Covenant Chain Link X - nòngom kinandotam | Today We Listen

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nòngom kinandotam | Today We Listen

The tenth annual Covenant Chain Link event is pleased to welcome Dr. Niigaan Sinclair as the Keynote Speaker.

The United Nations declared 2019 the International Year of Indigenous Languages, as such, the theme of this year's gathering is the Revitalization of Indigenous Languages. The KAIROS Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Regional Gathering will be in conjunction with Covenant Chain Link X this year. Join in all the conference activities on Friday and Saturday, including keynote speaker Dr. Niigaan Sinclair and workshops on the preservation of Indigenous languages and then stay for a workshop by KAIROS staff and a network building time on Sunday.

Friday, October 18 from 8:30 AM - 3:00 PM - Youth Day

Saturday, October 19 from 8:30 AM - 3:00 PM - General Public

Sunday, October 20 from 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM - KAIROS Great Lakes-St Lawrence Fall Regional Gathering, including KAIROS staff Indigenous Rights Presentation

Keynote Speaker: Dr. Niigaanwewidam James Sinclair

Dr. Niigaan Sinclair is Anishinaabe (St. Peter's / Little Peguis) and an Associate Professor at the University of Manitoba. He is an award-winning writer, editor and activist who was named one of Monocle Magazine's "Canada's Top 20 Most Influential People" and he won the 2018 Canadian Columnist of the Year at the National Newspaper Awards for his bi-weekly column in the Winnipeg Free Press. He was also just recently named 2019 Educator of the Year by the international Peace and Justice Studies Association. He has written national curriculums for provincial departments and national organizations and is a former secondary school teacher who has trained over 40,000 educators and students across Canada. His first book on Ashinaabeg literary traditions will be coming out with the University of Manitoba Press in 2020.  

Master of Ceremonies: Justin Holness AKA Jah'kota

Jah'kota is an artist, entrepreneur and founder of TR1BE Academy, a creative agency for Indigenous youth to express their heritage through art, music and fashion.

Participants will select two of the following five workshops

Anishinabemowin and Cultural Competency by Jennifer Ferrante, Commanda Cultural Communications

Jennifer will introduce Anishinaabemowin, the traditional language of Algonquin and Ojibway peoples. Participants will also learn the importance of cultural competency when working with Indigenous peoples, the fastest growing segment of the Canadian population. Jennifer will offer insights in helping you build culturally safe practices from her personal lens as a member of the Algonquin of Pikwakanagan First Nation. She is of Algonquin/Italian descent and has been working with Indigenous people, communities and organizations in the Ottawa area for over fifteen years.

Interactive Inuktitut 101 by Anita Uuttuvak,

Inuktitut is the name of some of the Inuit languages spoken in northernmost Canada. In this fun and interactive workshop, Anita will share some basic non-verbal communication skills (pointing, invasion of space, yes, no, maybe, saying hello) and cultural traditions (no small talk) that Inuit are known for. Participants may also learn beginner Inuktitut phrases while exploring Inuit culture.

Mohawk Language Instruction by Karen Mitchell, Akwesasne Economic Development Agency (AEDA)

 Karen is the Executive Director of the AEDA, a non-profit based organization that delivers training programs to empower and educate First Nations people. Mohawk language instruction is one of the programs AEDA delivers and this will be the focus of Karen’s presentation.  

She:Kon - Learning Language, Living Culture André Charlebois

Learning a language is a challenge for most learners. This presentation will share how the Neurolinguistic Approach is applied in teaching and learning the Mohawk language in the community of Akwesasne. Participants will gain an understanding of how this action contributes to students learning about their traditions and culture.

Wigwamidakeman Birch Bark Basket Making by Jacques Adam Wabanonik, Algonquin Culture Carrier

Birch bark baskets have been used for hundreds of years for a number of different applications. In this workshop, you will receive step-by-step guidance on making a basket of your own. Instruction will be provided in English, French and Anishinaabemowin. 


We thank our elders, Vickie Grant, Senator Reta Gordon and Sally Webster for opening and closing the event in a good way

BONUS: Celebration of Indigenous Languages Through Song - Friday, October 18 at 7pm

Our languages are in our songs. They never died. They had to go away for a while for safekeeping. Now is the time to bring them back  ~ Maggie Paul, Indigenous Elder

The Thunderbird Sisters Collective performance will spotlight a trio of performers: Carmel Whittle, Patsea Griffin and Patricia Reynolds. Using Mi’qma, Algonquin and English, they will perform self-authored songs that inspire love for reclaiming traditional languages.

Trusted members of the local Ottawa indigenous community, David Finkle and Laura Leonard perform traditional instrumental and singing/drumming music coming from several different indigenous cultures in many different local dialects and styles. The music ranges from instrumental, gentle soft timbres of the native flute accompanied with large soothing hand drum to thunderous drumming with intricate vocal harmony. They make most their own traditional hand made instruments out of traditionally ethically sourced materials.

$40 Regular Fee
$25 Students & non-wage earners

A light lunch is included with your registration fee and is required for folks who attend the conference on Friday or Saturday. If you are only attending the KAIROS Regional Gathering on Sunday, a fee is not required - but registration is much appreciated. Friday evening's performance is included with your registration fee. If you would like to attend the performance but not the conference, admission is by donation.

Please contact Devora Cascante for more information at or by calling 613-235-9956 x225.

HEADER IMAGE: Two Covenant Chain Wampum Belts, made by the late Emrick Migwans, M’Chigeeng First Nation, based upon the rubbings done by Rev Hallen. The top belt is called the 1764 Treaty of Niagara Covenant Chain belt, the second is the belt John Johnson, Sir William’s son, had used to re-pledge the Covenant Chain relationship after the American Revolution. (Photograph by Alan Corbiere).

October 18th, 2019 8:30 AM   to   October 20th, 2019 12:00 PM
Confederation Education Centre
1645 Woodroffe Avenue
Ottawa, ON K2G 0C4
Phone: 613.235.9956
Event Fee(s)
Regular Fee $ 40.00
Students and non-wage earners $ 25.00
KAIROS Regional Gathering only (Sunday) $ 0.00

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