Posted on October 11, 2016 by Tia Lalani

On November 4th, 5th and 6th, Spirit of the Land and the Ronning Centre, at the University of Alberta Augustana Faculty, will be hosting their fifth annual conference centered on the topic of reconciliation. This year’s theme is “Reconciling Land, Life and Livelihood” and will focus on how we can engage in dialogue about the environment, …

On November 4th, 5th and 6th, Spirit of the Land and the Ronning Centre, at the University of Alberta Augustana Faculty, will be hosting their fifth annual conference centered on the topic of reconciliation. This year’s theme is “Reconciling Land, Life and Livelihood” and will focus on how we can engage in dialogue about the environment, economy, spirituality, agriculture and community, and how all aspects are interconnected and can work together to be integrated and mutually beneficial. The conference theme draws inspiration from the Truth and Reconciliation report and approaches the theme from a broader understanding of the notion of reconciliation: not only reconciling historical Settler-Indigenous relations, but also reconciling contemporary relations with wider human, ecological and economic communities. Conference speakers will represent various indigenous, ecological, agricultural, energy industry and international perspectives. As with previous years, Spirit of the Land aspires to develop a positive culture as a principal foundation to address contemporary ecological and economic challenges. Community members and students alike are encouraged to come out to this event.

The conference will host 3 plenary speakers. Friday’s opening keynote speaker, Dr. Alex Wilson, is the first First Nations woman in Canada to receive a doctorate from Harvard University. Currently at the University of Saskatchewan, Dr. Wilson has developed education programs in Land-Based Education which combine academic study with teachings from the land, community and traditional knowledge holders, and will speak on the advantages of place-based learning. Karen Mahon, country director of STAND and longstanding Canadian environmentalist, will speak on social activism and environmentalism, while David Dodge of Green Energy Futures will discuss clean energy initiatives and projects around the country.

The conference will be set up for round table discussions on Friday and Saturday, and Sunday will have post-conference workshops, focusing on solar/clean energy and how to grow micro-greens at home. By the end of the conference, participants will be equipped with the knowledge and skills they need to reconcile with various aspects of community and self and fully integrate their relationship with the economy, environment, their spirituality and their community.

Registration is now open and you can register online at spiritoftheland.ca. Early Bird registration rates apply until October 24th, after which all prices (including ones bought at the door) will increase. The Friday night keynote is free for students! To learn more about the Spirit of the Land Conference, please email: spiritoftheland1@gmail.com. For more info and registration visit the website at www.spiritoftheland.ca.

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