RISE Teachers’ Conference

The 2020 RISE Conference has been postponed and a new date will be determined in the near future. If your school is interested in attending the conference and would like to be added to our invitation list, please send an email with your name, title, school, community, phone number and email to: chantel@greenactioncentre.ca

Recognizing Indigenous Sustainable Education (RISE) conference is about promoting sustainability through Manitoba’s First Nation schools and communities with a focus on waste reduction. Teachers from across Manitoba attend to learn about sustainable environmental practices and waste reduction efforts. Educators return home 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.

Join us for the RISE webinar series!

The 2020 RISE Webinar Series was created in response to the pandemic cancellation of the 2020 RISE Conference that was originally scheduled for May 19-21, 2020 in Winnipeg, MB. As a result of the cancellation, we decided to ask some of our speakers to do an online webinar instead! This approach will allow teachers from across the province, as well as the general public, to attend online and learn about the variety of sustainable education projects, initiatives and activities that are happening around Manitoba.

The webinars are now completed. Check out the webinar recordings and resources here.

WEBINAR #1: Tuesday, May 19th @ 11am
Manitoba Envirothon
Jacqueline Monteith, Science Instructional Coach with Frontier School Division
The Manitoba Envirothon is a high school competition that focuses on land-based science education and experience. Students compete in small teams and learn all about Aquatic Ecology, Wildlife Ecology, Forest & Plant Ecology, and Soils & Geology. This amazing program inspires students from across the province to learn more about the natural world around us! Jacqueline taught in Northern Manitoba for 10 years before becoming a coach, and now travels throughout the entire province providing science-based support for teachers and students. Jacqueline has been involved with the Manitoba Envirothon since 2007!
WEBINAR #2: Tuesday, May 19th @ 2pm
Indigenous Food Sovereignty, Security and Sustainability
Byron Beardy, Kimeechiminan (Our Food) Program Manager, Four Arrows Health Authority
Byron will discuss his understanding of the connections of land-based language in the context of food from an Indigenous lens. Byron shares his learned knowledge of cultural protocols, customs, practices with a focus on Indigenous food sovereignty, security and sustainability. Byron is originally from Garden Hill First Nation and was raised in Wasagamack First Nation in the Island Lake region of Manitoba. Byron founded and envisioned the Indigenous nations’ biennial Indigenous Food Sovereignty Summit and has been instrumental with the inclusion of language and identity within the indigenous food sovereignty movement in Manitoba. Byron sits on various food security/“foody” committees locally, regionally, provincially, nationally and, most recently, internationally.
WEBINAR #3: Wednesday, May 20th @ 11am
Worms and Waste
Kristen Malec, Compost Program Coordinator, Green Action Centre
Join Green Action Centre’s resident composting expert, Kristen Malec, to learn how to use worms to transform your food scraps into compost! Vermicomposting is an easy and fun way to keep your organic waste (food scraps) out of our landfills, and it can be done right inside your home or in the classroom! Kristen will cover everything you need to know to get started with vermicomposting, including a live bin building demonstration! Kristen’s passions include reducing her waste and consumption, sourcing food from small scale farmers who practice regenerative and sustainable agriculture, Kristen received a bachelor of science in environmental sciences, majoring in forest ecology at the University of Winnipeg.


WEBINAR #4: Wednesday, May 20th @ 2pm
Composting Within a School Setting
Nikolas Skrabek, Teacher, Greenway School
We will be discussing the success and challenges in establishing a school-wide composting program. How our school of 450+ students went about establishing a pro-composting environment within two years. Nikolas has nine years of experience as a LAC ( Learning Assistance Center) classroom​​ teacher for Winnipeg School Division #1.  He is an active member of the school/communities Education for Sustainable Development team, focusing on developing and reclaiming our local green space.
WEBINAR #5: Thursday, May 21st @ 11am
Seventh Generation Waste Warriors
Shianne McKay, Senior Project Manager, Centre for Indigenous Environmental Resources (CIER)
Join us as we take a journey with the Seventh Generation Waste Warriors, a group of youth and young adults from Canupawakpa Dakota Nation, Kinonjeoshtegon First Nation, Sioux Valley Dakota Nation and Lake Manitoba First Nation, as they learn and share about waste diversion and recycling goals in each of their respective communities and work together to complete 4 waste diversion action projects, documented through photos and a video. Shianne is originally from Pine Creek First Nation. CIER is a National First Nation directed environmental non profit charitable organization that works to build capacity in Indigenous communities to support communities with protecting their lands and waters and building sustainable communities. Shianne provided the role of Project Manager for the Seventh Generation Waste Warriors project.
WEBINAR #6: Thursday, May 21st @ 2pm
Northern Schools Recycling Support
Christa Rust, Program Manager, and Savini Jayasinghe, Schools Coordinator, CBCRA/Recycle Everywhere 
The Canadian Beverage Container Recycling Association is a Manitoba-wide, not-for-profit organization that supports communities in their effort to recycle empty beverage containers. Our Northern Schools backhaul project was launched in 2017. Join our team of recycling experts, Christa Rust and Savini Jayasinghe, who will share with you tips and opportunities to launch your own successful project at your school. Christa has over a decade of experience in management, stakeholder engagement and sustainability. Christa graduated with a Masters of Natural Resources Management from the University of Manitoba with an undergraduate in Recreation Studies. She has worked in the public and private field in both consulting and operational capacities.

Savini graduated with a BSc in Environmental Science​ ​from Univeristy of Manitoba. Savini’s passion​ ​for sustainable development combined with her​ ​consulting background makes her a strong asset​ ​to the Recycle Everywhere team where she​ ​coordinates waste audits, outreach and data​ ​gathering.


RISE 2019 Highlights

RISE 2019 Teachers' Conference tourIn February 2019, 38 members of Manitoba First Nation schools – representing 19 schools and 14 communities – gathered in Winnipeg to increase their knowledge about recycling, composting, food waste and food security, and to learn from each other. The idea for the “RISE Teachers’ Conference” grew out of four years of school presentations in First Nation communities and talking with teachers who felt isolated in their efforts to teach about and implement green initiatives. Participants now know they are part of a larger group of teachers working towards reducing waste and took back ideas on how to create a more sustainable future for their school and community.

In addition to practical presentations on school composting, community beautification and education, building for success in the classroom, Connected North grants for schools, and the Pathfinders Project and Recycling Toolkit, participants also heard from an Elders panel, Youth panel and successes from other First Nations. Attendees spent time brainstorming and sharing ideas with each other on how to reduce waste within the context of four themes: communications and media, connecting youth and Elders, gardening and composting, and funding. The themes came from issues identified by attendees during the gathering. Group discussion summaries:

On field trips, participants learned about mattress recycling and the opportunity to purchase refurbished electronics at Mother Earth Recycling, an Indigenous social enterprise, and the various services provided by the Manitoba Indigenous Cultural Education Centre. The gathering concluded at The Forks to hear about their Target Zero initiative and finish with a water ceremony in the teepee on-site.

RISE 2019 Teachers' Conference tour - Mother Earth Recycling