KEYNOTES & SPEAKERS

Georgina Lightning

Georgina Lightning is a multi talented, award winning Hollywood actor/filmmaker who moved to Los Angeles with her 3 children in 1990 to attend the prestigious ‘American Academy of Dramatic Arts’ 3 year program where she was recipient of the “Michael Toma Award” Lightning continued her studies in the business of film and acting at UCLA Film Extension Program, and the Independent Film Producers Labs learning from LA’s top industry filmmakers and studio exec’s. After the 7 years of intense training, Lightning became a busy acting coach for over 150 actors, as they were supporting actors for celebrities such as Johnny Depp, Marlon Brando, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Bradley Cooper, Clint Eastwood to Ron Howard and TV shows such as Walker Texas Ranger, West Wing, X-Files and Touched by an Angel, and in films such as, 3 Ninja’s, The Brave, Geronimo, Tecumseh, American Pie Band Camp, and the list goes on.

Lightning’s highest achievement to date is as a filmmaker, on her independent production of award winning suspense drama titled,“Older Than America” released worldwide by IFC. “Older Than America” which garnered 23 awards including the “White House Epic Award ” in 2010. Lightning was the first women to have received this prestigious award. Lightning is a member of IFP.. (Independent Film Producers) and was named one of Filmmaker Magizines, “Top 25 New Faces of Independent Film” in the Summer Issue in 2007, she has been blazing the trail over since, she is currently in post production on a feature film she wrote, produced and directed in Canada, titled “Grandmothers Medicine”.

As an actor, Lightning’s most recent acclaim is her Nomination for a “Canadian Screen Award”- nomination was for “Best Supporting Actress on a Re-occuring role in TV Series” for her role as Tracy Bull in TV series “Blackstone”.

Lightning believes that there is no limit to what we can accomplish when we put our hearts into it.


Hilda Anderson-Pyrz

Hilda Anderson-Pyrz is well known for her advocacy work on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG) in Manitoba.  For the past 17 years she has been a grassroots advocate for ending violence against Indigenous women and girls and has worked hard on educating the public of the collective responsibility on ending this National Tragedy of MMIWG.  
 
Hilda is currently employed as the MMIWG Liaison with the Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak Inc, a political advocacy organization that represents 32 northern Manitoba First Nations.  She is co-chair of the Manitoba MMIWG Coalition consisting of service providers who work with Indigenous women and girls across Manitoba.   Hilda is the Founder of Women of Heart, a volunteer group that raises awareness on violence against Indigenous women, girls and transgender women and transfers their skills to strengthen sisters in her home nation.
 
Hilda has been personally impacted by this National Tragedy of MMIWG and has found healing through her advocacy work and in knowing her sister’s voice has not been silenced.  She is very dedicated and passionate on creating a better tomorrow for Indigenous women and girls, and  firmly believes we all have the right to live and the right to feel safe.


Stephanie Harpe

Introducing Stephanie Harpe, Conference Speaker, Singer & Actress

Stephanie Harpe is a proud member of the Fort Mckay First Nation. As a child, she spent her summers in Fort McMurray with her aunt Chief Dorothy MacDonald who was an activist and leader that challenged governments to protect the traditional territory of her people. She is a domestic abuse survivor, and former addict whom never gave up on her dreams of singing, even when times were difficult.

Stephanie is an actress on the award winning Blackstone as Rita, Fantasies of Flying, and A Raven’s Song as lead role of Dakota. For the past four years she has been a casting agent for her business, Shapeshifters Talent casting company for local to Hollywood productions like Blackstone, Hell on Wheels and Cutbank. She is also a powerhouse singer and successful songwriter who was discovered by Jeff Healey. Her band, The Stephanie Harpe Experience has opened for Dwight Yoakum, Blue Rodeo, Buck Cherry, Streetheart and many more big names. Just recently, she performed at the grand finale of the Indspire Awards. Her band has recently released a self-titled album, “The Stephanie Harpe Experience” to critical acclaim.

After the murder of her mother and friends in Edmonton, she has been advocating for murdered and missing Indigenous women through speech and song including the popular song “Somebody’s Daughter.” She was on the cover of Metro newspaper, “Spirit of our Sisters Con” and presented at REDX TALKS, Edmonton. Her mission is to share her story and her opportunities with Indigenous peoples through her business, music, and public speaking engagements. We are very honored to have Stephanie attend our event and we are confident that she will inspire and motivate many women with her life story, how she has survived many hardships, and has exceled into a powerhouse performer and advocate.


Brittney Pastion

Brittney Pastion,Treaty Six news reporter for CFWE, is best known for
her previous title as the Inaugural Northlands Indigenous Princess. Her
heritage is linked to Dene Tha’, Nakota Sioux and Cree.
Recognizable as an ambassador for Treaty Six territory and now a
storyteller for her people. Brittney found her passion in telling Indigenous
Stories, as a news reporter. Graduating from the Broadcasting program,
at the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology. She’s is a strong believer
in balancing education with cultural education, ensuring that along with
taking steps towards her career, she also continues to practice
traditional ways. During her royalty reign, she took time to educate the
public, with no previous Indigenous title ever being held in Edmonton.
Her proudest moments were working with the youth by teaching
powwow dance, through the Braided Journeys Program with Edmonton
Catholic Schools. Promoting a healthy lifestyle while passing on her
traditional knowledge. Brittney also identifies as a singer, with one of her
biggest performances at the ‘Canadian Finals Rodeo,’ singing her
version of the Canadian anthem in Cree.
In her teen years, Brittney didn’t always know what it meant to be a
strong Indigenous woman. She spreads awareness through her self
healing journey though the ‘jingle dress dance.’


Cate Morris - Scout Financial Solutions


Cate Morris is a Dakota winyan, George Gordon Band Member and sole owner of Scout Financial Solutions. She holds a Business Administration degree from the First Nations University of Canada and is a Certified Financial Education Instructor. She also possesses many personal finance and small business course certifications that support her professional and personal objectives. Cate supplements this formal education by drawing from her own experiences as a student, widow, single parent, person with a disability, homeowner, displaced employee, entrepreneur and as a member of the poorest socio-economic group in Canadian history – all with the intention of empowering Indigenous people through her culturally appreciative financial literacy workshops. This Indigenous ‘Money Scout’ walks the talk. Knowledge sharing is relatable, practical and memorable. Whether it’s a workshop or a personal consultation, participants are inspired to achieve Financial Wellness. Cate and Scout Financial Solutions’ goals are many but on the forefront are world peace and ending poverty in the Indigenous community one workshop at a time.


PROGRAM DESCRIPTION – Personal Money Management
Many Canadians are financially illiterate, which means they do not understand how money works. The Indigenous population faces additional Financial Literacy challenges, though few relevant resources exist. Learning this vital life skill in a culturally appreciative environment is paramount to securing the future of our Indigenous communities and families.

In this Empowerment Session, Scout Financial Solutions will provide a brief overview on three of their most requested workshop topics: Vision & Goal Setting, Budgeting Basics and Managing Cash Flow. These topics are also the primary foundation for developing a successful Personal Financial Wellness Plan that will help communities, loved ones and self attain abundance, autonomy and ultimately, peace of mind.

A Vision & Goal Setting exercise will start the journey into Personal Money Management. Self-determining these empower participants with motivation for positive change. Next, participants will be introduced to Budgeting Basics, where they will be provided with easy to follow worksheets and information to help them create a budget reflective of their circumstances.

Managing Cash Flow will also be discussed as this is a vital part of creating a workable budget to help participants meet their Vision and Goals, which will briefly be re-visited (time permitting). The session will wrap up with a brief discussion period so that participants can access and contribute knowledge transfer to attain Financial Wellness.


Gina Potts & Gail Bitternose


Gina Potts is the owner of A3 Limited, located on the Alexis Nakota Sioux Nation, within the Treaty Six Territory in Edmonton Alberta. Gina specializes in management consulting, event management, partnership development, consultation and networking. Gina has a successful track record in implementing effective strategies that are results based in the following areas;  1) Business advisory: 2) Management consulting 3) Indigenous and industry relations 4) Event management and Capacity building 5) Training and development.
Gina has worked extensively with First Nations and Metis communities in the area of; governance, senior management, negotiator, lead facilitator for program and community development, business and economic development, policy development, facilitator, indigenous and industry relations, investment readiness and strategic initiatives.



