Indigenous Iskwew+ In Leadership Symposium Registration

SAVE THE DATE!

Payment Options

*Note: cheques can be made payable to the Grande Prairie Friendship Centre. Mail to 10507-98 Avenue Grande Prairie, AB T8V-4L1

WE ARE NOW AT FULL CAPACITY - NO MORE REGISTRATIONS WILL BE ACCEPTED - THANK YOU!!

For more information contact - Delaine English-Lambert - 780-830-6474 - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  

Event Details - Please scroll down for Conference Speakers

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Keynote Speakers: 

We are so incredibly excited to announce that Dr. James Makokis and Anthony Johnson will provide the lunch hour keynote address, with a meet and greet scheduled during the tea and bannock mixer.

Anthony Johnson and Dr. James Makokis recently became the first Two-Spirit team to compete on the Amazing Race Canada and received national attention for their participation on the show, while bringing new awareness to gender, sexuality and First Nation issues. They fought hard challenge after challenge eventually to become the winners of Season 7! They will share with us their story of resilience and leave the audience empowered. These two continue to raise awareness and advocate for First Nation and LGBTQ2 individuals. And we are so excited to have them involved in the symposium!

 

Brigitte Benning

We are proud to announce Brigitte Benning as our Opening Ceremony Gala MC! Brigitte is a Métis woman born and raised in Grande Prairie, Alberta. She graduated in 2018 from the University of Victoria, where she received both her Bachelor and Master of Arts in Sociology. During her graduate studies, she was a Visiting Scholar at Grande Prairie Regional College where she undertook a two-year research journey with the On-Campus Friendship Centre regarding Indigenous-based support in post-secondary education. Brigitte is passionate about strength-based research, community involvement, and raising awareness regarding the issue of MMIWG2S+ through the #hugasister movement. Currently, Brigitte is the Indigenous Education Coordinator for Peace Wapiti Public School Division and greatly appreciates the opportunity to work with liaisons, educators, and administrators to ensure that Indigenous students are supported and encouraged, and that all students are learning the true history of Canada.

Erica Fisher

Thank you to the wonderful Erica Fisher for agreeing to be our moderator for the Symposium panels! She is the Content Manager of 104.7 2day FM and the President of the Grande Prairie Pride Society. She is passionate about issues affecting women and Indigenous people and is honoured to have been asked to take part in this symposium.

 

CONFERENCE SPEAKERS:

 

Andrea Deleeuw

Andrea Deleeuw is a Métis-Cree woman originally from Fort Vermilion, AB. She began her journey in community work in 2011, when she started as a youth worker with the Grande Prairie Friendship Centre. In her teen years, she struggled with poor mental health and substance abuse, and she credits her community and culture for helping her to achieve miyo pimatsiwin (the good life).

Andrea’s past leadership roles include serving on the National Association of Friendship Centre’s Aboriginal Youth Council, as the President of the Circle of Indigenous Students at GPRC, and as a Learning Clicks Ambassador on behalf of the Government of Alberta. In 2019, Andrea responded to a community need for Indigenous education and information sharing by developing a website, called T8GP.com. She describes T8GP (short for Treaty 8, Grande Prairie) as an Indigenous-led online community intended to educate, promote local initiatives, and welcome people into the circle.

Andrea is currently a 4th year BSW student with the University of Calgary, and working on her practicum in Children and Youth Mental Health. Her most favourite place to be is anywhere with her husband and two daughters.

Jackie Benning

Jackie Benning was born and raised in Grande Prairie. She learned from her parents the importance of being active in your local community and giving back. She is a teacher with Peace Wapiti School Division and has worked as the Indigenous Liasion and School Counsellor at Clairmont Community School. She holds a Bachelor of Education from the University of Alberta and a Bachelor of Arts majoring in Psychlogy from Athabasca University. Jackie is married to Joel LeFebvre and they have two young daughters, Margot and Emilie. She is currently on maternity leave enjoying precious time at home. In 2014, Jackie cofounded Hugasister with Delaine Lambert-English. Hugasister began as a social media platform to spread awareness about missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls with the hope that awareness would lead to support and change. At its core, Hugasister encourages the support of women and girls and the prevention of violence. To learn more, please join our Facebook group, follow us on instagram @hugasister #hugasister, and check out our website at www.hugasister.com

