May 10-12, 2017
Victoria Inn Hotel & Convention Centre
Winnipeg, Manitoba

The Manitoba First Nations Education Resource Centre’s mission statement is to help First Nations improve education for all learners to achieve [a good life]: mino-pimatisiwin (Cree/Ojibwe/Ojibwe-Cree) | honso aynai (Dene) | tokatakiya wichoni washte (Dakota).

This year’s Lighting the Fire will be showcasing best practices for academic, language and culture programs including language immersion, in-school and after school programs.

In 1998, First Nations Education Directors in Manitoba had a shared vision of creating the MFNERC to help them with improving the quality and relevance of education. Over the past 18 years, MFNERC has worked in partnership with First Nations educators to develop, initiate and support new programs.

Achieving holistic well-being has been a goal of First Nations.  This year’s Lighting the Fire will showcase ways professionals can help students to achieve mental, physical, spiritual and emotional well-being through creative and fun ways.

Sharing our success stories will help each of our schools to achieve even more success. We will explore various and diverse educational models for First Nations. Through the incorporation of First Nations knowledge and perspectives, First Nations schools have developed exciting new educational programs to provide opportunities for all learners to achieve: mino-pimatisiwin; honso aynai; and tokatakiya wichoniwashte. #agoodlife

First Nation Elders • Leadership • Government Representatives • Principals • Educators • Students • Chiefs • Education Stakeholders • Leadership • Education Administrators • Education Directors • Parents • School Boards • Councilors • All Other Interested •


At Lighting the Fire, “STREAMS” are areas which can assist you as you decide which workshops to attend. Which STREAM are you interested in:

• Culture and Language
• Technology
• Numeracy/Literacy
• Physical Education and Wellness



Shaping Our Futures Through Conversations That Matter

Campfires are an opportunity for delegates to get together in a structured conversational process intended to facilitate dialogue, initially in small groups and then linking ideas within a larger group to access the collective intelligence or collective wisdom in the room. A talking stick or rock may be used to make sure that all participants get a chance to speak.As well as speaking and listening, individuals are encouraged to write or doodle on a paper so that when people change tables they can see what previous members have expressed in their own words and images.

Michael Redhead Champagne has spent nearly two decades speaking out and leading by example. He takes a hopeful and solution oriented approach to youth engagement, facilitation, community organizing and mobilization. 

The list of accolades for his work is both lengthy and well deserved. He was recognized as the 2016 Canadian Red Cross Young Humanitarian of the Year and in TIME Magazine as a Next Generation Leader. In 2016, Michael served on the Bank of Canada’s bank note advisory committee with a task of creating a short list of women nominated by the public to appear on a new bank note. Michael has also received a Manitoba Aboriginal Youth Achievement Award as well as recognition as a CBC Manitoba Future 40 leader, a Manitoba Hero, and a Future Leader of Manitoba.

As the founder of AYO! (Aboriginal Youth Opportunities), he is committed to a wide variety of important community initiatives including Meet Me at the Bell Tower, AYO Politix, ARROWS Youth Engagement Strategy, 13 Fires, Fearless R2W and Winnipeg Water Wednesday. Michael has served as president of North End Community Renewal Corporation, a board member for the Circle of Life Thunderbird House and is currently serving on the board for Marymound Inc. His committee work currently includes United Way of Winnipeg’s Council for Indigenous Relations and is an advisor to the Garden of Compassion initiative.

Michael is known for his straight up and heartfelt style that will leave you moved, inspired and ready for action.



Keith Goulet is a Nehinuw (Cree) from Cumberland House in northern Saskatchewan. He was raised in a trapping, fishing, hunting, and gathering context. He has a B.Ed., M.Ed. and is presently a Ph.D. candidate on the issue of land. He has been a teacher, Cree language consultant, teacher education program developer (NORTEP), an executive director of Gabriel Dumont Institute and a regional community college principal. He co-authored Teaching Each Other with his wife Linda book which is structured and integrated with Nehinuw (Cree) pedagogy. His daughters are Kona and Danis and grandchildren Riel and Cassius. He was a cabinet minister from 1992 to 2001 and served in the Saskatchewan legislature as an MLA for17 years.

