Staff Reflection on the 2022 World Indigenous Peoples Conference on Education

GabeOth, NT Senior Program Officer writes:

I am grateful to be given the opportunity from IAHA to attend WIPCE for the very first time the whole week experience is to remember. My highlights firstly started with the First Nations parade and each group showcasing and introductions to their heritage is unique and have only seen that style at the opening ceremony of the Olympics. On the plane ride down to Adelaide I set up goals for myself for this event, one of them was each day introduce and meet 4-5 new people which I enjoyed building relationships and networking for IAHA and personally myself. One particular eye opener was the First Nations University of Canada and meeting the people that advocated for First Nations education and curriculum and participating in the specific co current session throughout the WIPCE conference.
The food on the opening night was LUBLY! fresh oysters and fresh seafood from along the coast made it special I am a big foodie! Again, the evening event for Day 1 was a great platform to network with new and existing relationships IAHA have. I was already looking forward to presenting the conference posters on the Wednesday as the work IAHA is doing in education & training and curriculum space complemented the WIPCE conference, I have a page full of contacts to follow up after this experience just FYI
So many co-current sessions to choose from there were no-shows however I opted to attend a random one which ended up being Deadly. One of my favourite highlights at the conference they had a dedicated ‘yarning session’ space for youth and elders. I manage to make the most of my relationship building and connection over a cup of tea, I met family I have never met before and met First Nations people in Canada and shared their lifestyle and exchanged my lifestyle and cultural heritage. Throughout the WIPCE conference I reconnected with IAHA family which again was Deadly !
One of the sessions I found powerful was based around early childhood (K-3 aged groups) the power and importance of childhood education and how ways of knowing, being and doing is embedded. For example, an Indigenous owned Kindy based in Adelaide how they deliver a cultural appropriate service, the organisation mentioned all young ones to run around barefoot to feel country. An example of a strength-based approach the first 45 minutes of the day is dedicated to learners doing activities of their choice. This allows parents and care givers time to bring young ones in without the official start of the day, so the guardian and leaner doesn’t feel the ‘shame’ in coming in late to kindy. Another service they deliver is individualised learning plans/support plans for early childhood learners to allow flexibility in learning and providing wrap around support.

October 11, 2022


Posted by: Renae Kilmister