Phil Fontaine 

Mr. Fontaine is an articulate advocate for the future of Canada and for Indigenous peoples. He is the former three-term National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations, known for his calm and confident demeanor and has a proven track record of opening the lines of communication and bringing people together in a common cause for a better future and to resolve issues of the past. Mr. Fontaine has been instrumental in facilitating change and advancement for First Nations people from the time he was first elected to public office as chief, when he was only 28 years old.

As a fierce advocate for human rights, one of Mr. Fontaine’s crowning achievements to date is the residential schools settlement. At $5.6 billion in individual compensation, Mr. Fontaine negotiated the largest settlement in Canadian history –for the largest human rights violation in Canadian history – arising out of the 150-year Indian residential school tragedy.

Phil Fontaine has dedicated most of his life to the advancement of First Nations people. Respected at home and abroad, Fontaine attended President Obama’s inauguration, met with Pope Benedict XVI to gain an apology for his people, and raised the Corporate Challenge to Canadian organizations.


Michael Hart

Michael Hart is the vice-provost for an Indigenous engagement at the University of Calgary. As part of his role he serves as a key champion and advocate for the Indigenous Strategy at the University of Calgary, and as a strong and visible role model for everyone, but in particular to the University of Calgary’s Indigenous scholars and students. Mr. Hart’s career has been focused on Indigenous Peoples and ways of helping that will enable the University of Calgary to realize its goals for indigenization on our campuses. His approach is about connecting with and learning from Indigenous elders and traditional knowledge keepers to explore how these philosophies can guide us, transcend boundaries and take incremental steps to change the conversation between different cultures. Since 2012, Michael Hart has held a Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Knowledges and Social Work through the University of Manitoba. He has also held the role of acting director of the Master of Social Work in Indigenous Knowledges program at the University of Manitoba. For the past 17 years, he has been a board member for the Aboriginal Social Workers’ Society in Manitoba and was a founding committee member. His work has spanned multiple provinces, including Manitoba, Quebec and Yukon. Hart holds a BSW, MSW and PhD in Social Work from the University of Manitoba, as well as a BA in Psychology from the University of Manitoba.

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Kathleen E. Mahoney

Kathleen E. Mahoney is a Professor of Law at the University of Calgary and Queen’s Counsel. She was the Chief Negotiator for Canada’s Aboriginal peoples claim for cultural genocide against Canada, achieving the largest financial settlement in Canadian history for the mass human rights violations against the indigenous peoples of Canada. She was the primary architect of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada and led the negotiations for the historic apology from the Canadian Parliament and from Pope Benedict XVI at the Vatican.

She was co-counsel for Bosnia Herzegovina in their genocide action against Serbia in the International Court of Justice with the result that the definition of genocide in the Genocide Convention was altered to include mass rapes and forced pregnancy as genocide offences.

Among her many awards and distinctions, Professor Mahoney is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, Queen’s Counsel, a Trudeau Fellow, and a Fulbright and Human Rights Fellow (Harvard). She received the Governor General’s medal for her contribution to equality in Canada. She has held Visiting Professorships or Fellowships at Harvard University, The University of Chicago, Adelaide University, University of Western Australia, Griffiths University, the National University of Australia and Ulster University.


David Suzuki

David Suzuki is a scientist, broadcaster, author, and co-founder of the David Suzuki Foundation. He is Companion to the Order of Canada and a recipient of UNESCO's Kalinga Prize for science, the United Nations Environment Program medal, the 2012 Inamori Ethics Prize, the 2009 Right Livelihood Award, and UNEP’s Global 500. Dr. Suzuki is Professor Emeritus at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver and holds 29 honorary degrees from universities around the world. He is familiar to television audiences as host of the CBC science and natural history television seriesThe Nature of Things, and to radio audiences as the original host of CBC Radio's Quirks and Quarks, as well as the acclaimed series It's a Matter of Survivaland From Naked Ape to Superspecies. In 1990 he co-founded with Dr. Tara Cullis, The David Suzuki Foundation to “collaborate with Canadians from all walks of life including government and business, to conserve our environment and find solutions that will create a sustainable Canada through science-based research, education and policy work.”  David is adopted into three Indigenous families:  (in absentia) by Chief Wah Moodmx(Killerwhale, Johnny Clifton) of Hartley Bay, BC and was given the name Gootm Lgu Waalksik (Heart of a Prince); and by Chief George Housty of the Heiltsuk; and by Ada Yovanovitch (Eagle Clan) of the Haida of Haida Gwaii and given the name Gyaagan (My Own).  He has also received from Indigenous Peoples the following names; Nuchi (Big Mountain) from the Nuu Chah Nulth of BC; Nan Wa Kawi (Man Who Knows Much) from the Kwagiulth of BC; Nattoo Istuk (Sacred Mountain) from the Kainai (formerly Blood) First Nation of Alberta; Karnumeya (Mountain Man) from the Kaurna of Australia; and Kehiwawasis (Eagle Child) Honorary Chief from the Cree of Alberta.  His written work includes more than 55 books, 19 of them for children.  Dr. Suzuki lives with his wife and family in Vancouver, B.C.

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Juan Aulestia

Juan Aulestia is a distinguished international scholar, social activist, and expert in community development. Since completing his doctorate in Education and Development and his master in International Administration, Dr. Aulestia has taught both undergraduate and graduate students in Ecuador and the US, focusing on Lain American Studies, development issues, research methodology, project planning and leadership training. As Oxfam America’s South America Program Coordinator he incorporates more than 35 years of experience with indigenous and afro descendent communities in Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador and Brazil, where he was directly involved in the conceptualization of indigenous universities in the Andean region. He has spearheaded project strengthening bilingual and intercultural education in Ecuador, North-South partnership programs, and other projects of international collaboration. In 2004 he served as Under Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the area of International Cooperation and holds Ambassador status.

