AEE Circle Gatherings

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The Aboriginal and Environmental Education Circle (AEE Circle)
The Aboriginal and Environmental Education Circle (AEE Circle) e-newsletter was a professional learning and sharing network of educators, teachers, college instructors, university professors, Aboriginal elders and leaders. Through e-mail, educators shared native studies resources, curriculum and teaching strategies that helped Canadian teachers integrate school curriculum with current cultural, environmental and historical contributions of our Canadian First Nations, Inuit and Metis brothers and sisters.


  • See photos and read about past Aboriginal and Environmental Education Circle (AEE Circle) Gatherings.
  • The Aboriginal and Environmental Education Circle (AEE Circle) was founded on January 2, 2010 during a gathering at the Jack Smythe Field Centre. Co-founders during this gathering were Patricia Chrisjohn, Sharron Huxley, Jennifer Kottick, Mike Millard, Sherri Owen, Rob Ridley, David Spencer and Anthony Templer. During the months that followed, Jo-Anne Absolon, Marc Hogan, Damian MacSeáin and Ian Pettigrew provided guidance for the structure of the organization.
  • On June 30, 2012 the AEE Circle was donated by David Spencer and AEE Circle members to the Native Education Association of Ontario (NEAO). From 2009 to May 2014, the Native Education Association of Ontario (NEAO) was led by Marg Boyle and a team of Ontario educators. Special thanks to Marg Boyle, her NEAO Council and three years of leadership, encouragement and support. In May 2014, this association was rebranded to become the First Nation, Metis & Inuit Education Association of Ontario (FNMIEAO) the Ontario Ministry of Education recognized provincial subject association for teachers and educators of First Nation, Metis & Inuit Studies and Native Languages.
  • View the Prezi presentation and learn about the AEE Circle.


Aboriginal and Environmental Education Circle (AEE Circle) on Tuesday March 6, 2012

The Aboriginal and Environmental Education Circle (AEE Circle) met on Tuesday March 6, 2012 at 4:00 p.m. at The Woodlands Secondary School. Topic: Aboriginal Student Recruitment, Helping First Nations Schools Guest speaker: Kandice Baptiste, Aboriginal Student Recruitment,Wilfrid Laurier University. We also did a video conference call with 13 year old Wes Prankard who is raising money to help build foster homes in Attawapiskat.

The following people attended:

  1. Kandice Baptiste, Aboriginal Students Recruitment and Retention Officer, Wilfrid Laurier University
  2. Dave Del Gobbo, Instructional Technology Resource Teacher, Mississauga West Field Office
  3. David Spencer, Peel Alternative School North
  4. Rachel Luke, Glenforest Secondary School



Aboriginal and Environmental Education Circle (AEE Circle) on Tuesday June 7, 2011

The Aboriginal and Environmental Education Circle (AEE Circle) met on Tuesday June 7, 2011 from 4:00 to 5:30 p.m. Location: Social Planning Council of Peel in Mississauga Topic: My Role with the The Metis Nation of Ontario. Guest speaker Simon Bain provided educators with a background about the health and wellness services The Metis Nation of Ontario.

The following educators and friends attended:

  1. Simon Bain,Community Wellness,Metis Nation of Ontario
  2. Paula Campbell, Peel District School Board
  3. David Cooper, Peel District School Board
  4. Zamina Daniel, Peel District School Board
  5. Chuck Hammill, Peel District School Board
  6. Brendan O'Gorman, Peel District School Board
  7. Judy O'neill, Peel District School Board
  8. Ian Pettigrew, Peel District School Board
  9. Alyssa Soden, Peel District School Board
  10. David Spencer, Peel District School Board


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Photo #1: AEE Circle Gathering at the Social Planning Council of Peel in Mississauga





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Photo #2: Simon Bain from the The Metis Nation of Ontario




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Photo #3: AEE Circle Gathering at the Social Planning Council of Peel in Mississauga

  • Clockwise from left: Judy O'neill, David Cooper, Chuck Hammill, Alyssa Soden, Zamina Daniel, Simon Bain, Ian Pettigrew, Brendan O'Gorman and Paula Campbell. Photo by David Spencer.





