Manitoba Aboriginal Languages Strategy (MALS) was created to promote, revitalize, and support Aboriginal Languages throughout Manitoba. Ancestral knowledge, as carried in our languages, songs, stories, community histories, and other key practices and customs, connect and bridge generations. The languages of First Nations, Métis and Inuit teach us about who we are as a people. Language creates a strong connection from the past to the present and helps shape Indigenous identity. We recognize the importance of land and the role that the land plays in connecting to our language and history. We also recognize that learning can take place beyond the walls of a classroom.



teca oyate hena dakota wicohan yuha mani pte

Empowering youth to lead the way in Language

In this “International Decade of Indigenous Languages”, MALS is pleased to host a two-day language symposium. This year’s conference theme is “teca oyate hena dakota wicohan yuha mani pte: Empowering Youth to Lead the Way in Language”.

The symposium will take place February 21-22, 2024 at Canad Inns Destination Centre Polo Park. We encourage you to come and share in two days of language celebration and revitalization.

We invite an interactive approach to share language and welcome individual workshop sessions that may include, but are not limited to:

  • Aboriginal writing systems
  • Teaching language in the digital age
  • Language apps
  • Teacher apprenticeships & Aboriginal language immersion programming
  • Local initiatives & best practices
  • Grandparents and our languages
  • Teaching Aboriginal languages
  • Community based Aboriginal languages programs
  • Language and the Land
  • Language program models
  • Language Resources
  • Stories, songs, and teachings
  • Sharing research and policy related to Aboriginal languages

We invite Knowledge Keepers, Elders, educators, students and other interested community members to this year’s conference.





Opening song and lunchtime entertainment Feb 21, 2024


Walking Wolf

Ray (Co-Co) Stevenson is a singer and composer of traditional songs. Over the years, he has recorded seven original Albums of his own composed songs. He comes from the Treaty One Territory with both Ojibway and Cree backgrounds. Home for Ray is Winnipeg, where he was born and raised.

Luc Wrigley

Luc Wrigley is a Cree and French-Metis that has been playing music since the age of 3 1/2 and has been playing on stages since the age of 4. Throughout his performing with Winnipeg band Double the Trouble, Luc has been able to play his fiddle, guitar and sing across the prairies and Canada.

He and his brother have been featured at multiple festivals such as the Winnipeg Folk Fest, Festival du Voyageur, and many others inside and out of Manitoba and Canada. He now seeks to advance his skills and learn more about the music industry, song writing and performing in general. View Luc’s website or follow him on social media…


*** Come back often as we add more entertainment, speakers and news ***







Hi, My name is Andrew Antsanen and I’m from a small fly in community in northern Manitoba called Lac Brochet. I grew up speaking the language and living off the land as early as I could remember, until I decided to leave at the age of 13 to peruse my dream as a hockey player. For 4 years, I went to school and played hockey at Notre Dame college, which is in a small town in Wilcox, Saskatchewan. I also played for Team Manitoba, and from there I was scouted and played Junior hockey in Quebec. After hockey, I started Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) and fought for a number of years. During that time, I worked as a carpenter and also facilitated hockey camps across Canada which I still do till this day. And most recently, I’m one of the actors on a new TV show called Shoresy! Looking forward to meet everyone and share my story with you all! Masi cho!

Andrew Antsanen


Brady Keeper is a 27-year-old Cree man From Pimicikamak Cree Nation, Cross Lake, in northern Manitoba. He is currently playing for the Laval Rocket in the American Hockey League (AHL) while under contract with the Montreal Canadiens. Throughout his hockey career, Brady has lived in many places across North America, Canada, and starting his career here in northern Manitoba. Being the first person from Pimicikamak to get into the NHL, Brady has inspired many rez kids to follow their dreams and this is something he takes pride in, his people. Brady is semi-fluent in his Cree language and is proud of his family and where he comes from. Brady currently lives in Quebec with his wife and children.

