Event Details

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The Equal Futures Network is excited to announce that our second annual gender equality summit, Equal Futures 2023: A Gender Equality Summit, will be taking place in Whitehorse, Yukon on May 17-18, 2023!

Through the theme People, Perspective, and Partnerships, Equal Futures 2023 will provide an in-person forum for the gender equality movement to build connections, strengthen capacity, share expertise, and establish collective actions that will pave the path forward for advancing gender equality in Canada.

Please note that a ticket is required to attend the Equal Futures 2022 Summit.

Equal Futures 2023: A Gender Equality Summit is brought to you by the Equal Futures Network, a CanWaCH initiative, and is supported by Women and Gender Equality Canada.

The Equal Futures Network is thrilled to announce our partnership with the Yukon Period Pantry as a part of Equal Futures 2023: A Gender Equality Summit! The Yukon Period Pantry is a community-led project that provides 24/7 access to free, clean and safe menstrual hygiene products to people who menstruate living in the Yukon - especially those experiencing period poverty.

As a part of the Equal Futures 2023 Summit, we are asking attendees to consider bringing menstrual hygiene products to be donated to the Yukon Period Pantry. Donation guidelines can be found here.

Equal Futures 2023 is taking place on the traditional territories of the Kwanlin Dün First Nation and Ta'an Kwäch'än Council.


  • May 17, 2023

  • May 18, 2023

  • Longhouse

  • Multipurpose Room

  • Artist Room

  • Sacred Space

8:00 AM - 9:15 AM
Doors & Registration Open
9:15 AM - 9:45 AM
Welcome Remarks & Territorial Acknowledgement
Welcome Remarks with Julia Anderson, CEO of CanWaCH

Territorial Acknowledgement, Chief Amanda Leas, Chief of Ta’an Kwäch’än Council.
9:45 AM - 10:00 AM
10:00 AM - 11:30 AM
Opening Panel: The Power of Partnership: Perspectives on Advancing Gender Equality in Rural and Northern Communities & Knowledge Spotlights
From coast-to-coast-to-coast, there has been a long and rich history of mobilizing for gender equality and social justice from women’s movements and feminist organizations, yet there is stil...
From coast-to-coast-to-coast, there has been a long and rich history of mobilizing for gender equality and social justice from women’s movements and feminist organizations, yet there is still a long way to go if we are to achieve the ambitious goals laid out in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. In Canada, the geographic spread coupled with a rich diversity of languages, cultures and urban-rural divide means that there are unique challenges and opportunities to advancing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), in particular SDG 5 - Gender Equality. In the North, access challenges to basic services have resulted in some of the highest community rates of violence, poverty and health concerns in Canada. In addition, legacies of colonialism and residential schools have eroded local connectedness and sense of identity in rural and remote communities. While these issues may be localized to the North, there is an opportunity to break down geographical silos and work together in pursuit of a feminist and equal futures for all.

On May 17, from 10-11:30 MST join us for a dynamic panel that will set the stage for Equal Futures 2023: A Gender Equality Summit. In this session, a diverse panel of Northern leaders, change-makers and local voices will unpack the unique challenges for advancing GE in their communities, share solutions and discuss the opportunities to develop partnerships with GE movements across Canada.
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11:30 AM - 11:35 AM
11:35 AM - 12:00 PM
Knowledge Spotlight
SERVIS, Patricia Brennan
Pauktuuit, Stephanie Nirlungayuk
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
1:00 PM - 2:30 PM
Panel: The Case for Feminist Financing: Building the Bridge to use Finance as a Strategy to Advance Gender Equality & Social Change
As we continue to face challenges to advance gender equality and to achieve the ambitious 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) laid out in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development we n...
As we continue to face challenges to advance gender equality and to achieve the ambitious 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) laid out in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development we need to use all the strategies at our disposal to create the social change we seek. Addressing these challenges cannot be effectively undertaken without focusing on power: who has it, who doesn’t and why. Power is at the root of all structural inequalities that make up the systems in which we live, work and play.

In particular, the financial system wields incredible power - power to determine where and how resources are allocated and who has access to them. Currently only 12% of global philanthropy goes towards gender-related causes which contributes to the chronic under-funding of core work that is needed to create sustainable and long-term solutions to gender equality issues. As a result, there is a need to ramp up further investment for gender equality in order to develop supportive funding models for local women’s rights and feminist organizations so that they can offer long-term, flexible and sustainable solutions on key gender equality issues.

In addition to the chronic lack of funding for gender equality focused work/organizations, what is available does not align with feminist values. In other words, current funding priorities and structures create unhealthy power dynamics and leads to enormous social and economic barriers for women* and other communities who experience systemic and ongoing marginalization including but not limited to Indigenous, Black, racialized, 2SLGBTQ+ and disabled communities.

Yet, we know, and data has proven, that when women’s rights and feminist organizations are able to operate without restrictions, they offer incredible support to the communities they serve and they are able to transform power and privilege for a few into equity and equality for all. So where do we go from here? How do we continue to push for structural shifts in the financial ecosystem to robustly resource and prioritize power sharing with intersectional, feminist organizations?