Dr. Aulestia is the founder Director of Fundacion Ñaupa for Andean Knowledge.


Bill Gallagher

Bill Gallagher has extensive project experience in all regions of the country. He is an authority on the rise of native empowerment in Canada’s resources sector: having defused native logging tensions in New Brunswick’s ‘War in the Woods’; oil patch eco-terrorism in Alberta; helping guide Inco’s Voisey’s Bay impact benefits agreements to successful conclusion (the most complex resource dispute in Canada), with previous career successes as a corporate lawyer in Calgary, an energy regulator in Ottawa, and a treaty negotiator on the prairies.


Luis Macas

Luis Macas is a Kichwa politician and intellectual from Saraguro Ecuador. Macas has honorary university degrees in anthropology, linguistics and jurisprudence. He was one of the founders of the CONAIE and of the Pachakutik Movement, and was member of the National Congress of Ecuador. In 2003 he joined Lucio Gutiérrez's government as Minister of Agriculture, quit because of disagreements with his neoliberal policies. Macas was vice-president of the CONAIE (Confederación de Nacionalidades Indígenas de Ecuador) from 1988 to 1991, and CONAIE president from 1991 to 1996 and from 2004–2008.

On May 24, 2006 Macas was proclaimed by the Pachakutik Movement as presidential candidate for the October 15, 2006 election. He came in seventh (out of 13 candidates), with just over 2 percent of the vote.


Charles R. Nesson

Charles R. Nesson is the William F. Weld Professor of Law at Harvard Law School and the founder of the Berkman Center for Internet & Society and of the Global Poker Strategic Thinking Society. He is author of Evidence, with Murray and Green, and has participated in several cases before the U.S. Supreme Court, including the landmark case Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals. In 1971, Nesson defended Daniel Ellsberg in the Pentagon Papers case. He was co-counsel for the plaintiffs in the case against W. R. Grace and Company that was made into the book A Civil Action,which was, in turn, made into the film of the same name. Nesson's nickname in the book, Billion-Dollar Charlie, was given to him by Mark Phillips, who worked with him on the W.R. Grace case. Nesson is currently "interested in advancing justice in Jamaica, the evolution of the Internet, as well as national drug policy."


Steven Donziger

Steven Donziger is part of a team of advocates representing indigenous and farmer communities in an area of the Ecuadorian Amazon rainforest polluted by oil operations conducted by Texaco, now owned by Chevron. In 2011, the communities won a landmark $19 billion judgment against Chevron for the cleanup of what is considered to be one of the worst oil-related environmental catastrophes in the world. Steven has been involved in advocacy for the affected communities since first visiting the region in 1993. Steven was the founder and director of Project Due Process, a legal advocacy group for Cuban detainees who came to the United States in the Mariel boatlift. He is the former director of the non-partisan National Criminal Justice Commission that produced the book The Real War on Crime (HarperCollins). His analysis and commentary on human rights, environmental, and criminal justice matters has been featured in numerous legal publications, academic journals, and news outlets. After graduating from law school in 1991, Steven worked as a trial attorney with the District of Columbia Public Defender Service. He currently serves on the Board of Advisors to the Fortune Society, the largest self-help organization for ex-offenders in the United States. In 1991, Steven led a mission of lawyers and public health specialists to Iraq to assess the impact on civilians of the bombing during the first Gulf War.

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Shaun Fluker

Shaun Fluker is an Associate Professor with the Faculty of Law at the University of Calgary. Subjects that he lectures on include administrative law, legal theory, statutory interpretation, legal drafting, law and policy, environmental law and ethics, as well as endangered species law. Mr. Fluker has also led the Faculty of Law environmental law clinic since 2011. Currently, his work includes an investigation into how the AER exercises its discretion to grant cost awards, an investigation into the operation of environmental law clinics at Canadian law schools and exploring the use of wilderness rhetoric in legal reasoning. Mr. Fluker is an active member of the Law Society of Alberta with experience providing legal services in the areas of corporate/commercial, securities, environmental and administrative law. Mr. Fluker has appeared as counsel before all levels of Alberta courts.


Shin Imai

After he became a lawyer in 1980, Shin Imai practised at Keewaytinok Native Legal Services in Moosonee and later had his own practice in the areas of human rights, refugee law and indigenous rights. He joined the Ontario Ministry of the Attorney General in 1989 to work on the development of Alternative Dispute Resolution programs and to initiate justice projects in indigenous communities. He was appointed to faculty at Osgoode in 1996 and is currently a director of the Justice and Corporate Accountability Project. He has served as Academic Director at Parkdale Community Legal Services, the Director of the Intensive Program on Aboriginal Lands, Resources and Governments, Director of Clinical Education, and Co-director of the Latin American Network on Research and Education in Human Rights (RedLEIDH). Imai was awarded the Excellence in Teaching Award at the Law School in 2004 and 2007, and the University-wide Teaching Award in 2010.Research Interests: Canada’s extra territorial obligation to regulate Canadian mining companies in Latin America, Aboriginal law in Canada, and clinical legal education.


Rachel Deming

Professor Rachel E. Deming is an Assistant Professor of Law and director of the Environmental and Earth Law Clinic. She teaches seminar courses on environmental dispute resolution and toxic torts at environmentally impacted sites. Professor Deming joined the Barry faculty in the fall of 2013. Before coming to Barry, she was co-director of the International Transactions Clinic and a professor from practice at the University of Michigan. She also taught environmental dispute resolution at Pace University School of Law. Prior to joining academia, Professor Deming practiced law in New York for over 25 years. She began her career as an associate at a large New York law firm working on international banking issues and cross-border mergers and acquisition litigation. She left to become in-house environmental counsel for a Swiss-based global manufacturing company, a position which led to an increasing range of managerial responsibilities and included advocacy on environmental concerns and corporate sustainable development. She negotiated several consent agreements involving cleanups of major Superfund sites and also managed the resolution of high-profile tort claims against the company outside the courtroom. Recognizing the value of alternative dispute resolution, Professor Deming returned to private practice in 2007 and became a mediator. In recognition of her expertise in environmental and financial issues, Professor Deming was appointed by the Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to its Environmental Financial Advisory Board in 2005 and served on that board until 2011. She was also involved in the establishment of an environmental dispute resolution center at Pace Law School, the Kheel Center for the Resolution of Environmental Interest Disputes, and received the Founder’s Award for her work in 2009.


