.caISES 2020 Gathering

February 28 to March 1, 2020 - University of Saskatchewan

The Canadian Indigenous Science and Engineering Society (.caISES) gives Indigenous STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) students, professionals, and allies in Canada an opportunity to gather, connect, and create long-lasting relationships through the annual .caISES gatherings, and across the continent at AISES regional and national gatherings.

This year’s theme is Sustainability as it relates to Land, Water, Energy, and engaging Indigenous Youth in STEM. We’re looking forward to learning, networking, and sharing knowledge in reciprocity as we discuss key topics that contribute to the health of our planet and our people, the resilience of Indigenous communities, new and existing opportunities for youth in the STEM disciplines, and the strengths and diversity of our Indigenous STEM community.

Students and professionals in the life sciences and health sciences are welcome and encouraged to join us! Indigenous health and wellness closely aligns with this year's theme of sustainability, and we look forward to connecting with those who are studying and working in these fields.


.caISES 2020 Gathering Program (pdf)

USask Welcomes You!

The .caISES 2020 Gathering will be hosted at the University of Saskatchewan and is organized by the University of Saskatchewan Chapter of .caISES (USask.caISES) and the Saskatchewan Professional Chapter of .caISES (sask.caISES), with national leadership and support from the Canadian Indigenous Advisory Council (CIAC) to the American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES).

Conference Registration

Registration Sold Out

We have reached our goal of 170 participants and we look forward to connecting with everyone in Saskatoon!

Conference Hotel

The Holiday Inn Express & Suites Saskatoon East - University is the conference hotel for the .caISES 2020 Gathering. The deadline for preferred rates has now passed, however rooms are still available by booking online or calling the hotel toll-free at 1-800-HOLIDAY (1-800-465-4329) or directly at 1-306-954-1250.



8:30 AM - 12:00 PM Ag 1D51 (Atrium) Registration
9:00 AM - 10:20 AM Ag 1E85

Education of STEM in different contexts and how teaching can be adapted to the unique learner (Cree Longjohn)

(Register for Session)

9:00 AM - 10:20 AM Ag 2E17

Performing Hands-On Water Tests of First Nations Communities’ Water (Nicole Hancock & Tim Molnar)

(Register for Session)

10:00 AM - 12:00 PM Ag 1D51 (Atrium)

Tour 1: Mini-coding camp (students and teachers)

(Register for Tour)

10:30 AM - 11:50 AM Ag 1E85

Robotics and Math in First Nation Schools: Community responsive outreach (Melanie Howard)

(Register for Session)

10:30 AM - 11:50 AM Ag 2E17

Āmik pimosēwin (Path of the Beaver) (Dawn Pratt & Albert Scott)

(Register for Session)

12:00 PM - 1:00 PM Holiday Inn - Banquet

Lunch (Sponsored by Graham)

Keynote Speaker Randy Herrmann

(Register for Lunch & Keynote)

1:00 PM - 2:20 PM Holiday Inn - Banquet

Physical Science on Turtle Island: Culture as a springboard to engineering design in the K-12 classroom (Melanie Howard & Randy Herrmann)

(Register for Session)

1:00 PM - 2:20 PM Holiday Inn - Lobby Closed Tour: Mentor Step Canadian Light Source Tour
2:30 PM - 3:50 PM Holiday Inn - Lobby

Tour 2: Canadian Light Source Tour

(Register for Tour)

2:30 PM - 3:50 PM Geology Building (meet at T-Rex!)

Tour 3: Museum of Natural Sciences Tour

(Register for Tour)

4:00 PM - 5:30 PM Holiday Inn - Banquet Registration
4:45 PM - 5:30 PM Holiday Inn - Banquet CIAC Meeting
5:30 PM - 7:00 PM Holiday Inn - Banquet

Grand Entry, Supper, Welcoming Remarks (Sponsored by TD Insurance)

