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Our keynote speaker for Thursday, April 27th is MP Georgia Jolibois
Building on more than a decade of experience as an elected leader, Georgina Jolibois was elected Member of Parliament for Desnethé—Missinippi—Churchill River in 2015. Faith is a very important component of her life. She also grew up with strong ties to traditional knowledge keepers and she is very familiar with traditional medicine. Georgina was inspired by many prominent leaders worldwide who worked with compassion toward others: people like the Dalai Lama, Ghandi, Martin Luther King and Mother Theresa. These are people who inspire Georgina in her work. They were leaders working for others, for justice and peace in their communities and beyond. As a municipal leader, Georgina worked tirelessly to bring good to her community in La Loche. Now, as a Member of Parliament, she continuously works to make sure that the voices of northerners are heard in the House of Commons. She stood in Parliament on multiple occasions to raise the concerns of northerners’ who are too often neglected in the nation’s capital.
Georgina started her first year in office fresh out of the turmoil of the 2015 raging forest fires and evacuation. Throughout Georgina was able to gain experience with eliminating unnecessary government idleness and bureaucracy. Georgina became a strong community voice which was heard throughout the crisis. Without exception Georgina was acutely aware of the impact of the fires on residents and the economy. Georgina decided to run for office with the support of the many that encouraged her to run for Member of Parliament for the New Democrat Party of Canada.
In Saskatchewan, Georgina Jolibois became the first Dene woman to become a Member of Parliament breaking boundaries and inspiring many First Nations, Métis and Inuit children, and women across Canada. Georgina’s strong positive energy became ignited and was strengthened by the diversity of her riding which includes farming communities, First Nations, Métis communities and rural municipalities. As a parliamentarian, she is keen on the challenges of representing all constituents and conveying their concerns to Ottawa, and building healthier communities and a strong economy.
Sadly, when Georgina was opening her offices tragedy enveloped the Village of La Loche, Clearwater River Dene Nation and the north. On January 22, 2016 a youth committed a horrific acts of violence on his family, and community members at school, causing four deaths, and seriously wounded many. The violence traumatized, and spiritually affected the north. However, many people and communities organized and came together to demonstrate their love and support to the communities affected. It is clear, the issues of systemic racism, entrenched poverty, lack of mental health supports, effects of residential schools, and the increasing loss of language, culture, and greater disassociation of the land have taken its toll on many northern communities.
Member of Parliament, Georgina Jolibois and her dedicated team went straight into crisis management mode and led behind the scenes efforts to ensure the various and many needs and voices of the northerners were heard and addressed; knowing full well there would be many years healing for the community and the north. Today, Georgina continues to advocate, inform, and meet with individuals and groups to hear the ongoing progression of the efforts to address the crisis.
As a Dene woman born and raised in La Loche, Saskatchewan. Georgina is well aware of the beauty of its majestic landscapes, diverse Languages, culture, and strength of character of northerners. The Member of Parliament believes fully in the resiliency and ingenuity of northern people and in their ability to grow the economy through Education and a Diversified economy that respects the environment. She believes that the children, youth, adults, Elders, our professionals and supporters have much too contributed to the wellness and prosperity of the region, province, and country. Even in times when tragedy and sadness strike communities such as the suicides’ of young northern girls and subsequent attempts of suicide clusters of northern children. The MP’s steadfast belief that with adequate resources we can move communities beyond this loss to a place of hope, peace and greater wellness and prosperity for all northerners.
Our keynote speaker for Friday, April 28th is Harold Johnson
Harold has been practicing law in La Ronge, Northern Saskatchewan and has most recently taken time off to write his book “Firewater: How Alcohol is Killing My People (and yours)”. He has a Master of Law degree from Harvard University, and is an established author. Harold currently lives with his wife on his family’s traditional trap line a little ways from La Ronge. He is a member of the Montreal Lake Cree Nation.
Harold’s newest book “Firewater” takes a look at how alcohol has had a devastating effect on Indigenous people, our communities and how we all need to find solutions. He examines the myths and history of alcohol. He says that we need to change our story and make it define who we are. Harold talks about his life growing up, his life events, both good and bad, and how he was lucky to be able to change his story. Harold says, “I changed the story about who I was and who I am.” We all have the power to do that…….change our story.
Break out sessions
#100 Series Thursday – 75 minute (10:30-11:45)
#200 Series Thursday – All Half Day (1:00-3:35)
#300 Series Friday – 75 minutes (10:30-11:45)
#400 Series Friday – 75 minutes (1:00-2:15)