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Indigenous Speaker Series

During summer 2020, we held a Speaker Series of weekly conversations with Indigenous knowledge keepers, and entrepreneurs to help guide this collaborative venture. Over 600 people attended these events, and below we share these recorded sessions.

Building Indigenous Economic Development Partnerships

A conversation on how Indigenous knowledge advances economic development partnerships, and to learn about research and consultation with Indigenous entrepreneurs and communities.

Planting New Seeds: A Conversation about Indigenous Healing Gardens

Indigenous Peoples have always known that plants are our helpers, and offer powerful medicines that improve physical, mental and spiritual health.

Indigenous Foods: Seeding to Eating

This event is a conversation about the practice of growing traditional Indigenous food, and how we can enrich our understanding of food sovereignty.

Birch Bark Canoes and the History of Indigenous Entrepreneurship

Through the story of birch bark canoes, we hope to honour the role that Indigenous entrepreneurs have played in shaping Canada’s economic history.

Our Connection to Nature and Transforming Our Space

A conversation with this panel of speakers who aim to transform urban surroundings, like Toronto Metropolitan University and Evergreen Brick Works, into Indigenous-themed greenspace with food and plant medicines known to improve physical, mental and spiritual health and decrease anxiety.

A conversation with Chief R. Stacey Laforme

R. Stacey Laforme is the elected Chief of the Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nation (MNCFN), who works to increase the profile, welfare and prosperity of the MNCFN throughout the traditional 3.9 million acres of territory in Southern Ontario.

 Speakers and moderators

We are deeply grateful to the following speakers and moderators for generously sharing their time and knowledge:

Invited speakers

  • Chief Stacey LaForme
    Mississaugas of The New Credit First Nation
  • Todd Labrador
    Mi'kmaw Canoe Builder  and Cultural Archeologist
  • Dr. Diana Beresford-Kroeger
    Author, Medical Biochemist, and Botanist
  • Dr. Wendy Makoons Geniusz
    Director of American Indian Studies and Assistant Professor of Foreign Languages, University of Wisconsin Eau Claire
  • Isaac Crosby
    Urban Agricultural Lead, Evergreen Brickworks
  • Chef Johl Whiteduck
    Owner, NishDish Marketeria and Catering
  • Carol Anne Hilton
    Founder, The Indigenomics Institute
  • Kelly Lendsay
    President & CEO, Indigenous Works
  • Tabatha Bull
    President & CEO, Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business

Toronto Met speakers

  • Dean Daphne Taras
    Ted Rogers School of Management
  • Monica Mckay
    Director, Aboriginal Initiatives, Toronto Met
  • Joanne Dallaire
    Elder (Ke Shay Hayo), and Senior Advisor, Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation
  • Michael Carter
    Director of Industry, Creative Industries Faculty of Communication and Design
  • Michael Mihalicz
    Assistant Professor for Entrepreneurship & Strategy, Indigenous Advisor, Office of the Dean, Ted Rogers School of Management.
  • Sheila Boudreau
    Lecturer, Toronto Met School of Urban and Regional Planning
  • Chef Tommy McHugh
    Executive Chef, Ted Rogers School of Management
  • Sandy Carpenter
    Student Success Facilitator, Program Advising and Student Success, Ted Rogers School of Management
  • Arlene Throness
    Urban Farm Manager
  • Brian Norton
    Program Coordinator, Toronto Met Aboriginal Student Services
  • Jessica Griffiths
    Student & Community Engagement Coordinator, Office of the Dean, Ted Rogers School of Management


Maria Lypyavka, Indigenous Initiatives Project Assistant