- Mustafa Ahmed, poet and student
- Lorna Crowshoe, Blackfoot Women’s Society
- Casey Eagle Speaker, Hull Services
- Sheldon Kennedy, Athlete, Author, Sheldon Kennedy Child Advocacy Centre
- Craig Kielburger, Free the Children
- Lucy Miller, United Way of Calgary and Area
- Samantha Nutt, War Child Canada
- Samuel Weiss, University of Calgary Hotchkiss Brain Institute
With a welcome by Elizabeth Cannon, president and vice-chancellor, University of Calgary. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. A reception will follow the talks.
Mustafa Ahmed started writing at the age of ten as a means of expressing himself and reflecting on society. His poetry touches on the subjects of poverty, drugs, violence, and immigration. Living in Regent Park, Canadaâs first inner-city housing project, Mustafa was exposed to the experiences and lifestyles he writes about. Mustafa has performed in association with various organizations such as the Childrenâs Aid Society, the Toronto District School Board, Hot Docs, and TEDxToronto.
Lorna Crowshoe is a member of the Piikani Nation from Southern Alberta with strong personal and professional ties to the Blackfoot community. She is an issues strategist for the City of Calgary, having spent most of her professional career in non-profit organizations and government. She also helped plan Calgaryâs 2012 Cultural Capital celebrations; she sits on the boards of the cityâs Making Treaty 7 project and ImagiNation 150; and she is chairperson and co-founder of the Blackfoot Womenâs Society, which empowers women to advocate for one another on issues of employment, health, education, and inclusion. She and the women in her family recently conducted a genealogy project, going back eight generations to when her ancestors protected the south entrance to Blackfoot territory, just before the government initiated Treaty 7. Lorna has a bachelorâs of management degree from the University of Lethbridge and an MBA from the University of Phoenix.
Casey Eagle Speaker, a member of the Blood Tribe, in Southern Alberta, is also known by his traditional name, Sorrel Horse, within the Blackfoot Confederacy. Casey offers an array of presentations and workshops in the greater Calgary area and abroad, focusing on wellness, identity, and belonging. He has won the City of Calgaryâs Chief David Crowchild Award for his work in cross-cultural awareness and the University of Calgaryâs Dr. Joseph Crowshoe Award for his work in Aboriginal education. He has served on the boards of the Native Womenâs Shelter, the Four Directions Foster Parent Association of Calgary, Ghost River Rediscovery, the Alberta Association of Services for Children and Families, and the Alberta Health Servicesâ Wisdom Council. He is the Aboriginal resource coordinator for Hull Services, where he worked for the past sixteen years.
Sheldon Kennedy skated for three teams in his eight-year NHL career but is best known for charging his Major Junior Hockey League coach with sexual assault for the five years of abuse he suffered as a teenager. An outspoken child advocate, Sheldon has appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show, ABCâs Nightline, W5, and The Fifth Estate. In 1997, the Canadian Press named him Canadian Newsmaker of the Year, and his life story was subsequently made into an award-winning movie. In 1998, Sheldon skated across Canada, donating the $1.2 million proceeds to the Canadian Red Cross RespectED program. He has received the Canadian Red Cross Caring Award, the Scotiabank Humanitarian Award, an honorary doctorate from the University of the Fraser Valley, the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal, and a Beyond Borders Media Award, and he was named Calgaryâs Citizen of the Year in 2012. Sheldon serves on the board of the Sheldon Kennedy Child Advocacy Centre, which offers full wraparound services for victims of child abuse. He also co-founded and continues to work with Respect Group, providing schools and companies with online education toward the prevention of abuse, bullying, and harassment. He is the author of Why I Didnât Say Anything, an account of the many psychological effects of abuse.