Willy Littlechild

Wilton Littlechild, is a Cree chief, residential school survivor, and lawyer who has worked both nationally and internationally including with the United Nations to advance Indigenous rights and Treaties. He has also – through leadership with the Truth and Reconciliation Commission – raised awareness of former Canadian policies that decimated the livelihood and culture of Indigenous Canadians.

Chief Littlechild was a member of the 1977 Indigenous delegation to the United Nations (UN), and worked on the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. He organized within the UN to increase Indigenous input in the economic and social issues the UN tackles.  

Chief Littlechild has been a member of parliament, Vice-President of the Indigenous Parliament of the Americas, North American representative to the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, and a chairperson for the UN Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and the Commission on First Nations and Métis Peoples and Justice Reform.


Cora Voyageur

Cora Voyageur is a Dene woman from the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation at Fort Chipewyan, Alberta Canada. Her research interests explore the Aboriginal experience in Canada including: leadership employment, community and economic development, women’s issues, and health.

She is has published 40 academic papers and has written more than 30 commissioned research reports. She is the author of the books, Firekeepers of the 21st Century: Women Chiefs in Canada and My Heroes have always been Indians: Contributions of Alberta’s Indigenous Peoples She is co-editor of Hidden in Plain Sight: Contributions of Aboriginal Peoples to Canadian Identity and Culture, Volumes I and II. She is currently working on manuscripts on Aboriginal Leadership in Canada and the position of Aboriginal women in Canada.


Chief Robert Joseph

Chief Robert Joseph, O.B.C., O.C. is a true peace-builder whose life and work are examples of his personal commitment. A Hereditary Chief of the Gwawaenuk First Nation, Chief Joseph has dedicated his life to bridging the differences brought about by intolerance, lack of understanding and racism at home and abroad.

His insights into the destructive impacts these forces can have on peoples’ lives, families and cultures were shaped by his experience with the Canadian Indian Residential School system.

As one of the last few speakers of the Kwakwaka’wakw language, Chief Joseph is an eloquent and inspiring Ceremonial House Speaker. He shares his knowledge and wisdom in the Big House and as a Language Speaker with the University of British Columbia, an internationally recognized art curator and as co-author of “Down from the Shimmering Sky: Masks of the Northwest Coast”.

Chief Joseph is currently the Ambassador for Reconciliation Canada and a member of the National Assembly of First Nations Elders Council. He was formerly the Executive Director of the Indian Residential School Survivors Society and is an honourary witness to Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC). As Chairman of the Native American Leadership Alliance for Peace and Reconciliation and Ambassador for Peace and Reconciliation with the Interreligious and International Federation for World Peace (IFWP), Chief Joseph has sat with the leaders of South Africa, Israel, Japan, South Korea, Mongolia and Washington, DC to learn from and share his understanding of faith, hope, healing and reconciliation.


Patricia Lundy

Patricia Lundy is a Professor of sociology. She studied as an undergraduate and postgraduate at Queen’s University Belfast (QUB); in 1993 she received her PhD.

In 2016, Patricia was awarded a Leverhulme Trust Major Research Fellowship. She was the recipient of a British Academy Senior Research Fellowship in 2009/2010 and has received other grants from prestigious funding bodies including the Nuffield Foundation, Irish Academy and British Academy. Her research has also been funded by Community Relations Council, Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust and European Union’s Peace funding.

Patricia's research has focused on post-conflict transformation, mechanisms for ‘dealing with the past’, ‘truth’ recovery and the politics of memory. She has researched both community-based ‘truth’ recovery processes and official police-led historical conflict-related inquiries. Her in-depth study of the Police Service Northern Ireland’s, Historical Enquiries Team achieved considerable media coverage and impact and  has been widely regarded in changing the landscape in dealing with the past in NI.

Her most recent work is a major empirical study of historic child abuse. She is committed to ‘bottom-up’ participatory approaches and a desire to ensure that survivors needs drive the form that redress takes. In this regard, Patricia was instrumental in working with survivor groups to set up a panel of experts on Redress. In collaboration with Professor Kathleen Mahoney (Calgary University), she has published a number of practical and policy relevant reports designed to assist redressing historic child abuse; including a framework for compensation. She is committed to linking academia to the wider community and strives to make her research impact positively on beneficiaries.

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Jon McCourt

McCourt has been a community peace activist and a member of the Peace and Reconciliation Group in the City of Derry, Northern Ireland for more than 30 years.  He has also travelled to and worked with those involved in conflicts in other areas of the world, including Bosnia, the Middle East, Ukraine and conflict torn countries in Africa, and he is en route to Bogota, Colombia, to assist in the FARC Peace Agreement.

He has met with Hope students in Belfast on the Celtic May Term for the past four years.  While on campus, he will also be meeting with classes.

McCourt went on the first Civil Rights March in Derry as a young man in October 1968. He was actively engaged in almost every aspect of the conflict that arose as the result of that march.  He took part in the Battle of the Bogside, when the police laid siege to the Catholic/Nationalist of Derry for three days. He saw the first soldiers arrive on the streets of Derry in August 1969, and witnessed the murder of friends and neighbors on Bloody Sunday when 14 people died at the hands of the British Army’s 1st Battalion of the Parachute Regiment.