On May 17, 2023 from 1-2:30 PM MDT, join us for a dynamic and enlightening discussion between leaders and changemakers in the feminist financing, funding and philanthropy space who will unpack what challenges they face in these systems and share their best practices and lessons learned along the journey towards creating a feminist and equal future for all.
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2:30 PM - 3:00 PM
3:00 PM - 4:30 PM
Panel: Transforming Food Security and Nutrition - Perspectives for Food Justice
Presented in English and FrenchWomen play a critical role in the production of food and in feeding and caring for their families in communities around the world yet women and girls make up 6...
Presented in English and French

Women play a critical role in the production of food and in feeding and caring for their families in communities around the world yet women and girls make up 60% of the world’s chronically hungry population and are 10% more likely than men to experience food insecurity. Food insecurity is described as “a lack of consistent access to enough food for every person in a household to live an active, healthy life” which has not only severe ramifications for health outcomes, such as nutrition, but also other social, economic and cultural implications which overall negatively affect progress for advancing gender equality. For example, In the context of nutrition, women and girls’ nutrition experience is influenced “by the sociology and politics of how food is produced and consumed and how nutrition services are provided and used” meaning that gender inequality is both a cause and consequence of malnutrition, trapping them in a vicious, multigenerational cycle of poverty and unmet potential. So what is driving women’s different experiences of food security, and why is the food security gender gap so persistent?

There is not one factor that contributes towards a person’s food insecurity and despite best efforts, women remain especially susceptible to food insecurity, and its ripple effects, both in Canada and globally. In Canada, Indigenous communities are hit the hardest when it comes to food insecurity. From skyrocketing food prices in the North to disruption to traditional ways of food collection Canada’s legacy of colonization has serious negative impacts that are still on-going today. Globally, land rights and social norms are major contributors to women’s food insecurity. As a result, as long as women continue to bear the brunt of food crises, they will continue to experience food security at higher rates than men and progress for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 1 - No Poverty, 2- Zero Hunger, and 5 - Gender Equality will halt.

On May 17, from 3-4:30 PDT join us for a dynamic panel that will unpack and connect the challenges of food security through a gendered lens and its implications for advancing gender equality in Canada and around the world. In this session, participants will hear from a diverse panel who will unpack the unique challenges at the nexus of gender equality, nutrition and food security, share solutions and discuss the opportunities to develop partnerships with local and global movements pushing for gender transformative approaches for equitable food systems.
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4:30 PM - 5:00 PM
5:00 PM - 7:00 PM
Evening Reception
Evening Reception Presented by Pride at Work CanadaPerformances by Dakhká Khwáan Dancers and Yukon Words5:00 PM - Welcome Remarks (Pride at Work Canada)5:10 - 5:30 PM - Dakhká Khwáan Dancers...
Evening Reception Presented by Pride at Work Canada

Performances by Dakhká Khwáan Dancers and Yukon Words

5:00 PM - Welcome Remarks (Pride at Work Canada)
5:10 - 5:30 PM - Dakhká Khwáan Dancers
5:30 - 5:40 PM - Poetry Reading from Yukon Words - Fabienne Shephard Stone
5:40 - 5:45 PM - Closing Remarks and Invite Everyone for Networking (Pride at Work Canada)
5:45 - 7:00 PM - Mingling & Networking
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  • Gladys Ahovi (President & CEO of FFBC)

    Gladys Ahovi

    President & CEO of FFBC

    Gladys Ahovi is an award-winning workforce strategist, organisational development professional, community development leader and master connector who thrives leading complex change processes. Her career spans over 20 years of service to the community and philanthropy, cementing her well-deserved reputation as a trusted and reliable partner and leader in the philanthropic and social service sectors.

    In October 2022 she joined FFBC as President and CEO bringing her considerable vision and innovation to the Foundation. She is one of 4 Black women leading a philanthropic organisation in Canada and the only one with a portfolio specifically serving Black Canadian communities. She successfully spearheaded the bid that won stewardship of the Federal Government’s $200 million Black-led Endowment fund for Black communities in Canada. Glady is taking FFBC into a historic chapter of unlocking the vast potential of Black excellence in Canada.

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  • Math'ieya Alatini (Chief Strategist at GSD Stratgies Inc.)

    Math'ieya Alatini

    Chief Strategist at GSD Stratgies Inc.

    Math’ieya (Ma-THEE-Yah) Alatini

    Math’ieya Alatini’s name is synonymous with energy, action and integrity. She’s a capable and experienced leader, known for trailblazing and her no-nonsense approach to getting results. On the heels of two very productive terms serving as Chief of Kluane First Nation, Math’ieya did a quick pit stop working with the Yukon Government Cabinet office and is now bringing her experience and energy to her work for Canada’s Indigenous Governments and Northern communities with GSD Strategies. As the Chief Strategist for GSD Strategies, she has been moving complex, multi-partnered initiatives through very challenging times.

    Math’ieya holds a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Victoria and has experience in many sectors and in different capacities from Tourism, Mining, Finance to a Non-Profit Volunteer organizations that specialized in First Nation capacity building. With the Federal Department of Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC) in British Columbia she worked with up to 43 different First Nation communities in capital infrastructure, green energy projects, Treaty Relations and funding services.

    Mathieya is a member of Kluane First Nation and has had the fortune of experiencing both a traditional Indigenous lifestyle and a modern way of living which has given strong foundations to all her endeavours.

    Under Math’ieya’s leadership as Kluane First Nation Chief, she guided the Nation towards energy self-sufficiency and economic resilience in the small community of Burwash Landing. This was done through the ability to forge partnerships with industry, other Yukon First Nations, Yukon Government and several Federal Departments. Her demonstrated ability to leverage opportunities, facilitate collaborative partnerships to create economic, social and environmental benefits position her as an established leader and game-changer with the credibility of a proven track record.

    Building relationships, sharing knowledge and creating understanding is a strong motivator for her. Through her company GSD Strategies, Math’ieya brings her ability to skillfully guide partnerships, create collaborative successes in order to launch big picture initiatives and deliver tangible results for her clients. Her work ethic and vision has earned her a reputation as a leader who can get things done in a good way.

