Topics: Education, Indigenous

WIPCE 2017 attracts large Māori contingent to Toronto

updated By Online News - Rereātea, Tepara Koti
WIPCE 2017 - Image /

The World Indigenous Peoples Conference on Education, or WIPCE, draws Indigenous representatives from across the globe every three years to share their successes and strategies for culturally-grounded Indigenous education.

WIPCE has become a renowned international event for Indigenous Education advocates over the past 30 years.

This video from Six Nations Polytechnic in Toronto features residential school survivor, Blanche Hill, who wanted to share her story of resilience with the world.

This year's conference is currently underway at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre (MTCC) running from July 24-29  in Toronto, Canada.  The co-hosts are Six Nations Polytechnic and TAP Resources, and the near week-long event is being supported by a number of local sponsors.

Over 300 workshops and presentations, which was initially narrowed down from nearly 1000 submissions, are on offer to attendees. The conference continues to lead the discussion on contemporary movements in education that support Indigenous worldviews.

A large contingent of Māori education advocates, scholars and supporters are at the conference, some have been chosen to deliver presentations, others there to learn and share ideas with our indigenous cousins.

The official welcoming ceremony took place at Chiefswood Park Six Nations, Ohsweken, alongside the Grand River on which guests were delighted to see local elders arrive by canoe.

Colourful traditional dress were worn by the many cultures in attendance, a Parade of Nations also took place.

WIPCE Communications Officer at Six Nations Polytechnic, Chelsey Tyler says the response for WIPCE has been great!  "We have around 3,000 delegates from around the world.  A highlight for me during the opening ceremonies was the Parade of Nations."

She says, "Seeing so many Indigenous groups come together in the spirit of peace and unity is truly an inspiring and moving experience. The opportunity to share our culture and our knowledge with each other is also one of my favourite things about the conference."

"This entire experience has been exceptional thanks to the amazing organizers, volunteers, staff, and of course delegates," Chelsey says.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau posted this video of thanks today to the WIPCE attendees from around the globe.

In 2014, WIPCE was hosted by the Native Hawaiian Education Association in Hawai'i and welcomed over 4000 delegates.

[Photos courtesy of Anna Rangi of Te Whānau-a-Apanui, Waikato-Maniapoto iwi]