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National MMIWG2S conference to feature three free public lectures

Keynote speakers include Dr. Karine Duhamel, Sheila North, and Sandra DeLaronde

Sheila North, Sandra DeLaronde, and Karine Duhamel are the three keynote speakers.

On June 17 and 18, University of Winnipeg faculty members Dr. Jacqueline Romanow, Department of Indigenous Studies, and Dr. Jane Barter, Department of Religion and Culture, will be hosting the Report on the National Inquiry on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls and Two-Spirited Persons (MMIWG2S) – The University Responds Conference.

This national conference, which aims to bring together scholars, activists, educators, community and family members of MMIWG2S, direct student service providers, and students, will look at how universities can address the Calls for Justice.

“We chose speakers from academic, public, and community organizations who have dedicated many, many years to the crisis of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls and Two-Spirited Persons,” Romanow said. “I think that each of these distinguished speakers brings a diverse perspective — community advocacy, education, Indigenous politics, journalism, and research — that will help to engender new conversations and strategies.”

The conference will feature three keynote speakers:

Dr. Karine Duhamel

Dr. Karine Duhamel will be presenting her keynote address, (Still) Reclaiming Power and Place: Reflections on the Three-Year Anniversary of the Final Report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, on Friday, June 17 from 2:30 – 4:00 pm.

This lecture will provide insight into the truth-gathering process of the National Inquiry and into the central place that families and survivors must hold to move forward, as well as offer a reflection from the Inquiry’s former Director of Research on the progress accomplished after three years.

Dr. Duhamel is Anishinaabe-Métis and holds a BA from Mount Allison University, a BEd from Lakehead University, and a MA and PhD from the University of Manitoba.

Dr. Duhamel was formerly a Contract Academic Staff member at UWinnipeg, where she developed and taught courses on the history and legacy of residential schools. She also served as Director of Research for Yerch Law Corporation, conducting research related to claims under the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement.

From 2018 to 2019, Dr. Duhamel was Director of Research for the National Inquiry into MMIWG2S, drafting the Final Report, as well as managing the Forensic Document Review Project and the Legacy Archive. She is now a public servant working to implement the National Inquiry’s Calls for Justice across all levels of government.

Sheila North

Sheila North will be presenting her keynote address, My Privilege, My Responsibility. Stories of Virtue and the Ability to Survive and Excel in Spite of Being Impacted by Violence and Issues of MMIW, MMIWG2S+, on Friday, June 17 from 7:00 – 8:30 pm.

North is former Grand Chief of Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak, which represents 30 northern First Nations in Manitoba. She is the first woman ever to hold this position. She is also former Chief Communications Officer for the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs.

North ran for the position of National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations in 2018. She is a former CTV journalist and was nominated for a Gemini Award as a CBC journalist. Her journalism has long covered MMIWG2S and, in 2019, she released a documentary on the issue, titled 1200+. For this documentary, North worked closely with family members, who shared their stories of loved ones’ disappearances.

Sandra DeLaronde

Sandra DeLaronde will be presenting her keynote address, Moving Forward in a Good Way: What Does the Finding of Genocide Mean? The Implications to Canada from a Social Justice Perspective, on Saturday, June 18 from 9:30 – 11:00 am.

DeLaronde is a member of Cross Lake First Nation whose roots are in the Métis settlement of Duck Bay. Throughout her distinguished career, she has made it her life work to bring attention to the situation of MMIWG2S. She served as co-chair of Manitoba’s MMIWG2S Coalition.

DeLaronde helped develop and oversee the Helen Betty Osborne Memorial Scholarship, established in 2000 to honour the young woman who was murdered in The Pas in 1976.

DeLaronde is generous in sharing her knowledge and culture with others. As head woman for the Oyate Wiwanyang Wacipi (Sundance) and the Heart of the White Buffalo Moondance, she plays a vital role in strengthening Indigenous ceremony, practice, and tradition.


If you’d like to attend this two-day conference, visit the Report into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls and Two-Spirited Persons (MMIWG2S) – The University Responds Conference website.

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