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  • JA

    Julia Anderson

    Chief Executive Officer at CanWaCH/CanSFE

  • AA

    Aurora April

    Student at AGS

  • Ohemaa Boateng (Executive Director of Black Creek Community Farm)

    Ohemaa Boateng

    Executive Director of Black Creek Community Farm

    Ohemaa Boateng, a long time resident in the Jane and Finch community, has been a leading organizer for urban agriculture, social justice, food security and food sovereignty in Toronto. Ohemaa started her journey into food justice work at Black Creek Community Farm as a farm staff – spearheading the Farm School program, coordinating family and children activities and leading the weekly farmers markets in front of Jane and Finch Mall and at Driftwood Community centre. Ohemaa advocated for fair access to fresh locally grown and affordable food, raised awareness to the food injustices experienced in the community by racialized residents, and developed her urban farming skills. In 2014, Ohemaa, alongside the BCCF team, received the Ontario Agri-Food Innovation Award for the innovative work happening at the farm.

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  • Marlisa Brown (Implementation Advisor at Government of the Northwest Territories)

    Marlisa Brown

    Implementation Advisor at Government of the Northwest Territories

    Marlisa Brown is Nihtat Gwich’in, First Nation and of settler Canadian ancestry. Born in Inuvik, NT, and raised in Somba k’e (Yellowknife, NT), both communities are her home. Her jijjuu (grandmother) is Effie DeBastien and her parents are Arlene DeBastien, Vince Brown and Darren Campbell. Marlisa is currently on maternity leave from her job as an Implementation Advisor (of land claim and self-government agreements) with the Government of the Northwest Territories in the Department of Executive and Indigenous Affairs. She is a mother of two toddlers. If she's not busy with her boys, she works on her passion project as a co-founder of Treaty Talks NWT.

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  • Laura Cabott (Mayor at City of Whitehorse)

    Laura Cabott

    Mayor at City of Whitehorse

    Laura was elected Mayor of Whitehorse, Yukon in October 2021 following a 3-year term as a City Councillor. Her interest in politics began at an early age supporting family members and friends being elected to all levels of government. She has managed a number of campaigns over the past 35 years and has a particular interest in getting women elected.

    Laura is a lawyer by trade practicing for over 30 years and enjoys many outdoor activities including hiking, skiing and hunting.

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  • GC

    Grey Capot-Blanc

  • Amie Charlie (Co-Founder of AYDA)

    Amie Charlie

    Co-Founder of AYDA

    Amie Charlie is a member of the Gwitch’in and Kaska Nations. She was born and raised in Inuvik, Northwest Territories and is the Co-Founder of AYDA Women, a woman-led non profit that is dedicated to building the collective power of Indigenous women, girls, 2S, and gender diverse folks in the Beaufort Delta Region.

    Amie is passionate about community, sustainable business, and advocating for Indigenous rights. She holds a bachelor’s degree in International Development. Amie is also the Co-Owner of Yukon Timber Company. She along with her two sisters launched the business in 2021. When’s she’s not working, she enjoys beading, travelling, and spending time on the land with her family.

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  • FD

    France De Montigny

    Directrice at Agricultrices du Québec

    Executive Director at the Fédération des Agricultrices du Québec (woman in Ag Quebec), France De Montigny, has overseen the organization for over a decade. During this time, she has created and implemented various programs to support women farmers in their entrepreneurial endeavours and facilitate their access in the decision-making process of different agricultural organizations. Created in 1987, the organization is professional union representing all women farmers.

    With a bachelor’s degree in biology and a specialization in ecology, Mrs. De Montigny, has used her knowledge and skills to develop various social economy initiatives in the food security sector for vulnerable populations in the Montreal area. She has also worked in the area of ​​environmental awareness.

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  • Andrea Dicks (President at Community Foundations of Canada)

    Andrea Dicks

    President at Community Foundations of Canada

    Andrea joined Community Foundations of Canada (CFC) in 2015 as Vice President, before serving two years as Chief Operating Officer. She was named President by the CFC Board of Directors in January 2020. In addition to her work with CFC, Andrea brings 15 years of community and corporate philanthropy experience, including as the Founding Executive Director of the Community Foundation of Greater Peterborough. She also served in leadership roles with the Rideau Hall Foundation, PwC Canada Foundation and the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Toronto and Central Ontario.

    Working closely with Canada’s 191 community foundations, and fostering connection across the growing international community foundation network, Andrea is helping to strengthen philanthropy’s impact by being a vocal advocate for the role of community-driven solutions to pressing global challenges, from climate change to human rights and gender equality. She has played a central role in the launch of groundbreaking Canadian and international initiatives, including the Equality Fund, which is transforming how organizations and movements working to advance women’s rights and gender equality are supported. She has also played an important leadership role in strengthening Canada’s contributions to Agenda 2030 through her work on Alliance 2030, Canada’s Sustainable Development Goals platform, and through her recent nomination to the Board of Directors of the Waterloo Global Science Initiative.

    Outside of her work with CFC, Andrea actively contributes to multiple voluntary sector organizations, including as a Board Member of the Kymar Foundation, and through the Universities Canada Social Impact Advisory Committee and the Equality Fund Philanthropic Advisory Committee.

