Yellowhead Logo Red

Yellowhead Fire

The Yellowhead Fire series has concluded for the 2023/2024 year. Stay tuned for more to come in 2024/2025! 

Yellowhead Fire brings together established and emerging scholars, activists, and artists to discuss pressing concerns and issues, exchange ideas, and offer critical Indigenous perspectives on settler colonialism and the reclamation of Indigenous land and “the good life”. Yellowhead Fire events are free of charge and open to the public. 

Past Yellowhead Fires: 2023 / 2024 Schedule

Dëneze Nakehk’o
Dehcho & Denesuline Dene, Denendeh


Dene Ke K’o: Honouring Creative Fires

How can stories help us survive? It is the stories we share that help position ourselves on the lands, waters and climate of the circumpolar world. In this Yellowhead Fire, Dëneze discussed Dene knowledge, pedagogy, and stories, which put an emphasis on creativity and imagination as survival skills. 


Dëneze Nakehk’o is Dehcho and Denesuline Dene from Denendeh. He is a strong advocate for Indigenous knowledge systems, particularly Dene ways of knowing. As one of the founding members of Dene Nahjo, he works at encouraging and supporting connections/re-connections to land, language and culture. Dëneze is a public speaker that recognizes and actively confronts the impacts of colonization through Dene methods of decolonization. He has over a decades worth of experience in northern media and communications as a journalist, broadcaster, podcaster and storyteller. Dëneze is originally from Liidlii Kue but now lives and works in Yellowknife

Shady Hafez
Algonquin & Syrian, Kitigan Zibi 


Experiences in Community-based Indigenous Education

Post-secondary institutions are not the most accessible spaces for Indigenous students, particularly students from rural and remote communities. To attend, students often have to leave their home communities, cultures and families with the intent of pursuing their academic dreams and goals. This fireside chat explored the issues associated with the exclusivity of western knowledge institutions and the successes and challenges of bringing higher learning directly to Indigenous students within their home communities. Speaker, Shady Hafez, shared his insights and experiences in developing and teaching post-secondary content for on-reserve students with the hopes of better informing a structural breakdown of the exclusivity of academic knowledge and systems. 


Shady Hafez is Algonquin Anishinabe from Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg and Syrian. He is a passionate advocate for the liberation of Indigenous nations through the revitalization of Indigenous ways of knowing and being. Shady is currently a PhD student in Sociology at the University of Toronto, a Yellowhead Institute Research Fellow and is also the Projects Manager to the National Association of Friendship Centres.

Yellowhead Sparks

Yellowhead Sparks are small-scale events responsive to community interests, topical in nature, and often generated by the themes, topics, and issues explored in the Yellowhead Fire series.

PAST EVENT | Bad Cree X The Big Melt Book Launch 

In March 2023, Yellowhead School teamed up with Another Story Bookshop to celebrate the highly-anticipated works of two Nehiyaw writers. Jessica Johns’ debut novel, Bad Cree (2023 Amazon Canada First Novel Finalist), and Emily Riddle’s debut poetry collection, The Big Melt (2023 Winner of Griffin Poetry Prize’s Canadian First Book Prize). This Yellowhead Spark event featured readings, moderated discussion, and a friendly round of bingo.

Artwork by Abby Riddle

Learn about all Yellowhead School events by signing up for our newsletter!