learners and our teachers to have a good understanding of “Who They Are” and what they know about the Ts’msyen history, language and culture. We will explore how building these understandings through the spiral of inquiry impacts the ways that learners and educators carry themselves in their learning.
Presenters: Ben Spencer (Sm’algyax teacher, SD 52), Kelli Clifton (Sm’algyax Team-Teacher, SD 52), Debbie Leighton-Stephens (Sm’algyax Program Support), Roberta Edzerza (District Principal Indigenous Education, SD 52)


NOIIE Indigenous Numeracy and Literacy Project
This initiative is in its 2nd year, supported by the BC Ministry of Education and Child Care.  10 schools across British Columbia are focused on improving the numeracy and literacy skills of Indigenous learners. The project seeks to incorporate Indigenous pedagogies into the Language Arts and Math curriculum, and foster a strong learner agency in these areas.
Presenters: Roberta Toth (SD 91), Michelle Miller-Gauthier (SD 91)

Teams co-presenting in this session are:

SD36, District: Jess Kyle, Allison Hotti, Cheryl Corrick
Connecting Learning to Place, Story and Numeracy – Using Indigenous story mats and Indigenous storytelling to increase student connection to and engagement in classroom learning and community.  Exploring how math lives within these spaces and experiences.

SD63, Lochside Elementary:  Jenni Erickson, Sarah Miller
Literacy and Nature-Based Learning: A Connection to Indigenous StoriesWe are curious about how local, place-based, Indigenous stories help support students’ literacy development while also inspiring their own stories and image of themselves as story makers. What stories will students tell about themselves and this place? The Spiral of Inquiry framework was important in helping us to bring our actions and ideas back to our students, focusing our work on how this supports students in both literacy and their feelings of agency and belonging.

SD91, WL McLeod Elementary: Dan Nickel, Korrie Mueller
Diving Deep into Number Sense – Developing a deeper and broader understanding of number sense using manipulatives, number talks, and play based learning. Additionally, the use of targeted assessment and instructional processes are showing effectiveness with small group interventions for primary students.

SD71, Courtenay Elementary: Alison Walkley, Heidi Jungwirth
Branching Out: Reimagining Math Instruction K-5 – For the past 3 years, we have been using the spiral of inquiry to improve outcomes in math for our primary and intermediate students.  We will be sharing research based strategies that have transformed our classroom.  These include growth mindset, formative assessment, First Steps in Math, experiential learning, and daily numeracy. 

Breakout Session #2

Friday May 10, 2:15 – 3:15pm


Year One Spiral Implementation: Lessons Learned from a Hawaii Public Charter School
Join Traci, Matt, and Makala from Hawaii Technology Academy (HTA) as they reflect on HTA’s approach to the Spiral Inquiry Process. Learn how HTA fosters agency, belonging, inclusivity, and inquiry. Participate in a brief dilemma protocol to envision their next steps.
Presenters: Matt Zitello (HTA Executive Director), Traci Sullivan (HTA Kauai Campus Director), Makala Pa’akaula (HTA Kona Campus Director) 

Rooted Reflections: Traversing the Paths through Nature Journaling
Using the Spirals of Inquiry Framework, Tammy and Ashley will reflect on how they’ve traversed the paths through nature journaling with their colleagues and students learning with, from, and alongside the land seeing it as both a library and teacher.
Presenters: Ashley Aoki (SD 67), Tammy Kay (SD 67)


Striving for Flourishing Classroom Communities through a Focus on Self-regulated Learning
Panel participants in this session will discuss their learning journey so far this year. Educators are focusing on developing student Self-Regulated Learning and discovering benefits for both adult and student learners. Educators are partnering with UBC researchers as they follow the Spiral of Inquiry framework to explore strategies and ways to develop increasingly shared roles.
Presenters: Deborah Koehn (SD 91), Dane Philipenko (SD 91), Sam Dargis (SD 91), Naomi Radawiece (SD 71), Jen Eddie (SD 74), Katrina Lowe (SD 48), Kimberley MacNeil (UBC, SRL Team), Nancy Perry (UBC, SRL Team), Yves Karlen (University of Zurich, Switzerland, SRL Team), Mathias Mejeh ( Zurich University of Teacher Education, Switzerland, SRL Team)


NOIIE Indigenous Learner Transitions Inquiries: Promising Practices with Learners at the Center
School/ district teams across British Columbia are engaging in the Spiral of Inquiry to improve outcomes for Indigenous learners as they transition through education systems. Teams are curious about equity, truth and reconciliation, and students belonging in their settings. We will explore their journeys and how they have inspired change in their students, schools, and communities.
Presenters: Lori Burger (SD 52), Jana Fox (SD 54), Guest hosts from BC’s Transitions Teams


Connecting with Families: Nanaimo
Our team wondered,  “Can every parent identify two educators who are listening with curiosity and empathy, and truly believe in our children?” We will share a bit about the things we learned through parent interviews we undertook using a toolkit we developed to support our conversations with families.
Presenters: Gitanjali Mitchell (SD 68) & Shannon Apland (SD 68), Sue Kozielecki (SD 68), Kerri Steel (SD 68), Lindsey Watford (SD 68)

Connecting with Families: Lillooet
Cayoosh Elementary has used the spiral of inquiry to explore how collaborative storytelling can increase family voice and connection within the classroom. Using story studio materials and special guest sessions, our grade 3 classroom worked with families to create fictional narratives for each student. Student stories showcased the power of place, food, and family memories.
Presenters: Keri Remple (SD 74), Tammy Mountain (SD74), Angela Stott (SD 74) 

Network Reads – A Celebration of BC Authors and Books

*Strong Nations will be onsite at the Symposium, selling lots of fantastic books!

Featured Books:

1. The Spiral Notebook for Student Changemakers, by Joanna Macintosh

2. Sorting It Out, by Robin Gregory & Brooke Moore

‘We Are From’

2024 NOIIE Symposium Collab

Inspired by ‘Where I Am From’ poem by George Ella Lyon

We are from the glistening white North
We are from the blistering hot South
Oceans and cedar trees
Big skies, eagles soaring
Birdsongs, sagebrush, and dark pine forests
Arctic tundra, desert canyons, and croaking frogs
From sky to glacier, sparkling lakes and splashes
We are from the land
We are from the ancestors

We are from mulberries, plump jewels bursting with juice that makes purple jealous
Hands in the dirt and modelling clay
Dance, arts and tenacity
Gratitude and belonging
Everyone has a place in this circle
Our cups are full
We are from nourishment
From double-salted licorice
From duck soup and dumplings and fire roasted goose
Caribou and moose
Pickeral and smoked white fish
A rambunctious dinner table

We are from possibilities and connection
Striving for safe and brave spaces
Those that make your heart happy
From paint and brushes, from acrylic colours that set us free
Ancestral lands and caretakers hands
Blue fish and school families

We are from gentleness, patience and unwavering trust
We are from sisterhood, from the wonder of the future
We are from old friends and new
Students who uplift us and empower themselves
Curiosity, creativity
Learners leading the way
Eyes wide open, heart on fire
Take their story with you
See with the eyes of the worm

We are from the languages of these lands
Relationships and understandings steeped in generations
Guided by elders, chiefs, and matriarchs
Enveloped by our ancestors
We are from legacy and future ways of Indigenous empowerment
We are from the gift of story
Igniting fire in our spirits
Held in our hearts and minds
To witness and carry forward for all time

We greatly acknowledge and thank our NOIIE sponsors, who help make the 2024 Symposium possible:

* The header image is used with the permission of Learning Alternatives (SD68). Check out their case study here