Patricia Paradis, Colton Fehr


A story describing a young girl learning the tradition of beading from her grandmother ended the first day of the Reconciliation: Wahkohtowin conference held in Edmonton, Alberta on September 22 and 23, 2017. This was one of several Wahkohtowin ‘teaching and learning practice’ moments woven throughout the conference, designed to immerse participants in the concept. It juxtaposed a prior heartfelt plea by one of the elders in attendance for the imminent need for change in how Indigenous peoples are treated in Canada. These two very different stories, echoed by many elders who spoke, and seen in performances by Indigenous hoop dancers and an Inuit throat singer, added complexity to the thoughtful presentations given by academics from across the country. The totality created a unique experience which was transforming for some and at various points enlightening or frustrating for others.

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