March 15 – 17, 2017
Hilton Winnipeg Airport Suites Hotel
We are very excited to have the following Keynote Speakers present this year! Each speaker will present to the entire conference delegation on Thursday, March 16.
Dr. Niigaanwewidam Sinclair, Anishinaabe and Assistant Professor, University of Manitoba
Niigaanwewidam James Sinclair is Anishinaabe (St. Peter's/Little Peguis) and an Assistant Professor at the University of Manitoba. He is a regular commentator on Indigenous issues on CTV, CBC, and APTN, and his written work can be found in the pages of The Exile Edition of Native Canadian Fiction and Drama, newspapers like The Guardian, and online with CBC Books: Canada Writes. Niigaan is the co-editor of the award-winning Manitowapow: Aboriginal Writings from the Land of Water (Highwater Press, 2011) and Centering Anishinaabeg Studies: Understanding the World Through Stories (Michigan State University Press, 2013), and is the Editorial Director of The Debwe Series with Portage and Main Press.
Niigan obtained his BA in Education at the University of Winnipeg, before completing an MA in Native- and African-American literatures at the University of Oklahoma, and a PhD in First Nations and American Literatures from the University of British Columbia.
Dr. Alex Drossos, MD, MBA, MEd, CHE, CPHIMS-CA; Psychiatry Resident (PGY5); Child & Adolescent Psychiatry Fellow; McMaster University
Howard Sapers, Independent Advisor on Corrections Reform Government of Ontario
Howard Sapers was appointed Independent Advisor on Corrections Reform by the government of Ontario starting January 1, 2017. Between 2004 and 2016 Mr. Sapers was the Correctional Investigator of Canada. In that capacity he provided independent oversight of the Correctional Service of Canada and served as an Ombudsman for federally sentenced offenders.
A graduate of Simon Fraser University, Mr. Sapers has an extensive background in criminology and corrections gained through a combination of education, employment, community and public service. Prior to his appointment as Independent Advisor, Mr. Sapers held a variety of criminal justice positions, including: Vice-Chairperson for the Prairie Region, Parole Board Canada; Director of the Crime Prevention Investment Fund at the National Crime Prevention Centre; and Executive Director of the John Howard Society of Alberta.
Between 1993 and 2001, Mr. Sapers served two terms as an elected member of the Alberta Legislative Assembly representing Edmonton – Glenora. He held various Critic portfolios including: Health, Education, Science and Finance. During his second term, Mr. Sapers served as House Leader and Leader of the Official Opposition.
An active community volunteer, Mr. Sapers has held a number of positions, including: President of the Canadian Criminal Justice Association; President of the Alberta Criminal Justice Association; and Vice-Chair of the City of Edmonton Safer Cities Advisory Committee. He served as Chairman of the DND/Canadian Forces Ombudsman Advisory Committee, North American Region Member of the International Ombudsman Institute Board of Directors, and is currently a Member of the Board of the Directors of the Forum of Canadian Ombudsman.
Mr. Sapers has received national recognition for his work and service. This recognition includes: the Canada 125 Medal; the Weiler Award for Social Development; the Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal; and the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal. In 2010, Mr. Sapers was acknowledged as a Champion of Mental Health by the Canadian Alliance on Mental Illness and Mental Health and he has received the President’s Commendation from the Canadian Psychiatric Association. Mr. Sapers has been recognized as an Outstanding Alumni by Simon Fraser University and was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Laws degree by the University of Ottawa in 2016.
Wade Sorochan, Broadcaster and Motivational Speaker, Edmonton, Alberta
Wade Sorochan is an accomplished Alberta broadcaster who is recognized as a talk show pioneer. Nicknamed the “Tone Arm” Wade became the first broadcaster in history to use music to enhance a radio talk show. As a mental illness survivor, Wade is a sought-after motivational speaker who shares his inspiring personal story of living with mental illness. He has spoken at numerous events, including the 2011 International Symposium on Wellness. He has been recognized as a nominee for the Alberta Lieutenant Governor's True Grit Award for "Excellent Work to Strengthen Outcomes and Quality of Life for People Living with Mental Illness and Addiction."
Mr. Sorochan is the author of the ground-breaking new book: UNSOCIAL MEDIA; Virtual World Causing Real World Anxiety. Contact and booking information available at: www.wadesorochan.com. Mr. Sorochan will be available for books sales, signing and discussion directly following his presentation.
