NRJS Conference

Keynote Speakers

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Waneek Horn-Miller

Monday, November 19, 2018 | 9:00a-10:00a

Indigenous Reconciliation: Finding Common Ground Through Dialogue

WANEEK HORN-MILLER has overcome discrimination and trauma to emerge as one of North America’s most inspiring activists and Olympians. From her iconic TIME cover to her former role in the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, she empowers our communities to overcome adversity, and helps us turn reconciliation—justice, healing, and dialogue—into a cornerstone of our national institutions.

“There are a lot of women I know who have been the victims of violence, or know someone who has been impacted by violence. But I want the public to know that this issue is not just an Indigenous issue; it’s a Canadian issue.”

— Waneek Horn-Miller

Throughout her life, Waneek Horn-Miller has always stood up for what was right—as a mother, an activist, an athlete, and an entrepreneur. This has entailed hard choices, pain, and sacrifice. But this commitment has also made her one of Canada’s most inspiring figures. Previously, she assumed the role of Director of Community Engagement for the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, a position she held until 2017. By connecting the commission to victims’ families, as well as the public, she provided a recognizable and trusted face to an incredibly important initiative: one that seeks justice, raises awareness of violence against Indigenous women, and furthers the dual tasks of healing and reconciliation.

Horn-Miller’s public life began in 1990 at the age of 14. During the Oka Crisis, she protested the planned development of condos and a golf course on traditional Kanien’kehá:ka (Mohawk) lands and burial grounds near Montreal. After nearly 80 days of stand-off with the RCMP and armed forces, she was stabbed in the chest by a Canadian soldier wielding a bayonet. The image of her wounded, holding her young sister, was shared across national media—and further galvanized Canadians to better understand, and care about, Indigenous issues.  

This near-death experience marked a turning point in her life. Instead of succumbing to very real traumas, including PTSD, she found the strength to pursue, and achieve, incredible things. “I come from people who have gone through horrific things in history,” she says. “War, death, famine, genocide. How many times did my ancestors want to give up, lay down, and die? But they didn’t. They fought to continue. You have to keep going forward.” 

“I encourage all Canadian youth to look beyond colour and borders and work as a team to solve issues together.”

— Waneek Horn-Miller

One of Horn-Miller’s greatest achievements has been in athletics. “Sport in the Native world is more than just something to be physically active,” she says. “It’s a suicide preventer. It’s a self-esteem creator. It’s a leadership developer.” She was the first woman to be named Carleton University’s Athlete of the Year, which she won four years in a row. After winning gold with her water polo team at the Pan Am Games in 1999, and after winning MVP of the Canadian Senior Women’s Water Polo National Championships, she became the first Mohawk woman from this country to ever compete in the Olympic games, co-captaining Team Canada in Sydney in 2000. That same year, she appeared on the cover of TIME magazine. This became another iconic image—one of dignity, poise, and power, as opposed to pain and fear—as well as a milestone for Indigenous athletes. She went on to win bronze at the 2001 FINA World Championships and became a torchbearer for the Winter Olympics in Turin. She has been named one of Canada’s most influential women in sport by the Canadian Association for the Advancement of Women and Sport and Physical Activity. 

After her retirement as an athlete, she has gone on to help others achieve in sports and lead healthy, balanced lifestyles. She was Assistant Chef de Mission for Team Canada at the 2015 Pan Am Games. She is also the host of Working It Out Together—a 13-part documentary and healthy-eating initiative with the Aboriginal Peoples’ Television Network, which aims to build “an Indigenous movement of positive change” and “features dynamic leaders in health advocacy and courageous men and women who are figuring out what it takes to be well and to thrive.” Her work here was recognized with a 2015 DAREarts Cultural Award.

She is also an ambassador for Manitobah Mukluks, the world-famous footwear brand that has been worn by Kate Moss, Jessica Biel, and Megan Fox. Known for being Indigenous-owned and proudly Canadian, Manitobah Mukluks supports Indigenous communities, shares success with others, keeps traditions alive, and celebrates living history—a compelling blend of fashion, quality product, and social responsibility.


While working for the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, Waneek Horn-Miller knew process was just as important as results. The inquiry sought to expose the underlying causes of violence in this country—and make recommendations to eliminate them—in a timely, organized fashion. But this had to be balanced with the emotional needs of participants—their deep need to be heard, validated, and humanized. In other words, it needed to grant victims, and their families, the opportunity to heal. In this keynote, Horn-Miller unpacks the hard but necessary work ahead of us if we want to escape our history of conflict and move to a place of shared understanding. If we embrace the true spirit of reconciliation, we need to make it a way of life—a cornerstone of how we proceed as a multicultural society—and not just a destination. To Horn-Miller, this takes listening, and dialogue; it means extending empathy to those with different outlooks, and not shying away from debate; it means solutions-based thinking rooted in our shared aspirations. But if we can do this, we can do something unique in this country. And we can embrace what reconciliation is all about—a way of addressing wrongs, living in harmony, and healing for those who need it most.

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Juan Marcellus Tauri
(Ngati Porou (tribe))

Monday, November 19, 2018 | 1:00p-2:00p

Senior Lecturer, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, University of Waikato

Restorative Justice and Indigenous Peoples - Colonial Project or Emancipatory Praxis?

