Keynotes

(We will be adding more speaker names to this page as they are confirmed)

Dr. Pam Palmater

Dr. Pam Palmater is a Mi’kmaw lawyer, author, social justice activist, and Chair in Indigenous Governance at Ryerson University from Eel River Bar First Nation in New Brunswick. She has 4 university degrees, including a BA from St. Thomas in Native Studies; an LLB from UNB, and her Masters and Doctorate in Law from Dalhousie University specializing in Indigenous law.

Pam has been volunteering and working in First Nation issues for over 25 years on a wide range of issues like poverty, housing, education, Aboriginal and treaty rights, and legislation impacting First Nations. She was one of the spokespeople and public educators for the Idle No More movement in 2012-13 and has continued her public advocacy in many forums since then.

She has been recognized with many awards for her social justice advocacy on behalf of First Nations generally, and Indigenous women and children specifically, including the 2012 YWCA Woman of Distinction Award in Social Justice, the 2012 Women’s Courage Award in Social Justice, Bertha Wilson Honour Society 2012 and Canadian Lawyer Magazine’s 2013 Top 5 Most Influential Lawyer in the Human Rights category, Canada’s Top Visionary Women Leaders 2014, and the 2015 UNB Alumni Award of Distinction.

Beth Sandor

Beth is a Principal at community Solutions, where she co-directs the organization’s systems change work to help communities end homelessness throughout the US and around the world. In this role, she leads the organization’s national Built for Zero campaign, a rigorous follow-on to the 100,000 Homes Campaign designed to help a dedicated group of 70 communities do whatever it takes to end chronic and veteran homelessness. Beth brings more than 15 years of experience working in the field of supportive housing and community development in both the United States and the United Kingdom. From 2010-2014, she led quality improvement for the 100,000 Homes Campaign, for which her work was highlighted in both The New York Times and The Harvard Business Review. Beth holds a B.A. from Boston College.

Jesse Thistle

Jesse Thistle is Cree-Metis on his mother’s side, and Algonquin-Scot on his father’s side. Jesse is a P.E. Trudeau and Vanier Scholar, as well as a Governor General Silver Medalist. He is a Ph.D. student in History at York University, studying under Dr. Carolyn Podruchny. His journey from homeless addict to successful university student is unusual among graduate students, but his lived-experience path has shaped the way he approaches homeless studies, Indigenous history, social work, and addiction studies.