Gail L. Bitternose, is a Cree/ Sioux (Indigenous) woman, mother, and grandmother originally from the George Gordon First Nation, Treaty 4, Saskatchewan.  Gail knows what it is like to be a single mom.  Having raised her daughters Charity-Rose (Farrah) and Brittany-Michelle in Calgary.  Being an Indigenous woman means facing racism and stereotyping anytime anywhere.  On a good note, Gail was fortunate to find employment opportunities that offered her training and an income.  Gail’s strengths are now based in business development.  Gail believes economic development is key to growth and expansion.  A former lender, Gail is now developing businesses with First Nation communities.  Gail’s dream is to build her own brand, with her family members and build a business utilizing the strengths and talents that come naturally to those around her.  Gail believes women hold the key to the family’s economic growth and expansion.  Indigenous women have many gifts to offer and are now beginning to take charge in the outcome of their efforts.  Gail is earning her MBA in Community Economic Development, the education has provided her the skills and knowledge to assist First Nations people in reaching their goals and dreams of financial independence.  “We have been excluded from general society, it is time we reconcile ourselves to our own strengths, in spite of what happened in the past.  I believe in taking something bad that happens and turning out something good.” 




Tope Roth

BA, CPA, CGA

Tope Roth obtained her Certified General Accountant (CGA) designation in 2010 in addition to her Bachelor of Business Administration and Criminal Justice Degrees from the University of Winnipeg where she graduated in 2005. In 2016 Mrs. Roth was the recipient of the “Afro Canadian Heroes Woman Entrepreneur of the Year Award”, and in 2017 she accepted the role as Event Chair for Aksis the Aboriginal Business & Professional Association, was elected to the Board of Director for the George Spady Society and elected as the Treasure for the West Edmonton Business Association (WEBA).
 
Starting her accounting career In 2006 Tope worked as a Junior Accountant in Winnipeg with a small Public Practice CGA firm with a predominately not for profit client base. In 2008 she moved to Edmonton Alberta where she began working at the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) as an Income Tax and GST Auditor. Obtaining work experience with the CRA would provide hands on experience with the Canadian Taxation system; an invaluable skill which would be extremely beneficial when she eventually returned to public practice.
 
After 5 years learning and working with the CRA Tope decided to leave in pursuit of other opportunities. Leaving the CRA she took a position with KPMG LLP as an Indirect Tax Specialist in which she provided tax advisory services to clients of the firm, which included Universities across Canada and health Care facilities throughout Alberta. Subsequently she went on to work for the Alberta Provincial Government as an auditor with the First Nation Development Fund. Tope found working with the Nations a very insightful position and identified many areas in which she could eventually assist the Nations. While working as a Contract Corporate Controller from 2014 to 2015 she simultaneously worked with her business partner and former CRA Colleague Meagan Schroder, CGA and member of Big Stone Cree Nation to open Roth Schroder Professional Corporation.


Dr. Lillian Gadwa-Crier

Pisim ohyapi onimihto nisikason.  Kinokamasihk ochi niya.  Iyiniw pimatisowin kiskeyihtamowin nipimsahen.  Nanaskomon anoch oma kisikaw, kakameymostotaman.

My spirit name is Rainbow Dancer.  My English name is Lillian Crier.  I am also known as Lillian Gadwa from Kehewin, Alberta.  I am a conduit of our grandmothers’ teachings. I firmly believe and follow the Cree way of life and the life teachings.  I am very grateful for this life, today and every day because we have been given kinehiyawinaw to follow.

I have been an Indigenous Educator for over 30 years.  I am a strong advocate for Indigenous Education and development.  It is believed and I have heard kitehayak say, teach what you know, show what you know and follow what you know.  I am proud to be a nehiyaw iskwew and will continue to promote our Cree ways.



Dr. Lana Whiskeyjack

Dr. Lana Whiskeyjack is a multidisciplinary treaty iskwew artist and scholar from Saddle Lake Cree Nation, Alberta. Among her early influences were her mother's creative skills in traditional arts and her grandmother's gifts in quilting and song. Lana studied visual arts focusing on ceramic sculpture at Red Deer College, and University of Alberta; and environmental sculpture at Pont Aven School of Arts, France. Lana followed the love of her life to Ottawa where she completed B.A, and M.A. degrees at Carleton University. She recently graduated from the iyiniw pimâtisiwin kiskeyihtamowin doctoral program (ipkDoc), University nuhelot’įne thaiyots’į nistameyimâkanak Blue Quills (UnBQ), a former Indian Residential School where two generations of her matrilineal family attended. Her research, writing and art expresses the great beauty and intergenerational resilience of being a human of this earth “ayisîyiniw ôta asiskiy”.