Keynote Speaker Cory Beaver

7:00 PM - 10:00 PM Holiday Inn - Banquet

Networking Mixer

Poster Session

8:00 AM - 8:50 AM Gordon Oakes Red Bear Student Centre Morning Smudge
9:00 AM - 9:50 AM Arts 241 Student Panel
10:00 AM - 10:30 AM Arts 133 The Story of T’lina: How to Foster Sustainable and Respectful Collaboration with Indigenous Communities (James Shaw)
10:00 AM - 10:30 AM Arts 134 STEM Education in Indigenous Communities (Soundous Ettayebi)
10:00 AM - 10:50 AM Arts 241 Addressing Global Water Security from an Indigenous Perspective in Chemistry (Lee Wilson)
10:40 AM - 11:10 AM Arts 133 The Feasting Shelter (Shawn Bailey)
10:40 AM - 11:10 AM Arts 134 Stories of Trees for Research (Tracy Walker)
11:20 AM - 11:50 AM Arts 133 Engineering in Indigenous communities, how different can it be? (Kear Porttris)
11:20 AM - 11:50 AM Arts 134 Using place-based environmental education to garner interest and engagement in STEM programming with Indigenous youth (Hilary Hamilton)
11:20 AM - 11:50 AM Arts 241 Building Financial Acumen (TD Bank)
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM Arts 241

Lunch (Sponsored by APEGS)

Keynote Speaker Disa Crow Chief

1:00 PM - 1:50 PM Arts 241 Professional Panel
2:00 PM - 2:30 PM Arts 133 Re-Imagining STEM within Indigenous & Ecological Perspectives (Florence Glanfield)
2:00 PM - 2:30 PM Arts 134 Sustainability through Indigenous directed and centred research: Indspire Research Knowledge Nest (Jamie Ricci)
2:00 PM - 2:50 PM Arts 241 Considering Shame in Navigating Conversations within Education (Andrew Hartman)
2:40 PM - 3:10 PM Arts 133 Bottom-up and top-down STEM pathways (Simon Lambert)
2:40 PM - 3:10 PM Arts 134 Takeaways from anIVLP Exchange Program: Models to increase STEM diversity across community, secondary, and post-secondary education (Sandy Bonny)
3:20 PM - 3:50 PM Arts 133 Weaving Indigenous and Western Ways of Knowing in Wildlife Ecology (Jesse Popp)
3:20 PM - 3:50 PM Arts 134 First Nations Launch – a Rocketry Competition for AISES Teams (Melanie Howard)
3:20 PM - 3:50 PM Arts 241 Strategic Inclusion Initiatives (Nutrien)
4:00 PM - 4:45 PM Arts 102 Talking Circle
4:00 PM - 4:45 PM Arts 263 Indigenous Student Services in Engineering Working Group Meeting
4:45 PM - 5:30 PM Break
5:30 PM - 7:00 PM Marquis Hall

Banquet (Sponsored by Nutrien)

Keynote Speaker Corey Gray

7:00 PM - 9:00 PM Gordon Oakes Red Bear Student Centre Evening Activity 1 with Knowledge Keeper Joseph Naytowhow
7:00 PM - 9:00 PM Neatby-Timlin Theatre (Arts 241) Evening Activity 2 - Documentary Film Screening
8:00 AM - 8:50 AM Gordon Oakes Red Bear Student Centre Morning Smudge
9:00 AM - 9:30 AM Arts 133 Overview of academic research projects related to the development of sustainable composite materials (Duncan Cree)
9:00 AM - 9:30 AM Arts 134 Combatting Engineering Stress in the Classroom (Sarah Gauthier)
9:00 AM - 9:30 AM Arts 241 Project Delivery as Reconciliation (Danilo Caron)
9:40 AM - 10:10 AM Arts 133 Jellyfish Ecology on the Coast of British Columbia (Jessica Schaub)
9:40 AM - 10:10 AM Arts 134 Inspiring and Supporting Indigenous Youth to Attend Graduate Studies (Sidney Leggett)
10:20 AM - 10:50 AM Arts 133 The Role of CLIP-170 in antibody production, health, and disease (Connor Keane)
10:20 AM - 10:50 AM Arts 134 Consulting 101: How to Thrive and Not Just Survive (Jennifer Bennett)
10:20 AM - 10:50 AM Arts 241 AISES 101: Chapter creation, student representative roles and AISES programs (Brielle Thorsen & Jacob Calderone)
11:00 AM - 11:50 AM Arts 102 Student Circle
11:00 AM - 11:50 AM Arts 263 Professional Circle
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM Arts 241 Lunch & Closing Remarks (Sponsored by Schulich School of Engineering & APEGA)
1:00 PM Conference Ends - Safe Travels!


