Truth and Reconciliation Through the Arts

 Registration is closed for this event

In this engaging information sharing and networking session, discover ways to authentically and respectfully explore Indigenous art forms in your practice and with your students. Network with local artists and educators to explore partnership and collaborative opportunities, and leave with new tools and ideas to rejuvenate your classroom, workplace or artistic practice.


You are invited to a presentation and discussion regarding The Canadian Network for Arts & Learning's ‘Mapping Project’ – an innovative digital map representing arts and learning across Canada. We want YOU to be part of this conversation.  Through focus groups and guided discussion, have your say and help guide the development of this vital tool for arts and learning in Canada.

Event Schedule

4:00 - Welcome, led by Lilian Howard, Elder and member of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra's Indigenous Council

4:10 - Reconcili-Action in Education, led by Chas Desjarlais, District Vice-Principal - Indigenous Education, Vancouver Board of Education

4:30 - ReconciliACTION through the Arts: Negotiation, Renewal and Resiliency, led by Indigenous Artist-Educators Candice Halls-Howcroft and Shelley MacDonald

5:00 - Unexpected Indigeneity: Honouring what students bring to the table, led by Educator Alia Yeates

5:15 - Networking, poster sessions and refreshments

6:00 - Mapping focus groups and discussion

6:55 - Wrap up and reflection


Reconcili-Action in Education 

Chas Desjarlais 

District Vice-Principal – Indigenous Education

Vancouver Board of Education


Chas Desjarlaisis a Nêhiyaw/Metis educator and scholar working for the Vancouver School Board as the Indigenous Education District Vice Principal. She is a member of Cold Lake First Nations and a Treaty Six First Nation; and doctoral candidate in the Department of Educational Studies pursuing a doctorate in Educational Leadership and Policy. Living and leading, walking the path of ‘miyo-pimatisiwin’ (living the good life) as a Nehiyaw/Metis iskwew, her sole purpose is to pass those teachings onto her two daughters, Paige and Kaylyn.



4:30 - 5:00 

ReconciliACTION through the Arts:  Negotiation, Renewal, and Resiliency

Candice Halls-Howcroft & Shelley MacDonald

What do you notice? What do you question? How does it make you feel?

Using reconciliation quotes and Indigenous story as provocation for art creation participants will create original text through the art of found poetry and choral speaking. Candice Halls- Howcroft and Shelley MacDonald have co- facilitated workshops across Canada on how to integrate indigenous ways of knowing into the school curriculum through the arts. They are currently collaborating with The Royal Conservatory, Indigenous artists, Elders, teachers, and the Vancouver School Boards Indigenous Education Dept. on an online teacher professional development workshop series, Walking Together that they began piloting in April 2018.

Candice Halls-Howcroftis a proud member of the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish Nation) and grew up in North Vancouver.  She is the grand-daughter of the late Chief Simon Baker(Khot-La- Cha).  Candice is a weaver, storyteller, poet and educator.  Candice is grateful to her Elders and cultural teachers who have guided her on her artist/educator journey.  She is a lead artist for the Royal Conservatory's Learning Through The Arts program and teaches essential skills at the Native Education College.   


Shelley MacDonaldis an award winning performing artist, educator, and filmmaker who is of Mi’kmaq “Ugpi'Ganjig,” Eel River, New Brunswick and Scottish Ancestry. She has over 25 years of experience as an artist/educator and has partnered with different school districts, Indigenous Band councils, universities, artists, Elders, television networks(APTN), film productions and community organization across Canada creating meaningful arts and culture programming that focuses on social justice issues to help create systemic change.  She is the First Nations, Métis, and Inuit National program leader for the Royal Conservatory's Learning Through The Arts Program (, A lead teacher with DAREarts and  Co-Founder of Artists Rendering Tales Collective INC (



5:00 - 5:15 

Unexpected Indigeneity: Honouring what students bring to the table

Alia Yeates

How does a Top 40 artist help with Truth and Reconciliation?  How does a boy band help students have empathy for others? What do Shawn Mendes, Taylor Swift, and One Direction have to do with anything?  In this presentation, Alia shares stories of students finding connection and building empathy, by first feeling honoured for what they bring to the table. She illustrates how using both explicit content and subtle pedagogies are paramount to sharing Truth and finding Reconciliation.


Alia Yeatesis a passionate music educator, teaching in Coquitlam since 2010.  She has had the joy of teaching band, choir, guitar, and general music from Kindergarten to Grade 12, in both an Indigenous choice school, and mainstream public schools.  A graduate of the University of Victoria, Alia is passionate about Indigenous education and inclusion, professional development, and community engagement. She and has been co-chair, clinician, and treasurer of the BC Music Educator's Association conference. She has had the privilege of working with the          Vancouver Symphony Orchestra on aligning their education programs with the revised BC Curriculum, and was a member of the BC Ministry of Education's Music Education Advisory Committee.  Alia works for the Coalition for Music Education in BC, and has recently been appointed as an ERAC resource Evaluator. Alia would like to acknowledge that she lives and works on the traditional core territory of Kwikwetlem First Nation, and the shared traditional territories of the Tsleil-Waututh, Katzie, Musqueam, Squamish and Sto’:lo Nations.

November 22nd, 2018 4:00 PM to  7:00 PM
843 Seymour Street
Vancouver, BC V6B3L4
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