Social Services, Supports and Wellbeing in Arctic Canada...

Guest Speakers 2021

The Social Services, Supports and Wellbeing in Arctic Canada and Beyond project has engaged a range of community leaders to participate as guest speakers and share insights and ideas with the research team. These guests come from a wide range of backgrounds and fields, and work in many different areas related to Indigenous social services, supports and wellness in both Canada and the United States. The guests’ experiences, and what they perceive is critical to the evolving field of social services, supports and wellbeing in Arctic Canada, has provided tremendous learning opportunities for all involved, but also created linkages and the potential for new relationships between researchers and community leaders. Creating a direct connection to communities and topics outside of the researchers’ fields affords space for connection and innovative ideas and approaches. The project is grateful for support from the University of Washington Global Innovation Fund Research Award (2021-2022) for supporting these visits.  

Dr. Jeannette Armstrong: April 22, 2​021

Jeannette Armstrong (Syilx Okanagan) is Associate Professor in Indigenous Studies and Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Knowledge and Philosophy at the University of British Columbia, Okanagan Campus. She has always sought to change deeply biased misconceptions related to Indigenous people. She is the recipient of the George Woodcock Lifetime Achievement Award for Literature. Armstrong is Vice-President of Theytus Books the En’owkin Centre, and serves on the board of the Indigenous Editors AssociationSlash, which Armstrong published in 1985, is considered by many as the first novel by a First Nations woman.Her research in Indigenous philosophies and Okanagan Syilx thought and environmental ethics coded into Syilx oral literature has been recognized locally and globally. She is a recipient of the Eco Trust USA Buffett Award in Indigenous Leadership and serves on Canada’s Aboriginal Traditional Knowledge Subcommittee of Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC)

Madeleine Redfern: May 20, 2021

Madeleine Redfern, LLB, was born in Iqaluit, Nunavut. Madeleine has 30 years of experience working in business and governance, on issues related to economic development, housing, education, employment and training, justice, community services, early childhood development, and health care. Madeleine is a graduate of the Akitsiraq law school with a law degree from the University of Victoria. After graduating, she worked at the Supreme Court of Canada for Madam Justice Charron. Madeleine is a member of the National Indigenous Economic Development Consortium, Arctic360, Trudeau Foundation, Canadian Alliance to End Homelessness, President of the Ajungi Group, Northern Robotics and COO of CanArctic Inuit Networks.

Madeleine’s expertise is grounded in partnership-building and developing local capacity towards fulfilling the goal of self-government and good governance. She has a record of working with industry, governments, indigenous organizations and communities, helping to assess and identify strategies and approaches for better outcomes.

Olivia Ikey Duncan: June 17, 2021

Olivia Ikey is an Inuk from Kuujjuaq. She has worked independently within the local, regional and national levels of advocacy. She has fought and educated in the fields of housing, education, mental health and reconciliation. Olivia fights for Inuit youth in the 21st century and promotes adaptability and innovation in all avenues of life.



Becky Qilavvaq (Kilabuk): October 14, 2021

Becky’s love for sharing her language and culture is not limited to formal settings such as through her 20-year career in Social Policy; she also uses visual art, traditional music, film-making, fashion design, and photography as ways to provide a unique window into the private and charming world of her people, the Inuit. Notably Becky is a well-known cultural ambassador and performance artist who for two decades has been traveling the world to not only entertain but to educate people from all walks of life; from the children of India, to monks in Japan, to royalty. Becky is recognized for her extensive body of work, and in her young lifetime has received two Jubilee medals, Gold and Diamond, from Queen Elizabeth II.