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  • DG

    Duane Gastant' Aucion

    Yanyeidi Clans Representative at Teslin Tlingit Executive Council

    Duane Gastant’ Aucoin is a Wolf/Yanyedi member of the Teslin Tlingit Council and recently returned home from Vancouver, BC. He received training from his elders as the lead singer/drummer/dancer for the Deslin Khwan Dancers in the Yukon and has performed with them throughout Canada and the US since 1996. Aucoin received formal schooling in the First Nation Theatre Training taught by nationally acclaimed director Carol Grey-Eyes. He is currently performing “Cash Creek Charlie” along with Sharon Gramma Susie” Shorty in the stand-up comedy routine “Susie & Charlie”. He has also starred in the First Nation’s Theatre Production “Raven’s Tale” in Whitehorse, Yukon, which he also co-wrote and directed. This was featured on APTN’s NEDAA. Aucoin produced/directed/wrote/starred in “Kichx Anagaat Yatx’i: Children of the Rainbow,” a celebration of two-Spirited peoples that integrated both live and digital video pieces into one 90-minute production. The world premiere was at the 2003 Out On Screen Queer Film & Video Festival in Vancouver. It won the top award of “Audience Favorite for Best Feature”. It has played at various venues across the country and has received much acclaim and publicity. Aucoin won the 2003 XtraWest’s Community Achievement Award for Achievement in the Arts for Children on the Rainbow. He was also a nominee for the 2003 Vancouver Entrepreneur of the Year, “Education” Category.
    In 2004 Aucoin was the associate producer for the Our City Our Voices Project with the National Film Board of Canada, a Storyscapes Project designed by Kamala Todd. This project helped the First Nations People living in the Vancouver Downtown Eastside tell their own story and share it with the general public. He received an international award by being named the “International Two-Spirit Male Warrior” at the 19th International Two-Spirit Gathering held in Saskatchewan,
    2007. As part of his duties he publicly speaks on issues pertaining to Two-Spirited People, their history, duties and their rights in First Nations Society.

    Aucoin recently completed his latest documentary entitled “My Own Private Lower Post”. In which he journeys with his mother, Vicky Bob, who is a survivor of Residential School, to discover how he too is a survivor. This healing look at the
    intergenerational effects of Residential School has been quoted as being “enjoyable, emotional and historic” (Whitehorse Star review). This production has screened internationally and has moved all who have watched it with it's simple story of love and forgiveness. It has also screened at all the National Events for the Truth & Reconciliation Commission. Duane promised his mother Vicky before she passed away in 2011 that he would continue telling “our story”. In 2012 he was awarded with the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Medal. Both his Tlingit and Acadian Peoples have not had the best relationship with the Crown but Duane decided to receive the medal on behalf of both his peoples. “In the past the Crown colonized & deported my Peoples...now they give us medals. This is for them!” explained Duane. Aucoin is currently performing solo & with Sharon Shorty at various venues around the country as well as working on new video productions. But his most important work continues to be supporting his elders in his community of Teslin to help bring back his Inland Tlingit Language & Culture. He is currently his Yanyeidi Clans representative on the Teslin Tlingit Executive Council.

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  • AG

    Anick Girourad

    Student at AGS

  • AG

    Anick Girourad

    Student at AGS

  • Danny Glenwright (President and CEO of Save the Children / Aide à l’enfance Canada)

    Danny Glenwright

    President and CEO of Save the Children / Aide à l’enfance Canada

    Danny is the President and CEO of Save the Children Canada. A journalist by training, Danny has more than 16 years of experience in the non-profit and media sectors in Canada and internationally – and his work has taken him to more than 60 countries. This includes a stint as managing editor of the Gender Links news service in South Africa, a role with the United Nations in the Palestinian Territories, and media development work in Sierra Leone, Namibia, and Rwanda.

    Danny is formerly the executive director of Action Against Hunger Canada, an international humanitarian and development organization specializing in fighting hunger and its underlying causes. Danny sits on the Board of the Canadian Network for Women and Children’s Health (CaNWaCH), and the Humanitarian Coalition, and is a member of the advisory committee for the Centennial College International Development program in Toronto. Danny was previously the managing editor of The Philanthropist, an online journal for practitioners, academics, supporters, and others engaged in the non-profit sector in Canada, the managing editor of Xtra newspaper in Toronto and the executive director of Journalists for Human Rights. Danny has written extensively about gender issues, media literacy, and Canada’s role in international development.

    Danny holds a master’s degree in international development from Italy’s Pavia University and a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from Ryerson University.

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  • Jamella Hagan (Author)

    Jamella Hagan


    Jamella Hagen is the author of Kerosene. She teaches creative writing at Yukon University, and is an affiliate poetry editor for the Alaska Quarterly Review. Her work has appeared in journals and anthologies including Canadian Literature, Best Canadian Poetry, and Ploughshares. She gratefully lives on the traditional territories of the Kwanlin Dün First Nation and the Ta’an Kwäch’än Council in Whitehorse, Yukon.

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  • Melanie Hilton (Lead - Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning at Criterion Institute)

    Melanie Hilton

    Lead - Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning at Criterion Institute

    Melanie leads Criterion's learnings and evaluations work, where she focuses on using finance as a tool to advance transformative gender equality outcomes. Melanie specializes in feminist lens programing, policy analysis and strategy development to address violence against women and girls in peace and conflict environments, gender responsive governance, and security sector reform. As a gender trainer, Melanie is skilled in developing and using participatory approaches that build trust and facilitate dialogue between a range of local actors and public service systems.

    With experience leading gender-responsive interventions, Melanie managed programs that increased urban safety and access to justice for women and girls in Zimbabwe, Myanmar, Bangladesh and Kenya. In Ghana and Nigeria, she worked with faith-based groups to address social and cultural normative structures that discriminate against women and girls. In Myanmar, she undertook a gender needs assessment within Rohingya communities, researched the gender inclusivity of peace agreements, and served as a consultant for U.N. Women’s peace, security, and migration programs. As ActionAid Myanmar’s women’s rights advisor, she managed multi-donor projects and provided technical support for the Building Resilience and Adaptation to Climate Extremes and Disasters consortium. Melanie also worked to support women’s political leadership in Kenya, extend civil family law to Muslim women in Nepal, and trained India’s administrative officers on inclusive governance strategies and rural development. As Assistant Professor at the Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration ‘s Center for Rural Studies she led assessments of land reform policies that specifically target members of India’s schedule caste and tribe communities and facilitated consultative forums with India’s National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development to streamline loan processes for small holder farmers and women’s self-help groups.

