We are still in the process of confirming speakers, so please stay tuned for more information.
Kris Archie, a Secwepemc and Seme7 woman from the Ts’qescen First Nation, is passionate about heart-based community work and facilitating positive change. Kris is the Executive Director of The Circle. In all of her roles, Kris works to transform philanthropy and contribute to positive change by creating spaces of learning, relationship-building and activation.
Jeannette Armstrong, Syilx Okanagan, is an Associate Professor in Indigenous Studies at UBC Okanagan Campus. She is Canada Research Chair in Okanagan Indigenous Knowledge and Philosophy and leads the De-Colonization, Indigeneity and Adaptation cluster in the Institute for Community Engaged Research (ICER.). Her CRC research collaborates with the Southern Interior Salish speaking nation groups to re-establish historical relationships based on food and resource sharing, trading and protection practices. She serves on the board of the Swift Family Foundation and is a founding board member of Canadian Mountain Network. She is a recipient of the Eco Trust USA Buffett Award in Indigenous Leadership and serves on Canada’s Aboriginal Traditional Knowledge Subcommittee of COSEWIC .
Valérie is a registered professional forester who specializes in Indigenous issues, forest ecology and ecosystem-based management and planning. She is a member of the Innu community of Mashteuiatsh, located on the shore of Peikuakami, or Lac-St-Jean. Courtois holds a degree in forestry sciences from the Université de Moncton. Courtois has been the Director of the Indigenous Leadership Initiative since 2013. In addition to her work in conservation and planning, Courtois is an avid photographer. She is also on the Board of Directors of the Corporation du Mushuau–nipi, a non-profit that encourages cultural and professional exchanges on the George River. She lives in Happy Valley—Goose Bay, Labrador.
Emma Gilchrist is co-founder and editor-in-chief of The Narwhal, an award-winning online magazine that publishes in-depth and investigative journalism about Canada’s natural world.
The Narwhal is a pioneer of non-profit journalism in Canada and is supported by more than 1,000 monthly members and a wide variety of foundations. In April 2019, The Narwhal became the sole Canadian member of the Institute for Nonprofit News, recognizing its adherence to strict standards of editorial independence and financial transparency. In its first year of operation, The Narwhal was a finalist for 16 national journalism awards.
Brodie is the executive director of Coast Funds, an Indigenous-led conservation finance organization created by First Nations, foundations, and governments in 2006. Brodie has worked in partnership with First Nations in the start-up of coastal Guardian Watchman programs as well as being involved in the strategic planning and financing that has evolved these programs into the robust stewardship authorities that First Nations operate across the west coast today. Brodie has also facilitated equity investments with First Nations on a number of strategic business acquisitions and has contributed to the design of governance structures and the management of many First Nations development corporations during their formation.
Lara is the Program Manager of the Coastal Stewardship Network (CSN), a program of Coastal First Nations – Great Bear Initiative, an alliance of the Council of the Haida Nation, Old Massett Village Council, Skidegate Band Council, Metlakatla Governing Council, Gitga’at First Nation, Heiltsuk Tribal Council, Kitasoo Band Council, Nuxalk Nation, and the Wuikinuxv Nation. Since 2005, the CSN has supported member Nations’ Stewardship Offices and Coastal Guardian Watchmen as they work together to protect and manage their ancestral territories. Lara holds a Msc. in Resource Management and Environmental Studies from the University of British Columbia and throughout her academic and professional career has developed expertise in conservation planning, field-based monitoring, data governance, and data management.
Seth Klein served for 22 years as the founding British Columbia Director of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, a public policy research institute committed to social, economic and environmental justice. He is now a freelance writer, speaker and policy consultant, and an adjunct professor with Simon Fraser University’s Urban Studies program. He is the author of the forthcoming book A Good War: Mobilizing Canada for the Climate Emergency. Seth is a founder and served for eight years as co-chair of the BC Poverty Reduction Coalition, a co-founder of the Metro Vancouver Living Wage for Families campaign, and an advisory board member for the Columbia Institute’s Centre for Civic Governance.
