Educational Impacts in the North Conference Wrap Up: What We Learned about Building Inclusivity in Higher Education

Kaitlin SchillingBlogs, Conference Wrap Up

Access to education is at the heart of everything we do, and we are always looking to enhance our knowledge and learn what others are doing to best support students, staff, and faculty here in Manitoba. One of our Virtual Help Desk Navigators, Kaitlin Schilling, recently visited Prince George, B.C. to attend UNBC’s “Educational Impacts in the North” Summit.

The 2019 Educational Impacts in the North Summit space.
The University of Northern British Columbia hosted the 2019 Educational Impacts in the North Summit. (UNBC Photo Gallery)

Co-hosted by the B.C. Council for International Education (BCCIE) and the University of Northern British Columbia (UNBC) Centre for Teaching, Learning, and Technology, “Educational Impacts in the North-Summit 2019: Building Towards Inclusivity, Ways of Knowing, and Internationalization in Education” encouraged talks about the future of teaching and learning, and what inclusivity looks like.

Q: What was one thing you learned?

Kaitlin: This conference was a fantastic opportunity to learn about different approaches to inclusivity, ways of knowing, and internationalization in education not only within British Columbia but Canada. Two programs that really stuck out to me were the Math Catcher Program and the First Peoples Principles of Learning.

Q: What was one thing that inspired you?

Kaitlin: I was inspired by the idea that education is a relationship and as such, we need to nurture it. This means being cognizant of our spaces and the templates that we, as individuals bring to teaching and learning. The main takeaway from this conference was the importance of knowing yourself, your biases, stereotypes, and cultural indifferences (i.e., your own personal template) and what you bring into learning spaces.

Q: Who did you most enjoy hearing from?

Dr. Leroy Little Bear, keynote speaker at the 2019 Educational Impacts of the North.
Dr. Leroy Littlebear was a keynote speaker at this year’s conference. (Youtube)

Kaitlin: One of the keynote speakers, Dr. Leroy Little Bear, opened a wonderful discussion that carried throughout the conference. Dr. Little Bear noted that “one of the things we’ve been [talking] about for the past few years has been trying to get people to understand the thinking processes that we carry around and that we use on an everyday basis and we each bring our own templates to how we interpret things.”

Q: What was one thing that moved or impacted you?

Kaitlin: I greatly appreciated the interactive sessions and amazing discussions that followed. There were a lot of talks and brainstorms about what institutions and individuals are doing and could be doing to build more inclusive environments in higher education. Specifically, they are taking an intercultural approach with regards to higher learning and understanding the role we each take in creating safe spaces for students.

Q: What is one thing you hope to see going forward?

Kaitlin: As John D. Caputo writes, “we never are what we are. Something different is always possible.” We are always looking for ways to support higher education and work collaboratively with our partners to provide access to education. I look forward to seeing people in Manitoba continue their dedicated work towards building inclusive post-secondary education for their learners in a way that is respectful, supportive, and genuine.


Campus Manitoba is a consortium of Manitoba’s public universities and colleges. Through collaborative projects and shared services, we facilitate student mobility and expand access to post-secondary programs for students in Manitoba. In addition to campusmanitoba.ca, our websites include ecoursesmb.casetyourcourse.ca, and openedmb.ca.