Welcome to Our Gathering, 2021
Our Gathering kexwkexwntsút chet, tə sq̓əq̓ip is an annual event co-hosted by the First Nations Leadership Council, Indigenous Services Canada, and Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada which provides a space for meaningful discussions between First Nations leaders, community members, and the Government of Canada. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s sessions will be hosted virtually in March and June.
The First Nations Public Service Secretariat (FNPSS) team is proud to support the Our Gathering, 2021 event by providing the virtual platform, logistics and planning, as well as technical support during sessions for all participants. If you have any questions about Our Gathering, 2021, feel free to contact the FNPSS team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This is the hub for all of the information you will need for this virtual event. Scroll down for information and resources for the June 23 and 24 sessions, as well as statistics from the March sessions.
june session resources
June Session Schedule
The following is the schedule for the June 23 and 24 Our Gathering, 2021 sessions.
To download a PDF version of the agenda, scroll up to the previous section or click here.
Day 1 - June 23, 2021
8:30 am - 12:30 pm PDT
8:35 am - Greetings, Moment of Silence, and Setting the Stage
Moderated by Harold Tarbell and Jessie Hemphill; opening prayer by Elder J'SINTEN, John Elliot, Tsartlip First Nation.
Opening Prayer & moment of silence to recognize Kamloops Indian Residential School children and all those lost across the country through the residential school program.
Opening comments from Regional Chief Terry Teegee; Angela Bate, Director General of Treaties and Aboriginal Government, Negotiations West Branch, CIRNAC; and Bill Guerin, Acting Regional Director General, ISC.
9:20 am - Plenary - Panel on 10-Year Grants
Speakers: Diane Bastedo, Chief Financial Officer, Upper Nicola Band; Barbara ("Babs") Stevens, Chief Administrative Officer, Skidegate Band Council; Susan Wood, Finance Manager, Skidegate Band Council; Willie Charlie, Chief Administrative Officer, Sts'ailes First Nation; Paul Andrew, Strategic Initiatives Officer / Acting Finance Director, Sts'ailes First Nation; Jody Kaden, Director, Funding Services, ISC; Anthony Hadfield, Manager, Funding Services, ISC; Moderated by Jessie Hemphill.
This session will provide a panel discussion with First Nations Administrators whose Nations have received a 10-Year Grant on what's working and what challenges remain. A Q&A will follow and Indigenous Services Canada representatives will be on hand to provide updates on the implementation of the 10-Year Grant program (including information on the escalation clause in the new federal budget).
10:20 am - 10 Minute Health Break
10:30 am - Plenary - Nation-to-Nation sharing on capacity development and the journey to self-determination
Speakers: Colleen Hemphill, Chief Negotiator, Gwa’sala-‘Nakwaxda’xw Nations; Trudy Warner, former Executive Director, Huu-ay-aht First Nation. Moderated by Angela Wesley, Commissioner, BC Treaty Commission.
Two Nations will share lessons from their journeys toward greater self-determination. They will explain which capacity-enhancement supports they need(ed), what they received, and offer suggestions on what would have helped more and what other Nations should know about their own capacity-building efforts.
11:30 am - How can ISC work better with and serve First Nation Administrators
Speakers: Vaughn Sunday, Executive Director, Adams Lake Indian Band; Sandra Wesley-Olson, COO, Gitwangak Band; Trish Wuttunee, Funding Services Officer, ISC; Vern Bob, A/Manager of Funding Services, ISC. Moderated by Jessie Hemphill.
The response to the COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the need for ISC program officials to work and communicate with Band Administrators in an efficient, timely, clear, and effective manner. This plenary session will be designed to elicit dialogue and feedback about what is working, what is not working, and how ISC can improve and adjust its working relationship with band administrators to better meet their needs.
12:30 pm - END DAY ONE
Day 2 - June 24, 2021
8:30 am - 12:30 pm PDT
8:35 am - Greetings and Welcome
Moderated by Harold Tarbell and Jessie Hemphill; opening prayer by Elder Darlene McIntosh, Lheidli T'enneh First Nation.
Opening Prayer & setting the stage; outline of day's program and event housekeeping.
9:20 am - Plenary - First Nations Public Service Secretariat (FNPSS) Info Session
Speakers: Tania Brewer, Chief Administrative Officer, Tobacco Plains Indian Band; Barbara ("Babs") Stevens, Chief Administrative Officer, Skidegate Band Council; Councillor George Chaffee, Kwikwetlem First Nation; and moderated by Jehan Casey, Director, the First Nations Public Service Secretariat (FNPSS).
This panel session will introduce First Nations representatives to who FNPSS is, what they do, and their future plans to support BC First Nations in capacity building. Participants are encouraged to attend to learn more about FNPSS' services and to hear feedback from those First Nations who have utilized FNPSS' services previously. This session will be followed by a Q&A.
10:00 am - 15 Minute Health Break
10:15 am - Plenary - Professional and Institutional Development (P&ID) Session.
Speakers: Collette Sunday, Band Administrator, Upper Nicola Band; Norine Messer, Capacity Building Coordinator, Tla-o-qui-aht; and Carina Chow, Manager, Governance & Capacity Development, Indigenous Services Canada (ISC). Moderated by Jessie Hemphill.