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Photo #4: AEE Circle Gathering at the Social Planning Council of Peel in Mississauga

  • Clockwise from left: David Cooper, Chuck Hammill, Alyssa Soden, Zamina Daniel, Simon Bain, Ian Pettigrew. Photo by David Spencer.







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Photo #5: AEE Circle Gathering at the Social Planning Council of Peel in Mississauga




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Photo #6: AEE Circle Gathering at the Social Planning Council of Peel in Mississauga

  • Zamina Daniel holds the Metis sash owned by Simon Bain. Photo by David Spencer.





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Photo #7: AEE Circle Gathering at the Social Planning Council of Peel in Mississauga

  • Clockwise from left: Judy O'neill, David Cooper, Chuck Hammill and Alyssa Soden. Photo by David Spencer.

Aboriginal and Environmental Education Circle (AEE Circle) on Tuesday February 22, 2011

The Aboriginal and Environmental Education Circle (AEE Circle) met on Tuesday February 22, 2011 from 4:00 to 5:45 p.m. Location: Peel Aboriginal Network Topic: What we learned teaching and living on a first nations reserve and Inuit settlement. Guest speaker Brian Hyytiainen provided educators with stories about his experiences and challenges teaching students in schools located on first nations reserves in northern Ontario.

The following educators and friends attended:

  1. Jo-Anne Absolon, Directors' Circle, Peel Aboriginal Network
  2. Jesse Andrews, Peel District School Board
  3. Tyler Connochie, Peel District School Board
  4. Zain Ghadially, Peel District School Board
  5. Brian Hyytiainen, Peel District School Board
  6. John Keeshig, Directors' Circle, Peel Aboriginal Network
  7. Kathryn Konnerth, Dufferin Peel Catholic District School Board
  8. Jennifer Kottick, Peel District School Board
  9. Mary McCann, Dufferin Peel Catholic District School Board
  10. Padma Sastri, Peel District School Board
  11. Vasiliki Skentzos, Peel District School Board
  12. David Spencer, Peel District School Board
  13. Harleen Uppal, Peel District School Board


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Photo #18: AEE Circle Participants

  • Clockwise from bottom: Vasiliki Skentzos, Padma Sastri, Mary McCann, Brian Hyytiainen, Zain Ghadially, Jennifer Kottick, (standing) Tyler Connochie, John Keeshig, Jesse Andrews, Jo-Anne Absolon


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Photo #17: AEE Circle Participants

  • Our Guest Presenter: Brian Hyytiainen sharing his stories of teaching on first nations reserves in northern Ontario.


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Photo #16: AEE Circle Participants

  • Clockwise from top left: Jo-Anne Absolon, Kathryn Konnerth, Vasiliki Skentzos, Padma Sastri, Mary McCann


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Photo #15: AEE Circle Participants

  • After the Gathering: Aboriginal Elder John Keeshig helping aboriginal student Jesse.



Audio Recording from our Tuesday February 22, 2011 Gathering

You may listen to the audio recording Brian Hyytiainen sharing his stories of teaching on first nations reserves in northern Ontario.

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click here



Aboriginal and Environmental Education Circle (AEE Circle) on Tuesday November 9, 2010

The Aboriginal and Environmental Education Circle (AEE Circle) met on Tuesday November 9, 2010 from 4:00 to 5:45 p.m. in the Board Room of the HJA Brown Education Centre, Peel District School Board. 5650 Hurontario Street, Mississauga, ON L5R 1C6 map. The 90 participants viewed aboriginal education resources, books, multimedia and videos from GoodMinds.com based near the Brantford Six Nations reserve.



Aboriginal and Environmental Education Circle on Saturday October 16, 2010

On Saturday October 16, 2010 we travelled to the Ontario Science Centre for the astronomy festival "One World, One Sky - A Celebration of Astronomy and Culture" more info. Toronto’s astronomical community hosted a day for educators, parents and students to discover the history of astronomy and humanity’s relationship with the night sky.



Aboriginal and Environmental Education Circle on Thursday September 30, 2010

The Thursday September 30, 2010 Roundtable Gathering will be held from 4:00 to 5:45 p.m. in the Board Room of the Brampton Library:Four Corners Branch. Map

Focus: aboriginal education books, media and video.


