Keynote Speakers & Performer

Timothy K. Eatman, Ph.D., an educational sociologist and publicly engaged scholar, serves as the inaugural dean of the Honors Living - Learning Community and Associate Professor of Urban Education at Rutgers University-Newark. From 2012 – 2017, his primary network of operation and leadership was with the national consortium Imagining America: Artists and Scholars in Public Life serving as Faculty Co-Director. Tim currently serves as national co-chair of the Urban Research Based Action and immediate past chair of the International Association for Research on Service Learning and Community Engagement board. Tim is in his second term on the board of directors of the American Association of Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) serving as Chair of the membership committee. Also with AAC&U, Tim serves as a faculty member of the Institute on High Impact Practices for Student Success. He is a member of the National Advisory Committee for the Carnegie Engagement Classification for Community Engagement and the National Advisory board for Bringing Theory to Practice. 


Rubén A. Gaztambide-Fernández is Professor of Curriculum & Pedagogy and Editor-in-Chief of the journal Curriculum Inquiry at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education of the University of Toronto. His research and scholarship are concerned with questions of symbolic boundaries and the dynamics of cultural production and processes of identification in educational contexts. His theoretical work focuses on the relationship between cultural production and solidarity. He is the author of The Best of the Best: Becoming Elite at an American Boarding School (2009) and co-editor of The Palgrave Handbook of Race and the Arts in Education (2019).





Angela Kaida is an Associate Professor and global health epidemiologist in the Faculty of Health Sciences at Simon Fraser University. She holds a Canada Research Chair in Global Perspectives on HIV and Sexual and Reproductive Health. Dr. Kaida has been awarded funding from CIHR, SSHRC, Grand Challenges Canada, and the National Institutes of Health to lead a global research program focused on factors and environments that increase vulnerability or protect sexual and reproductive health, in the context of HIV. Dr. Kaida works closely with community leaders and decision-makers to integrate research evidence into health policy and programming, attending to social and gender equity. She has served in numerous institutional, national, and global leadership roles including with the WHO Department of Reproductive Health and Research, sub-Saharan African Network of TB and HIV research Excellence (SANTHE), the Canadian Association for HIV Research (CAHR), and the BC Women’s Health Research Institute (WHRI). To read more about Dr. Kaida’s research contributions, please click here.



Honouring her given names, The One the Eagles watch over, NoDe WenDa {wolf eyes} and Auntie from the Torres Straight Islanders, Elder Valerie Nicholson is Mi'kmaq, Haida, Roma and UK Islander descent. Valerie is a Spirited Indigenous Warrior Woman who is a woman living with HIV and a Peer Research Associate with several community engaged research studies, including the Canadian HIV Women’s Sexual and Reproductive Health cohort study (CHIWOS).  Valerie conducts community-based research with Indigenous women and mentors youth living with HIV as a trainer with the Positive Leadership Development Institute.

Lyana Patrick is an Indigenous scholar and practitioner from the Stellat’en First Nation and Acadian/Scottish. She has worked as an education specialist for over two decades, developing curriculum, managing education programs and evaluating Indigenous health and education initiatives. She has also worked as a community planner, most recently for the City of Vancouver helping design community engagement for a municipal poverty reduction strategy. Dr. Patrick works together with communities to develop Indigenous-focused, collaborative research models that can transform Indigenous experiences of health, planning and justice. She is currently an Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Health Sciences at Simon Fraser University where her work focuses on the intersection of community planning, health and justice.



Dorothy Cucw-la7 Christian is Secwepemc and Syilx from the interior plateau regions of what is known as British Columbia. She is happy to be a good relative to her Coast Salish cousins while she lives, works, and plays on their lands. Her research centralizes land, story, cultural protocols and how Indigenous Knowledge informs and guides interrelationships with Canadian Settler society. Her curiosity in how cultural knowledge influences Indigenous production practice started when she was working for the national broadcaster VisionTV to bring Indigenous stories to the national screen. 

Another interest is how Indigenous peoples can have a peaceful coexistence with Settler Canadians who populate their ancestral homelands as she sees this quest as critical to the survival of the planet. Dorothy became passionate about exploring the possibilities of transforming the status quo after her involvements in Indigenous communications behind the scenes at the so-called 1990 OKA crisis on Haudenosaunee lands and the 1995 Gustafsen Lake standoff on Secwepemc territories. Her trajectory of study to finding ways to live together started long before equity, diversity, inclusion and intercultural became the latest buzz words in academia.

While she writes scholarly chapters and participates in community on many levels, Dorothy remains involved in the Indigenous visual storytelling culture in Canada. She serves as a Board member of the Indigenous Screen Office in Toronto and has curated programs for the 2018 and 2019 ImagineNative film festival, the largest Indigenous film festival in the world.


Khari Wendell McClelland is a diversely talented and ever-evolving artist. Originally from Detroit, Khari has become a darling on the Canadian music scene with reviewers lauding his performances as a clever mix of soul and gospel. Khari’s songwriting crosses genres and generations, joyfully invoking the spirit of his ancestors who straddled the US-Canadian border in efforts to escape slavery and discrimination. His music draws from this rich history, integrating the rhythms and folklore of early African-Americans with contemporary sounds and stories of struggle. Recently, Khari received critical acclaim for his Freedom Singer project, recreating the music fugitive slaves carried on their journey north into Canada. Khari also performs with the Roots Gospel group The Sojourners. Whether on stage or in the studio, Khari's passion for community, equality and justice is palpable, as is his belief in the redemptive power of music.