We’re thrilled to present a stellar slate of world-class keynote speakers. Addressing human rights and inclusion issues from a grassroots to global perspective, our keynote speakers will inspire new ways of thinking and change the way you see the world.
Dr. Samantha Nutt is an award-winning humanitarian, bestselling author, and founder of the renowned international humanitarian organization War Child. Dr. Nutt’s keynote presentation will explore the meaning of social justice and community in the 21st century, touching on many of the issues facing our grassroots to global movement.
Dr. Nutt has worked with children and their families at the front-line of many of the world’s major crises. With a career that has spanned more than two decades and dozens of conflict zones, her international work has benefited hundreds of thousands of war-affected children globally.
Tomson Highway was born in a snow bank on the Manitoba/Nunavut border to a family of nomadic caribou hunters. He had the great privilege of growing up in two languages, Cree, his mother tongue, and Dene, the language of the neighbouring “nation,” a people with whom they roamed and hunted.
A playwright, author, musician, and multilingual speaker, Tomson Highway will entertain, enlighten and inspire attendees, reminding us of the necessity of “spectacular joy,” humour, music and beauty in life as we Rise Up! to build a movement.
Bree-Anna Roberston is a self advocate from Prince George, BC. Bree-Anna has traveled around the world speaking about self determination and her own life, including the supports she receives through her micro-board. In 2016 she addressed the World Congress of the International Association for the Scientific Study of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities in Melbourne, Australia.
Bree’s story was first shared at the Zero Project in Vienna, Austria in 2015. Since then she has done several presentations in BC.
Sally Armstrong is a Canadian human rights activist, journalist and author. She has covered stories in zones of conflict all over the world, advocating for the rights of women and girls. Armstrong’s keynote presentation will address the “ascent of women” and its alignment with and impact on our grassroots to global movement for inclusion. Her presentation will address the global movement for women’s equality, touching on the recent#metoo campaign and the importance of including marginalized voices.
Armstrong is a former member of the International Women’s Commission at the UN and a member of the Order of Canada. She is also the recipient of ten honorary doctorate degrees.
Symbia Barnaby is a woman of Mi’kmaq/Haida decent. She is a single mother of six children (three of which have special needs), a story teller and a Licensed Practical Nurse team lead at a complex care facility. She is an avid advocate for her children and has helped others in her community to find their voices.
Symbia’s keynote presentation will show attendees the power and impact of grassroots leadership and how one woman is creating a ripple effect for change in her community.
Symbia Barnaby was one of the main organizers for the First Annual Autism Walk and the First Annual Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women’s Memorial Vigil in her community of Prince Rupert, B.C. She brings with her experiences from many different lenses; Indigenous woman, mother, daughter, sister, client, and service provider.