To bring awareness and promote the new structured organization to the community year after year, it was decided the best way to accomplish its mission was to hold a conference in 2019.

The third conference will be held in conjunction with the Soaring Spirit Festival Titled Branches of Native Development 2022 Indigenous Development Conference – Breaking Down Barriers and Developing for the Future.

The purpose of this conference is to bring together experienced educators, elders and knowledge carriers, working in the field of education and employment assistance, Indigenous arts, health wellness and Justice, culture awareness or education, and poverty reduction. This could include teachers or educators, lawyers, law enforcement, social workers, Indigenous language speakers, Indigenous lodge and ceremony carriers or knowledge carriers but is not limited to those specific persons. We want to discuss the past, present – and the future of Indigenous Development, the advancements in indigenous learning models and to identify the historical barriers and how to eliminate them. To touch base on the Truth and Reconciliations Calls to Action and how its implantation can assist in future development of Indigenous people. To further develop networks within communities that expands existing Indigenous organization networks to ensure open dialogues are established and maintain between non-Indigenous organizations and partners.

To bring awareness and promote the new structured organization to the community year after year, it was decided the best way to accomplish its mission was to hold a conference. The second conference will be held online via zoom and will be titled Branches of Native Development Conference 2021 Indigenous Development – Breaking down barriers and developing for the future.


Time                                           Workshop

7:00-7:45 am Sunrise Ceremony Sacred Fire Battlefield

7:55-8:55 am Welcoming Breakfast Indoors - Lecture Hall

9:00-9:45 am Registration

9:45-10:00 am Break

10:00-11:15 am Relief of Indigenous Poverty Presentations-

Culture, Indigenous Land management & Community Development with Mkomose (Dr. Andrew Judge)

11:30-12:00 pm Keynote Dr. Dawn Martin-Hill Presenting Ohneganos -Indoors - Lecture Hall - Battlefield House

12:00-1:00 pm Lunch Indoors - Lecture Hall - Battlefield House

1:00-2:15 pm Culture, Language & Culture Preservation - Indigenous language - TBC Mawla Shawana Anishnaabemowin & Traditional knowledge holder Tehakanere - Indigenous Arts with Beth Doxtator – and Logan Staats

Water Teachings by

2:15-2:30 pm Break

2:30-3:45 pm Indigenous Education / Secondary and Post Secondary educators - Lacrosse - the game/interactive teachings and Cultural Sensitivity with Genawendan and NaWalka Geeshy Meegwun - Cree Elder Tipi Teachings at the tipi (teepee)

3:45-4:00 pm Break

4:00-4:30 Imaginative Presentation Lecture Hall - Battlefield House

5:00 pm Awards Ceremony Lecture Hall - Battlefield House

5:00-6:00 pm Dinner Lecture Hall - Battlefield House

6:00 PM                   Live Entertainment Battlefield Stage

6pm-6:30 Keith Silver Band

6:40-7:10 Semiah Smith

7:20-7:50 James Wilson

7:55-8:25 Leah Belle

8:30-9:00 Jace Martin

Indigenous Development Conference Panel Bio 2022


CHIL – Coalition of Hamilton Indigenous Leaders - Presentation of homelessness and housing services from five Indigenous Organizations:

- Hamilton Regional Indian Center -

- Niwasa Kendaaswin Teg -

- Native Women’s Center -

- Sacajawea Non-Profit Housing Inc. –

- De dwa da dehs nye>s – Aboriginal Health Center

Education and Employment - TBD

Indigenous Arts

Beth Doxtator – Elizabeth Doxtater was born and raised on the Six Nations Indian Reserve #40, Grand River. She is a lifelong learner in the field of Indigenous Arts as a cornhusk artist, painter, and storyteller. Doxtater conducts workshops, blending the arts with historic and cultural narratives for students, child welfare agencies, educators, and a variety of other organizations. Her work focuses on the concept of re-villagizing as the next step after decolonizing.

In 2019 Doxtater was commissioned by the Ontario College of Teachers (OCT) to artistically represent the four ethical standards of the teaching profession: Care, Integrity, Trust, and Respect. Elizabeth coauthored the 2022 OCT document, Restorative Journey: Indigenous Educational Wellness, which features her essays, paintings, poetry, and photographs of her cornhusk dolls. She has also written two books, Art of Peace and Dreamfast.

Doxtater coordinates the “Group of Six”, a grassroots program working with six local youth artists whose work focus on unity through art. Doxtater notes, “As we revillagize and prepare to hand over the tools for Peace, to the approaching faces, sometimes those tools are a canvas and a paintbrush.”