Beverly Swampy

Beverly Swampy is a mother of 3 from the Samson Cree Nation and Owner of Heal.Balance.Create.
Services offered are: Life Coaching, Massage Therapy, Fitness Instruction/Personal Training/Healthy Weight Loss Coach/Active Aging Movement Coach. Beverly works with several First Nations Communities to provide Massage Therapy for staff and community members. Kickboxing and Fitness classes provided for groups of all ages. Personal Fitness Training One on One and Life Coaching Sessions one on one. Services are also offered in the City of Edmonton, currently at the Native Healing Centre and various facilities throughout the city.






Tracy Makokis

Tracey is currently the Manager for Indigenous Programs, Victims Services, Alberta Justice and Solicitor General.

Although not an Indigenous person, Tracey did grow up on a Cree reserve in North-Eastern Alberta. This unique circumstance, coupled with the fact that her family actively practices traditional spirituality, has resulted in Tracey being gifted with the ability to ‘walk in both worlds.’ As such, she maintains a high level of sensitivity and understanding about Indigenous peoples. Tracey considers herself an ‘ally’ working hard to bridge cultural understanding between two very diverse (and often oppositional) world views.

Tracey has been married to her husband, Neil, for over 30 years. They have two children, Kyle and Tiawah, and are godparents and foster parents to a multitude! Recently, Tracey was blessed with grandchildren, a role she is embracing.

Tracey has a Master of Social Work degree and is currently contemplating on pursuing her PhD.




Delores Daniels

Delores D. Daniels is an indigenous woman from Peguis First Nation, Manitoba and George Gordon First Nation, Saskatchewan. Delores studied Business Administration at Red River College; Management and Human Resources Management from the University of Winnipeg; and is currently enrolled in an executive cohort program for a Bachelor of Business Administration Degree at University of Winnipeg. She has attended various training events in Administration and Human Resources and has participated in various conferences and workshops as speaker and presenter.  Delores has been employed with the Manitoba First Nations Education Resource Centre Inc. since 2003 as an HR Generalist covering all areas of HR within the organization. She has been recently appointed as Director of Human Resources; and was previously Human Resources Manager. Delores was employed in Administrative positions with: Winnipeg Regional Health Authority with the CEO and Director Human Resources; Southern Chiefs Authority in the Health program; and to the Executive Director of the Aboriginal Health & Wellness Centre.  Delores’ daughter, 19 year old Serena McKay was murdered on April 23, 2017; and she has recently started sharing about this tragic loss and how it affected her family.



Catherine M. Twinn QC, B.A, LL.B, LL.M
Barrister and Solicitor, Alberta
Mediator and Certified Arbitrator

An Alberta lawyer since 1980, in 2011-13 she initiated and led a large scale collective impact community and systems’ engagement process to reduce the number of aboriginal children in the child welfare system.  Childhood trauma — adverse childhood experiences or ACEs — substantially increase risks for a range of negative outcomes later in life. She is one of Assist's first Peer Support volunteers.





Robin Berard

Robin Berard. Born in Athabasca, raised in Edmonton, Alta. I have been working and helping people through Spirituality now for about 18 yrs and sharing Our Traditional Teachings for the past 10yrs after working and and learning from Rose Auger who was a very strong and powerful yet a very Traditional Woman. But the one person who I am very thankful for helping me turn my life around was my late husband Arsene Arcane I have what I have today because of him. He had taught me lots through the Ceremonys such as Sweats, Feast, Sundances, Fasts. I am so thankful for the life that has been given to me and I take care of it in which the Creator has given me






Dance for Healing: Recoving Your Mindfulness
Workshop Presenter: Karen J Pheasant

This workshop will draw on Karen’s experience, as a Jingle Dress dancer/knowledge keeper, her Yoga teacher training background, as well as her PhD research work in Mino Bimaadiziwin. Karen is a Anishinaabe kwe, and kokum to 7 grandchildren. From Karen’s years of dancing, teaching and presenting, she brings holistic practices that have provided her a foundational element of resiliency to strive for a balance between contemporary issues and traditional principles required to live a life of Bimaadiziwiin (Good Life). Join Karen for 45 minutes of healing stories, insight and hands on practical applications of Mindfulness practice.





VENUE:
Edmonton Marriott at River Cree Resort

DATES:
NOV 27TH - NOV 29TH

CONTACT INFO:
EMAIL: ADMIN@SOSGATHERING.CA
PHONE: 587-855-9392
FAX: 1-844-327-5277