Brady Keeper


Seth is a dedicated and passionate Father, Husband, Consultant, Researcher, Mentor, Speaker and Creator living on Kaurna Country in Adelaide, South Australia. With family connections to the Awabakal and Wiradjuri Nations of NSW, Seth draws on his ancestry and the deep wisdom and knowledge of Indigenous practices and Culture to guide and inform all the work that he does. Through his research and advocacy work, Seth strives to better understand how social and cultural determinants drive health and social inequities within society, particularly as it relates to Indigenous communities and young people. He works to better equip communities and young people with tools and evidence for public health advocacy. Seth currently holds a Research Fellow and Community partnership lead role at the Telethon Kids Institute and is Co-leading the development of the National Roadmap for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Adolescent Health and Wellbeing.


Within his presentation Seth will speak to his work with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Young people, their Families and Communities across his career as a Youth Mentor, Researcher and Public Health Advocate. Seth will discuss the importance of Indigenous self-determination through genuine Governance and shared decision making. He will outline the importance of holistic understandings of health and wellbeing and the interplay between the Cultural and Social Determinants of health. Through his presentation Seth will draw on examples from his early work in Community Language reclamation and more recently the development of the First National Strategy for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Adolescent Health. 

Seth Westhead




Please note: Registration limit has been set at 200 delegates


You are encouraged to register online as online registrations will be processed first; all others will be processed in the order they are received. If you have already registered online please do not return this form. Registration confirmation will be sent via email.


IMPORTANT NOTE: Any questions regarding registration, please contact Kea York  at 1-204-307-1098 or



Registration is free for all First Nations Knowledge Keepers, Elders, educators, students and other interested community members.

However, all conference participants are responsible for their own travel and accommodations.


Use the online registration form OR

fill out the PDF and email to Kea York at



Individuals who are:

  • Elders
  • Students
  • Education Stakeholders
  • Knowledge Keepers
  • Interested community members and groups



2024 Workshop Abstract Forms now available! 

Abstract Submissions:

Workshop abstracts will be reviewed and selected based upon session topic, delivery approach, expertise of presenters, and relevance to the conference theme. Complete and submit the Workshop Abstract Proposal Form. Successful applicants will be notified.

Note: travel, accommodations, supplies are the sole responsibility of the presenter.


Workshop Abstract Proposals must be submitted by January 31, 2024 to:

Attn: Kea York




2024 Trade Show is FULL and registrations are no longer being accepted!

Applications accepted until all tables are filled (10 table limit – NOW FULL).
Thanks to all for supporting us!

Exhibitors registering after February 1, 2024 are not guaranteed a listing online and in the conference booklet.


GIFTS (no fees) 5 significant gifts donation / table to be used as prizes for attendees

Gifts must be received prior to participation in the conference.

PLEASE NOTE:  Those companies that have secured a table will be notified via email provided.




Canad Inns Destination Centre Polo Park

Toll-Free: 855-516-1090

Hotel Location & Nearby Attractions

When you stay at Canad Inns Destination Centre Polo Park in Winnipeg, you’ll be connected to a shopping center, within a 15-minute walk of Polo Park and Speedworld Indoor Kart Track. This eco-certified hotel is 2.6 mi (4.3 km) from Canada Life Centre and 1.1 mi (1.8 km) from Bristol Aerospace Limited.

Popular Hotel Amenities and Features

Be sure to enjoy recreational amenities, including a nightclub, a complimentary water park, and an indoor pool. This hotel also features complimentary wireless internet access, wedding services, and tour/ticket assistance.

When booking your room, please mention that you are attending the MFNERC MALS Conference.  Book early as space is limited!

All travel arrangements are the responsibility of the individual.

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




All Inquiries

Kea York, Program Coordinator
Phone: 204-307-1098
Fax: 204-942-2490

Manitoba First Nations Education Resource Centre Inc.
2-1100 Waverley Street
Winnipeg, Manitoba R3T 3X9