RBC Foundation Presents

The Walrus Talks Resilience

Saskatoon Monday, September 28, 2015, 7 p.m. CT

RBC Foundation


  • “In the Spirit of Our Forefathers,” by George E. Lafond, Saskatchewan Treaty Commissioner
  • “The Arts and Urban Resilience,” by Guy Vanderhaeghe, award-winning author
  • “Diverse Notions of Resilience,” by Danika Littlechild, Maskwacis, Treaty 6 Alberta
  • “Cities for People, Not Just Cars,” by Brent Toderian, TODERIAN UrbanWORKS
  • “Small Steps and Big People,” by Steve McLellan, Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce
  • “Demonstrating the Possible,” by David Miller, WWF-Canada
  • “Resilience in Every Line of Work,” by Trish Hennessy, Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives Ontario
  • “Growth: Infinite Possibilities through Purpose,” by Nowshad Ali, On Purpose Leadership Inc.
  • “Consciousness Contains the City,” by Kadie Ward, Build Strong Cities


Nowshad (Shad) Ali sits on the board of the AFP Foundation for Philanthropy, Canada, where he chairs the research committee on philanthropy and fundraising, and he was a board member of the Saskatchewan Association of Human Resource Professionals. Shad has worked with leading Canadian universities, charities, and organizations on donor-modelling projects to enhance fundraising and campaign strategies.


Trish Hennessy is the founding director of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives’ new Ontario office. She was also the founding director of the CCPA’s national project to assess income inequality in Canada and is an ongoing contributor to the CCPA’s Growing Gap team. A former newspaper journalist, Trish has a B.A. in sociology from Queen’s University, a B.S.W. from Carleton University, and an M.A. from OISE, at the University of Toronto. Trish grew up in rural Saskatchewan.


George E. Lafond, a member of the Muskeg Lake Cree Nation, in Saskatchewan, has worked in recreation at the band level, taught high school in Saskatoon, and served as tribal and vice-tribal chief for the Saskatoon Tribal Council. George believes that reconciliation—which means building a common understanding of the treaty relationship, treaty history, and the spirit and intent of treaties—is a key challenge that the current generation of leaders must undertake. He brings this conviction to his role as treaty commissioner.


Danika Littlechild, a Cree lawyer from Maskwacis, in Treaty Six, works with Indigenous peoples in Alberta and around the world. She focuses on Indigenous, international, and environmental law (including water governance). Danika is vice-president of the Canadian Commission for UNESCO and consulting legal counsel with the International Indian Treaty Council, through which she engages with various United Nations mechanisms, treaty bodies, and special procedures.


Steve McLellan has been CEO of the Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce since 2007. Previously, he held senior positions in the Saskatchewan business community, including eighteen years with Tourism Regina and Tourism Saskatchewan. He has served on dozens of local, provincial, and national boards of directors; has chaired the Chamber Accreditation Council of Canada, where he currently serves as a board member; and is vice-chair of the RCMP Heritage Centre in Regina. Steve has received both the Saskatchewan Centennial Medal and the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal, and Sask Business magazine recently named him one of the province’s Men of Influence. He is a graduate of Saskatchewan Polytechnic, where he received the 2015 Alumni Partnership Award.


David Miller is a Canadian politician, a Harvard-trained economist, and the president and CEO of WWF-Canada. He was the mayor of Toronto from 2003 to 2010 and chair of the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group from 2008 to 2010. During David’s mayoralty, Toronto gained an international reputation for its environmental leadership, economic strength, and social integration. David is an adjunct professor at York University and a member of the board of directors for Centennial College. In his former capacity as counsel, international business and sustainability, at Aird and Berlis LLP, he advised companies and organizations on issues relating to sustainable urban economies.


Brent Toderian, an expert in advanced urbanism, city planning, and urban design, established Toderian UrbanWorks in early 2012. He previously worked as chief planner of Vancouver, where he instituted new approaches for place making, green design, and architectural diversity. Brent is the founding president of the Council for Canadian Urbanism, a radio columnist on CBC, a member of Urban Land Institute’s advisory board, and a contributor to the Huffington Post, the Atlantic Cities, Planetizen, and Spacing.


Guy Vanderhaeghe was born in Esterhazy, Saskatchewan, in 1951. His fiction includes A Good Man, The Last Crossing, The Englishman’s Boy, Things As They Are, Homesick, My Present Age, and Man Descending, and his most recent story collection is titled Daddy Lenin. He has won the Governor General’s Literary Award (twice) as well as the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Fellowship, the Writers’ Trust Timothy Findley Award, and the Harbourfront Festival Prize. He is an officer of the Order of Canada.


Kadie Ward founded Build Strong Cities in 2012 to help her colleagues in local government and economic development effect sustainable growth. Her award-winning community programs prove that traditional rules to economic development were meant to be broken. Kadie received the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal, and Development Counsellors International included her in its Top 40 Under 40 list. She currently serves as a senior governance advisor with the Federation of Canadian Municipalities’ Partnership for Local Economic Development and Democratic Governance, in Kiev.

Saskatchewan Polytechnic


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 “wings.” 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 “I never thought about it that way” when the Talks are over.

In 2015, The Walrus Talks will be held in Calgary, London, Winnipeg, Montreal, Edmonton, Ottawa, Toronto, Halifax, and Victoria. They will address themes including vice, creativity, the Arctic, the animated city, the Aboriginal city, being human, play, and water.

The Walrus Talks 2015 will feature more than 100 speakers from all walks and from across the country. The Walrus Talks are sponsored by forward-thinking members of the private and public sectors whose support enables the Canadian conversation and encourages dialogue on a wide range of issues.

Dates, details, and ticket information are available at thewalrus.ca/events.