From 1978 he has worked at building bridges between the two major communities in Derry, encouraging and engaging in cross community activities that have assisted in rebuilding contact, trust and cooperation across the city. Through the 1980s he continued with this work while at the same time working with representatives of the major protagonists to the conflict, to limit the impact of the conflict on local communities. He played a major part in the development of the Community Awareness Training Programme used by the British Army which contributed to the reduction of soldiers on the streets, through a process of de-escalation and disengagement locally. With others he founded and established the first Victim Support Service in Northern Ireland in 1986.


Marilyn Poitras

Marilyn Poitras’ expertise and passion is around Constitutional/Aboriginal Law with a life study of customary laws. Marilyn’s legal career began as a Native Court Worker and moved into the area of Constitutional law after her articles with the Saskatchewan Department of Justice. She has developed a number of legal education initiatives including the precursor to the Akitsiraq Law School in Nunavut, where she has also been a professor, and the Indigenous People’s Resource Management Program at the University of Saskatchewan. Marilyn has worked in private practice and litigated in every level of court in Canada. She has significant experience in the development of Self Government with the Beaufort Delta Agreement, Treaty Implementation with the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations Treaty Table Justice Portfolio as well as the revisions to the Saskatchewan Métis Election Process. Marilyn also works on CIDA funded research on Ancestral Domain and land conflict in Central Mindanao. Her four children keep her laughing, rounded, grounded and real.


Caleb Behn

Caleb Behn is a young Dene lawyer and documentary filmmaker. Caleb Behn is Eh-Cho Dene and Dunne Za/Cree from the Treaty 8 Territory of Northeastern BC. Caleb graduated from the University of Victoria with a Juris Doctor degree and is among the first UVic Law students granted the Concentration in Environmental Law and Sustainability. Prior to law school, he was the Oil and Gas Officer for the West Moberly First Nations and a Lands Manager for the Saulteau First Nations. 

Here is the sypnosis of his acclaimed documentary Fractured Land

With some of the world's largest fracking operations on his territory, a young indigenous leader and lawyer confronts the fractures within his community and himself as he struggles to reconcile traditional teachings with the law to protect the land.


Aritha Van Herk

Aritha van Herk is a cultural commentator as well as an award-winning Canadian novelist whose work has been acclaimed throughout North America and Europe. Her popular, creative and critical work has been widely published and her work has been translated into ten languages.

AvH was born in central Alberta, read every book in the library at Camrose, and studied at the University of Alberta. She first rose to international literary prominence with the publication of Judith, which received the Seal First Novel Award and which was published in North America, the United Kingdom and Europe. Her book Mavericks: An Incorrigible History of Alberta offers an unorthodox narrative of that province’s past. Mavericks so inspired the Glenbow Museum of Calgary, that they created a permanent Alberta gallery and named the gallery after the book. AvH returned to her Alberta stories to create Audacious and Adamant: A Maverick History of Alberta, the companion book to the exhibition.

AvH is a member of the Royal Society of Canada, and a Professor who teaches Canadian Literature and Creative Writing in the Department of English at the University of Calgary.


Roger Waters

Roger Waters is an English songwriter, singer, bassist, and composer. In 1965, he co-founded the progressive rock band Pink Floyd with drummer Nick Mason, keyboardist Richard Wright, rhythm guitarist Bob Klose, as well as lead guitarist, singer, and songwriter Syd Barrett. Waters initially served as the bassist, but following the departure of Barrett in 1968, he also became their lyricist, co-lead vocalist, and conceptual leader. Roger Waters is also a prominent environmental and human rights activist and has been vocal in his support for the Indigenous Ecuadorian villagers in their case against Chevron. 


Brian Calliou

Brian Calliou is the Program Director for the Banff Centre's Indigenous Leadership and Management program area, which designs and delivers leadership development and organizational development programs and applied research for Indigenous leaders. Brian is Cree and a member of the Sucker Creek First Nation in the Treaty 8 area of northern Alberta. Brian is also a PLSNP alumnus. 

Brian holds a BA in Political Science, an LLB and an LLM from the University of Alberta. Brian has published several articles and chapters in books of his research. His research interests include Indigenous leadership, self-government, economic development, and treaty rights. 


Glen Murray

Glen Murray, former executive director of the Pembina Institute, Canada’s leading energy think tank.

Prior to joining the Institute, Glen was an Ontario cabinet minister, and oversaw several portfolios, including transportation; training, colleges, and universities; research and innovation, and most recently, environment and climate change. In his role as environment minister, Glen led the development and implementation of the cap-and-trade system, and extended producer responsibility in Ontario. His work was foundational to the creation of the Quebec-Ontario-California carbon market.

Glen has held a number of leadership roles, including serving as mayor of Winnipeg from 1998-2004, and was chair of the Big City Mayors’ Caucus. During his time as mayor, he led the successful fight to transfer the five cents/litre federal gas tax to municipalities.

He also served as chair of the National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy, under Prime Ministers Harper and Martin. Glen was also president and CEO of the Canadian Urban Institute. 

Glen started his career in activism as a founding member of the Canadian AIDS Society, and helped establish the Village Clinic in Winnipeg, a centre for AIDS prevention and care. He has worked internationally, helping establish the World Health AIDS Service Organization’s working group.


Simon Billenness

Described by the New York Times “a super-specialist” in human rights advocacy, Simon Billenness has over 25 years of experience helping investors, non-profits, universities, communities, and unions use their power to lobby their governments and hold corporations accountable.


Audrey Mascarenhas

Audrey Mascarenhas has worked in energy for over 30 years with Gulf Canada Resources Ltd. and Questor Technology Inc. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Toronto and a Master’s Degree in Petroleum Engineering from the University of Calgary. Audrey served as a distinguished lecturer with the Society of Petroleum Engineers. She is a member of the Schulich Industry Engineering Advisory Council. She is an appointee to Alberta Government Small Medium Enterprise Export Council. Audrey was the recipient of the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year 2011 Prairies Award for Cleantech and Environmental Services and Valued Innovation.