The following educators and friends attended:

  1. Keir Brown, Peel District School Board
  2. Emma Duncan, Manager, Four Corners Brampton Library
  3. John Percy, Professor Emeritus: Astronomy & Astrophysics, University of Toronto
  4. Angie Sideroff, Coordinator of the Aboriginal Education Program, The Peel Heritage Complex
  5. David Spencer, Peel District School Board
  6. Anthony Templer, Peel Aboriginal Network



Aboriginal and Environmental Education Roundtable on Monday May 3, 2010

The Monday May 3, 2010 Roundtable Gathering was held from 3:45 to 5:45 p.m. in the Council Committee Room, 4th Floor of Brampton City Hall. Focus: Métis Nation of Ontario.

The following educators and friends attended:

  1. Bonny Cann- Education Officer, The Metis Nation of Ontario
  2. Marc Hogan, Peel District School Board
  3. Kathryn Konnerth, Dufferin Peel Catholic District School Board
  4. Jennifer Kottick, Peel District School Board
  5. Sharon McBride- Vice Chair, The Metis Nation of Ontario
  6. Ed Nunes, Peel District School Board
  7. Joseph Paquette, The Metis Nation of Ontario
  8. David Spencer, Peel District School Board
  9. Paul Strome, Peel District School Board
  10. Anthony Templer, Peel Aboriginal Network

Aboriginal and Environmental Education Roundtable on Monday April 19, 2010

The following photos were shot during our Monday April 19, 2010 Aboriginal and Environmental Education Roundtable gathering held at the Peel Aboriginal Network Community Centre in Brampton, Ontario.


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Photo #14: Roundtable Participants

  • Back Row: David Spencer, Anthony Templer, Marc Hogan, Tyler Connochie, Paul Strome, Rainford Cornish, Murray Clemminson, Jennifer Kottick, Roger Lauzon, Ian Pettigrew, Damian MacSeain, Andrew Kett, Jo-Anne Absolon, Joseph Paquette
  • Front Row: Pat Chrisjohn, Laura Fanthome, Susan Massi, Roberta Oswald, Keir Brown, Kathryn Konnerth
  • Not present for this photo: Emma Duncan and Beth Veale


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Photo #13: Roundtable Participants

  • Clockwise: Joseph Paquette, Emma Duncan, Pat Chrisjohn, Anthony Templer, Keir Brown, Rainford Cornish, Tyler Connochie, Beth Veale, Laura Fanthome, Susan Massi, Murray Clemminson, Roberta Oswald


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Photo #12: Roundtable Participants

  • Clockwise from bottom left: Beth Veale, Laura Fanthome, Susan Massi, Murray Clemminson, Roberta Oswald, Andrew Kett, Ian Pettigrew, Jennifer Kottick, Damian MacSeain, Paul Strome, Roger Lauzon, Joseph Paquette


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Photo #11: Emma Duncan speaks


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Photo #10: Ian Pettigrew speaks



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Photo #9: Joseph Paquette speaks



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Photo #8: Jo-Anne Absolon draws a lodge diagram


Audio Introductions from our Monday April 19, 2010 Gathering

You may listen to the audio introductions from most participants during our Monday April 19, 2010 Aboriginal and Environmental Education Roundtable gathering.

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click here



Aboriginal and Environmental Education Roundtable on Thursday February 25, 2010

The following photos were shot during our Thursday February 25, 2010 Aboriginal and Environmental Education Roundtable gathering held at the Peel Aboriginal Network Community Centre in Brampton, Ontario.


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Photo #7: Roundtable Participants

  • Back Row: Damian MacSeain, Paul Strome, Kathryn Konnerth, Emma Duncan, Tyler Connochie, Laura Fanthome, Maureen Carolan, Marcia Trudeau, Marc Hogan, Jo-Anne Absolon, John Keeshig, David Spencer
  • Front Row: Beth Veale, Tiffany Henry, Pat Chrisjohn, Keir Brown, Jodie Williams, Jennifer Kottick



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Photo #6: Roundtable Participants

  • Back Row: Damian MacSeain, Paul Strome, Kathryn Konnerth, Emma Duncan, Tyler Connochie, Laura Fanthome, Maureen Carolan, Marcia Trudeau, Marc Hogan, John Keeshig, Anthony Templer, David Spencer
  • Front Row: Beth Veale, Tiffany Henry, Pat Chrisjohn, Keir Brown, Jodie Williams, Jennifer Kottick



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Photo #5:Anthony Templer speaks



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Photo #4:Maureen Carolan speaks.



