National Thought Table on Reconciliation


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On Wednesday, May 10, thought leaders from across Canada gathered for a roundtable discussion on reconciliation within a Canadian multicultural context.

Among the topics discussed by the thought leaders will be the findings of the National Narrative on Reconciliation Survey Report. Read more about the findings here.

Where does reconciliation stand within the Canadian multicultural context?

The National Thought Table on Reconciliation will gather notable thought leaders for an open and engaging roundtable discussion on the multifaceted nature of reconciliation in Canada. With the TRC Calls to Action, The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and Reconciliation Canada’s National Narrative on Reconciliation Survey as guides for discussion, the National Thought Table on Reconciliation seeks to provide dialogue and reflection as we review the current reconciliation landscape in the country.

2017 is a crucial year for year Canada. The 150th anniversary of Canadian confederation comes amidst a period of increased momentum around reconciliation. Now more than ever, it is crucial that we have the conversations necessary to make reconciliation a reality in Canada.

Moderated by Candy Palmater

Candy is a recovered lawyer turned feminist comic. She is an, actor, writer, international speaker, activist, comedian and award-winning TV and radio personality, and has executive produced three films on Mi’kmaw culture.

Candy is the creator and star of her own national, multiple award-winning TV series, The Candy Show (APTN). She is a Broadcaster, and has hosted The Candy Palmater Show, Q, DNTO and appears on Because News and The Next Chapter on CBC Radio One. You can hear Candy’s voice as the Narrator of CBC TV series True North Calling, and was a Panelist on Canada Reads 2017.

Candy has written and hosted many broadcasts including Ab Day Live, the Indspire Awards, and the imagineNATIVE Film Fest Awards Show.

Candy was valedictorian of her class at Dalhousie Law School and went on to practice Labour and Aboriginal law in a large corporate firm until show biz came knocking.

Before pursuing entertainment full time, Candy directed First Nations education for the Nova Scotia Department of Education for a decade. She is currently working on a Masters of Education at St. Francis Xavier University and has taught in the Transition Year program at Dalhousie University.

Candy spends most of her time in airports and airplanes as she travels the globe speaking to audiences, large and small, about the power of love, kindness and self-acceptance.

Distinguished thought leaders include

Chief Robert Joseph, O.B.C.


Chief Robert Joseph, O.B.C. is a true peace-builder whose life and work are examples of his personal commitment. A Hereditary Chief of the Gwawaenuk First Nation, Chief Joseph has dedicated his life to bridging the differences brought about by intolerance, lack of understanding and racism at home and abroad.His insights into the destructive impacts these forces can have on peoples’ lives, families and cultures were shaped by his experience with the Canadian Indian Residential School system.As one of the last few speakers of the Kwakwaka’wakw language, Chief Joseph is an eloquent and inspiring Ceremonial House Speaker. He shares his knowledge and wisdom in the Big House and as a Language Speaker with the University of British Columbia, an internationally recognized art curator and as co-author of “Down from the Shimmering Sky: Masks of the Northwest Coast”.

In 2003, Chief Joseph received an Honorary Doctorate of Law Degree from the University of British Columbia for his distinguished achievements in serving BC and Canada. In 2012, he was presented The Diamond Jubilee Medal by the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada. In 2014, he received the Jack P. Blaney Award for Dialogue from Simon Fraser University and an Honorary Doctorate of Divinity from Vancouver School of Theology for his work in reconciliation and renewing relationships between Indigenous peoples and all Canadians. In 2015, Chief Joseph was presented a Deputy Ministers’ Recognition Award for Collaboration and Partnerships and was appointed to the Order of British Columbia, the Province of British Columbia’s highest honour. In 2016, Chief Joseph received the Wallenberg-Sugihara Civil Courage Award and the Indspire Lifetime Achievement Award.

Chief Joseph is currently the Ambassador for Reconciliation Canada and a member of the National Assembly of First Nations Elders Council. He was formerly the Executive Director of the Indian Residential School Survivors Society and is an honourary witness to Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC). As Chairman of the Native American Leadership Alliance for Peace and Reconciliation and Ambassador for Peace and Reconciliation with the Interreligious and International Federation for World Peace (IFWP), Chief Joseph has sat with the leaders of South Africa, Israel, Japan, South Korea, Mongolia and Washington, DC to learn from and share his understanding of faith, hope, healing and reconciliation.

Victoria Grant


Victoria Grant, ICD.D is from the Loon Clan, Teme-Augama Anishnabai Qway, (Woman of the Deep Water people). N’dakimenan (our Traditional Territory) is the Temagami area in Northern Ontario. She is a member of the Temagami First Nation.The most important roles in her life are a wife, mother, and grandmother. She married a non-native some 40 years ago, and her life has always included two worlds, that of her indigenous culture and the world her husband lived. Today, she spends her time between Stouffville and Temagami. She has three sons, two married. Her greatest joy is time spent with her three grandchildren.Throughout her career, always with a passionate voice, in her work and in her volunteer activities has always been and continues to be an advocate for more robust Indigenous engagement.

Victoria has been incredibly fortunate in that she had had a very diverse career, beginning as the first band administrator of the Temagami First Nation. Since that time most of her work was in the area of administration and public administration within in the Indigenous community.

She has always been and is an avid volunteer. She has served on Foundation boards of directors, locally, provincially and nationally. She was co-founder and inaugural chair of the Temagami Community Foundation. Currently, she is a Chair of Community Foundations of Canada, Past Chair of The Circle on Philanthropy and Aboriginal Peoples in Canada, director with The Counselling Foundation of Canada, and a member of the Advisory Committee of the Governor General’s for the Sovereign’s Medal for Volunteerism.

Emmanuel Jal


From his start in life as a child soldier in the war-torn region of Southern Sudan in the early 1980s, Emmanuel Jal has come through a huge number of struggles during his life to become a successful and acclaimed recording artist and peace ambassador.In 2008 a full-length documentary on his life was released. The film, Warchild, won 12 prestigious film festival awards worldwide. In the same year, his autobiography, also called Warchild, was published by Little Brown.Emmanuel has released five award nominated studio albums and he has collaborated and performed alongside artists such as Lauryn Hill, Peter Gabriel, Nelly Furtado, Darryl “DMC” McDaniels, Nile Rodgers and Alicia Keys.

Emmanuel co-starred with Reese Witherspoon in the Warner Brothers motion picture, The Good Lie which tells the story about the journey of four young Sudanese refugees (based on The Lost Boys of Sudan) who win a lottery for relocation to the United States.

In 2010, Jal launched ‘We Want Peace’, a campaign that calls for peace, protection and justice for all in Sudan, as well as calling for an end to all conflicts from around the world.  This campaign is supported by a number of A-list stars and leaders, including George Clooney, Alicia Keys, Richard Branson, Nelson Mandela, Jimmy Carter and Kofi Annan.

Emmanuel is also the creator of Jal Gua, a gluten free super food powder.

Senator the Honourable Ratna Omidvar, C.M., O.Ont.


Ratna Omidvar is an internationally recognized voice on migration, diversity and inclusion. In April 2016, Prime Minister Trudeau appointed Ratna to the Senate of Canada as an independent Senator representing Ontario. Ratna is the founding Executive Director and currently a Distinguished Visiting Professor at the Global Diversity Exchange (GDX), Ted Rogers School of Management, Ryerson University.Ratna is the current Co-Chair of the Global Future Council on Migration hosted by the World Economic Forum. She is also a director at the Environics Institute, and Samara Canada. She is the Toronto Region Immigrant Employment Council’s Chair Emerita and was formerly the Chair of Lifeline Syria.

Ratna was appointed to the Order of Ontario in 2005 and became a Member of the Order of Canada in 2011, with both honours recognizing her advocacy work on behalf of immigrants and devotion to reducing inequality in Canada. Ratna is co-author of Flight and Freedom: Stories of Escape to Canada (2015).

The Honourable Perrin Beatty


The Honourable Perrin Beatty is the President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the 200,000-member Canadian Chamber of Commerce, Canada’s largest and most representative national business association. Perrin is the principal spokesperson advocating the policy positions of the Canadian Chamber’s members to the federal government, international organizations, the media and the general public. Prior to joining the Canadian Chamber in August 2007, Perrin was the President and Chief Executive Officer of Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters (CME).

A descendant of one of Canada’s most prominent manufacturing families, Perrin grew up in Fergus, Ontario and graduated from the University of Western Ontario in 1971. In 1972 he was elected to the House of Commons as a Progressive Conservative, and in 1979 he was appointed Minister of State (Treasury Board) in the government of Joe Clark. He held six additional portfolios in subsequent Progressive Conservative governments, including National Revenue in 1984, Solicitor General in 1985, National Defence in 1986, Health and Welfare in 1989, Communications in 1991, and Secretary of State for External Affairs in 1993.

In 1994, Perrin joined a number of private sector boards and worked as a consultant in the field of communications. He was an Honorary Visiting Professor with the Department of Political Science, University of Western Ontario, and he wrote a weekly column on government and politics for a major Canadian newspaper. From 1995 to 1999, Perrin was President and CEO of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC). In 2008, Perrin was named Chancellor of the University of Ontario Institute of Technology. In 2013, he received an honorary degree, Doctor of Laws, honoris causa from Western University. In 2016, Perrin received an honorary degree, honoris causa from University of Ontario Institute of Technology.

Perrin has served on a number of Canadian government advisory committees, is a member of the advisory council of the Canadian Defence and Foreign Affairs Institute and is a member of the board of directors of the Canadian International Council and of
Mitsui Canada.

Senator the Honourable Renée Dupuis, C.M., Ad. E.


A lawyer and author, Renée Dupuis was appointed to the Senate of Canada as an Independent Senator in November 2016.

Ms. Dupuis is a member of the Barreau du Québec and specializes in human rights, law in regard to Aboriginal peoples and administrative law. She is also accredited in civil and commercial mediation with the Barreau du Québec.

Ms. Dupuis served as Vice-President of the Commission des droits de la personne et des droits de la jeunesse du Québec from August 2011 to October 2016 and was appointed Honorary Witness of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada. From 2003 to 2009, Ms. Dupuis chaired the Indian Specific Claims Commission, a federal commission of inquiry and mediation. Over the course of her career, Ms. Dupuis has served as counsel to a number of Quebec First Nations groups and consulted on Indigenous issues with the federal and Quebec governments. She also has significant experience in bilateral and multilateral negotiations with the federal and provincial governments.

Ms. Dupuis was also a member of the Canadian Human Rights Act Review Panel in 2000 and served as a commissioner with the Canadian Human Rights Commission (1989-1995), where she took a special interest in such issues as discrimination against women, sexual harassment, pay equity and employment equity. The Canadian Human Rights Commission published a study that Ms. Dupuis was asked to conduct on the handling of sexual harassment complaints (1997). Over the past 30 years, she has been involved both professionally and as a volunteer in training initiatives for women and women’s organizations.

From 2010 to 2011, Ms. Dupuis sat on the joint working group of the Barreau du Québec−Collège des Médecins du Québec that studied the right to die with dignity. She chaired the Barreau du Québec committee on Law in regard to Aboriginal peoples from 2002 to 2011.

Ms. Dupuis has volunteered with many women’s support groups, including the Relevailles, where she has been a volunteer for 10 years. She was also a member of the collective that established the Centre de Santé des femmes de Québec.

Ms. Dupuis was involved in the research program of the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples and produced a number studies for the commission between 1992 and 1995. In 1995, the Royal Commission published a report she co-authored entitled Canada’s Fiduciary Obligation to Aboriginal Peoples in the Context of Accession to Sovereignty by Quebec.

Ms. Dupuis was a lecturer in administrative law at the École nationale d’administration publique, where she also designed and produced training programs on human rights and the development of democratic institutions for senior officials in member countries of the Francophonie.

Her professional accomplishments and personal commitment have been honoured on many occasions. Ms. Dupuis became a Member of the Order of Canada in 2005. In 2012, she was awarded the Barreau du Québec Medal and, from Laval University, an honorary doctorate of law.

The Barreau du Québec also designated Ms. Dupuis Lawyer Emeritus, a distinction it established in 2007, and presented her with the Christine Tourigny Award in 2004.

The Fondation du Barreau du Québec awarded Ms. Dupuis its Prix du concours juridique 2001 (monographs) for her publication Le statut juridique des peuples autochtones en droit canadien (Éditions Carswell, 1999). In 2001, she won the Governor General’s Award for non-fiction for her book Quel Canada pour les Autochtones? La fin de l’exclusion (Boréal, 2001), which was later published in English as Justice for Canada’s Aboriginal Peoples (Lorimer Publishers, Toronto, 2002). Ms. Dupuis’s other publications include Max “One Onti” Gros-Louis, Constance et détermination (Varia, 2008), Tribus, Peuples et Nations (Boréal, 1997) and La question indienne au Canada (Boréal, 1991). Many of her articles have appeared in academic journals and popular magazines, and she has authored a number of publications and delivered many workshops and lectures in Canada and abroad.
Ms. Dupuis was recognized for her significant contribution in Leading the Way: Canadian Women in the Law (Soloway & Costante, Lexis Nexis, 2015). In 2002, she received the YWCA Women of Distinction Award for her personal and professional involvement in advancing women’s issues.

The National Thought Table on Reconciliation is part of the All My Relations Gathering – Our Collective Way Forward Conference and the 2017 Community Foundations of Canada Conference.

This initiative was hosted by Reconciliation Canada, in collaboration with Community Foundations of Canada and The Circle on Philanthropy & Aboriginal Peoples in Canada.

Reconciliation in Action: A National Engagement Strategy,
a Canada 150 Signature Project, is funded in part by the Government of Canada

Réconciliation en action : une stratégie d’engagement nationale
est un projet de premier plan de Canada 150. Ce projet est financé en partie par le gouvernement du Canada.


We are grateful for the support of our Presenting Sponsors