Iris Almeida-Côté

Iris Almeida-Côté, ICD.D/IAS.A., LL.M., M.A.is Chief Executive Officer of the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society. CPAWS is Canada's leading organization working on the conservation and preservation of ecological diversity, protection of fresh water ressources and marine life in our oceans as well as advocating for species at risk in our forests and parklands.

CPAWS has 180,000 members and supporters across Canadian and many of the 13 chapters work in partnership initiatives with indigenous communities in the Yukon, BC, Alberta, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, the Martimes and Québec, focussed on renconcilation.  Iris has considerable experience in organizational development and partnerships, governance and indigenous leadership skills and training. 

A senior executive leading transformations in organisations over the past thirty-five years, she served as Executive Director at the Royal Society of Canada where she worked with a network of Canada’s leading scientists, scholars and artists. She also served as Strategic Executive Director at the International Association for Public Participation and worked with trainers around the world to refine the content and methodologies for effective Stakeholder Engagement. Iris was President and Chief Executive Officer at Canada World Youth, and President and Chief Executive Officer at the Canadian Pension & Benefits Institute. She was Director of Policy and Programs at the Canadian Parliamentary Centre - Rights and Democracy from 1991 to 2006, and Director of Programs at Partnership Africa Canada from 1988 to 1991. On an international level, she was Assistant Secretary-General of CIDSE (Coopération Internationale pour le Développement et la Solidarité) an international organisation with consultative status and UN and the European Union in Brussels, and President of the International Movement of University Students in Paris.


Cory Wanless

Cory Wanless has been actively litigating cases of public importance for almost a decade. He has represented clients before all levels of court in Ontario and Alberta, and has argued at the Supreme Court of Canada. Cory has particular interest and experience in complex civil litigation, especially as it relates to corporate accountability, human rights, Indigenous rights, environmental law, police accountability and defending human rights defenders. Cory devotes a sizable portion of his practice to access to justice cases.

Cory often represents clients in high-profile and precedent-setting cases. He currently is co-counsel in ground-breaking corporate accountability lawsuits against a Canadian mining company regarding human rights abuse in Guatemala. Cory has also represented a coalition of human rights organizations in an intervention at the Supreme Court of Canada in the ongoing legal saga against Chevron over pollution of the Amazon rainforest in Ecuador.

Cory is a frequent speaker on the topics of corporate accountability, mining and human rights, and has guest-lectured at various universities and faculties of law throughout Canada.


Jenny Brown

Jenny Brown is the Director of Conservation for Nature United, the Canadian affiliate of The Nature Conservancy, a global organization working in over 72 countries worldwide.  She has worked for the Conservancy for 20 years and a decade ago began working on the coast of British Columbia, where she worked with partners to start figuring out how a large NGO can work effectively and ethically with Indigenous people. Now she leads the work of a conservation team in coastal BC, the Northwest Territories and the boreal forest of Canada that focuses on supporting Indigenous people as they work to strengthen their leadership and authority over natural resource management, as well as working to align economic drivers with sustainability while ensuring local benefit.   Jenny holds a PhD in Ecology from the University of California, Davis, as well as an MS and BS in mechanical engineering, an education history that follows her professional shift from aerospace engineering to conservation.  She lives in Washington state with her husband, an Australian cattledog (named Brio) and 4 chickens.  


Hannah Askew

Hannah is the Executive Director of Sierra Club BC. She loves plants, animals, trees, water and rocks, and is passionate about ensuring healthy wild spaces for present and future generations.

Hannah is a lawyer and practiced public interest environmental law prior to joining Sierra Club BC. Her work focused on addressing the cumulative impacts of industrial development on ecosystems, and advocating for proactive and inclusive planning processes for the land and water. As a part of this work, she traveled to communities across northern BC to hear from people from all walks of life about the impact of industrial activity on their lives and about their hopes for the future of their communities.

Over the past ten years of her career, Hannah has also been deeply involved in learning from Indigenous communities about their systems of law and governance. She worked as a researcher on Anishinaabe and Coast Salish legal orders for the Indigenous Law Research Unit at the University of Victoria, and taught as an instructor in the Aboriginal Justice Studies Program at the Native Education College. She also researched Tsilhqot’in and Ktunaxa law as part of the RELAW project (“Revitalizing Indigenous Law for Land, Air and Water”). The knowledge received from Indigenous colleagues and mentors has been transformative for Hannah and influences every aspect of her work.

Hannah holds Master of Arts degrees in history and anthropology from the University of Toronto and McGill University, as well as a law degree from Osgoode Hall Law School. She was born on Anishinaabe territory into a family of English and Scottish descent.


Rex Weyler

Journalist Rex Weyler is best known as an early Greenpeace organizer and a co-founder of Greenpeace International. He has written several books, including Greenpeace: How a Group of Ecologists, Journalists and Visionaries Changed the World. His history of indigenous American cultures, Blood of the Land, was nominated for a Pulitzer.

Between 1974 and 1982, he served as a director of Greenpeace. He was editor of the Greenpeace Chronicles magazine. He sailed on the first Greenpeace whale campaign, and his photographs and news accounts of Greenpeace appeared worldwide.

Weyler’s photography and essays have been published in the New York Times, Oceans, Smithsonian, Rolling Stone, New Age Journal, Conscious Choice, New Times, Shared Vision, National Geographic, and other publications. Weyler co-authored the self-help classic Chop Wood, Carry Water. He co-founded Hollyhock Educational Centre on Cortes Island in British Columbia – dedicated to environmental, personal, and professional studies.

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Robert Hamilton

Robert holds a B.A. (Hons) in Philosophy from St. Thomas University, a J.D. from University of New Brunswick Law School, and an LL.M. from Osgoode Hall Law School. Robert is a PhD candidate at the University of Victoria Faculty of Law. His dissertation focuses on Aboriginal and Treaty rights in Canada’s Maritime Provinces and his research engages law, legal history, and theoretical perspectives on law and history. He has published on Aboriginal land rights in the Maritime Provinces and has presented his research at numerous academic conferences. Robert has also worked with First Nations on treaty rights and Aboriginal title issues and in the development of governance policies.


