The Walrus Talks is a national series of events about Canada and its place in the world. Each event offers thoughtful, inspiring thinking from scholars, writers, performers, scientists, artists, and business leaders.
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General Admission: $15
Malaspina Theatre, Vancouver Island University
Building 310, Nanaimo Campus
900 Fifth Street
How our ideas and choices can shape the future of culture, reconciliation, economic development, and more.
- Judith Sayers, president, Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council
- George Hanson, president, Vancouver Island Economic Alliance
- Stephen Kakfwi, former Northwest Territories premier and former Dene Nation president
- Katharina Rout, translator and honorary research associate, Vancouver Island University
- Scotty Taylor, Guthrie Therapeutic Community alumnus and arborist
- Ruby Barclay, peer support navigator for the Tuition Waiver Program, Vancouver Island University
- Alicia Raimundo, mental health superhero
Judith Sayers is the president of the Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council. She is an adjunct professor with the schools of Business and Environmental Studies at the University of Victoria. She is the former National Aboriginal Economic Development Chair and served for fourteen years as chief of the Hupacasath First Nation, playing an instrumental role in several sustainable-development projects and putting in place mechanisms to help protect the territory. She is chair of the New Relationship Trust Foundation, co-chair of the Island Corridor Foundation, co-chair of the Joint Working Group on First Nations Heritage Conservation, and is on the boards of the BC Achievement Foundation and Clean Energy BC.
George Hanson is well known for his achievements in community, economic, and organizational development. He led the comprehensive urban renewal project in downtown Nanaimo to award-winning success, attracting hundreds of millions of dollars in business and redevelopment investment. He is chair of the Nanaimo Foundation and managing partner of Clayton Consulting, and is the former president of the Business Improvement Areas of British Columbia. As president of the Vancouver Island Economic Alliance, George oversees production of the annual “State of the Island” Economic Summit, the annual “State of the Island” Economic Report, and numerous other initiatives helping ensure a vital and sustainable Island economy.
Stephen Kakfwi is a former premier of the Northwest Territories and former president of the Dene Nation. He represented the Sahtu riding in the Legislative Assembly of the Northwest Territories from 1987 until his retirement in 2003. Stephen maintains a successful independent consulting practice advising on conservation, Indigenous affairs, and resource and governance negotiations. Originally trained as a teacher, he currently serves as a mentor and advisor to the organization Dene Nahjo, and as a board member for Pearson College. He is a recipient of the Governor General’s Northern Medal and the National Aboriginal Achievement Award for public service. He is a celebrated singer-songwriter, and has been nominated for National Aboriginal Music Awards. He lives in Yellowknife.
Katharina Rout is a translator and retired English professor. Born and raised in Germany, she received her Ph.D. in medieval German literature from the University of Munster, and in 1987 immigrated to Canada. She specializes in literature in translation and intercultural learning and has taught English to newcomers to Canada. At Vancouver Island University, she taught courses on modern Arabic fiction in translation and refugee literature. Her translations of contemporary German-language fiction include novels from Mongolia.
Scotty Taylor is a Guthrie Therapeutic Community alumnus, arborist, and recovering addict. Scotty spent over twenty-five years of his life in full-time addiction, with ten and a half of those years in the federal and provincial correction systems. He is a leader in the Guthrie Therapeutic Community and mentors several men there. Scotty has been clean and sober for over three years and is a shining example of how the therapeutic community approach can work if applied to everyday living.
Ruby Barclay is a fourth-year Child and Youth Care student at Vancouver Island University. Ruby created and now holds the position of peer support navigator for VIU’s Post-Care Tuition Waiver Program, supporting students with lived experience in care. Passionate about social justice, she finds herself at the heart of advocacy for children, youth, and families who are navigating systems of care. She lives in Nanaimo.
Alicia Raimundo is working to empower young people to overcome mental health stigma and to create treatments that are accessible and fun. Inspired by her own struggles with mental illness, Alicia has been involved in a variety of projects. She helped create the BeanBagChat at Stella’s Place, which helps young adults receive the support they need.Â She is the co-chair of the ACCESS Open Minds Youth Council and the Youth Action communityÂ centre for Children and Youth in Challenging Contexts. She has shared her story on numerous stages, including the United Nations, the Federal Standing Committee on the Status of Women, TEDxWaterloo, and One Young World. She lives in Toronto.