Colleen Hele- Cardinal is a Plains Cree from Saddle Lake Cree Nation, AB and she currently resides on Algonquin Territory - Ottawa.
Colleen is an Indigenous adoptee of the 60's scoop, daughter of a residential school survivor and has had two women murdered in her family.
She organizes with Families of Sisters in Spirit (FSIS) and Indigenous Adoptees based in Ottawa. She speaks publicly and candidly about murdered and missing Indigenous women and the impacts of the 60’s Scoop drawing critical connections between genocidal colonial policies and her lived experiences and those of women in her family.
She believes that sharing her story is an important part of her healing journey in addition to raising awareness and building solidarity and understanding within Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities.
Colleen is a co-founder of the National Indigenous Survivors of Child Welfare Network formerly Indigenous Adoptee Gathering Committee and organized two successful national Indigenous Adoptee Gatherings in Ottawa 2014 & 2015. Colleen is currently in post-production on a documentary The Sixties Scoop: A Hidden Generation, which follows the intergenerational effects of colonial child welfare policies in the families and lives of Indigenous adoptees.
Colleen is a sought after dynamic, engaging speaker who has spoken all over Turtle island to diverse audiences seeking to understand MMIW2SG and colonial child welfare policies, historical violence and impacts of Indigenous people and community organizing at a grassroots level.
Amira Elghawaby is an award-winning journalist and human rights advocate. Along with frequent appearances on Canadian and international news networks, Amira has written and produced stories for CBC Radio, the Ottawa Citizen, the Toronto Star, the Literary Review of Canada, Macleans, and the Globe and Mail. Amira spent five years promoting the civil liberties of Canadians Muslims as human rights officer and later, as director of communications. at the National Council of Canadian Muslims (NCCM) between 2012 to the fall of 2017. Amira obtained an honours degree in Journalism and Law from Carleton University in 2001.
Ally Freedman is a sixth-generation young Métis woman with roots dating back to 1812 in Red River (Manitoba); present day Winnipeg. She is currently in her 4th year at Carleton University studying Political Sciences. Ally is a passionate defender of Indigenous rights and equality for all peoples. She is a member of the Ottawa Youth Engagement Committee, also known as the Mayors Youth Council, and was the Daughters of the Vote delegate for Ottawa Centre.
Hope Ace is a Ojibwe woman from M’Chigeeng First Nations located on Manitoulin Island. She is currently in her 3rd year at Carleton University studying Law and Human Rights. Hope is passionate about working to make change on issues Indigenous communities face, promoting gender equality, inspiring youth leadership and helping to create more representation of women within male dominated industries. Hope was the Daughters of the Vote delegate for Hamilton West-Ancaster-Dundas.
Vicky Smallman is the National Director of Women's and Human Rights for the Canadian Labour Congress. A longtime activist on women's and equity issues and recovering academic, Vicky spent a decade working for the Canadian Association of University Teachers, helping contract faculty organize and bargain collectively. She is a former chair of the Canadian Federation of Students (Ontario), and has served on the boards of Equal Voice, Child Care Now, and the Somerset West Community Health Centre. For many years, she wrote about municipal politics, feminism and her neighbourhood on her blog "Miss Vicky's Offhand Remarks". In 2006, she ran for municipal council in Ottawa's Kitchissippi Ward. Now she uses her experience to help train other women to run for office. She's marching with her family to call for real progress on women's economic justice, like universal child care and paid domestic violence leave.
Catherine McKenna was elected the first female Member of Parliament (MP) in Ottawa Centre on October 19, 2015. On November 4, 2015 she was appointed Minister of Environment and Climate Change.
Before a career in politics, Catherine co-founded and was the Executive Director of Canadian Lawyers Abroad, a charitable organization based at the University of Ottawa. She was the Executive Director the Banff Forum, a leading Canadian organization that brings together young leaders to discuss how to tackle key public policy challenges facing Canada. Catherine taught at the Munk School of Global Affairs and was a board member of the Trudeau Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies. She has worked internationally as a legal adviser for the UN in East Timor and on trade issues in Indonesia.
Catherine is an active member of the Ottawa Centre community. She was Vice President of the Glebe Community Association and has served on the boards of the Elizabeth Fry Society of Ottawa and Good Morning Creative Arts and Preschool. She enjoys coaching children’s soccer and swimming with the National Capital Region YMCA Masters Swim Team.
Catherine is married and has three children.
Brenda Elizabeth Williams
Brenda Elizabeth Williams is the Founder and President of NewLife Project Incorporation, a Not-for-Profit Organization in Canada, Sierra Leone, Cote d’Ivoire, and USA, reaching out to educate and empower at risk women and children She recently joined the Shaklee Canada team as an Independent Distributor. Independent Associate. She is a mother of two beautiful children
Brenda holds a Bachelor of Arts (BA) in French and International Relations from the University of Sierra Leone Fourah Bay College, a BA in Translation - French to English from the University of Quebec in Montreal. She so holds a Diploma in Administration, Personal Assistant and Secretariat Duties from the British College of Professional Management and in Business Management and Administration from Cambridge International College.
Brenda has worked in several companies including former J.P Morgan Chase Bank, (now Scotia Bank) in Ottawa as Quality Analyst, the Alzheimer Society of Outaouais, Gatineau, Assistant Coordinator and Translator to the South African Special Envoy to the Peace Keeping force in Cote d’Ivoire and Company Assistant of United Postal Services, Cote d’Ivoire.
Brenda is passionate about reaching out to women and children at risk, developing their lives and making a difference with an agape love. She currently organizes NewLife Women’s World forum, a space which was created for women to have safe discussions on topics that educate and empowers them for the next step in fulfilling their dreams within the North America region.