Corey Gray

Saturday Supper Keynote

BS, Dual Degrees in Physics and Applied Mathematics (1997). Corey Gray is a member of Siksika Nation and the lead operator at LIGO (Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory) Hanford Observatory, and part of the group of researchers that confirmed the existence of gravitational waves. He now manages the operator team for the detector in Washington that discovered the existence of gravitational waves produced by two colliding black holes. The finding supports Albert Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity and is considered one of the greatest scientific discoveries of the century, earning the Nobel Prize for Physics in 2017.

Disa Crow Chief

Saturday Lunch Keynote

Disa Crow Chief is 20 years old, from Siksika Nation, one of four Blackfoot tribes that make up the Blackfoot Confederacy. Disa is passionate about traveling, learning, and advocating for environmental rights to benefit her people and Canada as a whole. As well as expressing her cultural identity, Disa strives to get involved and educated on both sides of the argument around renewable energy in order to move forward and get projects started in her community.

Cory Beaver

Friday Supper Keynote

Cory Beaver was born and raised in the Bow Valley region of Alberta. Cory is a proud member of the Stoney Nakoda First Nation in Morley, Alberta. He is currently a student at Mount Royal University with prospects of pursuing a degree in Business and Marketing. He has started doing work in raising awareness about climate change, learning about sustainability and energy, and the energy transition. Cory has a strong passion to advocate for youth and Indigenous people, and seeks to inspire, empower and engage more First Nations people in the hopes that it will enable them to pursue education to achieve goals and dreams.

Randy Herrmann

Friday Lunch Keynote

Randy Herrmann is the Director of the Engineering Access Program at the University of Manitoba. Herrmann applied the skills he learned in university at a consulting engineering firm, but was soon working as the Technical Services Advisor for the Ogemawahj Tribal Council. He later became a Project Manager for the Rama First Nation, where he directed the construction of many community buildings including the arena/recreational complex, seniors’ complex, school, strip mall and new Band Council office. What struck him most from his work with First Nations communities and within the field of engineering is the lack of Aboriginal engineers. His desire to help change the situation and make it easier for Aboriginal students to pursue post-secondary professional science degrees led him back to the University of Manitoba and his position of Director of ENGAP. Founded in 1985, The Engineering Aboriginal Access Program at the University of Manitoba (ENGAP) is the most successful program of its kind in Canada, providing guidance to Indigenous peoples pursuing a degree in Engineering.


Title Sponsor


Grand Entry Sponsor


Lunch Sponsors




Schulich School of Engineering

Partner Sponsors

Engineers Canada


Great Plains Contracting


BHP Logo


Travel Partner Sponsors



Mosaic Logo




In-Kind Sponsors



Visiting Saskatoon

The U of S is a member of the U15, a group of the top Canadian research universities.

Our main campus, located in the heart of Saskatoon, is home to programs ranging from business, law, and arts and science to engineering, medicine and veterinary medicine, along with many others. Study at the U of S is enhanced by our world-class facilities, including the Canadian Light Source synchrotron, VIDO-InterVac, the Global Institute for Food Security, the Global Institute for Water Security and the Sylvia Fedoruk Centre for Nuclear Innovation. 

With the option to study at locations across Saskatchewan, more than 23,000 people from around the world, including more than 2,600 self-declared Indigenous students, study at the U of S, and our more than 150,000 alumni are spread across the globe. 

U of S services and attractions

Office of the Vice-Provost, Indigenous Engagement

College of Arts & Science, Indigenous

The conference takes place at the University of Saskatchewan, located in Saskatoon. The city ranked 18th on the New York Times 52 Places to Visit in 2018 list, and is the only Canadian city to make it on the list.   

With a rising population of more than 250,000, Saskatoon offers many of the amenities of a large urban centre along with the friendliness and accessibility of a smaller city. There is plenty to do in Saskatoon every season, with live music events, festivals and cultural experiences offered year round. With its vibrant mix of many cultures, Saskatoon’s blossoming culinary and local shopping scenes also stand out. This is a place of opportunity, diversity and innovation. Explore this exciting destination on the Saskatoon Tourism website

The city’s youthful vitality and cultural richness are evident in every neighbourhood, thanks in part to the University of Saskatchewan

On (or near) campus

Off campus

Contact Us

Canadian Indigenous Advisory Council (CIAC) to AISES

Website / Email

Canadian Indigenous Science and Engineering Society (.caISES)

Website / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram

American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES)

Website / Facebook / Twitter / YouTube / Instagram