Glimpses of thriving

These sessions will run in parallel Monday afternoon. Choose one before arriving or during onsite registration.


1. Indigenous education #1: our shared history

Tammy Mudge & TBD. Treaty education

Elder Ma’git Poulette and Rosie Sylliboy. The history and effects of Residential Schools, and our stories of resilience. We will share some history of Residential Schools in Canada and talk about the effects it had on survivors and the intergenerational effects in our communities. Mother and daughter will share their journey of healing and resilience through storytelling.


2. Indigenous education #2: Kairos Blanket Exercise

Hosts: KBE facilitators

This exercise is based on the major themes and findings of the 1996 Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples. Participants step onto blankets representing the land, and into the role of First Nations, Inuit and later Métis peoples. Facilitators read the script and assume the role of Narrator and European explorers and settlers. The exercise builds awareness and understanding of our shared history as Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples in Canada by having participants literally walk through situations that include pre-contact, treaty-making, colonization and resistance. The KAIROS Blanket Exercise effectively educates while increasing empathy. It reaches both the mind and the heart and is contributing to a movement for reconciliation through education across the country.

3. Reclaiming our economy

Hosted by Andy Horsnell

In this session, we will shine a light on movements that are bringing local economies back into a right relationship with society and biosphere. The original meaning of economy is “household” or “whole house.” How can we reclaim our economy as a means of meeting the needs of our communities while respecting the limits of our biosphere and ensuring there is enough for everyone. This is not only possible, it is already happening. Please bring your own examples. We will also hear from the following initiatives:

  • Life.School.House

  • Julia Feltham, Sackville Commons

  • Eric Leviten-Reid, New Dawn

4. Art space

Bring your instrument and/or the question you want to explore with others. Stories/conversations include:

  • Amanda Peters. Finding our voice as culturally displaced people.

5. Collaboration for systems change

Hosted by Sera Thompson

How do we go beyond piecemeal change and design for system-wide impact? What does it take to build coalitions among partners who aren't used to working together and who come with different backgrounds and assumptions?

Bring your own experience and learn from projects that are breaking new ground. Stories include:

  • Ethan Doney, Food First NL, St. John's. A collective impact network of over 25 organizations is working together to address complex challenges around food security in Newfoundland and Labrador.

  • Renata Tweedy. Rural Transportation Network

  • Inspiring Communities

6. How children learn to thrive

Hosted by Aimee Gasparetto and Amanda Bostlund

Children and youth are our future, so what do they really need to thrive? This session will explore approaches and environments that support growth and learning among children, including the cultivation of deeper connections to one another and a more holistic view of our world.

Together, we aim to uncover values and mindsets that enable children and youth to thrive, and to consider how we relate to young people, and our role in thoughtful design of learning environments.  Storytellers are:

Kayla Thomas. Nourish NS

Laura Swaine. Heartwood Centre for Community Youth Development

Amanda Bostlund. Open Air Learning  

7. Youth space

Hosted by Jessica Wall

Come and engage with others around the issues, questions and possibilities you are most passionate about. Anyone under 35 is welcome.

In the room:

  • CEPI Youth

  • Cross-Cultural Youth Project

  • HFX Collective

8. Eldership

Hosted by Elder Marlene Joudrey, Frances MacEachen and Margaret Drescher

Elder Marlene will share her own experience and the result of recent interviews with other Mi’kmaq Elders. Frances will bring stories from the Gaelic tradition, and Margaret will share reflections from her life and mentors. We will then have an open discussion about what we are learning about life stages and inter-generational connections in our own lives and communities.

9. Climate emergency

Hosted by Jim Drescher

Thriving? Surviving? Or NOT? You are invited to an exploration.

Are we really at or near the end of a life-friendly climate on this planet? What are the reasonable expectations? Are we in denial about the truth? Are we aware of the reality and mired in the resulting despair? What kind of leadership is being called for at this time? How would you like to show up at the end?

And how can we live life fully, neither denying the truth nor falling into despair?