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  • Chief Leanne Joe (Owner at Siyam Consulting)

    Chief Leanne Joe

    Owner at Siyam Consulting

    Sxwpilemaát Siyám, also known as Chief Leanne Joe, of the Squamish Nation, is one of sixteen Hereditary Chiefs of the Squamish Nation and the first female Chief of her Lackett Joe Family. She shares her traditional name with her late father, Sxwpilem Siyám, Chief Philip Joe. Sxwpilemaát Siyám is also a descendent of the Kwakwaka’wakw speaking people and carries the traditional name of Q-Gee-Sea Loud and the Thomas family of the Tsleil-Waututh Nation. Sxwpilemaát Siyám was born and raised on the beautiful shores of North Vancouver while having close relations to her roots on the east coast shores of Vancouver Island. Her family lives in her husband’s ancestral territory of the Sylix and Nlaka’pam speaking people, aka Merritt, BC.

    Sxwpilemaát Siyám holds space in many organizations, focusing her work on Economic Reconciliation, rematrician and education. She currently serves as a Trustee for the Squamish Nation Trust, Board member of the New Relationship Trust and the Women in Leadership Foundation and advisory to other committees. Her educational background includes a B.A. in Business, CED Certificate, and other related training and experience.

    Her greatest role is being a mom. Her son is paying witness to the legacy work she embodies every day.

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  • Marissa Kokkoros (Founding Director of Aura Freedom International)

    Marissa Kokkoros

    Founding Director of Aura Freedom International

    Marissa Kokkoros is the Founding Director of Aura Freedom International, a grassroots Canadian charity dedicated to the eradication of violence against women and human trafficking. Marissa has studied the social position of women and girls in different communities in India, Nepal, Italy, Sub-Saharan Africa, and Canada. She has also documented the greater societal impact of male violence against women on countries through grassroots, community research in different communities. Marissa has spent time with sexually exploited women and children in Canada, Italy, and South Asian red light districts and has worked with local women to implement women’s empowerment projects in multiple countries. A number of Aura Freedom’s global projects addressing gender-based violence and human trafficking have been funded by Canada’s Global Affairs and her community research on child marriage in Nepal has been featured internationally.

    Through her work, Marissa has held deep and lasting friendships with fellow feminists, women’s rights defenders, and survivors in Canada and beyond, and believes ‘the sisterhood’ can help heal immense trauma. Bold and energetic, Marissa’s passion is watching the ripple effects of placing knowledge and power into the hands of women and building the feminist movement, while advocating for governments to address the root causes of violence and exploitation. Her ability to move people through her words and feminist writing is helped by her theatrical past, which includes acting, singing and ‘humanitarian clowning’ with the Patch Adams group in countries affected by poverty and HIV/AIDS. Her heart is wide open and her approach to problems is head-on and honest, wasting no time.

    Marissa’s dream is to see peace and freedom enjoyed by all women and girls, but it’s her love for her daughter that keeps the beat of her heart.

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  • PL

    Paul L'Heureux

    Student at AGS

  • Chief Amanda Leas (Ta’an Kwäch’än Council)

    Chief Amanda Leas

    Ta’an Kwäch’än Council

    Amanda Leas (Hare) is a Tagish Khwáan descendant, Dakhl’awèdí and member of the wolf clan. She has a Southern Tutchone (mother), Han (father), and is a citizen and elected Chief of Ta’an Kwäch’än Council.

    Born and raised in the Yukon, Amanda grew up around Lake LaBerge and was very involved in TKC from a young age. Starting as a toddler running around General Assemblies to organizing them in her youth, Amanda knew working for her First Nation was important and started her first permanent position out of high school. Moving around in various departments overs the years provided her the knowledge of TKC that she needed to eventually take the next big step. Leadership. Her Grandmother is the late Sophie Miller (Slim) and her uncle the last heredity Chief of the TKC, Glenn Grady. At a young age, it was pretty evident politics were in her blood.

    Elected in October 2021, she is fully embracing her role and believes in positive outcomes in her 3-year term. It’s a humbling experience being the voice for your people, and she takes that responsibility very seriously.

    A mother of 3 beautiful humans, her limited downtime is dedicated to making beaded pieces of wearable art. She has been featured at local stores and is a member the Yukon First Nations Arts program.

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    Mona Luxion

    Executive Director of Queer Yukon Society

    Mona Luxion has been an advocate and change-maker for over 25 years, and has experience leading and working with nonprofits in the areas of human rights, housing, food security, and environmental and social justice. You may recognize them as the former President of Queer Yukon's Board of Directors.

    Since first coming out in the early 2000s, in a midwestern-American small town, Mona has actively volunteered and contributed to diverse queer and trans communities across parts of the US, UK and Canada. They first came to Whitehorse in 2014, attending Queer Yukon's second-ever Pride festival, and moved to the territory permanently in 2020.

