Presenting the 2021 RISE Webinar Series!

The 2021 RISE Webinar Series was a follow up to last year’s popular series. While the pandemic makes it impossible to gather and learn together in person, we are able to learn together online. It also means teachers from across the province, as well as the general public, can learn about the variety of sustainable education projects, initiatives and activities that are happening around Manitoba. And hopefully apply them at their school or in their community. Missed the presentations? Check out the recordings below.

Webinar #1: School Composting with Andrea McKay-Mason, Charles Sinclair School, Fisher River Cree Nation 

Listen to Andrea McKay-Mason, Elementary Guidance Counselor at Charles Sinclair School, present and discuss her initiative at starting a compost program at Charles Sinclair School in Fisher River Cree Nation.

Andrea is originally from Pine Creek First Nation and married into Fisher River Cree Nation 20 years ago, and has called it home ever since. She has a passion for youth and being an advocate on their behalf. She recently graduated with a BA and is currently working on a Bachelor of Education degree through the University College of the North with a specialization in Counselling.

She has 6 sons and 4 grandchildren. With the birth of her youngest son and the births of her grandchildren, she knew she wanted to make a difference for them in this world. She told herself that she knew she could not sit back and do nothing while our Mother Earth suffered. She felt a calling to help out in some way.

Her journey led her to learn about waste diversion. It was one of her key goals, which lead her to her current position as the Elementary Guidance Counsellor at Charles Sinclair School (CSS) for the past eight years. Prior to that, she was an Educational Assistant at CSS.

Webinar #2: HBOIERC Student Green Team with Flora & Robert Rideout, and School Garden with Doug Braden in Norway House 

Join us to learn about the sustainable initiatives happening at the Helen Betty Osborne Ininiw Education Resource Centre (HBOIERC) in Norway House.

Hear about the formation of the Student Green Team at HBOIERC from Flora and Robert Rideout. In their presentation, learn how the Green Team helped students make the school more environmentally-friendly and aware. Hear from Robert and Flora on how they continue to encourage environmental sustainability around HBOIERC through waste reduction.


Flora Rideout is currently working at HBOIERC in Norway House. This will be her 30th year as a Frontier School Division employee. She has worked in almost all grade levels as either an EA, a Student Teacher, or a Teacher. Her passions for teaching include technology, my first language Cree, and teaching students about the survival of our Mother Earth.

Robert Rideout grew up on a small island on the coast of Newfoundland and has worked in a variety of positions during his 23 year teaching career in the north, including Physical Education Instructor, Art, Health, Science, Math, Social Studies, Computers, Information Technology, and most recently, Photography Teacher.

At HBOIERC, Robert and his wife Flora started in class gardens using small Rubbermaid bins. Each class was responsible for a bin and students learned how to grow vegetables. It was also around this time that Robert and Flora started a student Green Team. The students who got involved started a recycling program at the school that continues to flourish today.


In the 2nd presentation, we’ll hear from HBOIERC’s Outdoor Education Teacher and garden lead, Doug Braden about their school garden which originated 5 years ago with the vision to revive gardening in the community. This garden teaches horticultural skills to students from Nursery to Grade 12. Doug also provides support to community members who wish to grow their own gardens.

Since its inception, the garden has been expanded and equipment and infrastructure added with the help of the Northern Manitoba Food, Culture & Community Collaborative (NMFCCC ). In addition to teaching horticultural skills to students, the fresh produce grown from the school garden is used in HBOIERC’s Culinary Arts program to provide breakfast and lunch to 1300 students and 200 staff for a third of the school year.

Webinar #3: School Waste Audit Demo with Josep Seras-Gubert, Green Action Centre

Missed this presentation? Watch the recording here

Watch this live demonstration on how to conduct a school waste audit with Josep Seras-Gubert from Green Action Centre.

  • Have you ever thought about reducing waste at your school?
  • Don’t know where to start or how to begin?

Join us and learn step-by-step instructions on how this waste audit can be applied in your school and teach students how to reduce waste.

Josep is a Sustainability Projects Coordinator at Green Action Centre and is passionate about environmental education and sustainable design. He is an innovative and visionary team player with 25 years of experience ranging from product design to creativity in education, and environmentalism.

He has a special interest in educating kids and adults in their exploration of the natural cycles around them and their role in preserving Mother Nature. Having worked with organizations such as Evergreen Brickworks and Earthbound Kids, he has a deep-seated belief that through education and innovation we can work together to make a better world!

Webinar #4: Climate Action Panel featuring Barbara Nepinak, Dane Monkman, Wendy Ross and Rebecca Sinclair

Don’t miss this powerful discussion about climate action featuring a diverse and knowledgeable panel:

  • Elder Barbara Nepinak, National Board for Climate Change
  • Rebecca Sinclair, Lake Winnipeg Indigenous Collective
  • Dane Monkman, Manitoba Energy Justice Coalition
  • Wendy Ross, Centre for Indigenous Environmental Resources

Panelists talked about their role in relation to climate action, and how teachers and educators in First Nation schools here in Manitoba can apply that knowledge in or outside the classroom.

Rebecca Sinclair (Merasty) is a nêhiyaw-iskwêw, wife, and mother of three, she is from Barren Lands First Nation and a member of Little Saskatchewan First Nation. She moved from Treaty 5 in northern Manitoba to Winnipeg, Treaty one territory to obtain a Bachelor’s degree (Environmental and Native Studies) from the University of Manitoba. Rebecca is the Program Coordinator for Lake Winnipeg Indigenous Collective and works as an Independent Indigenous Researcher on Decolonizing Climate Policy. Rebecca pursues higher learning that comes from the land and through learning alongside knowledge keepers. Her childhood spent on the land in northern Manitoba has shaped her understanding and guided her efforts to protect and preserve the great gifts of our sacred Earth.