Logan Staats - The goal of this workshop will be to demonstrate the power of musical creation and identify the medicinal qualities of creation to help heal and create purpose. I will share my own story; how reconnecting to my culture through music has helped me to overcome addiction, and how music and indigenous sovereignty/cultural reclamation have helped me feel whole again after struggling with my mental health.

Indigenous Culture Sensitivity

Cultural Sensitivity Genawendan – facilitators Amanda Trites and Scott Norton, cultural protection for Indigenous youth, reconciliation and healing among young and older generations. & NaWalka Geeshy Meegwun, Anishnaabe Ojokwe, Chippewas of Kettle and Stoney Point First Nations, Indigenous Justice Coordinator, Hamilton Community Legal Clinic

Culture, Language & Culture Preservation

Johnathan Henhock – Tehakanere is Haudenosaunee (Mohawk Wolf), born and raised on the Six Nations of the Grand River territory. Tehakanere studied some basic language as it was offered on the territory and completed high school in Brantford. From there, he went on to complete a Business degree at Brock with honors and received the Spirit of Brock Medal upon graduating. He served as Youth Program Coordinator with the Southern Ontario Aboriginal Diabetes Initiative (SOADI) for 3 years, building community awareness and engagement opportunities with the help of many talented Indigenous artists for various Indigenous communities through Hiphop, and other various forms of expression.

Tehakanere then decided to commit his time and energy into language, beginning his journey with the Onkwawenna Kentyohkwa(The Mohawk Language Adult Immersion School in Six Nations) program offered at G.R.E.A.T. He was able to fully immerse himself in the 3 year program, even dedicating his spare time to sitting with elders and knowledge keepers to enhance his language skills. During this time, he also offered language classes to community members as a means to increase his teaching ability, while offering free language lessons to anyone interested in learning. Tehakanere worked tirelessly to revitalize cultural stories only known by certain elders and knowledge keepers so that he may share them with community. After graduating from the Onkwawenna Kentyohkwa program, he began teaching students of all ages within the Six Nations community and beyond. He has taught Mohawk language at high schools, community centers, as well as private institutions. He currently teaches full-time at Six Nations Polytechnic and part-time at Brock University.

Tehakanere possesses a love for learning as much as he can about Haudenosaunee people, history, culture and language as they intersect with one another. He is committed to a life-long journey of language learning and cultural revitalization.

Culture, Indigenous Land management & Community Development

Cultural Sensitivity Genawendan – facilitators Amanda Trites and Scott Norton, cultural protection for Indigenous youth, reconciliation and healing among young and older generations. & Betsy Kechego- Chippewas of the Thames First Nation

Culture, Indigenous Land management & Community Development

Mkomose (Dr. Andrew Judge) - is Assistant Professor of Anishinaabe Studies at Algoma University and has been sessional Lecturer at Sir Wilfrid Laurier University and The University of Waterloo and Coordinator of Indigenous studies at Conestoga College in Southwestern Ontario. He specializes in traditional Indigenous knowledge, ethno-medicine, and land-based learning. Mkomose regularly works with Elders to support conscious awakening to respond to the current state of society. He is an initiated Mayan day count keeper and regularly participates in the ancient ceremonial practices of his Anishinaabe ancestors.

imagineNATIVE -  is the world's largest presenter of Indigenous screen content.

The organization is recognized locally, nationally, and internationally for excellence and innovation in programming and as the global centre for Indigenous media arts. imagineNATIVE (legal entity: The Centre for Aboriginal Media) is a registered charity committed to creating a greater understanding of Indigenous peoples and cultures through the presentation of contemporary Indigenous-made media art including film, video, audio, and digital media. 

Health Wellness & Justice

Opening & Closing Keynote Speakers

Opening Keynote Speaker - Dr. Dawn Martin Hill – Presents OHNEGANOS

Associate Professor - Department of Anthropology

Dawn Martin-Hill (Mohawk, Wolf Clan) holds a PhD in Cultural Anthropology and is one of the original founders of the Indigenous Studies Program at McMaster University. She is the recipient of a US-Canada Fulbright award, Outstanding Teaching Award from the Aboriginal Institutes Consortium, and she has received grants from SSHRC, CIHR and the Ontario Trillium Foundation. Her research includes: Indigenous knowledge & cultural conservation, Indigenous women, traditional medicine and health and the contemporary practice of Indigenous traditionalism. She is Co-PI on a CIHR-IAPH funded NEAHR grant (Network Environments in Aboriginal Health Research), the Indigenous Health Research Development Program (IHDRP).


Our program is made up of two main projects: Co-Creation of Indigenous Water Quality Tools and Ohneganos - Indigenous Ecological Knowledge, Training, and Co-Creation of Mixed-Method Tools.

Closing Keynote