Tara Kappo 

Tara Kappo is a nîhiyaw’skwew of the sakâwiyiniwak from the Sturgeon Lake Cree Nation, Treaty 8. She is the daughter of Margaret Kappo and the late Harold Cardinal (Sucker Creek First Nation, Treaty ? and the traditionally-adopted daughter of Harvey and Lorraine Raine (Smallboy Camp, Treaty 6). Tara holds a BA-Native studies, a certificate in Aboriginal Governance and Partnership and was the inaugural recipient of the Chancellor’s Medal in Leadership from the University of Alberta (U of A) in 2015. She currently lives in Treaty 6 territory, in amiskwaciwâskahikan (Edmonton) where she is completing her MA-Native Studies (U of A), which explores contemporary Indigenous governance, narratives, and beadwork. Her academic endeavors are grounded in the lifelong learning she’s received from her family around Cree lifeways, governance and law, and Treaty rights and responsibilities. She considers these teachings as the impetus, as well, for involvement in various areas, such as serving as a volunteer member of the Walking With Our Sisters National Collective.

Kelly Benning

Our final panelist announcement is Kelly Benning! Kelly is a Metis woman from northern Alberta. Her family roots go back to the Red River in Manitoba and throughout Saskatchewan. Kelly began working within the Friendship Centre Movement in 2000 where she served as a Board Member at Grande Prairie Friendship Centre for 8 years, with 3 terms as President and as Executive Director for 4 years. At the provincial level, Kelly served on the Alberta Native Friendship Centres Association Executive as Treasurer for 1 term and Secretary for 1 term. Currently, she is serving her 2nd elected term as Vice President of the National Association of Friendship Centres. In this role she is a member of the Women and Gender Equality Canada, Indigenous Women’s Circle and was selected in 2019 as a Canadian Delegate to the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women.

Kelly was the Aboriginal Liaison Coordinator at Grande Prairie Regional College for 7 years and in 2009 was named the Grande Prairie Regional College, Distinguished Employee. Later that year, she was the recipient of the Silver Award of Staff Excellence by the Association of Canadian Colleges. In October 2017, Kelly returned to Grande Prairie Regional College to lead Indigenization on campus. In 2019 Kelly was honored by the City of Grande Prairie with the Distinguished Woman of Influence award.

Kelly’s true life’s work however, can be seen along side her husband’s, in their three grown daughters. Kelly’s greatest ambition moving forward is being a Grandmother and working to ensure there is room in the circle for everyone. Kelly believes it is when we step into our place in the circle that we become the people we were meant to be. Happy to have Kelly on board.

 

Ruth Proulx

Ruth Proulx is the owner and operator of Mountain View Psychological in Grande Prairie, Alberta where she works as a therapist, facilitator, consultant and educator. Ruth is also a sessional instructor and a guest speaker to the Grande Prairie Regional College, University of Calgary and for Pace, Grande Prairie’s Sexual Assault and Trauma Centre. After being born and raised in the Northwest Territories, Ruth moved to Alberta on a volleyball and soccer scholarship where she studied both social work and psychology. Due to her passion of both fields, Ruth is now a Registered Social Worker who graduated with a Bachelor of Social Work from the University of Calgary and, she is a Registered Provisional Psychologist who graduated with a Masters of Science in Psychology from Walden University. As a distinguished traumatologist, Ruth specializes in sexual and relational violence, relationships, addictions, attachment as well as rural, remote and Indigenous practice and healing modalities. As an awarded Canadian humanitarian and, as a Witness to the House of Commons special committee on violence against Indigenous women, Ruth is dedicated to trauma informed best practice and education. Besides her professional pursuits, you will find Ruth volunteering her time with many non-profit groups, athletics programs and philanthropy clubs.

Jocelyn Formsma

We are happy to announce that Jocelyn Formsma will be joining the panel discussions at the Indigenous Iskwew+ in Leadership Symposium. Jocelyn is the Executive Director of the National Association of Friendship Centres (NAFC). Ms. Formsma is a member of the Moose Cree First Nation in Northern Ontario. She holds an Honours Bachelor of Social Sciences and a Juris Doctroate from the University of Ottawa. Ms. Formsma has over 15 years of work and volunteer experience buildingstrong relationships and advocacy on behalf of Indigenous peoples. She is called to the bar and has worked as a lawyer for a First Nations-owned law firm. Prior to this, she worked for numerous national Aboriginal organizations and First Nation organizations. In addition, Ms. Formsma serves as the Chairperson of the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network, Board Member of the National Indigenous Youth Partnership Project. As Executive Director, Ms. Formsma brings her legal training and passion for Access to Justice to her work with Indigenous peoples in urban environments and the Friendship Centre movement towards innovative, positive and effective systemic change for Indigenous peoples. 