This session will provide attendees with an update from ISC BC Region on the program, how projects for capacity enhancement are supported, commonly funded projects, and best practices for the future. This session will also provide an opportunity for two First Nations representatives to share their experiences with P&ID projects, and the challenges and lessons learned with moving P&ID projects forward. This session will be followed by Q&A.
11:15 am - Concurrent Networking & Information Session Rooms
Participants will be given an opportunity to choose from two different concurrent Zoom breakout sessions (or, attend both if they so wish, by moving from room to room).
Room 1 - Informal Networking
For those participants who wish to network with fellow Band Administrators and First Nations leadership, or who wish to informally meet with Indigenous Services Canada (ISC) representatives, attendees may stay in the current Zoom room. This informal networking and Q&A session will be moderated by Jessie Hemphill. To return to this original room at any time, please use your original Zoom invitation link found in your inbox.
ISC directorates represented in this networking session: Capital Infrastructure; Child & Family Services; Community Development; Funding Services; Lands & Economic Development; Programs & Partnerships.
Room 2 - Indigenous Community Support Fund - Information Session
Speakers: Vern Bob, A/Manager of Funding Services, ISC; Luc Millaire, Manager of Resource Services, ISC.
For those who wish to learn about the ISC Indigenous Community Support Fund- Needs-based Funding Application, attendees can move into the second concurrent breakout room. To do so, participants will have to leave the main room and copy/paste the link inserted into the agenda - or click here.
12:15 pm - Event Wrap Up & Final Comments
Moderated by Jessie Hemphill and Harold Tarbell.
All participants will gather for final comments. *For those participants who had moved to the Indigenous Community Support Fund - Informational Session, please return for final comments via your original Zoom link in your email inbox.
Closing comments from Kukpi7 Judy Wilson, Secretary-Treasurer, UBCIC; Angela Bate, Director General of Treaties and Aboriginal Government, Negotiations West Branch, CIRNAC; and Bill Guerin, Acting Regional Director General, ISC.
12:30 pm - END DAY TWO
Traditional cultural Supports
Throughout Our Gathering, 2021, we have had conversations about a variety of topics that may weigh heavy on the minds and hearts of those in attendance, particularly during this extremely difficult year.
With that in mind, should any attendees of the June 23 and 24 sessions feel the need to step back from any of the sessions, we have a separate space available for participants to have one-on-one traditional cultural support sessions with trained First Nations Health Authority (FNHA) counsellors. To join the Traditional Cultural Supports session, please exit the main Zoom and click here.
We would like to thank the organizations Tsow Tun Le Lum and the Indian Residential School Survivors Society (IRSSS) for providing trained counsellors for the March 10 and 11 event as well as the June 23 and 24 sessions.
Health and Cultural Support Organizations
March 10-11 Session Snapshot
On March 10 and 11, 2021, representatives from First Nations and other levels of government came together to share and discuss a variety of topics including responses to the COVID-19 pandemic, Specific Claims, and Bill C-15 Canada’s proposed legislation to implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Co-hosts Indigenous Services Canada, Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada, and the First Nations Leadership Council, as well as our Moderators Jessie Hemphill and Harold Tarbell, would like to thank all of you who attended this virtual event.
Day 1, March 10: Session Topics
- Communication “Best Practices” - Breakout Session
- Emergency Management “Responding to a Global Pandemic” - Breakout Session
- Education “Supporting First Nations Learners Through COVID-19” - Breakout Session
- Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women - Plenary
- Emergency Management “Community to Community Sharing” - Breakout Session
- Economic Development “Indigenous Economic Recovery Initiatives” - Breakout Session
Day 2, March 11: Session Topics
- Leadership Armchair Discussion - Plenary
- Specific Claims Update - Plenary
- UNDRIP Bill C-14 Update - Plenary
The following organizations act as co-hosts for Our Gathering:
- Indigenous Services Canada (ISC) works collaboratively with partners to improve access to high-quality services for First Nations, Inuit, and Métis. Their vision is to support and empower Indigenous peoples to independently deliver services and address the socio-economic conditions in their communities.
- Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada (CIRNAC) continues to renew the nation-to-nation, Inuit-Crown, government-to-government relationship between Canada and First Nations, Inuit, and Métis; modernize Government of Canada structures to enable Indigenous peoples to build capacity and support their vision of self-determination; and lead the Government of Canada’s work in the North.
- The First Nations Leadership Council (FNLC) is comprised of the political executives of the BC Assembly of First Nations (BCAFN), the First Nations Summit (FNS), and the Union of BC Indian Chiefs (UBCIC). This group works together to develop coordinated approaches to issues relevant to First Nations communities throughout the province.
Quick Statistics about the March 10 and 11 Sessions
631 individuals registered for the event
347 registrants attended Day 1, and 323 attended Day 2
Over 135 different BC First Nations communities were represented, with 172 Chief or Council members and 185 First Nations administration staff registered
16 First Nations Elders participated
30 Speakers attended, representing a variety of First Nations communities, organizations, and the Government of Canada
5 First Nations youth registered
3 organizations provided traditional cultural supports, with 10 counsellors available during the entirety of each day for private support
24 volunteers supported the event