Cando would like to thank the following honourary guests and keynote speakers that were a part of this year’s conference:
- Honourable Greg Selinger, Premier of Manitoba
- Chief Dennis Meeches, Long Plain First Nation
- Dennis White Bird, Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs
- Neil Burnett, Director-Community Economic Development, Lands and Economic Development Sector, Aboriginal Affairs & Northern Development Canada
- Paul Donald, Cando President
- Ovide Mercredi, Misipawistik Cree Nation
- Ken Coates, Canada Research Chair, Johnson-Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy
- Dr. Denis Cauvier, Dr. Denis Cauvier Seminars International
Appreciation also goes out to Elders Colin Mousseau from Long Plain First Nation and Chief Louis Taypotat from Kahkewistahaw First Nation who provided opening and closing prayers for the conference events; as well as this year’s Master of Ceremonies, Stan Wesley – for his enthusiasm and great professionalism.
As is customary of every Cando conference, the opening Icebreaker Reception was held as an opportunity for delegates to socialize and network amid displays of breathtaking artwork. This year, Cando was fortunate to once again partner with Peace Hills Trust to host the 31st Annual Native Art Contest Awards Ceremony, in conjunction with the Icebreaker reception at the Fort Garry Hotel. The reception provided delegates and special guests with the opportunity to enjoy an evening of entertainment and delicious food.
Community Tour & Cultural Event
The community tour started with a stop at Madison Property (economic development zone / urban reserve) and Yellowquill College. The tour continued with a visit to the Long Plain First Nation where delegates had a chance to tour a local arena and purchase snacks at the concession stand. The final destination was Keeshkeemaquah Conference & Gaming Centre in Portage la Prairie. Conference delegates had a tour of the old residential school building and Rufus Prince Centre prior to the beginning of the evening program. A number of local artisan tables were set up in the gaming centre providing conference delegates with an opportunity to browse and purchase local art and crafts. The evening program was prepared by this year’s conference host, Long Plain First Nation, and featured a delicious traditional meal and the performances by the local artists including: Melissa McKinney Band, local dance troupe, North Eagle Drum Group, Preston Pashe and Yoza. A heartfelt thank you goes out to Tim Daniels, Chief Dennis Meeches, Steven Woods and all community members for hosting such a wonderful community event.