William Prince spent his early childhood in a small town just north of Winnipeg. Then one day his family moved to Peguis First Nation on the western shores of Lake Winnipeg.

"I didn't even know what a reserve was. I didn't even really know we were Aboriginal people," he said. "My dad brought us back to Peguis and said, 'This is where you're from. This is where your family comes from.'" 

But home and family are not the only gifts his parents gave him, Prince says they also gave him a love of music. They ran a DJ service and they often took him along to dances in old community halls.

"I remember being a young kid sleeping under a community hall table till 1:30 in the morning." 

Prince grew up listening to artists from Paul Simon to Bruce Springsteen, Michael Jackson to Merle Haggard, and of course country legends Kris Kristofferson and Hank Snow. But it was Johnny Cash that really caught his attention.

"Tennessee Flat Top Box is the reason I learned to play guitar, my dad used to play that riff all the time."

Prince said he quickly learned he was terrible but kept at it, slowly improving both his guitar skills and his songwriting. His voice and songs evoke Leonard Cohen, Willie Nelson, and more than a dash of Barry White and he is a rising star on the Indigenous music scene. But his deep baritone voice was something that Prince didn't always accept. In the early days of his career, he resisted his own sound.

"I used to fight the slow, low voice, chill approach to things." he said. "A lot of my favourite artists don't make (it onto) traditional radio anymore. I was swayed early in that I thought there had to be a mold to fit into."

It took Prince 10 years to produce his first album, Earthly Days. Released in 2015, he collaborated with Winnipeg folk artist Scott Nolan to craft the soulful sound based in his own personal experiences.

"I've always had a lot to say," he said about his songwriting. "A bad day becomes a song, but good days become songs, too."

Prince's latest single, 7, was written for the Peguis graduating class, with input from the students. The song was based around the seven sacred teachings: love, courage, humility, truth, respect, courage, and honesty.

"It became a bit of a song to my son, as well." Prince admitted. "If I went away, and could only leave this voice behind, what would I want it to say?"

For more information, please email

Application period now closed.

Victoria Inn Hotel and Convention Centre
1808 Wellington Avenue, Winnipeg, Manitoba
Phone: (204) 786-4801
Fax: (204) 786-1329
Toll Free 1-877-VIC-INNS or 1-877-842-4667

The Victoria Inn Hotel and Convention Centre is a Canada Select 4 Star hotel. The hotel has 260 well appointed standard guest rooms and specialty rooms including executive, Honeymoon, Queen and Kid Theme suites. More then 28,000 square feet of meeting and banquet space makes it the largest convention hotel in Manitoba. Hotel amenities include a Dino-Beach Family Water Park, fitness room, washers, dryers and a gift shop in the hotel lobby. The hotel also offers complimentary parking, local phone calls, internet computer in the lobby, wireless internet in guest rooms and 24-hour airport shuttle. Other conveniences include Chicago Joe’s Restaurant lounge, and VLT Gaming Room.

All travel arrangements are the responsibility of the individual. Clement Travel is the official travel agent for the Manitoba First Nations Education Resource Centre (MFNERC). For assistance in planning your travel needs, please contact Clement Travel at (204) 985-5290.

The MFNERC assumes no responsibility for any injury, theft, or personal liabilities. First Aid and emergency services will be available on location. The Lighting the Fire conference is an alcohol and drug free event (excluding any alcohol sold by host hotel at the restaurant and banquet).

Wednesday, May 10, 2017
Thursday, May 11, 2017
Friday, May 12, 2017

Tentative schedule only. Times and locations subject to change.

Check out the Workshop descriptions by clicking this link. *Note: Workshop list is tentative and subject to change.


Emergency First Aid with CPR & AED
Tuesday, May 9, 2017
This full-day workshop will be offered at no additional charge if you are already registered for the full conference. Please confirm your attendance and register today by calling 1-866-644-2065 or email

Presenter: Bryan Wall, St. John Ambulance
Audience: All
The primary focus of this workshop is CPR Level C (adult/infant/child), AED (defibrillator), and emergency situations (ie. chocking, bleeding, asthma, allergies). The course is aimed at individuals working within 30 minutes of a medical facility in low hazard work environments. It is suitable for anyone who provides care for infants, children and/or adults, federal government employees, home care providers, coaches, spectators at any amateur sporting event, educational support staff, teachers, office or retail workers and parents.