Craig Kielburger is a social entrepreneur, New York Times Best Selling Author, and syndicated columnist. He co-founded Free the Children in 1995 at age twelve, and today, more than 1.7 million young people are involved in its programs. In North America and the United Kingdom, the organization offers comprehensive services and learning initiatives, including its We Day celebrations, attended annually by more than 160,000 students from 4,000 schools. Free the Children operates in eight developing countries, providing more than one million beneficiaries with sustainable-development services, including education, health care, food security, clean water, and alternative-income programs. Craig and his brother, Marc, co-founded Me to We, an innovative social enterprise that supports Free the Children by providing socially conscious products. Craig is the author of eleven books; he holds fifteen honorary doctorates and degrees; and he has received the Order of Canada, a World Childrenâs Prize for the Rights of the Child, a Four Freedoms Medal, and the Muhammad Ali Humanitarian Award. In 2013, Craig and Marc were inducted into Canadaâs Walk of Fame.
Lucy Miller is the president and CEO of United Way Calgary and Area. She previously worked as a teacher, principal, curriculum consultant, and superintendent in Nova Scotia, Ontario, and Alberta; served as a part-time professor at both Queenâs University and the University of Ottawa; and was chief superintendent for the Calgary Catholic School District. She is the author of five books and numerous articles, and she currently serves on the boards of Calgary Homeless Foundation, the Calgary Poverty Reduction Initiative, and the Child Advocacy Centre. She has recieved the Prime Ministerâs Award for Teaching Excellence, a Women of Distinction Award, the Alberta Lieutenant Governor’s Award for Excellence in Public Administration, and the Benemerenti Medal.
Samantha Nutt is an award-winning humanitarian, bestselling author, and acclaimed public speaker. She is the founder and executive director of War Child, a staff physician at Womenâs College Hospital, an assistant professor at the University of Toronto, and a regular foreign-affairs panelist on CBCâs The National. She has been published by Macleanâs, Reuters, the Globe and Mail, the National Post, and the Huffington Post. Samantha was recently named one of 25 Transformational Canadians by the Globe and Mail, a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum, and one of Canadaâs Five Leading Activists by Time magazine. In July 2011, she was appointed to the Order of Canada.
Samuel Weiss is a professor at the University of Calgaryâs Faculty of Medicine and the inaugural director of the Hotchkiss Brain Institute, which translates innovative research into advances in neurological and mental-health care. In 1985, Samuel, along with Fritz Sladeczek, discovered the metabotropic glutamate receptor, now a major target for pharmaceutical research and development toward neurological disease therapies. In 1992, he discovered neural stem cells in the brains of adult mammals, enabling new approaches for brain-cell replacement and repair. Samuel sits on numerous national and international peer-review committees, has authored many publications, holds key patents in the neural stem-cell field, and has founded three biotechnology companies. He won the Neuronal Plasticity Prize of the Fondation Ipsen, a Gairdner Foundation International Award, and the CCNP Innovations in Neuropsychopharmacology Research Award. In 2009, he was made a fellow of the Royal Society of Canada.
The Walrus Talks is a national series of events produced by the charitable, non-profit Walrus Foundation as part of an educational mandate to provide forums for conversation on matters vital to Canadians. The Walrus Foundation produces The Walrus magazine, the most awarded publication in Canada, as well as producing content at thewalrus.ca, on Walrus TV, and on stages from coast to coast to coast.
The Walrus Talks format features eight speakers for seven minutes each on various themes relating to a single topic. Each event offers lively, thoughtful, inspiring, riveting, smart, new thinking from scientists, writers, performers, scholars, and leaders of business and the arts. Each Talks event is followed by a spirited reception with attendees and participants.
The Walrus Talks delivers fresh ideas and new ways of looking at big issues. The Walrus has no âwings.â Our speakers are chosen to reflect a range of experiences and viewpoints, but they all have one thing in common: the desire for real conversation about issues that affect the future of Canada. Our goal is for audience members to think âI never thought about it that wayâ when the Talks are over.
Dates, details, and ticket information are available at thewalrus.ca/events.