Val Napoleon

Val Napoleon (LLB (UVic) 2001, PhD (UVic) 2009, called to the British Columbia Bar in 2002), was appointed Law Foundation Professor of Aboriginal Justice and Governance at the Faculty of Law, University of Victoria on January 1, 2012. She is from north east British Columbia (Treaty 8) and a member of Salteaux First Nation. She is also an adopted member of the Gitanyow (Gitksan) House of Luuxhon, Ganada (Frog) Clan. Prior to joining the Faculty of Law at UVIC, she was an associate professor cross-appointed with the Faculties of Native Studies and Law at the University of Alberta.

She worked as a community activist and consultant in northwestern BC for over 25 years, specializing in health, education, and justice issues. She has also worked with a number of regional, provincial, national, and international projects relating to indigenous legal traditions, conflict management, education, and citizenship. Her dissertation on Gitksan law and legal theory was awarded the UVIC Governor General’s Gold Medal for best dissertation in 2009. Her current research focuses on indigenous legal traditions, indigenous legal theory, indigenous feminism, citizenship, self-determination, and governance. Several of her major initiatives include the proposed JID (joint JD and indigenous law degree) program and establishing an indigenous law clinic. She works with numerous community partners on a range of Indigenous law projects, and also with several national and international Indigenous law research initiatives. She has taught and published on aboriginal legal issues, indigenous legal theory, indigenous feminist legal studies, self-government, critical issues in restorative justice, oral traditions, and contemporary aboriginal issues. She also teaches property law. One of her interests is the development of Indigenous law materials that are plain language and non-text for use beyond the university.


Darcy Lindberg

Darcy Lindberg is mixed-rooted Nehiyaw (Plains Cree) from Wetaskiwin, Alberta. Darcy is a current Ph.D student with the Faculty of Law at the University of Victoria. His research is focused on Nehiyaw legal and constitutional ordering and relationships with the land. Lindberg also holds an LLM from the University of Victoria; his thesis explores Cree legal orders through an examination of ceremonial rules of procedure and the transformation of gendered protocols. His article “Transforming Buffalo: Plains Cree Constitutionalism and Food Sovereignty” will be published in a forthcoming collection on Food Law in Canada. 

Previously, Lindberg practiced with Davis LLP in Whitehorse as an articling student and then lawyer, where he said the first-hand experience he gained during his time in northern Canada shaped his studies and research.

In addition, for nearly 15 years he’s been involved with Alberta’s Future Leaders Program, an Indigenous-focused youth program that helps build sport, recreation and cultural programs in Indigenous communities. He’s also been a research assistant in the Indigenous Law Research Unit and is the cultural support coordinator at the University of Victoria Faculty of Law.

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Jessica Asch

 Jessica Asch has worked in public, private, and non-profit settings as a researcher, policy analyst, teacher, translator, and community organizer. She received the University of Victoria Faculty of Law Humanitarian Award while completing her LL.B. and worked as a law clerk for the B.C. Supreme Court following her studies. Jessica was called to the B.C. bar in 2010 and practiced in the areas of Canadian and B.C. labour and privacy law prior to joining the Indigenous Law Research Unit (ILRU) in 2013 as an editor for the Accessing Justice and Reconciliation Project. Jessica has been ILRU’s Research Director since 2015, leading collaborative research and public legal education projects on Indigenous law questions relating to citizenship, governance, human rights, gender, matrimonial property dispute resolution, child welfare, and lands, water and resources. She recently co-wrote and published a paper with two community collaborators on the articulation of Secwepemc Lands and Resource Law.  Jessica’s parents settled in Treaty 6 Territory (Edmonton) in the 1970s, where she was born. She has lived in Coast Salish territories for over 20 years.


Aaron Marr Page

Aaron Marr Page is an international human rights and U.S. criminal justice attorney. Wearing the former hat, he serves as managing attorney at Forum Nobis PLLC, an international human rights and environmental public interest law and consulting firm that works with indigenous people and other affected communities around the world struggling to better understand and assert their rights. Wearing the latter hat, he has served as a Criminal Justice Act panel attorney in Washington, D.C., and maintains a docket of select trial and appellate matters in both state and federal court. He also has experience litigating U.S.-based civil rights (Section 1983) cases. 


Evaristus Oshionebo

Evaristus Oshionebo joined the University of Calgary's Faculty of Law on July 1, 2013. Evar was awarded a Students' Union Teaching Excellence Award in 2014, a rarity for professors in their first year at an institution. The award honours faculty members and instructors for their commitment to student success.

Prior to joining the University of Calgary, he was a tenured Associate Professor at the Faculty of Law, University of Manitoba. In 2013, he won the University of Manitoba/University of Manitoba Faculty Association Merit Award for Excellence in Teaching, as well as the Students' Teacher Recognition Award for outstanding teaching. Prior to his academic career, Evar practiced law in Nigeria specializing in corporate and commercial litigation. He was also Deputy Editor of a number of Law Reports including the Supreme Court of Nigeria Law Reports, the Nigerian Weekly Law Reports, and the Commercial Law Reports Quarterly.


Nigel Bankes

Nigel has been with the Faculty of Law since 1984 and is the current holder of the Chair of Natural Resources Law. He teaches or has taught courses in property law, aboriginal law, natural resources law, energy law, oil and gas law and international environmental law. He was seconded to the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade in Ottawa as Professor in Residence in the legal bureau in the 1999/2000 academic year. He holds an appointment as an adjunct professor at the University of Tromsø, Norway. In 2010 the University of Akureyri, Iceland conferred an honorary doctoral degree on Nigel in recognition of his contributions to the development of Arctic law in the areas of natural resources law, international environment law and the rights of indigenous peoples. Nigel is the Vice-Chair, Board of Directors for the Canadian Institute of Resources Law.


