Keynotes

Cindy Blackstock, PhD

A member of the Gitxsan First Nation, Cindy is honoured to serve as the Executive Director of the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society and a professor at McGill University’s School of Social Work. She has over 30 years of experience working in child welfare and Indigenous children’s rights and has published more than 75 articles on topics relating to reconciliation, Indigenous theory, First Nations child welfare and human rights. Cindy was honoured to work with First Nations colleagues on a successful human rights challenge to Canada’s inequitable provision of child and family services and failure to implement Jordan’s Principle. This hard-fought litigation has resulted in hundreds of thousands of services being provided to First Nations children, youth and families.

She recently served on the Pan American Health Commission on Health Equity and Inequity and fundamentally believes that culturally-based equity is fundamental to meaningful reconciliation. Cindy is frequently sighted in the company of the Caring Society’s reconciliation Am-bear-rister, Spirit Bear, engaging children in meaningful actions to implement the TRC Calls to Action.


Sandy Buchman, MD, CCFP (PC), FCFP

Dr. Sandy Buchman received his medical degree from McMaster University in 1981 and completed his family medicine residency training at the University of Toronto in 1983.

He is an Associate Professor in the Department of Family and Community Medicine at the University of Toronto and provides home-based palliative and end-of-life care through the Temmy Latner Centre for Palliative Care, Sinai Health System, in Toronto. He also practices palliative care with the Palliative Education and Care for the Homeless (PEACH) program under the auspices of Inner City Health Associates and St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto. He was recently appointed as the Freeman Family Chair in Palliative Medicine at the North York General Hospital in Toronto.

He practised comprehensive family medicine for 22 years with a special interest in primary care cancer care, palliative care, HIV/AIDS, global health and social accountability. He currently serves as the medical lead for a group working to build a new hospice in Toronto. He recently chaired the Primary Care Committee of the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer and the Social Accountability Working Group of the College of Family Physicians of Canada. He was president of the College of Family Physicians of Canada in 2011–2012 and the Ontario College of Family Physicians in 2005–2006.

Dr. Buchman has received several awards for his work as a family physician and teacher, including the Award of Excellence from the College of Family Physicians of Canada for his work as regional primary care lead for the Toronto Regional Cancer Program at Cancer Care Ontario and Excellence in Continuing Education from the Department of Family and Community Medicine at the University of Toronto. He was also recognized as Family Physician of the Year for Southern Ontario by the Ontario College of Family Physicians.

Outside of his medical practice, Dr. Buchman has devoted many volunteer hours to helping provide hospice care for the homeless and has also participated in medical missions to Africa and South America. He relaxes at his cottage in Haliburton, Ontario whenever possible where he is an avid windsurfer.

He is married to Gail Baker, with whom he has three sons, three daughters-in-law and five grandchildren.


Dr. Eileen de Villa

Dr. Eileen de Villa is the Medical Officer of Health for Toronto Public Health, Canada’s largest local public health agency that provides public health programs and services to 2.9 million residents.

Dr. de Villa received her degrees as Doctor of Medicine and Master of Health Science (MHSc) (Health Promotion) from the University of Toronto and holds a Master of Business Administration from the Schulich School of Business. She is also an Adjunct Professor at the Dalla Lana School of Health at the University of Toronto.


Dan Heath

Dan Heath co-wrote four of the most-loved business books of the past decade: Made to Stick, Switch, and Decisive, and their latest book, The Power of Moments, which explores why certain brief experiences can jolt, elevate and change us—and how we can learn to create these extraordinary moments in our life and work. All four were New York Times best-sellers. Together the Heath brothers’ books have sold over two million copies worldwide and been translated into 33 languages.

Dan is a senior fellow at Duke University’s CASE center, which supports entrepreneurs who fight for social good. He is also an entrepreneur himself, having founded Thinkwell, an innovative education company that will celebrate its 20th anniversary in 2017. A former case writer for Harvard Business School, Dan was named in 2013 to the Thinkers 50, a ranking of the world’s 50 most influential management thinkers, and also to Fast Company magazine’s list of the Most Creative People in Business. He has delivered keynotes or workshops for teachers, police chiefs, U.S. senators, interior designers, countries on 6 continents. (He’s still waiting for that invitation from Antarctica.)

Dan has a Master of Business Administration degree from the Harvard Business School, and a Bachelor of Arts degree from the Plan II Honors Program at the University of Texas at Austin. He lives in Durham, North Carolina.


Grand Chief Wilton Littlechild

For more than 40 years, Dr. Wilton Littlechild has worked to build bridges between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people through athletics, politics, and law. An accomplished lawyer, he is the first Indigenous person appointed to Queen’s Council by the Alberta Law Society. He brought Native issues to public attention while serving as the first Treaty Indian Member of Parliament.

Dr. Littlechild has been active with a number of organizations both within Canada and abroad, including the Indigenous Parliament of the Americas, the United Nations, the National Indian Athletic Association, and the Canadian Council of International Law. He served as a Commissioner on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, whose final report was release on December 15, 2015.

For his participation in Indigenous and athletic endeavours, Dr. Littlechild has been honoured with several awards, including the Lifetime Achievement Award as an Aboriginal Role Model and the Order of Canada; he has been inducted into seven sports Halls of Fame. He graduated from the University of Alberta with a Master’s Degree in Physical Education, a Bachelor of Law Degree, and an Honourary Doctorate at Law.

Dr. Littlechild was bestowed with the title of International Treaty Chief by the Chiefs and Elders of the Confederacy of Treaty No. 6 and the Assembly of Treaty Chiefs (Treaty No. 6, Treaty No. 7 and Treaty No. 8 Alberta).


Sheila Watt-Cloutier

Nobel Peace Prize nominee Sheila Watt-Cloutier is in the business of transforming public opinion into public policy. Experienced in working with global decision-makers for more than a decade, Watt-Cloutier offers a new model for 21st century leadership. She speaks with passion and urgency on the issues of today — the environment, the economy, foreign policy, global health, and sustainability — not as separate concerns, but as a deeply interconnected whole. At a time when people are seeking solutions, direction, and a sense of hope, this global leader provides a big picture of where we are and where we’re headed.

In 2007, Watt-Cloutier was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize for her advocacy work in showing the impact of global climate change on human rights — especially in the Arctic, where it is felt more immediately, and more dramatically, than anywhere else in the world. Watt-Cloutier is an Officer of the Order of Canada; the recipient of the Aboriginal Achievement Award; the UN Champion of the Earth Award; the Norwegian Sophie Prize; and the Right Livelihood Award, which she won in November 2015 and is widely considered the “Nobel Alternative”.

From 1995-2002, Watt-Cloutier was elected the Canadian President of the Inuit Circumpolar Council (ICC). She was later elected in 2002 to become the International Chair of the ICC, representing the 155,000 Inuit from Canada, Greenland, Alaska, and Russia — she held this post until 2006.

Widely recognized for her influential work, Watt-Cloutier gave a TEDx Talk in 2016 titled “Human Trauma and Climate Trauma as One”. She is also the author of the memoir, The Right to Be Cold: One Woman’s Story of Protecting Her Culture, the Arctic and the Whole Planet, which was nominated for the 2016 BC National Award for Canadian Non-Fiction and the Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing. In 2017, the book was shortlisted for CBC Canada Reads, defended by Chantal Kreviazuk. Watt-Cloutier was also shortlisted for the Kobo Emerging Writer Prize.