Chelsea Currie

Chelsea Currie is a two-spirit Queer Indigenous person, preferring she/her and they/them pronouns. Her spirit name is Wapisiw Iskwew, meaning Swan Woman. She is currently going to school at Yellowhead Tribal College in Edmonton, for Indigenous Social Work. She is an experiential, life-long learner. Focusing on decolonial activism and advocacy, she works from an intersectional, Indigenous feminist approach. Some of the recent work she’s done is Canada World Youth’s International Aboriginal Youth Internship in Perú, and Katimavik National Experience. She is also a board member of the Edmonton 2Spirit Society, as well as the 2Spirit jigging group. She is honoured to be a part of the movement to create and hold space for Indigenous sovereignty, with intention to create awareness and spiritual grounding. We’re are happy to have Chelsea take part and welcome her back home to GP. 

Iceis Rain

We are excited to announce Iceis Rain as a performer for the Symposium Opening Ceremony as well as a panelist. She is a two-spirit influencer, advocate, and recording artist. She wrote and produced her first album The Queen in 2014 and garnered five nominations at the 2014 Aboriginal People’s Choice Music Awards. Her second album Redemption debuted in sept 2019 with great applause. She was the first two-spirited Indigenous person to perform live on national television as well as the first two-spirited female fancy dancer to be initiated in the pow-wow circle in history. Iceis is the star of the critically acclaimed award winning documentary series Queen of the Oil Patch on APTN, with season 2 to start shortly. Stay tuned in the new year for more speaker announcements. 


Casey Caines

Casey Caines is a mother, 3D photographer, full-time student, blogger, GPRC’s Circle of Indigenous Students President, and a board member for Grande Prairie Friendship Centre. Her roots are planted in Fort Nelson First Nation in Northern British Columbia, Treaty 8 territory, but she now calls Sexsmith, Alberta home. She is currently pursuing law school where she hopes to focus on Indigenous and Criminal law in order to fight for restorative justice programs in northern Indigenous communities. She believes strongly in the power of sisterhood and community and uses her writing and voice to advocate for social justice issues and to promote the idea that we all belong to each other. Looking forward to hearing Casey speak! 

Celeigh Cardinal

Feature performer and panelist announcement! Celeigh Cardinal is a powerful Metis singer/songwriter. Her singing voice is rich and deep with a burnished maturity and a dexterous technical virtuosity that wraps itself around notes like a snarl, a purr, or something in the middle. Celeigh's 2017 album 'Everything and Nothing At All', earned her multiple awards, including Indigenous Artist of the Year at the Western Canadian Music Awards. In 2019, Cardinal released her 3rd album 'Stories from a Downtown Apartment'. The latest collection of soulful songs demonstrates her signature knack for crafting hook-laden introspective, confessional tracks that pack an emotional punch. Celeigh has performed across North America and internationally, including Reeperbahn in Germany, and tours in the Netherlands, Denmark and Sweden. Cardinal owns the stage and connects with any audience through humour, passion and power. Whether gently strumming her acoustic guitar or leading a band in a rocking rave-up, she commands our attention. We look forward to having her back home and hearing her perform at the Symposium! 

 

Beatrice Love

Our next announcement is Beatrice Love who will be joining us as a panelist as well as performing at the Opening Ceremony! Beatrice Love is a life skills coach, performer, and a speaker of honouring her truth. Her album, “On The Road to Nowhere”, is her testimony in music form. Her album is a powerful narrative of her life story. The album focuses on bringing the darkness to the light, healing and owning her truth. As a reborn Christian, Beatrice identifies and believes in the Power of Hope, Deliverance and Redemption. And her Faith carries and sustains her through her healing journey. Overcoming many challenges from abandonment, sexual and physical abuse, homelessness, single parenting, domestic violence, prostitution and addiction-Beatrice is a living testimony that anything is possible when one has faith and believes. The Beatrice Love story is a testimony to never give up. 

Cara Jones

The official event photographer will be Cara Jones! Cara is an international award-winning short documentary filmmaker, an award-winning photographer, an author and poet.

Passionate about the power of storytelling, Cara has reached out to extraordinary people who have inspired her life journey sharing their experiences through her podcast.
Some of these wonderful individuals included Canadian Rocker, Bif Naked, Olympic Gold Medal Winner, Megan Mikkleson and award-winning singer-songwriter Susan Aglukark.

Using her artwork and storytelling across different platforms, Cara has been featured on the TEDx stage and continues to use her platform to inspire creativity for social good.