October 4, 2012 Facebook Twitter Linkedin

Shawn Johnston, 4th year student in the Bachelor of Social Work (Honors) program, has been selected from 100 applicants to speak on a panel of ten students at the Indigenous Education Summit happening at the Queen’s Landing hotel in Niagara on the Lake from October 4-5, 2012.

The conference is focused around the theme of promoting successful transition periods for Indigenous’ learners’ educational journeys between academic institutions. There are three main objectives the speaker’s will elaborate on: encouraging dialogue amongst First Nations, Métis, and Inuit Peoples with educational departments; sharing methods for successful ontologies for effective policies and programs; and building networks to enhance future collaborations in order to better shape First Nation’s educational agendas.

Johnston will be given the privilege to share his personal story of the obstacles he faced growing up and how these challenges led him to a journey of self-discovery. Johnston revealed in an interview that, “I would not have made it this far if it wasn’t for the student centres available to First Nation students at post-secondary institutions.” He was provided with a safe atmosphere that made his post-secondary education a positive experience and is excited to share his story with the attendees at the Summit. 

“I look forward to listening to ideas shared by the keynote speakers and networking with people who share the same want to provide a better chance for our youth and future leaders at earning an education,” he notes. Johnston is currently working on his autobiography and plans to publish it within the next three years.

Amongst the keynote speakers at the Summit will be National Chief Shawn A-in-Shut Atleo and the Right Honourable Paul Martin. National Chief Atleo is a Hereditary Chief from Ahousaht; he is committed to the principles of teamwork and will be seeking support for First Nations’ students based on rights and responsibilities. He has recently been awarded with the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for his performance on behalf of the First Nations.

The Right Honourable Paul Martin, Canada’s former Prime Minister from 2003-2006, will use his time facilitating efforts to reduce the dropout rate of Aboriginal students. He is the founder of Martin Aboriginal Education Initiatives, which seeks to increase the number of Aboriginal students attending post-secondary institutions.

For more information on the Indigenous Education Summit, please visit www.academica.ca/