The National Association of Friendship Centres (NAFC) hosted the inaugural Indigenous Innovation Summit in in November of 2015. This was a first of its kind, national-level summit hosted and designed by Indigenous people for Indigenous people. The Summit brought together people from Indigenous communities, the private sector, all levels of government, academia, and the non-profit sector. The event hosted social innovators, investors, thinkers, activists, and entrepreneurs from across all sectors in an innovative and collaborative environment. The summit brought people together and created new connections, provided new learnings and progress on a number of challenges and issues that are facing Indigenous people in this country.
The Summit itself consisted of panel presentations given by experts and practitioners in a number of different fields related to social innovation. Members of the Friendship Centre Movement along with professors, individuals from the business world, governments and entrepreneurs met via conference call in the weeks leading up to the Summit to prepare and co-ordinate ideas and presentation methods. The facilitators placed a strong emphasis on dynamic and engaging presentation styles. These panel presentations were separated into three streams: learning, action, and coaching, with the latter being the most advanced. Overall the panels covered social innovation, finance, education, health, social entrepreneurship and more.
As a compliment to the panel presentations there was an all day Solutions Lab facilitated by the Winnipeg Boldness Project and a special event Thursday evening that focused on Reconciliation as Innovation and how Canada as a whole can use innovation to promote reconciliation and healing between First Nations, Métis, and Inuit peoples and non-Indigenous Canadians.
The Indigenous Innovation Summit Report 2015 is a detailed overview of everything that the NAFC and its partners accomplished with the inaugural edition of the Summit. It provides a detailed list of all Summit themes, goals and panels. It also includes some preliminary information regarding the 2016 Summit, which will be hosted in Edmonton, Alberta.