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    Nneka MacGregor

    Executive Director of Women's Centre for Social Justice

    Nneka MacGregor is co-founder and Executive Director of the Women's Centre for Social Justice, better known as WomenatthecentrE, a unique non-profit created by and for women, trans and gender-diverse survivors of gender-based violence (GBV). A Black intersectional abolitionist feminist, international speaker & trainer, she is an expert advisory panel member of the Canadian Femicide Observatory for Justice and Accountability and sits on several advisory Boards and committees, including the Federal Advisory Council on the Federal Strategy Against GBV, and co-founded the Black Femicide Canada Council. Her research focuses on Black femicide, sexual violence, and the intersection of strangulation, Traumatic Brain Injury, and Inter-personal violence. She received the 2019 PINK Concussions Award and the 2020 YWCA Toronto Women of Distinction Social Justice Award. She is founder and Managing Partner of Nneka & Co, a consulting firm of BIPOC activists that focuses on Stakeholder-Centric EDI© - a unique and comprehensive framework to engage organizations in equity, diversity & inclusion work. Her expertise is on nurturing women’s leadership in business at the intersection of gender, race, and ability.

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  • Cate Macleod (Executive Director of Qulliit Nunavut Status of Women Council)

    Cate Macleod

    Executive Director of Qulliit Nunavut Status of Women Council

    Cate Macleod is the Executive Director of the Qulliit Nunavut Status of Women Council. Previous to that she served as the Associate Deputy Minister of COVID-19 Response for the Government of Nunavut from 2021-2022, as well as Press Secretary to Nunavut Premier Joe Savikataaq from 2018-2021 and the Government of Nunavut’s Director of Communications from 2014-2018.
    Cate has a Master of Business of Administration in Global Leadership from the University of Fredericton and a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature, as well as an Advanced Diploma in Public Relations.

    She has tremendous passion and commitment to women’s and Indigenous rights, and to advocating for equity for all women, girls, gender-diverse, and racialized and marginalized peoples.
    Cate has been in Nunavut for 20 years, working in culture, language, education, and intergovernmental and executive affairs, where she raises her two equally vocal and outspoken teenage daughters.

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  • Leena Minifie (Founder of Stories First Inc.)

    Leena Minifie

    Founder of Stories First Inc.

    Leena Minifie is a Gitxaala and British digital strategist, impact producer and the founder of Stories First Inc. She has expertly engaged niche and BIPOC audiences internationally on projects for theatrical release strategy, impact campaign strategy & consulting for marketing and advertising on projects such as Indian Horse, The Grizzlies, Monkey Beach, America Divided, Shadow of Dumont, Run Woman Run, Night Raiders, Coextinction, & Three Pines.

    Awarded fellowships with the 2019 BANFF Spark Accelerator for Women in the Business of Media and the inaugural 2021 Bell Reelworld Producer’s Program, 2022 Netflix Diversity of Voices initiatives for scripted projects, Minifie uses her education in Indigenous futures and New Media to blend digital and grassroots strategies on social change, education and impact initiatives.

    A co-founding board member of Native Land Digital and the Indigenous Media Reporting fund at Ricochet Media, Minifie has worked to decolonize processes and structures in many organizations she has worked with. As a board member and organizer of the first Indigenous cohorts of Web of Change, a digital practitioners retreat, Minifie excels in bringing people together and advancing people’s careers.

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  • Brandi Morin

    Brandi Morin

    Brandi Morin is an award-winning Cree/Iroquois/French multimedia journalist from Treaty 6 territory in Alberta. For the last 10 years Brandi has specialized in sharing Indigenous stories.

    She is known for her clear-eyed and empathetic reporting on Indigenous oppression in North America. She is also a survivor of the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls crisis and uses her experience to tell the stories of those who did not survive the rampant violence.

    Her most notable work has appeared in publications and on networks including National Geographic, Rolling Stone, Al Jazeera English, the Guardian, NBC THINK, CNN, VICE, ELLE Canada, the Toronto Star, the New York Times, Canadaland, Huffpost, Indian Country Today Media Network, the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network National News, and CBC Indigenous. Brandi won a Human Rights Reporting award from the Canadian Association of Journalists in April of 2019 for her work with the CBC’s Beyond 94 project tracking the progress of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action.

    In July 2022 Brandi won two National Native American Journalism Awards for her work with Al Jazeera English and the Toronto Star via the National Native American Journalism Awards.
    In competition against media heavyweights The New York Times, Washington Post, CNN International and numerous others, Brandi’s series with Al Jazeera English Online won a top prize in the Feature Reporting category of the annual Edward Murrow 2022 awards.
    Her feature won for its six-part series about Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls.

    Brandi’s debut memoir Our Voice of Fire: A Memoir of a Warrior Rising, became a national bestseller within days of its August 2, 2022 release.

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  • AN

    Arezoo Najibzadeh

    Gender Justice Advocate

  • Rose Ndulu Ndolo (Senior Nutrition Adviser at World Vision Canada / Vision Mondiale Canada)

    Rose Ndulu Ndolo

    Senior Nutrition Adviser at World Vision Canada / Vision Mondiale Canada

    Rose Ndulu Ndolo is Senior Nutrition Adviser with World Vision based in the UK. In her role, she provides technical support to country programmes mostly in Africa and Asia to design and implement multi-sector nutrition programmes. She has been working in the international sector for 20 years in long term development and emergency response settings. Rose holds a BSc in Food, Nutrition and Dietetics, MSc in Organizational Development and is currently pursuing a Doctorate in Public Health looking at nutrition policy.

