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Beyond the Curriculum: Building Hope and Opportunity for Indigenous Youth

Wednesday, March 30, 2022

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Join the Empire Club as it continues the conversation on the role of education in advancing reconciliation.

It is a stark reality that only 11% of Ontario’s Indigenous Youth go on to pursue higher education. The reasons for this are varied and complex – but one message is clear – we must do more to support students and teachers in Indigenous communities across the country to ensure we are tapping the full potential of these talented youth to build a better, more successful, and more inclusive Canada.

This calls for a greater understanding of how to work together to respect Indigenous ways of knowing and learning in the classroom – empowering communities to access and deliver education services and opportunities for meaningful outcomes. The COVID-19 pandemic brought in-person learning to a halt, disconnecting students and redefining the delivery of education via virtual means. But for many communities, virtual resources are essential on an on-going basis to ensure that students in the north have access to same opportunities as other students nation-wide.  With limited access to educational infrastructure, resources and mental health supports, Indigenous youth in northern and remote communities have been at a severe disadvantage. What are the long-lasting impacts of this reality? And how can we address this challenge through meaningful, collaborative approaches?

Please join us for a critical conversation with policy makers, education professionals and NGO leaders on building better and more dynamic pathways to success for Indigenous students. And why the moment is now.

headshot of Heather Campbell

Heather Campbell

Director of Education, Rainy River District School Board

As Director of Education for the Rainy River District School Board for the past 12 years, Heather Campbell has a broad base of leadership experience.

In part of her role, Heather supports the Board of Trustees and oversees several Board departments (e.g., Human Resources, Communications, Plant Operations and Maintenance), while managing the portfolios of Parent Engagement, Indigenous Education, and Partnerships. At the regional and provincial levels, Heather has worked on many initiatives and working groups, most recently, as co-chair of the Provincial Recruitment and Retention Working Group, a representative on the provincial Anti-Human Trafficking Working Group, in addition to being a member of the Council of Ontario Directors of Education (CODE) and its Executive. Heather has also served on local, regional, and national boards of directors and is currently a member of the board of directors for The Learning Partnership.

headshot of Dr. Marie Delorme

Dr. Marie Delorme

CEO, The Imagination Group

Dr. Marie Delorme is CEO of The Imagination Group of Companies. She serves on the boards of CWB Financial Group, Premium Brands Holding Corporation, and the Donner Canadian Foundation. She is also a member of the National Indigenous Economic Development Board, an advisory body to the federal government and the Indigenous Advisory Council of the Canadian National Railway Company.

Dr. Delorme is a Member of the Order of Canada. She has received the Indspire Award in Business and Commerce; and was named as one of Canada’s 100 Most Powerful Women. Other awards include: the University of Calgary Dr. Douglas Cardinal Award; Alberta Chamber of Commerce Business Award of Distinction; Calgary Chamber of Commerce Salute to Excellence Award, Métis Nation Entrepreneurial Leadership Award, and the Alberta Centennial Medal.

Dr. Delorme holds a Bachelor of Science degree, a Master of Business Administration from Queen’s University, and both a PhD and an Honorary Doctor of Laws from the University of Calgary.

headshot of Serei Jeppesen

Serei Jeppesen

Connected North School Lead & Indigenous Student Engagement Coordinator, Taking IT Global

Serei Jeppesen is an Indigenous educator from the Michel Band in Alberta. She has taught in Canada and abroad for the past decade, with a focus on Indigenous perspectives and the
unique needs of marginalized communities. She holds a Master of Education from the University of Alberta, where her work examined how a place-based pedagogy can be constructed for students whose traditional lands have been urbanized by settler Canadians.

Serei infuses her instruction with sensitivity for each student’s story so that all students find a place to belong.

headshot of Lisa Kimmel

Lisa Kimmel

Global Managing Director, Sector Specialty Agencies, Chair & CEO, Canada, Edelman

Lisa is global managing director of Sector Specialty Agencies (SSAs), DJE Holdings, and also oversees Edelman’s Canadian and Latin American operations. Edelman is a global communications firm that partners with businesses and organizations to evolve, promote and protect their brands and reputations. Lisa sits on Edelman’s Executive Leadership Team. In her role, she provides senior counsel to clients, and is responsible for the growth strategies of both the SSAs and the regions that she oversees.

Lisa’s fresh, collaborative and authentic approach has not only resulted in award-winning programs for clients but has fostered a corporate culture based on innovation, teamwork and integrity. Edelman Canada has been recognized as one of the Great Place to Work® Best Workplaces in Canada and Best Workplaces for Women for ten consecutive years.

Passionate about advancing women in business, Lisa is chair of the firm’s Global Women’s Equality Network (GWEN), which is committed to fostering an environment where women of all backgrounds can enjoy equal opportunities. She is committed to supporting future leaders and championing women’s causes. She is a sought-after speaker and commentator at events and in the media. In recognition of her efforts, Lisa is a recipient of both the Financial Times and HERoes Champions of Women in Business Top 100 Female Executives, and a 2019 YWCA Toronto Women of Distinction award for Corporate Leadership. She has also been inducted into the Women’s Executive Network (WXN) Top 100 Most Powerful Women in Canada Hall of Fame.

Lisa is actively involved with several mentorship programs through the Women’s Executive Network, American Marketing Association and Women in Communications and Technology Protégé Program.
She sits on the Boards of Directors of the Toronto Region Board of Trade and CivicAction. Lisa also sits on the Global Advisory Board for G(irls)20, and is a member of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce Council for Women’s Advocacy.