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
Canadian Museum of History
100 Laurier Street
Exploring Indigenous life in Canada’s cities through culture, business, politics, and more.
- Douglas Cardinal, architect
- Elizabeth Fast, assistant professor in the Department of Applied Human Sciences, Concordia University
- Robert Jago, writer
- Dr. Donna May Kimmaliardjuk, resident cardiac surgeon, University of Ottawa Heart Institute
- Verna McGregor, Algonquin Anishinabekwe, Grandmother
- Tanya Talaga, journalist and author
- Jeff Thomas, artist, independent curator
Douglas J. Cardinal was born in Calgary and studied architecture at the University of British Columbia before moving to Austin, Texas. He has received numerous awards including nineteen honorary doctorates, gold medals for architecture in Canada and Russia, and an award from UNESCO for best sustainable village. He was made an officer of the Order of Canada in 1989, and in 2006 the International Association of Architects declared him a World Master of Contemporary Architecture.
Elizabeth Fast is Métis from St. Francois Xavier, Manitoba. She has a PhD in Social Work from McGill University and was hired as a Strategic Hire for Indigenous Youth at Concordia University in 2015 as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Applied Human Sciences. From 2016-2017, Elizabeth served as the Special Advisor to the Provost on Indigenous Directions at Concordia. Before returning to school, Elizabeth worked with youth that were transitioning out of care from the child welfare system and as a social worker. Elizabeth is currently the principal investigator on a research grant that seeks to understand how “legacy education” can be used to strengthen cultural pride among urban Indigenous youth, and she is leading an action research project on improving child welfare services for Indigenous families in Montreal in partnership with the Native Women’s Shelter.
Robert Jago is a journalist and frequent contributor to The Walrus. He writes on issues of First Nations nationalism and identity, and on the relationship between First Nations people and the rest of Canada. Robert is a member of the Nooksack Indian Tribe and the Kwantlen First Nation. He is currently based in Montreal.
Dr. Donna May Kimmaliardjuk is a fourth-year cardiac surgery resident doctor at the University of Ottawa Heart Institute. She completed a Bachelor of Science (Honours) at Queen’s University and graduated from the University of Calgary’s medical school in 2014. She has been presented to the Senate and the House of Commons for becoming the first Nunavut land claims beneficiary to become an MD, and the first Inuk heart surgeon. She is also the 2018 Indspire award recipient for Inuit youth.
Elder Verna McGregor is from the Algonquin community of Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg, approximately 120 kilometres north of Ottawa. Verna works at Minwaashin Lodge, an Aboriginal womenâs support centre located in Ottawa. Services and resources provided by Minwaashin Lodge assist in the empowerment of Aboriginal women who are leaving violence. Verna has remained firmly grounded in her community and nation by also being part of a group of traditional grandmothers (Kokomisag) and elders.
Tanya Talaga has been a journalist at the Toronto Star for twenty years, covering everything from general city news to education, national health care, foreign news, and Indigenous affairs. She has been nominated five times for the Michener Award in public service journalism and has been part of two National Newspaper Award-winning teams: in 2013, with a year-long project on the Rana Plaza disaster in Bangladesh; and in 2015 with Gone, a series of stories on missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls. Her first book, Seven Fallen Feathers: Racism, Death, and Hard Truths in a Northern City, won the 2018 RBC Taylor Prize for non-fiction. Tanya is of Polish and Indigenous descent. Her great-grandmother, Liz Gauthier, was a residential school survivor. Her great-grandfather, Russell Bowen, was an Ojibwe trapper and labourer, and her grandmother is a member of Fort William First Nation. Tanya is the 2017-2018 Atkinson Fellow in Public Policy.
Jeff Thomas is a self-taught, urban-based Iroquois artist, writer, public speaker, and curator. Jeff’s photo-based artworks can be found in major collections in Canada, the United States, and Europe. His recent solo shows have included A Necessary Fiction: My Conversation with George Hunter and Edward S. Curtis at the Art Gallery of Mississauga; The Dancing Grounds at Saskatoon’s Wanuskewin Heritage Park; A Necessary Fiction: My Conversation with Nicholas de Grandmaison at the University of Lethbridge Art Gallery; and Resistance Is NOT Futile at the Stephen Bulger Gallery in Toronto. Among his awards are the Canada Council’s Duke and Duchess of York Award in Photography, the City of Ottawa’s Karsh Award in photography, and the REVEAL Indigenous Art Award. In 2003, he was inducted to the Royal Canadian Academy of Art. Jeff lives in Ottawa.