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  • Nadia Noor (Department Manager of Violence and Abuse Prevention at Pauktuutit Inuit Women of Canada)

    Nadia Noor

    Department Manager of Violence and Abuse Prevention at Pauktuutit Inuit Women of Canada

    Nadia Noor is the Department Manager of Violence and Abuse Prevention, and Justice at Pauktuutit Inuit Women of Canada (since 2019). Under her leadership, the organization has successfully campaigned for the expansion of Intimate Partner Violence prevention initiatives and funding for Engaging Young Men and Boys in Challenging Gender Norms in Addressing Gender-based Violence. She has been involved in policy initiatives, systemic advocacy and community consultation at the municipal, provincial and federal levels in the areas of safety and well-being of women and children, including family violence, sexual abuse of children, elder abuse, victims’ rights, human trafficking awareness and recently added access to justice.

    Nadia’s formal education includes a BA in Social Work with a minor in Indigenous Human Rights from York University. She has been a member of the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers (OCSWSSW) since 2018.

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  • Michelle Parsons (Executive Director of Yukon Women's Transition Home Society)

    Michelle Parsons

    Executive Director of Yukon Women's Transition Home Society


    Michelle Parsons is Yukon First Nations, a member of the Daklaweidi Clan of the Carcross/Tagish First Nation. She is the Executive Director of the Yukon Women’s Transition Home Society, which includes a transition home (Kaushee’s Place) as well as second-stage living units (Betty’s Haven) in Whitehorse, Yukon. The Society practices an intersectional feminist response-based and dignity-preserving philosophy in assisting people who are ready to leave abusive relationships. Michelle is also the current coordinator of the Yukon Women’s Coalition.

    Michelle holds a Masters degree in Social Sciences and has worked in the area of social justice and advocacy for women and Indigenous rights the last 20+ years. She brings with her a wealth of senior leadership experience with an extensive background with federal and territorial governments. More recently, Michelle helped to advance the position of Self-Governing Yukon First Nations with the federal and territorial governments during her term as the Executive Director of the Carcross/Tagish First Nation.

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  • CP

    Charlie-Rose Pelletier

    Agente de mobilisation at Les Essentielles

  • Shannon Pestun (CEO of Pestun Consulting Inc)

    Shannon Pestun

    CEO of Pestun Consulting Inc

    Shannon is a proud Cree Métis woman entrepreneur and courageous leader who is breaking barriers to advance an inclusive and sustainable economy. Recognized for creating innovative funding models and solutions that challenge the status quo, Shannon is one of Canada’s most sought-after finance consultants and a trusted voice on women’s entrepreneurship for educators, government, industry and the media. She was one of the first women in the country to lead a women’s banking strategy and one of seven women appointed to serve on Canada’s women entrepreneurship expert panel. Shannon is the Co-founder of The Finance Cafe, the CEO of Pestun Consulting and the Senior Advisor for Business and Finance for Canada’s Women Entrepreneurship Knowledge Hub. Shannon is committed to bolstering Indigenous economic prosperity and wellness by driving regional economic growth and bringing an Indigenous-centred approach to her work. In 2020, she created the Gifting Circle Bursary for Indigenous women entrepreneurs, the first community-funded bursary that supports Indigenous women who pursue entrepreneurship.

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  • Jade Pichette (Director of Programs at Pride at Work Canada)

    Jade Pichette

    Director of Programs at Pride at Work Canada

    Jade Pichette is an inclusion, diversity, equity, and accessibility (IDEA!) professional based in Tkarón:to/Toronto. Currently, Jade serves as the Director of Programs at Pride at Work Canada, where they work with over 250 large employers across Canada around gender expression, gender identity, and sexual orientation inclusion. Previously, Jade served as the Volunteer and Community Outreach Coordinator at the ArQuives, the Education Programs Coordinator at Kind Space, and an independent inclusion consultant. They are an Ásatrú Gythia (priestess) and interfaith advocate who was the first trans-feminine person to present at the Parliament of World Religions in 2018. Jade was one of the authors of Transitioning Employers: A survey of policies and practices for trans inclusive workplaces and is the cohost of the Uncovering Belonging Podcast. Jade has been named one of Future of Good’s 2022 Young Impact Leaders, Toronto Metropolitan University’s 2021 Pride Champions, and is a judge for the Canadian HR Awards. In their spare time they can be found geeking out over queer, trans, and Norse histories, fire keeping, and spending time with their chosen family. Connect with Jade on LinkedIn or email them at jade.pichette@prideatwork.ca.

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  • Sydney Piggott (Senior Social Impact Manager at Shopify)

    Sydney Piggott

    Senior Social Impact Manager at Shopify

    Sydney Piggott (she/her) is a social impact leader, researcher and advocate for gender equity and social justice on a global scale. She is a member of the Equal Futures Network Advisory Committee. Sydney has been a subject matter expert in several international forums including the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women, Women Deliver, Inter-Parliamentary Union Conference for Young Parliamentarians and RightsCon. She is currently the Senior Social Impact Manager at Shopify where she champions education programs for underrepresented youth in tech and entrepreneurship with partners around the world. Before joining Shopify, she held leadership positions at Elevate and YWCA Canada. Sydney brings an intersectional feminist lens to all her work informed by her proud Afro-Caribbean heritage.

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  • Fabienne Shepherd Stone (N/A at N/A)

    Fabienne Shepherd Stone

    N/A at N/A

    Fabienne Shepherd Stone is a white settler poet and acupuncturist whose writing explores themes of queerness, bodies, and belonging. Their debut collection of poetry, Second Growth, was published by Creekstone Press in 2014, and their poems are included in the anthology Make It True: Poetry From Cascadia (Leaf Press, 2015) and Canadian journals such as Prairie Fire and Briarpatch. Past work was published under the name Fabienne Calvert Filteau. She resides on the traditional territory of the Kwanlin Dün First Nation and the Ta’an Kwä’chän Council in Whitehorse, Yukon. Home to her is an ever-evolving question.