Tina Keeper is Cree, originally from Norway House Cree Nation, now a Winnipeg based media producer. She is President of Kistikan Pictures, a partner company to Buffalo Gal Pictures. Tina was formerly an actor, best known for her work on the hit Canadian series "North of 60". Recent productions include the feature film, Road of Iniquity, the critically acclaimed Royal Winnipeg Ballet, Going Home Star (2014) about the Indian Residential School history in Canada, The REDress REdress Project (2013) a short documentary on the issue of Murdered and Missing Aboriginal women in Manitoba and the APTN drama series, Cashing In (2014) which follows the high stakes gaming at North Beach Casino. Upcoming feature film production for Kistikan is Through Black Spruce based on Joseph Boyden’s Giller prize winning novel.

Tina also served as a Member of Parliament for the federal riding of Churchill.

Tina has a BA Theatre from the University of Winnipeg and has trained at the Centre for Indigenous Theatre, the Banff Centre and the Sundance Film Institute

Tina currently serves as Chairperson of the board of trustees for the Helen Betty Osborne Memorial Foundation, member of the advisory Committee to Urban Shaman Gallery, the advisory committee to Red Cross Manitoba, Honourary Witness for the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, and is member of the Order of Manitoba, Canadians for a New Partnership, a recipient of an Aboriginal Achievement Award, a Gemini Award, 3 American Indian Film Festival awards for acting and producing, a 2014 Canadian Civil Liberties Association award for Public Engagement, was named ACTRA’s 2017 Women of the Year, and in June 2017, Tina will receive an Honorary Doctor of Letters from Wilfred Laurier University.

Kyle Nobess, was born and raised in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada where he found his passion for acting at an early age. He landed his first major role on APTN’S hit show Cashing in and has gone on to have great success in acting with various projects. Kyle has appeared in numerous cameo roles, including the television series Todd and the Book of Pure Evil, Curse of Chuck, Joy Ride 3, just to name a few. He was cast as a lead role in APTN’S new hit television show that has been running for four seasons, Mohawk Girls films in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

Kyle has also become a well- known TV personality. He co-hosted the 2014/15 Indspire Awards along side both Tina Keeper and Lorne Cardinal, which was televised live across Canada. He also co-hosted the 2015/16 Aboriginal Day Live show at the forks in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Kyle has continued to diversify himself and has taken his film and creative knowledge to the new media platform as he and his brother have created a youtube channel massholeh which is now partnered with Much Digital studios, more can be seen at

Kyle is touring his Road To Freedom Workshops to First Nation communities across Canada. The workshop focuses on bringing hands on experience in film acting, addiction awareness and confidence building. Kyle shares his personal story of recovering from drugs and alcohol and finding success in sobriety. Kyle is celebrating ten years clean and sober and has made it apart of his life’s mission to share his journey and hope to give inspiration that anything is possible when you set your mind to it.


Online registration is now closed. On-site registration will be accepted.

Full Conference
1-4 people ............ $300 per person
5-19 people .......... $275 per person
20+ people ........... $225 per person

Single Day
$100 per person (each day)

Full Conference ..... $115 per person
Single Day ............. $55 per person

Elders .................... Free

1. Credit card (online or on-site)
2. Authorized Purchase Order
3. Certified Cheque from an organization or band (no personal cheques)
4. Cash (on-site only)

Please make all payments payable to "Manitoba First Nations Education Resource Centre Inc." and send to:

Lighting The Fire 2017 Registration
Manitoba First Nations Education Resource Centre Inc.
2-1100 Waverley Street
Winnipeg, MB R3T 3X9


For more information, please contact:

Joy Keeper, Conference Coordinator or Randi-Lisa Quedent, Conference Assistant
Manitoba First Nations Education Resource Centre Inc.

Toll Free: 1-866-644-2065
Fax: 1-866-644-2084