Dane Monkman is Cree and Anishinaabe individual and member of Peguis First Nation who was raised in the north on the Great Slave Lake and the lands of the Deh Cho Dene peoples. Dane is a graduate student at the University of Manitoba studying Treaty relationship and governance in the department of political studies, where he works with the Mamawipawin center for Indigenous Governance and Community Based Research. Dane is a member of the Manitoba Energy Justice Coalition (MEJC) which works to engage and organize community efforts to advance climate justice and works with the group to fight for a responsible Manitoba Hydro which will reconcile its harms to Indigenous communities and the environment.

Wendy Ross, Centre for Indigenous Environmental Resources (CIER) Wendy Ross is from Treaty 5 with family ties to Pimicikamak (Cross Lake), Kinosao Sipi (Norway House), and Makeso Sakahikan (Fox Lake), located along the Kischi Sipi (Nelson River). She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree and a Master of Arts in Native Studies examining the political history, governance & hydro development within Pimicikamak homelands. Before working at CIER, Wendy was the program coordinator for the NSERC CREATE H2O Program at the University of Manitoba, whose focus was to train graduate students in sciences and engineering to work with First Nation communities’ water projects. Wendy has also worked with Makeso Sakahikan (Fox Lake) Kitayastisuk (Elders – people who hold the wisdom of their ancestors) on Aski Keskentamowin (land and water knowledge) studies for Keeyask and Bi Pole III.

Elders Barbara & Clarence Nepinak are members of Pine Creek First Nation, raised 4 daughters in Winnipeg and have 2 grandchildren. Barbara retired after serving over 35 years working in the federal public sector, while Clarence retired after working in the federal public sector after 27 years. This power couple are very active in the community and sit on numerous boards, committees, councils, and foundations across the country.They have received many recognition awards for their community work: Keeping The Fires Burning, The Mayors Citizenship Award (twice), The Queen’s Golden Jubilee Award, The Silver Jubilee Award, and the Order of Manitoba. They have both been appointed to the National Board for Climate Change by the Federal Government of Canada and will speak about their important work there.


Webinar #5: Outdoor Education Program in Waywayseecappo First Nation with Eric Mentuck

Many projects are happening in Waywayseecappo and outdoor education is one of them, thanks to the visioning of Outdoor Educator Eric Mentuck.

Eric has a passion for cycling and nature and is an active outdoor enthusiast. He is a proud resident of Waywayseecappo and has previously worked as an outdoor educator with Waywayseecappo School. He continues this work in the community, independently through fund-raising efforts. He is dedicated to working with youth and wants to improve their way of life through physical activity in nature and what better way to start than with the youth?

Learn how Eric provides “on the land” learning opportunities that promote lifelong physical activity, cultural teachings, language revitalization, diabetes awareness, and connecting to the land. Learn how these activities instilled a love for nature by youth in the community and encouraged outdoor physical activity using mountain bikes and newly created bike trails around the community!

Webinar #6: Land-based Education at Kis Kin Ha Ma Ki Win with Taylor Galvin and Dylan Kensick

Hear from Taylor Galvin and Dylan Kensick how this innovative camp promotes the shared value of environmental science and Indigenous traditions through community-shaped, land-based Indigenous camps, workshops, and internships. Kis Kin Ha Ma Ki Win’s goal is to provide Indigenous youth with opportunities to learn about environmental sciences through Indigenous cultural worldviews and customs.

Taylor Galvin is an Environmental Studies student at the University of Manitoba. She is the land-based education coordinator for the Kis Kin Ha Ma Ki Win. As an Indigenous woman from Brokenhead Ojibway Nation, she wants to learn from and help her community, as well as other First Nations communities, engage in different traditional, land-based practices. She would like to help other Indigenous and non-Indigenous students learn about the importance of keeping our traditions alive for the next Seven Generations.  While in school, she volunteers with the Graduation Pow Wow, is a leader in an Indigenous environmental student group called the University of Manitoba’s Indigenous Concerns on the Environment and would like to help make positive changes to the environment as much as she can through her studies, volunteer, and work.

Dylan Kensick’s family roots are from Winnipeg, Selkirk and Sagkeeng First Nation. He is an Environmental Studies student at the University of Manitoba with a focus on biology, conservation, and restoration. He hopes to work with First Nation communities and help to restore or repair damaged ecosystems. He is fascinated by trees and other plants because of the services they provide for people and other beings. He enjoys being outside in the forest with all of Mother Earth’s beings, picking medicines and foods, fishing, camping, paddling, and other outdoor activities. Indigenous traditional knowledge and ceremony is an important part of his lfe and hehopes to continue learning and pass on teachings so that we as people can live together sustainably and ensure our children and grandchildren can enjoy comfortable happy lives.

Recognizing Indigenous Sustainable Education (RISE) is about promoting sustainability through Manitoba’s First Nation schools and communities with a focus on waste reduction. Teachers from across Manitoba participate to learn about sustainable environmental practices and waste reduction efforts. Educators are able to apply this knowledge within their classrooms, schools and communities in the hopes of affecting long-term change through action-oriented projects or programs.