Moose River Hospitality and Heritage Association

Knowledge Keepers Gathering

Šawelihcikewin International Knowledge Keepers Gathering

Moose Factory & Moosonee, Omushkego Aski, Ontario, Canada

Please note that the Gathering has been POSTPONED from October 2023 until the next calendar year and the new dates will be confirmed as soon as possible in consultation with our partners and confirmed presenters. 

This year marks the 350th anniversary of Moose Factory, subarctic North America’s oldest continuous site of Indigenous-European relations and intermarriage. However, the history of the Moose River and its Ililiwak (people) extends well beyond the 1673 establishment of the Hudson’s Bay Company trade post – in time and space. The southwestern James Bay watershed has long been the homeland of the Moose Cree, and a gathering site where hospitality has been extended to relations, friends, and visitors from Omushkego Aski, Eeyou Istchee (Western and Eastern James Bay), and beyond.

Following this tradition of hospitality, the Moose River Heritage and Hospitality Association is working with Moose Cree First Nation, MoCreebec Eeyoud Council, the Town of Moosonee, as well as many partners, to host a year-long commemoration of More than 350 Years in the Making: Moose Factory in Omushkego Aski, from Time Immemorial to 1673 to 2023. Our theme is šawelihcikewin – “receiving with gratitude and a desire to give back” from the land, and from all our human and other-than-human relations.

Our international symposium is an opportunity for knowledge keepers from diverse disciplines and intellectual traditions to gather and explore the rich intercultural and natural heritage of this region and our global connections. We invite you to do so in the same spirit of šawelihcikewin: sharing your knowledge to help “build a future with our shared past” – a past that reveals our deep connection as Ililiwak.

Possible themes include:

History, Memory & Oral Tradition • Culture & Language • Philosophy & Spirituality • Reconciliation, Resilience, Revitalization & Decolonization • Reciprocity, Hospitality, Intermarriage & Interculturality • Transatlantic & Transcontinental Connections & Cree Diaspora • Genealogy & Kinship • Orkney-Cree Connections • Sport, Music & Art • Architecture & Design • Tangible & Intangible Heritage • Natural World, Biodiversity, Conservation & Climate Change • Natural Laws, Human Rights & Governance • Treaty Relations • Cree Veterans & their Legacy • Holistic Community & Economic Development • Education & Leadership • Land-Based Living & Knowledge • Communitization • Mental & Physical Health & Healing

Possible formats: academic papers, posters, roundtables, storytelling, dance, art, film, and music. Submissions in English, Cree and French will be considered, with limited translation available. Presentations may be virtual or hybrid but in-person is preferred. The gathering will be recorded and live-streamed, and plans for publication are in development.

Please send a 300-word proposal to Indicate any audio-visual or other equipment needs, and include a C.V., resume, portfolio, or description of your previous work.

With the change in dates of the Gathering, the planning committee will continue to consider additional proposals. 


View or Download International Call for Proposals

Check again for updates to our growing list of co-sponsors, as well as a list of confirmed keynote speakers and sessions, or sign up for our newsletter [at bottom].

Gathering Partners:

Mushkegowuk Marine Conservation –

Wildlands League –

Ojibway & Cree Cultural Centre –

Northern College –

Chanie Wenjack School for Indigenous Studies, Trent University

Centre for Indigenous Conservation and Development Alternatives, McGill University –

The Gregg Centre for the Study of War & Society, University of New Brunswick –

Stromness Museum – 

Centre for Scottish Studies, University of Guelph – 

Carleton Immersive Media Studio, Carleton University –

Reconciliation Studies Program, St. Stephen’s University –

Ontario Heritage Trust –

National Trust for Canada –

Nature’s Laws Institute –

North Bay Museum –