I was the Program Co-Chair for a large conference in 2017. We had over 80 workshops and 150 speakers. We of course wanted to be inclusive and ensure diversity throughout our sessions. We had seen at previous conferences where an Indigenous Elder was brought in to do the blessing or there was ceremonial drumming or dancing. Since 2017 was also the National Year Of Dialogue for Reconciliation and Renewed Relationships we wanted to ensure Indigenous voices were heard/shared, not just a ceremonial presence.
For every panel that had federal, provincial, municipal and territorial government views, we added a fifth: indigenous government.
The conference was a huge success and the views and perspectives shared were very well received by participants. Here is a link to the conference if you are interested in topics and themes: http://ac2017.ipac.ca/
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