Minister Hajdu at Matawa AGM - with Natasha from Nibinamik - NAN Deputy
Minister Hajdu at Matawa AGM - with Natasha from Nibinamik - NAN Deputy Grand Chief Anna Betty AchneepineskumNAN Deputy Grand Chief Anna Betty Achneepineskum looks on

THUNDER BAY, ON – The Matawa Education Conference is celebrating the role women play in the classroom and the community at large this International Women’s Day. The annual conference, taking place March 5 to 7, 2024 at the Valhalla Hotel, features a line up of distinguished Indigenous women leaders presenting talks and engaging workshops aimed at supporting and inspiring First Nation educators.

“The majority of our presenters for the conference are women who guide and enlighten the next generation. We’re thrilled to showcase the strength and leadership of these women at our conference on International Women’s Day,” said Sharon Nate, executive director of the Matawa Education Authority.

The three-day event features keynote addresses from Adrianna Douglas-Bear, jingle dress dancer and youth advocate, and Ellen Gabriel, a Mohawk activist and appointed spokesperson for the Kanehsatà:ke community during the 1990 Oka Crisis.

“It’s 􀏐itting that almost 70 per cent of our speakers are women. By amplifying the voices and experiences of Indigenous women leaders, we hope to inspire and empower youth to pursue their dreams and make a positive change in the world,” added Nate.

This year marks the 17th annual Matawa Education Conference, and the theme is Courage and Resilience: A Pathway Forward—Zoongide’enh achi zagoochtooyin azhi bimoseyin. Attendees will participate in professional development and networking during the conference’s workshops and discussions facilitated by prominent women who have made signi􀏐icant strides in 􀏐ields including education, business, advocacy, and community development.

To see the agenda, please visit the Matawa Education Conference website. You can view a livestream of the opening ceremony and both keynote addresses.

The annual Matawa Education Conference, hosted by Matawa Education, celebrates and fosters collaboration, innovation and excellence in Indigenous education. Through engaging workshops and presentations, the conference aims to support educators, students, and administrative staff to create inclusive and culturally responsive learning environments that empower Indigenous youth to thrive.

Matawa Education supports and advises nine remote and road-access Ojibwe and Cree First Nation communities in northern Ontario through various initiatives, including the Matawa Education and Care Centre, Pathways to Achieve Student Success and Achieving the Dream Through Education Charity.

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