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  • Nikida Steel

    Nikida Steel

    Nikida Steel She/her (Bilingual English/French), is a mother of 5, grandmother, and Community-engagement Ambassador in the DTES Vancouver BC community (Various Organizations). She is a Métis scoop (Saulteaux). She is a survivor of human trafficking from MCFD (Provincial) care including internationally.

    Her education background is in criminology and political science and she also has a certificate in criminal incident Stress management. She has completed significant coursework in collaborative conflict, resolution/negotiation and I am a fierce advocate on the topic of community & social justice.

    She is a former board member for Pivot Legal Society. Earlier this year, she completed a presentation for the Metro Vancouver Aboriginal executive Council and sat in on the roundtable discussions for policy change. She interacts with many organizations to bring awareness and collaborative considerations in promoting the authenticity in reconciliation.She is an ally and educated collaborator.

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  • Jenna Sudds (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Women, Gender Equality, and Youth at Member of Parliament for Kanata—Carleton)

    Jenna Sudds

    Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Women, Gender Equality, and Youth at Member of Parliament for Kanata—Carleton

    Jenna Sudds was first elected as the Member of Parliament for Kanata—Carleton in 2021. In December 2021, she was appointed to serve as Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Women, Gender Equality, and Youth.
    Ms. Sudds has worked as an economist, a municipal councillor, and a community advocate. From 2018 to 2021, she served on the Ottawa City Council.

    Before entering politics, Ms. Sudds was the Executive Director of the CIO Strategy Council, the President and Executive Director of the Kanata North Business Association, and a senior economist for the Government of Canada.

    Ms. Sudds is an active member of her community, and volunteers with the Kanata Food Cupboard and Ottawa Network for Education. She has received a Special Recognition Award from the Kanata Food Cupboard for her leadership and service to those in need in the community.

    Ms. Sudds holds a Bachelor’s in Economics from Brock University and a Master of Arts in Economics from Carleton University.
    Ms. Sudds is a long-time resident of Ottawa, where she lives with her husband, Tim, and their three daughters.

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  • KT

    Kona Turpin


  • Fernando Us Alvarez (Technical Advisor / Mexico and Central America Team at Pan American Development Foundation (PADF))

    Fernando Us Alvarez

    Technical Advisor / Mexico and Central America Team at Pan American Development Foundation (PADF)

    Fernando is a Maya K’ichè Indigenous person, a survivor of Guatemala’s civil war, and a sexual dissident. Fernando uses the pronouns she/he. For the past three years, Fernando has been working with the Pan American Development Fund with responsibilities for supporting LGBTI groups in the Mesoamerican region (Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras). Prior to that, Fernando worked as a popular educator with UDEFEGUA – the Unit for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders – an organization that defends the political space for human rights organizations and provides support to human rights defenders under threat. In UDEFEGUA, among other responsibilities, Fernando was the liaison with feminist and LGBTI groups in Guatemala and throughout the Central American region. From 2010-2013, Fernando served as Project Officer with Project Counseling Service (PCS), a regional Latin American organization that was Inter Pares’ main counterpart in Latin America. At PCS, Fernando worked on the program dealing with issues of migration or “forced uprooting”, connecting with grassroots groups throughout the “northern triangle” region and Mexico.

    Fernando would bring a unique intersectional perspective to the Advisory Board of DNC. His/her experience as a proud, queer Indigenous person deeply engaged in a broad range of human rights issues is an incredible asset. Fernando is an activist with deep ties at the local level. She/he is a founding member of REDMMUTRANS - the Red Multicultural de Mujeres Trans (Multicultural Network of Trans Women), a grassroots group comprised in large part by Indigenous trans women from several rural departments of Guatemala. Fernando is also a member of REDNAS - the Red Nacional de Diversidad Sexual y VIH de Guatemala (National Network on Sexual Diversity and HIV of Guatemala). REDNAS engages in advocacy with the Guatemalan government and at the international level on a variety of issues of concern to the LGBTIQ community. Fernando was a member of the Organizing Committee for the Regional Conference of ILGA, held in Guatemala in 2017 and has taken part in 3 ILGA conferences in the region.

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  • Tamara Voudrach (Manager at Inuvialuit Communications Society)

    Tamara Voudrach

    Manager at Inuvialuit Communications Society

    Tamara Voudrach is an Inuvialuk artist and media professional from Inuvik, Northwest Territories. She is an emerging leader and change-maker working to promote Inuvialuit language and culture and to build community. Her work centers around increasing our people's access to culture, language, and wellness programming and creating mentorship opportunities for Indigenous women and girls in the Beaufort Delta Region through her non-profit work with AYDA Women (Arctic Youth Development Agency).

    Tamara is the manager of the Inuvialuit Communications Society, and a board member for the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network (APTN). She sits on the board of directors for the Northern Games Society, and currently leads the Inuvialuit Piuyausiat Team project, winner of the 2023 Arctic Inspiration Prize Youth Category.

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  • Warda Warsame (National Network Coordinator at End FGM Canada Network)

    Warda Warsame

    National Network Coordinator at End FGM Canada Network

    Warda Warsame is a long-time community advocate passionate about working with diverse populations in capacity and community-building roles. She brings a decade of community development in the settlement sector.

    She believes in leveraging her education, as well as lived experience to improve the practical living conditions of racialized and underserved populations in Canada.

    As the End FGM Canada National Network Coordinator, she is responsible for continuing the important work of growing and expanding the reach of The Network within Canada.

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Kwanlin Dün Cultural Centre

1171 1st Ave, Whitehorse, YT Y1A 0G9
Whitehorse, Yukon, Canada

If you have any questions please contact Erin Jex

Contact Organizer

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