Sharon Mascher

Sharon Mascher is a Professor at the Uiversity of Calgary's  Faculty of Law. Prior to joining the Faculty of Law, Sharon was a Professor at Thompson Rivers University's Faculty of Law and an Associate Professor and the Deputy Director (Environment and Climate Change) of the Centre for Mining, Energy and Resources Law at the University of Western Australia's Faculty of Law. She has also held academic positions in the Faculties of Law at Victoria University of Wellington (New Zealand) and the University of Saskatchewan.

Sharon's research focused on legal issues relating to climate change law, environmental law, property law and laws affecting Indigenous peoples. Her recent publications include: a co-authored chapter on the constitutional recognition of aboriginal title (forthcoming, Federation Press, 2016) and a co-authored article comparing the Australian and Canadian approaches to adaptive management in water law (forthcoming, McGill International Journal of Sustainable Development Law & Policy, 2016). Sharon's current research is focused on the design of climate change mitigation legislation and liability for climate change damage.


Richard Devlin

Richard Devlin is a Professor of Law at the Schulich School of Law, Dalhousie University.  In 2005, he was appointed a Dalhousie University Research Professor, and this position was renewed in 2010.  His areas of teaching include Contracts, Jurisprudence, Legal Ethics and Graduate Studies.  He has published widely in various journals, nationally and internationally.  Recent books include editing Critical Disability Theory and Lawyers’ Ethics and Professional Regulation (2nd ed. 2012).  In 2003, and again in 2010, he received the Hanna and Harold Barnett Award for Excellence in Teaching First Year.  In 2008 he was a recipient of the Canadian Association of Law Teachers Award for Academic Excellence.  In 2013 he won Dalhousie University’s Centre for Teaching and Learning “Change One Thing Challenge”.  He has been involved in the design, development and delivery of Judicial Education programmes in Canada and abroad for more than 20 years.  In 2012 he agreed to serve as the Founding President of the Canadian Association for Legal Ethics.  In 2015 he was inducted as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. 


Lee Francoeur

Lee Francoeur is a lawyer of First Nations ancestry (Taku River Tlingit – Northwest British Columbia) who works primarily with First Nations in Western and Northern Canada towards the reconciliation of Aboriginal and Treaty rights. Through the years, Lee has had offices in Whitehorse, Vancouver and Calgary.

With 18 years of experience practicing law, Lee has provided general legal counsel to First Nation governments, businesses and organizations, as well as businesses that work with First Nations. Lee has been in private practice and works with numerous First Nations and organizations.

Lee is currently working with various clients on the resolution of outstanding claims well in excess of $2 billion dollars. He has also worked with his clients in conjunction with the Assembly of First Nations and Canada on the development of the new Specific Claims Tribunal – particularly in relation to Specific Claims over $150 million.


Basil Ugochukwu

Basil Ugochukwu is a research fellow with CIGI’s International Law Research Program. At CIGI, his current research focuses on how to reflect human rights and sustainable development goals in climate mitigation and financing projects. This includes analyzing regulatory and human rights risks that could result from market-based mechanisms in Article 5 and use of internationally transferred mitigation outcomes to achieve nationally determined contributions in Article 6 of the Paris Agreement. Basil will also produce research that examines how the mechanisms above could facilitate sustainable financing for a transition to a green economy.

Prior to joining CIGI, Basil was a director of the Legal Defence Centre in Nigeria and a staff attorney at the Constitutional Rights Project in Nigeria. He has also taught various courses in legal process and international human rights law at York University. His research has been published in African Human Rights Law Journal, Law and Development Review and Transnational Legal Theory, among others.

Basil holds an LL.B. (Common Law) from Abia State University, an LL.M. from Central European University in Hungary, a teaching certificate from York University and a Ph.D. from Osgoode Hall Law School, where he was lead editor of Osgoode Hall Review of Law and Policy.


Jennifer Koshan

Before joining the Faculty of law at the University of Calgary Jennifer practiced for several years in the Northwest Territories as Crown counsel, and worked as the Legal Director of the B.C. branch of the Women's Legal Education and Action Fund (LEAF), a non-profit equality rights organization. Jennifer served as Graduate Program Director from 2006-2011, as Associate Dean (Research) from 2007-2011, and as ABlawg Coordinator from 2007 to 2011 and 2013 to present.

In April of 2010 Jennifer received a Students' Union Teaching Excellence Award, and she received an Honourable Mention in 2015 and 2018. She also received the Howard Tidswell Memorial Award for Teaching Excellence in 2014-15 from the Faculty of Law.

On a national level, Jennifer was awarded the 2013 Canadian Association of Law Teachers (CALT) Prize for Academic Excellence. In 2017, she was recognized as a University of Calgary Peak Scholar, which celebrates achievements in entrepreneurship, innovation, and knowledge engagement resulting in a positive social or economic impact in our communities.


Marco Simons

Marco oversees Earth Rights International (ERI) use of legal strategies to work with communities around the world in protecting their human rights and their environment. With ERI, Marco has served as counsel on transnational corporate accountability cases including Doe v. UnocalWiwa v. ShellBowoto v. Chevron, and Maynas Carijano v. Occidental Petroleum, and submitted amicus briefs in numerous other cases. He has written or coauthored several articles and publications on corporate accountability for earth rightsabuses as well as taught college and law school courses on human rights. Marco previously worked for ERI on the Robert L. Bernstein Fellowship in International Human Rights after graduating from Yale Law School. Prior to returning to ERI, he clerked for the Honorable Dorothy Wright Nelson on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and worked for the civil rights law firm Hadsell & Stormer, which was co-counsel on Doe v. Unocal and Bowoto v. Chevron. Marco holds an undergraduate degree in environmental science and, prior to law school, worked on developing educational materials on conservation biology. He is currently admitted to the bar in California, Washington, D.C., and Washington State (inactive), as well as in the U.S. Supreme Court and several other federal courts.


