MONDAY, APRIL 23
Janice Hannah, Senior Education and Research Specialist & Northern Dogs Project Manager, International Fund for Animal Welfare
Education is a key component of any First Nations dog management program that aims to be part of long-term community change by shifting attitudes and ultimately, behaviour. Dogs are a valued part of community, both traditionally and today, and healthy dogs are an important part of building healthy communities. Living in a Good Way with Dogs: Our Stories is a new educational resource developed by First Nations curriculum specialists specifically for First Nations’ learners. This resource brings together traditional culture and relationships with dogs that highlight respect, empathy and responsibility from the experiences of those who matter – the storytellers. Stories from Elders and community role models form the foundation of the materials, bringing to life their real world experiences and wisdom, which can help dog owners, both youth and adult, to build healthy and safe relationships with their four leggeds.
Living in a Good Way with Dogs: Our Stories is made up of 6 units, which delve into different content on dogs: Our Ancestors and Our Dogs; Dogs as Friends and Family; What Our Dogs Need; Living with Dogs in Our Community; Working Dogs – Traditional and Today; and A Dog’s Life: From Puppy to Elder Dog. Each unit is founded on multiple stories (audio) and includes a student activity book, a lesson guide for leaders, and a poster that highlights the content in a visual way.
Come learn about culturally-relevant educational materials for First Nations learners and witness the power that these dog-specific resources have in shifting the way people feel and think about their dogs.
- Understand the background to Aboriginal Education and Culturally-Responsive Aboriginal Education.
- Understand the educational resource Living in a Good Way with Dogs: Our Stories – and how the materials are useful in the community.
- Be able to use the education resource in the communities in which you live or work.
In her dual role as Senior Education and Research Specialist & Northern Dogs Project Manager, Janice Hannah is responsible for developing, monitoring and evaluating the International Fund for Animal Welfare’s companion animal projects in Canada and providing guidance for IFAW’s education initiatives both in Canada and internationally. In her twenty years at IFAW, Jan has worked in numerous program areas, including marine mammal science and education, Animal Action Education, emergency relief, policy and wildlife trade.
Jan’s focus on companion animal welfare merges her long-term interest in working with animals and communities with the objective of building humane and sustainable programs that improve the health and welfare of animals through education and community engagement. Outreach, advice, community development and service provision are cornerstones to IFAW’s work, which provides contextual and culturally-relevant solutions to local issues.
Jan develops and manages community projects on the ground, as well as advising and working on companion animal policy, programming and issues internationally. During the past few years, she has worked on IFAW companion animal population management and rabies eradication projects, as well as in-community animal welfare capacity development around the world.
Jan holds an Honours BSc in Wildlife Biology from the University of Guelph, and a Master's in Education and Teaching Certificate from Niagara University.
The Past, Present and Future of Dogs in First Nations: Full Circle Plenary on the Role of Dogs in First Nation Communities
MONDAY, APRIL 23
Josh Littlechild, Tribal Law Officer, Ermineskin Cree Nation
***PLEASE NOTE THAT DYAN BREAKER IS NO LONGER ABLE TO PRESENT AS PART OF THIS PLENARY DUE TO A COMMUNITY EMERGENCY***
We regret to inform our attendees that Dyan Breaker, Justice Senior Manager of Siksika Nation, can no longer speak at the conference due to flooding in her Nation. Our thoughts are with her and her community at this difficult time.
First Nation and Inuit communities across Canada face challenges and work to address concerns with companion animal populations in their communities, often reaching out to partner with animal welfare organizations to assist. It is an issue that is gathering much-needed recognition and support. However, unless you are working closely with a First Nation, it is rare to hear directly from a community on what the issues are and what solutions are possible. In fact, often the issues and concerns can be misunderstood or mischaracterized by media and people unfamiliar with the context each community experiences and, therefore, long-lasting solutions may not evolve. In this plenary, two First Nation community leaders from Alberta will present on their community’s experience with free-roaming dog populations, community responses and what makes an effective partnership for them.
With a degree from the University of Alberta in Native Studies and a certificate in Indigenous Governance and Partnerships, Josh Littlechild is excited to share information about the history of dogs in First Nations (First Nation cosmology of dogs and relations) and the legal framework that governs companion animals in First Nation communities.
TUESDAY, APRIL 24
RJ Bailot, Executive Director, Alberta Spay Neuter Task Force
Alanna Collicutt, Dog Care and Control Program Manager, Alberta Spay Neuter Task Force
The Alberta Spay/Neuter Task Force (ASNTF) would like to share information regarding a new, innovative program: The ASNTF Dog Care and Control Program. We have created a community-based, holistic and humane approach to free-roaming dog population management. ASNTF has designed the Dog Care and Control Program based on experience, knowledge, consultation and research. Our goal is to advise communities with free-roaming dog populations (primarily Canadian First Nations Communities) on how to increase the health and safety of both the community members and the companion animals.
The ASNTF Dog Care and Control Program has 7 components, which will be described during the presentation:
- Legislation and Enforcement (Designing humane and appropriate bylaws and employment and training of animal control officers)
- Education (for all stakeholders)
- Registration and Identification (licensing is a great opportunity for collecting dog demographics)
- Holding Facilities and Re-homing Centers (constructing a building isn’t necessarily required)
- Spay/Neuter Programming (ASNTF can help with this)
- Access to Veterinary Care (especially for remote communities)
- Controlling Access to Resources (i.e. development of no dog zones, formalizing a pet food bank, etc.)
We will share the results of our pilot project, the Siksika Nation Dog Care and Control Program. Hear about our successes and lessons learned!
- How animal welfare organizations can help their target communities with dog care and control programming.
- A comprehensive dog care and control program is key to reducing human/dog conflict.
- Humane bylaws are imperative for managing dangerous dogs and for ensuring animal welfare.
RJ Bailot is a recipient of the International Fund for Animal Welfare "Outstanding Personal Commitment Award". RJ has travelled nationally and internationally to many animal protection groups’ home bases in order to study and accumulate knowledge and ideas to better accommodate groups in animal rescue, protection and education. RJ is a co-founder of the ASNTF.
Alanna Collicutt has worn many hats at the Alberta Spay/Neuter Task Force in the last six years, including general volunteer, Vice President and Clinic Operations Manager. However, she has found her strength and passion in the development and management of the ASNTF Dog Care and Control Program. Alanna has been focused on the Dog Care and Control Program for the last one-and-a-half years and has brought experience, skills and diligence to this new program.