Emily Lowe, Regional Beef Agrologist with Ducks Unlimited grew up horseback on her family’s ranching operation west of Turner Valley, AB where she fell in love with the wild side of Alberta. After graduating from Lethbridge College with a diploma in Agricultural Technology, she stepped into the Canadian Beef Industry, with a vision for grassland and rangeland conservation. After three years working for the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association, focusing on fostering young professionals, and new entrants into the Canadian Beef industry, she transitioned into Ducks Unlimited Canada. Emily’s work focuses on the key role that ranchers play in grassland conservation, carbon sequestration, and the positive implications of cattle and sustainable agriculture.
Shereen is a first-generation immigrant to Canada migrating with her family from Lusaka, Zambia. Her experiences with wealth disparity and segregation have shaped her outlook on life. She has a compulsion for equity, justice and cultural preservation. As Manager of Partnerships & Strategic Communications at The Circle, Shereen is responsible for programming, strategic communications, storytelling, resource sharing and partnerships.
Former Deputy Secretary and Chief Operating Officer of the U.S. Department of the Interior, Lynn Scarlett serves on the CEO management leadership team as Chief External Affairs Officer at The Nature Conservancy (TNC). In that role, she oversees TNC’s global public policy influence and corporate engagement, as well as serving as the Conservancy’s Global Climate Strategy Lead. In these roles, Scarlett directs public policy strategies in the United States and the 79 countries in which TNC operates. She is author or co-author of publications on climate change adaptation; ecosystem services; large landscape conservation; and science and decision making. She chaired the Science Advisory Board of NOAA from 2014-2019, recently co-chaired the Landscape Conservation Cooperatives Council of the U.S. Department of the Interior and is a member of the National Academy of Sciences Sustainability Roundtable.
Merran Smith is a fellow at Simon Fraser University’s Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue, and the founder and executive director of Clean Energy Canada, a leading think tank advancing clean energy and climate solutions. For most of her career, she has worked to unite industry, government and civil society organizations to solve pressing social and ecological challenges. Her leadership in the landmark Great Bear Rainforest conservation agreement helped ensure the protection of thousands of kilometres of coastal ecosystem.
Andre Vallillee is Environment Program Director at the Metcalf Foundation, one of Canada’s leading private foundations. Prior to joining the foundation, Andre worked as a Program Manager with the Ontario Trillium Foundation, overseeing the province-wide environmental grants portfolio and serving as the Foundation’s Strategy Lead for the environment sector. He is a past Chair of Environment Funders Canada, former National Trustee of the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society, and currently serves as Vice Chair of the Ontario Nonprofit Network and is a member of The Atmospheric Fund’s Grants & Programs Committee.
Ed Whittingham is a passionate, results-oriented environmental professional. His background in climate change, energy policy and corporate sustainability has been developed through 20 years of working collaboratively with companies, governments, universities and non-governmental organizations in Canada and internationally. Ed is the former executive director of the Pembina Institute, a past director of the Alberta Energy Regulator, and a past member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on the Future of Oil and Gas. Ed was named one of Alberta’s 50 Most Influential People in 2016, and his op-eds have been published in newspapers and magazines across Canada and internationally. In 2018 he co-founded the Academy for Sustainable Innovation.
Karen is the Program Director at the Carthy Foundation. She oversees a diverse grant portfolio including Carthy’s environmentally sustainable agriculture funding program. Karen is an outdoor enthusiast and enjoys spending time with her family in the Rocky Mountains. Karen also enjoys volunteering in the sector and currently serves as Chair of Environment Funders Canada.
Ross Wilson has served as the Executive Director of the Metlakatla Stewardship Society (MSS) since its formation in 2012. As the MSS Executive Directors, and under the guidance of the MSS board, Mr. Wilson has worked in unison with MSS managers and other Metlakatla organizations to provide oversight and management of the lands, waters and resources within the traditional territory as directed by the Metlakatla Governing Council.