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Keynote Speakers

Lost Prizes


Memoirs of a Boy Soldier

Ishmael Beah

Ishmael Beah, born in Sierra Leone, West Africa, is the New York Times best-selling author of A Long Way Gone, Memoirs of a Boy Soldier and Radiance of Tomorrow, A Novel both published by Farrar Straus & Giroux.

His Memoir has been published in over 40 languages and was nominated for a Quill Award in the Best Debut Author category for 2007. TIME Magazine named the book as one of the “Top 10 Nonfiction books of 2007,” ranking at number 3. His novel written with the gentle lyricism of a dream and the moral clarity of a fable is a powerful book about preserving what means the most to us, even in uncertain times. Already available in several foreign languages, the New York Times finds in his writing an “allegorical richness” and a “remarkable humanity to his [Beah’s] characters”.


Learning from Indigenous Learners

Mitch Bourbonniere

This keynote will explore traditional concepts of learning based on decades of working with Indigenous learners in a variety of settings. This begins with appreciating the complex diversity in the Indigenous community and understanding the importance of genuineness, flexibility, and reciprocity. Creating safety in the classroom includes being aware of how all things are interconnected, and reflecting on the power of relationship. Respecting positive subtle humour, valuing peoples stories, and having faith in people’s natural resiliency also contribute to teaching and learning through the power of story.

Encouraging Transcultural Literacies in Cosmopolitan Times

Karen Magro

In an increasingly globalized world, transcultural literacies challenge educators to explore linguistically and culturally diverse pedagogies by disrupting normative assumptions about learning and literacy development. Alternative spaces and places for learning emerge when educators integrate diverse cultural narratives that reflect complexity and “landscapes of possibility.” Integrating emotional, social, and cultural intelligence into the curriculum explores and reflects on the values, beliefs, and ideals that guide practice. This presentation will explore the way powerful texts and transformative teaching can help learners explore culture, gender, religion, nation, ethnicity, race, and class; and bridge the gap between global and local literacies.

Trauma and Learning: Supporting Students who Carry Trauma

Carl Heaman-Warne

Traumatic experiences can affect all aspects of our lives, and alter the processes of engagement, memory and learning. Whether our youth are living in fearful or abusive environments, survivors of violence or neglect, or coping with significant loss, these experiences change who they are and what they take in. Understanding these impacts is key to creating environments conducive to learning for students who carry trauma. This keynote will offer an understanding of trauma; focusing on the impacts of this experience while helping educators and service providers make sense of the behaviours they see in the classroom and community.

Settler - Indigenous Relationship Building

Tessa Blaikie Whitecloud & Hanwakan Blaikie Whitecloud

Tessa & Hanwakan are as committed to a Canada free of hate as they are to sustaining the love they have between one another. As a Dakota man and Settler woman, their conversations around reconciliation are passioned by their personal lives, and are informed by their work & research. Tessa’s MA Thesis looked at the role privileged people have to play in Indigenous Justice Issues – not as Allies but as Canadians whose country was founded on injustices. Hanwakan creates profiles of Urban Indigenous people as he works to create an identity for himself outside of stereotypes and barriers. They both work actively with Winnipeg’s underloved, whether formally at 1JustCity as Fund Developer for Tessa or informally through mentorship for Hanwakan. They’ll give you concrete ways you can participate in making the Canada you believe in – founded on diversity – rooted in the value of equity and building relationships for unity.