Glenn Sigurdson

Much of Mr. Sigurdson’s work is within and among companies, communities, civil society organizations, and governments in the public and private sectors, building partnerships and resolving differences. His role is to deliver a special kind of leadership as the “man in the middle”. Mr. Sigurdson has also been known as a mediator, negotiator, lawyer, facilitator, adjudicator, economist, teacher, writer, but now all of these influences have melded and today he refers to his work as to lead without owning -“working in the space between”. In this space interests, values, rights, power, and authority all collide, engaging different organizational structures and cultures, the "public interest’, regulators, many “publics”, and the public at large. Mr. Sigurdson’s leadership role is to work within this complex dynamic to create the context for all these players to explore ways to live together respecting their differences. 


Sykes Powderface

Sykes Powderface is from the Chiniki Band in Morley, Alberta. He studied Criminal Law at the University of Alberta before leaving due to conflicts with Aboriginal law and cultural beliefs. He has worked with the Stoney Nakoda Nation in a variety of roles. He has researched and studied Indigenous treaty rights for over forty years and is an advocate for the recognition of and adherence to Aboriginal and treaty rights. 

From the Stoney Nakoda Nation in Morley, Alberta, he attended residential school at Morley and moved to Mount Royal College where he majored in Business and Communications. He served as Treaty 7 Vice President of the Indian Association of Alberta for six years, and was also elected as Vice President of the National Indian Brotherhood (now AFN) in 1979. He has researched and studied Indigenous and Aboriginal Treaty Rights, and always works toward continued recognition of those rights. Highlights of his work include the 1988 Olympic Winter Games, lead negotiator for Chief’s Constitution Committee, Alberta Child and Family Services Appeal panel, and various stunt performer roles in films from 1949-2010.He is known for his acting roles in Dreamkeeper (2003), North of 60 (1992) and Santa Baby (2006), A New Warrior for Hope (2018)

He now has his own consulting services that work in the areas of treaties, constitution, policy analysis and traditional teachings. He works with many schools near his community and is a member of the Making Treaty 7 production currently touring Canada. At 85, he still trains horses, he loves to golf and above all work with Indigenous youth to assist them in discovering their identity

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Indian City Band

2018 Juno Award Nominee Indian City is a Canadian Folk Pop band performing to audiences across North America. Their dynamic fusion of lyrics, music and personality bring the spirit and pulse of Indigenous story and voice.Vince Fontaine brings his lifelong connection with music to his newest project, Indian City. Debuting in 2012 Fontaine was set on bringing razor-sharp talent to a musical collective akin to Toronto-based band, Broken Social Scene and global influences like Carlos Santana’s Supernatural. Led by Fontaine on lead guitar, the collective of musicians bring a rich and vibrant backdrop for the chapters of Indigenous culture that he would share with the Winnipeg, Canada and ultimately, the modern global village. Featuring the vocal talent of Jay Bodner, Don Amero, Shannon Mckenney, Jeremy Koz,Rena Semenko, Neewa Mason, Atik Mason on bass, Rich Reidon drums. This contemporary Indigenous group weaves together the complexities of modern life and past experiences.Indian City add to the growing number of Indigenous artists sharing towards a strong and fair legacy of Indigenous people.Collectively Indian City have received multiple awards in different bands including 2 Juno Awards, 5 Juno Nominations, 5 Western Canadian Music Awards and a host of multiple wins and nominations across North America. in 2018 Indian City received a Juno Nomination for their latest release Here & Now.


Marlene Poitras

Marlene Poitras is the first Aboriginal woman to be elected to as Alberta Regional Chief for the Assembly of First Nations. Ms. Poitras is a member of Mikisew Cree First Nation, has a background in nursing and received the Aboriginal Humanitarian Role Model Award of Alberta in 2015. She has worked with a variety of Indigenous organizations, including the Athabasca Tribal Council and AFN. Poitras aims to deliver on protecting and empowering youth during her tenure to ensure that young people are inspired and encouraged to get involved and act on behalf of their communities. In addition, Ms. Poitras’ top priority as regional chief is to ensure that treaties are respected by the provincial and federal governments.


Oonagh Fitzgerald

As director of CIGI’s International Law Research Program, Oonagh Fitzgerald established and oversees CIGI’s international law research agenda, which includes policy-relevant research on issues of international economic law, environmental law, intellectual property law and innovation, and Indigenous law. She has extensive experience as a senior executive in the federal government, providing legal policy, advisory and litigation services, and strategic leadership in international law, national security, public law, human rights and governance. 

As national security coordinator for the Department of Justice Canada from 2011 to 2014, Oonagh ensured strategic leadership and integration of the department’s policy, advisory and litigation work related to national security. From 2007 to 2011, she served as the Department of National Defence and Canadian Forces legal adviser, leading a large, full-service corporate counsel team for this globally engaged, combined military and civilian institution. Before this, Oonagh served as acting chief legal counsel for the Public Law Sector of the Department of Justice and special adviser for International Law.

Oonagh served as assistant secretary Legislation, House Planning/Counsel at the Privy Council Office from 2000 to 2003. Prior to this, she held various positions in the Department of Justice: senior general counsel and director general, Human Resources Development Canada Legal Services Unit; general counsel and director, International Law and Activities Section; senior counsel for Regulatory Reform; and legal adviser, Human Rights Law Section. She began her legal career at the Law Reform Commission of Canada, the Competition Bureau and the Immigration Appeal Board.


Carmen Cartuche

Carmen Cartuche, President of the Amazon Defense Front.


Janeth Cuji

Janeth is an Ecuadorian Survivor who will be sharing her experience with the delegation.