A Celebration of Indigenous Voices
Elijah Williams, Gabrielle Fayant and Tamara Takpannie, moderated by Roberta Jamieson
“Leadership in Action: Stories that Inspire a Nation”
Mar 28th, 2019
With the desire to encourage others to embrace their identity, Indigenous youth in Canada are creating global awareness for the issues that matter most to them and their communities. Supported by Indspire, a Canadian Indigenous-led registered charity, the successes of these outspoken advocates are being recognized nationwide.
Canadian Club Toronto is proud to host Elijah Williams, Gabrielle Fayant and Tamara Takpennie– Indspire bursary recipients and laureates today, leaders tomorrow. The panelists, moderated by Roberta Jamieson (President & CEO of Indspire), share their stories of determination, discuss their plans and hopes for our nation, and speak to Canada’s progress towards reconciliation.
Elijah M Williams – Manager, Centre for Indigenous Learning and Support, Sheridan College
Cayuga, Six Nations of the Grand River Territory, Ontario
Elijah Williams is the Manager at the Centre for Indigenous Learning and Support at Sheridan College. In this role, he has overseen the development of a 5-year operational plan for CILS to ensure that Indigenous learners are well-supported in their studies. He is also a member of the Indigenous Education Council at Sheridan and a member of the board at Grand River Employment and Training. He is a former Board member for Pride Toronto and a former City Ambassador for Apathy is Boring. Elijah’s advocacy is informed by his background as a member of the Turtle Clan of the Cayuga Nation. Elijah is also pursuing his Master of Professional Education in the field of Educational Leadership focused in Indigenous Education through Western University. Elijah is a recipient of Indspire’s Building Brighter Futures: Bursaries, Scholarships and Awards
Gabrielle Fayant – Co-Founder and Co-CEO, Assembly of Seven Generations
Michif, Fishing Lake Métis Settlement, Alberta
Gabrielle Fayant originates from Fishing Lake Métis Settlement in Alberta and identifies as a proud Michif woman. She currently resides in Ottawa, Ontario on the traditional territory of the Algonquin peoples. Gabrielle is the cofounder and co-CEO of a youth-led, youth driven non-profit organization called Assembly of Seven Generations (A7G).
Gabrielle is also part of a womens hand drum group called Ogimaakwewak Singers. Gabrielle has been learning and helping take care of songs for the last 10 years. Gabrielle is also the recipient of the 2015 Indspire Award for Youth – Métis.
Tamara Takpannie – Student, Psychology and Indigenous Studies, Carleton University
Tamara Takpannie is an urban Inuk who was born in Kitchener, Waterloo and grew up in Ottawa, Ontario. Her home territory is Iqaluit, Nunavut. Tamara is currently attending Carleton University studying a combined honours in psychology and Indigenous studies. She is a single parent to her seven-year-old son and sits as vice president of the Ottawa Inuit Children’s Centre board of directors. She works part time at Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs in order to advance Inuit issues in the public service. Tamara is very passionate about her culture and hopes to share whenever possible.
Roberta L. Jamieson, O.C., I.P.C., LL.B., LL.D. – President & CEO, Indspire
Roberta Jamieson is a Mohawk woman who has enjoyed a distinguished career of firsts. She was the first First Nation woman in Canada to earn a law degree; the first non-parliamentarian appointed an ex-officio member of a House of Commons Committee; the first woman Ombudsman of Ontario; and the first woman elected Chief of the Six Nations of the Grand River Territory, where she continues to reside with her family. An accomplished expert in alternative dispute resolution, Roberta also served as Commissioner of the Indian Commission of Ontario.
Under Roberta’s leadership, Indspire has flourished. Raising funds from government, corporate and private sectors, Indspire’s annual disbursements of bursaries and scholarships to support Indigenous students in post-secondary education have increased sevenfold. Since 2004, Indspire has provided over $100 million in financial support to 35,000 students and on average, 90% of students who have received funding have graduated from a post-secondary institution. Roberta is also the Executive Producer of the annual Indspire Achievement Awards.
Roberta, a long time advocate for greater diversity on corporate boards, is a member of Gender Equality Advisory Council for Canada’s G7 Presidency and former member of Hydro One’s Board of Directors.
She has earned numerous awards, including, most recently, YWCA’s President’s Award and Women’s Executive Network’s “Canada’s Most Powerful Women” Hall of Fame, as well as 25 honorary degrees. In 2015, Ms. Jamieson was recognized by the Public Policy Forum for the outstanding contributions she has made to the quality of public policy and good governance.
She is an Officer of the Order of Canada.
Listen to the audio below: