March 02, 2021

Trauma. It’s not visible and though its presence can be felt, it often goes unacknowledged. When we bring people together to discuss sensitive or polarizing issues, a lot of care is needed to ensure that pain is not resurfaced for those who have experienced deep loss, intergenerational trauma, and/or identity-based discrimination. 

A trauma-informed approach is a key part of public engagement that can bring a group to new levels of depth while reducing the impact of trauma on individuals.

How do we develop a trauma-informed practice in engagement? What would we need to consider for such an approach? What are our individual roles in creating better engagements for those who have experienced trauma?

As part of the annual Bruce and Lis Welch Community Dialogue programming, we explored these questions, through dialogue, with Dr. Karine Duhamel, Director of Research for the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls. 

Featured Speakers


Dr. Karine Duhamel

Dr. Karine Duhamel is Anishinaabe-Métis and is based in Winnipeg, Manitoba, with family roots that lay deep within the expansion of the fur trade in Canada. Dr. Duhamel was formerly Adjunct Professor at the University of Winnipeg where she developed and taught courses on the history and legacy of residential schools and Director of Research for Jerch Law Corporation, conducting research related to a number of cases related to the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement. She has also worked as a senior Curator within the museum field to develop collaborative curatorial practices with Indigenous partners. Most recently, Dr. Duhamel was Director of Research for the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, drafting the Final Report, as well as managing the Forensic Document Review Project and the Legacy Archive. She is now an independent historian and consultant with groups across the country to foster awareness of Indigenous histories and contemporary issues.

Dr. Duhamel earned Bachelor of Arts from Mount Allison University, a Bachelor of Education from Lakehead University and a Masters Degree and Doctor of Philosophy from the University of Manitoba. Focused on pursuing her work in service to communities, Dr. Duhamel is an active board member and contributor for several initiatives and organizations, including the International Council of Museums, the International Council on Archives, Facing History and Ourselves, the Treaty Relations Commission of Manitoba, the Canadian Historical Association, the Royal Society of Canada’s Indigenous Health and COVID 19 Task Force, and the Parks Canada Indigenous Cultural Heritage Advisory Committee. Current projects also include work on the MMIWG National Action Plan and several books chapters and articles in development.  


Ginger Gosnell-Myers

Ginger Gosnell-Myers is a Fellow in Decolonization and Urban Indigenous Planning at the SFU Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue. Ginger is a thought leader and practitioner who brings a deep understanding of urban Indigenous issues, years of practice in bridging Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities in developing public policy and a passion for innovating new engagement processes that advance the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

Check out this compilation of resources, questions and comments that were shared during the event.


Exploring critical community issues through dialogue, this annual programming engages the community at large with the academic community to explore innovative approaches to local issues through cross-sectoral dialogue.