Carol Todd, Mother and Advocate of Daughter Amanda Todd, Suicide Victim, Port Coquitlam, British Columbia
Carol Todd is an assistive technology teacher from Port Coquitlam, BC. She is also the mother of Amanda Todd who tragically lost her life to cyberbullying in October of 2012. Carol is a tireless champion of educating Canadians of all ages on the important subject of cyberbullying.
Why is Carol Todd an outstanding Canadian citizen? To anyone who has ever connected with Carol, whether it be listening to a public speech she has given, social media interaction or personally, they are humbled by her ability to overcome the loss of her daughter and turn in to an opportunity to open the dialogue around the world on cyber-bullying and mental health. She is a beacon of how we can make the world a better place.
After the loss of Amanda, Carol created the Amanda Todd Legacy which has reached kids and adults alike worldwide. Carol has reach hundreds of thousands of students and adults with her message. Carol has also joined forces with World Mental Health Day which falls on October 10 – a day for global mental health education, awareness and advocacy. The World Federation of Mental Health has provided the Amanda Todd Legacy written support for the awareness campaign #LightUpPurple for World Mental Health Day. Carol and team have enlisted supporters from all around the world to participate in the important campaign.
Travis Dugas Bellerose “Knighthawk”, Traditional Dancer, Story Teller, Motivational Speaker, Actor, Master of Ceremonies, Dynamic Facilitator, Edmonton, Alberta
Travis Dugas Bellerose guides audiences through inspirational dialogue, awakening their inner visionto perceive their life-path in a new light. Elders shared many life teachings along his quest towards for self-awareness and reconnecting him to the culture. In an honouring ceremony, Travis was presented an eagle feather and, in time, given his spirit name "Knighthawk." With this, the way of the traditional dancer became a part of his journey. Storytelling and performing within the cultural arts spectrum at various international venues raised his consciousness of the value of sharing stories. Becoming and being an actor on stage, TV, commercials, feature films, and the IMAX big screen adventure, has enhanced his abilities to entertain, enlighten, and empower his audiences.
Michael Redhead Champagne
Michael Redhead Champagne, aka North End MC, describes himself as “a 24-year-old Cree guy.” Hailing from Shamattawa, Michael was born and raised in the North End of Winnipeg. By night, Michael organizes AYO! (Aboriginal Youth Opportunities)—a youth-led anti-gang organization committed to breaking stereotypes and creating opportunities in the community. MC is also active in the community serving on several boards and committees, including North End Community Renewal Corporation, Mount Carmel Clinic, United Way of Winnipeg’s Aboriginal Relations Council, and the 595 Prevention Teem Peer Secretariat.
Grammy & Juno Award Winner Dan Hill
Nominated for a Grammy for Best Male Vocal, winner of a Grammy (as co-producer of “Seduces Me” on Celine Dion’s 30 plus million-selling “Falling Into You” album), winner of five Juno Awards and the Harold Moon Award (Canadian Lifetime Songwriting Achievement Award), Dan has recorded and released multiple gold and platinum albums. His classic hits, such as “Sometimes When We Touch” (closing in on 5 million spins in America alone, and covered by hundreds of artists around the world), “Can’t We Try” (#1 Billboard AC Record of the Year), and “Never Thought (That I could Love)”, another #1 AC record, all remain staples of AC radio stations around the world. Dan has also enjoyed consistent success as a ‘behind the scenes’ songwriter, his compositions recorded by so many artists spanning so many musical genres that it’s, well, incredible. Pop singers Celine Dion, Britney Spears, 98 Degrees, The Backstreet Boys, Rod Stewart, Donny Osmond, Jennifer Rush and Michael Bolton, R&B singers Tina Turner, George Benson, and Jeffrey Osborne and country singers Tammy Wynette, Sammy Kershaw, Mark Wills, Reba, Alan Jackson, and Lorrie Morgan, to name a select few.
In 2009, Dan Hill published his highly acclaimed memoir, I Am My Father’s Son (HarperCollins Canada, slated for international release in June). On the heels of completing his memoir, Dan recorded his 14th album, Intimate, with producers Matthew McCauley and Fred Mollin, his first studio album of new songs in almost 15 years. Thus began a hectic period of composing and recording, touring and writing that continues to this day.
**Program may change without notice.