2023 SILR Gathering

We are thrilled to share recorded videos from 2023 Supporting Indigenous Language Revitalization (SILR) Gathering. In these videos, you will hear from language champions from across Canada. 

Presenters came from diverse background to: explore the connection of mind, body and spirit in language, land and culture; raise awareness on the importance of language revitalization and share language learning and teaching strategies and resources.

2023 Keynote 

Dr. Jessie Sylvestre
Land is Medicine, Land is Healing, Land speaks to us

Dr. Jessie Sylvestre hails from ejeredeséche Buffalo River Dene Nation, Treaty 10 Territory. She is married, and they are blessed with 3 children and 3 grandchildren. She graduated in 1984, with a standard ‘A’ certificate. She continued on to attain a B.Ed in 1994 and taught for many years. She began her Master’s degree in Land-Based Indigenous Education through the U of S in 2013, receiving her M. Ed in 2015. She has completed her doctoral degree in the IPK.Doc program, and has received her official certificate on June 22, 2022.

Jessie is now the President at the Saskatchewan Indigenous Cultural Centre (SICC) in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Treaty 6 Territory, and she is the first Denesųłine person to take on the lead role to represent the 74 Nations of Saskatchewan, and SICC has been in existence since 1972.

Youth Panel

Each of the youth shared their lived experience and challenges/opportunities in language learning.

Cameron Adams
Cameron is ininiw-Anishinaabe and French Canadian with Scottish and English ancestry from Gimli, Manitoba and Treaty from Memewiziibing (Berens River) situated in Treaty 5 Territory.

Margaret (Maggie) Biagioni
Margaret Katherine-Rose nitisińīhkāson ēkwa ē-okwēmēsiyān nōhkomipanak. māka Maggie isiyihkāso. ēkwa nińa awa okāwīmaw, ninēhińāwiskwēwin, ēwka mīna nimaskihkīwiskwēwin. oskana kā-asastēki kayahtē nitohcīn ekwa mēkwāc Terrace BC niwīkin otaskīhk of the unceded Territory of the Tsimshian People.

Levi Wolfe
Levi Wolfe is from Onion Lake Cree Nation.


Doreen Daychief
Language, Culture and Land-Based Teachings; The Connection
Born and raised near Rocky mountain House, Alberta, on Sunchild First Nation. Doreen speaks 3 languages; Cree, Annisnabe and English.

Dr. Belinda Daniels
nēhiyaw language immersion camp
Dr. Belinda (kakiyosēw) Daniels is from the community of pakitahwākan sākahikan – Sturgeon Lake First Nation, Saskatchewan.

Dr. Kevin Lewis
kâ-nêyâsihk mihkiwahpa Centre of Excellence- Cree Language Immersion Land Based Program
Dr. Kevin Lewis (wâsakâyâsiw) is from the Ministikwan Lake Cree Nation in Saskatchewan.

Dr. Jordan Lachler
Supporting Independent Learners of Indigenous Languages
Dr. Lachler is the Director of the Canadian Indigenous Languages and Literacy Development Institute (CILLDI).

Elder Dr. Elmer Ghostkeeper
Sounds create your worldview Challenging the use of Roman Orthography or the English Alphabet in learning Indigenous languages. Consider what is lost in the process of translation. Exploring how sound creates Indigenous worldview.
Elder Elmer Ghostkeeper was born to parents Adolphus and Elsie Ghostkeeper at the Paddle Prairie Metis Settlement, Alberta. He is Metis and speaks fluent Bushland Cree and MIchif the language of Metis people and lives with the land.

Wayne Jackson
Nêhiyawê Cultural Institute – Supporting Language Immersion
Wayne Jackson grew up on the Goodfish Lake First Nation in Treaty Six territory and speaks Plains nêhiyawêwin.

Sherryl Sewepagaham
Reclaiming Musical Voice in Indigenous Language Education
Sherryl Sewepagaham (MEd, BEd, BMT) is Cree-Dene and belongs to the Little Red River Cree Nation in northern Alberta.

Dorothy Thunder
 ‘penehiyawe – come speak Cree’
Dorothy Thunder is a Plains Cree (nêhiyawiskwêw) from Little Pine First Nation, Saskatchewan