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Photo #3:Pat Chrisjohn speaks.



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Photo #2: Paul Strome speaks



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Photo #1: Closing song.


Audio Introductions from our Thursday February 25, 2010 Gathering

You may listen to the audio introductions from most participants during our Thursday February 25, 2010 Aboriginal and Environmental Education Roundtable gathering.

audioplayback-icon-50.jpg
click here



Name for Our Group

Our group is researching and coming to a consensus on a name. The following are the suggestions so far:

  1. Wayndahnimuk Circle - 5 votes
  2. The First Nations, Inuit, Métis and Environmental Education Roundtable (FNMIEER) - 2 votes
  3. FNMI Environment Education Roundtable (FNMIEER) - 1 vote
  4. Unity Roundtable (UR) - 1 vote
  5. Roundtable for First Nation, Metis, Inuit and Environmental Understanding (RFNMIEU) - 1 vote
  6. The First Nations, Inuit, Métis and Environmental Education Circle (FNMIEEC) - 0 votes



Aboriginal Roundtable Ideas

The First Nations, Inuit, Métis and Environmental Education Roundtable held their second meeting on Thursday February 25, 2010 at the Peel Aboriginal Network Community Centre in Bramalea. The following ideas were shared during that gathering. The numbers DO NOT show a ranking of priorities yet.


  1. Establish an Aboriginal Teaching Lodge and Interpretive Centre in Mississauga. Work with the Peel District School Board to explore the possibility of using a portion of the Britannia Wilderness Centre.
  2. Invite aboriginal academics, Lynn Zammit, co-ordinator of the Choices for Youth Program and Restorative Justice Project for the Waterloo Region District School Board and the organizers of the aboriginal themed COEO Conference to participate in the next Aboriginal, Métis and Environmental Education Roundtable.
  3. Connect with aboriginal elders and request their help with writing native studies curriculum for the Dufferin Peel Catholic District School Board.
  4. Encourage school boards to hire aboriginal education coordinators.
  5. Teach the Teachers - Develop opportunities to share Aboriginal culture and issues with educators. The September 24, 25 and 26, 2010 COEO Conference has an aboriginal theme. Teachers should be encouraged to attend.
  6. Facts - Attempt to locate and deliver facts. Refer to Frequently Asked Questions About Aboriginal Peoples from Indian and Northern Affairs Canada, Historical Indian Treaties and Maps of Aboriginal Peoples circa 1630, 1740 and 1823 from Natural resources Canada.
  7. Have a delegation make a presentation about aboriginal education to Trustees of school boards.
  8. Glossary - Develop a glossary of aboriginal terms to help educators and students. Refer to Indian and Northern Affairs Canada Terminology page and Words First: An Evolving Terminology Relating to Aboriginal Peoples in Canada compiled by the Department's Communications Resources Directorate.
  9. Create a Speakers Bureau
  10. Encourage our school boards to hold professional learning workshops on aboriginal culture and issues.
  11. Locate land for sharing aboriginal teachings.
  12. Seek culturally, historically sensitive and accurate resources to share with educators and students. Who should be an approving body for these resources?
  13. Explore the "Future We Want" document from the Peel District School Board.
  14. Find aboriginal artists to do workshops with art classes in secondary schools.



Completed Tasks

  1. We set up a listserv using Yahoo! Groups to help over 58 members of the Aboriginal, Métis and Environmental Education Roundtable communicate, share ideas and announce future gatherings. Joining and participating is free. Interested educators and aboriginals are invited to join the listserv.
  2. We posted photos, audio introductions and ideas shared during the gathering on the page Roundtable Ideas.
  3. Emma Duncan, Manager of the Four Corners Branch of the Brampton Library assembled a reading list with an aboriginal theme. This listcan be viewed on the Brampton Library web site.
  4. We held the next gathering of the Aboriginal, Métis and Environmental Education Roundtable at 4:00 p.m. on Monday April 19, 2010 at the Peel Aboriginal Network Community Centre in Bramalea.