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Keynote Speakers

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Tina Varugehse 

(pronounced Vara-geez)

Professional Speaker

The Human Side of Unconscious Bias

Named one of Canada’s Top 10 Notable Speakers by Ignite Magazine, Tina cleverly tackles hot button topics, like diversity and inclusion, in today’s complex climate.

Tina’s work has been featured in the Toronto Star, TSN, CBC Eyeopener, Adrenaline Magazine, and Alberta Venture. Clients include Pfizer Canada, Kraft-Heinz, Hockey Canada, Hyundai Canada, Telus, Loblaws, and Canada Life. She is the Past-President of the Canadian Association of Professional Speakers (Alberta chapter) She currently resides on McMaster University’s Future of Canada Project Council. She has a strong professional background in immigration where she spearheaded international recruitment missions. As well, she ran her own successful relocation and settlement firm prior to speaking professionally.

Tina has been the face of diversity, literally, when she was chosen to be in Dove’s Campaign for Real Beauty representing beauty in diversity. With two kids, five fish and one husband, she resides in Calgary where she recently took hip hop classes but has opted to buy an oversized hoodie instead.

Dr. Niigaanwewidam Sinclair 

Anishinaabe & Professor at the University of Manitoba

How Indigenous Education Will Save the World

Niigaan Sinclair is Anishinaabe (St. Peter’s/Little Peguis) and a professor at the University of Manitoba, where he holds the Faculty of Arts Professorship in Indigenous Knowledge and Aesthetics in the Department of Indigenous Studies. Niigaan is also an award-winning writer, editor and activist who was recently named to the “Power List” by Maclean’s magazine as one of the most influential individuals in Canada. In 2018, he won Canadian columnist of the year at the National Newspaper Awards for his bi-weekly columns in The Winnipeg Free Press and is a featured member of the Friday "Power Panel" on CBC's Power & Politics. A former secondary school teacher, he won the 2019 Peace Educator of the Year from the Peace and Justice Studies Association based at Georgetown University in Washington, DC.

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