MALS Language Symposium – February 21 & 22, 2024

teca oyate hena dakota wicohan yuha mani pte:
Empowering Youth to Lead the Way in Language

2024 Symposium Booklet opens PDF

MALS Empowering Youth to Lead the Way in Language Symposium – February 21 & 22, 2024 poster cover
2024 Symposium Poster opens PDF

Manitoba Aboriginal Languages Strategy (MALS) was created to promote, revitalize, and support Aboriginal Languages throughout Manitoba. Ancestral knowledge, as carried in our languages, songs, stories, community histories, and other key practices and customs, connect and bridge generations. The languages of First Nations, Métis and Inuit teach us about who we are as a people. Language creates a strong connection from the past to the present and helps shape Indigenous identity. We recognize the importance of land and the role that the land plays in connecting to our language and history. We also recognize that learning can take place beyond the walls of a classroom and youth will lead the way.

In this “International Decade of Indigenous Languages”, MALS is pleased to host a two-day language symposium. We invite Knowledge Keepers, Elders, educators, students and other interested community members to this year’s symposium. This year’s symposium theme is “teca oyate hena dakota wicohan yuha mani pte: Empowering Youth to Lead the Way in Language”. The symposium will take February 21-22, 2024 at Canad Inns Destination Centre Polo Park. We encourage you to come and share in two days of language celebration and revitalization.

To register and/or submit an abstract form, please visit: MALS 2024 | Indigenous Conferences

Keynote Speakers

Seth Westhead photo

Seth Westhead

Seth is a dedicated and passionate Father, Husband, Consultant, Researcher, Mentor, Speaker and Creator living on Kaurna Country in Adelaide, South Australia. With family connections to the Awabakal and Wiradjuri Nations of NSW, Seth draws on his ancestry and the deep wisdom and knowledge of Indigenous practices and Culture to guide and inform all the work that he does. Through his research and advocacy work, Seth strives to better understand how social and cultural determinants drive health and social inequities within society, particularly as it relates to Indigenous communities and young people. He works to better equip communities and young people with tools and evidence for public health advocacy. Seth currently holds a Research Fellow and Community partnership lead role at the Telethon Kids Institute and is Co-leading the development of the National Roadmap for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Adolescent Health and Wellbeing.

Andrew Antsanen photo

Andrew Antsanen

Hi, My name is Andrew Antsanen and I'm from a small fly in community in northern Manitoba called Lac Brochet. I grew up speaking the language and living off the land as early as I could remember, until I decided to leave at the age of 13 to peruse my dream as a hockey player. For 4 years, I went to school and played hockey at Notre Dame college, which is in a small town in Wilcox, Saskatchewan. I also played for Team Manitoba, and from there I was scouted and played Junior hockey in Quebec. After hockey, I started Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) and fought for a number of years. During that time, I worked as a carpenter and also facilitated hockey camps across Canada which I still do till this day. And most recently, I'm one of the actors on a new TV show called Shoresy!

Looking forward to meeting everyone and sharing my story with you all!
Masi cho!
 - Andrew Antsanen

Brady Keeper photo

Brady Keeper

Brady Keeper is a 27-year-old Ininew man From Pimicikamak Cree Nation (Cross Lake) in northern Manitoba. He is currently playing for the Laval Rocket Team in the American Hockey League (AHL) while under contract with the Montreal Canadiens. Throughout his hockey career, Brady has lived in many places across the U.S. and Canada, and started his career with the Norman AAA Northstars in Thompson, MB. Being the first person from Pimicikamak to get into the NHL, Brady has inspired many Indigenous youth to follow their dreams which he takes great pride in. Brady is semi-fluent in his Ininīmowin language and is proud of his family and his roots. Brady currently lives in Quebec with his wife and children.