Juan Tauri is a member of the Ngati Porou iwi (tribe) of New Zealand, and lecturer in criminology in the School of Sociology and Social Policy, University of Waikato. A graduate from the University of Cambridge, he is a critical commentator on Indigenous peoples issues with settler colonial criminal justice systems.  Juan has carried out a number of research projects in New Zealand, Canada and Australia on a diverse range of topics, including youth gangs, domestic violence, Indigenous experiences of prison, and the globalization of restorative justice. Juan has published widely and recently co-edited a special issue of the African Journal of Criminology and Justice Studies on ‘Indigenous Perspectives and Counter Colonial Criminology’, and published a book on Indigenous Criminology, the first of its kind, with Professor Chris Cunneen from the University of New South Wales.  Juan is currently undertaking research on the intersection of race, ethnicity and the development of restorative justice programs, and on Indigenous youth experiences of criminal justice in New Zealand, Australia and the US, as part of a joint University of Waikato and University of Auckland (New Zealand) grant-related project.


Feted by the demi-Gods of restorative justice, the Family Group Conferencing (FGC) forum has become synonymous with the Restorative Justice (RJ) movements ability to respond to the justice needs of diverse populations. Depending on one’s theoretical and ideological position, it is also considered by some to be instrumental in the resurrection of ancient, ‘Western’ restorative justice practices through the judicious/condescending, application/appropriation of Indigenous philosophies and cultural practice. Utilising the case study afforded by the FGC forum, this presentation challenges the numerous claims made about the emancipatory potential of restorative justice practices for marginalised communities, and most especially for Indigenous peoples residing in settler-colonial contexts.

The presentation will begin with a thorough critique of the emancipatory claims of restorative justice advocates and the argument will be made that the movement’s response to Indigenous peoples share similarities to the Colonial Projects deployed by settler-colonial states to subjugate Indigenous peoples.  In the last part of the presentation an attempt will be made at reconciliation, when a range of actions, policies and strategies will be offered on how the restorative justice industry can become a better ally for Indigenous peoples as they seek the degree of jurisdictional autonomy that is their right as First Peoples.


Save Your Spot


Keynote Panel Discussion

Tuesday, November 20, 2018 | 9:00a-10:00a


In Ottawa, on May 31-June 3, 2015, at the closing events of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, the Commission’s 94 Calls to Action were made public. Calls to Action numbers 25 to 42 are under the Justice heading. These Calls to Action cover the issues of systemic racism, the over-population of First Nations, Métis, and Inuit youth and adults in the correctional system, the need for more community-based programs to address the challenges of FASD, the needs of victims, and the critical dynamics that bring so many First Nations, Métis, and Inuit youth and adults into the criminal justice system.

Governments and Civil Society have been reflecting on and responding to these Calls to Action. Where do we go from here?

This panel offers the opportunity for various governments and organizations to describe and discuss their plans (rationale, implementation, and evaluation) in response to the Calls to Action related to justice, with a particular focus on restorative justice and Indigenous justice approaches.

+ J. Glen Gardner, Q.C., Deputy Minister of Justice and Deputy Attorney General

J. Glen Gardner, Q.C., is the Deputy Minister of Justice and Deputy Attorney General for the Province of Saskatchewan. Prior to that, he was the Assistant Deputy Minister of the Innovation Division and the Director of the Dispute Resolution Office, Ministry of Justice. Mr. Gardner has been instrumental in supporting the Ministry’s innovation mandate, which focuses on responding to access to justice challenges. After graduating from the College of Law at the University of Saskatchewan in 1980, he practiced as partner at a private law firm for several years. In 1988, Glen became a mediator with the Ministry of Justice, which began a long career in mediation and dispute resolution. Throughout his career, he has also worked as Chief of Staff for Saskatchewan Executive Counsel and Senior Labour Relations Consultant with the Ministry of Health. He has been a sessional lecturer and visiting scholar at the College of Law, University of Saskatchewan, taught at the Bar Admissions Course, the Johnson Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy, and the National Judicial Institute. He has also been a frequent presenter at many continuing legal education sessions over the years. Mr. Gardner received his Queen’s Counsel designation in 2016.

+ Tribal Chief Mark Arcand, Saskatoon Tribal Council

Tribal Chief Mark Arcand is a member of the Muskeg Lake Cree Nation located in Treaty Six Territory, and resides in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. Since his election to the role of Tribal Chief of Saskatoon Tribal Council (STC) in October 2017, Tribal Chief Arcand has dedicated his work to reversing residential school effects, through restoring cultural education and nourishing the gift of each child. Previous to his new role as Tribal Chief, Mark held the position of Saskatoon Tribal Council Vice-Chief from October 2013 to October 2017. Prior to his leadership roles with Saskatoon Tribal Council, Tribal Chief Arcand was an employee of STC and held the positions of Labour Force Development Partnership Manager and Youth Sport Culture and Recreation Coordinator. Having grown up in a Saskatoon Tribal Council member community, and later becoming an employee of STC, Mark’s lifelong connection with them serves to drive him to improve the quality of life through capacity building in First Nations. In his community service as referee and coach, Mark’s passion for mentoring youth through sports and recreation continues. He organizes numerous sporting events and fundraisers, including the University of Saskatchewan Youth Leadership Through Sports Program, the Saskatoon Tribal Council Swing Fore Kids Golf Tourney, and other various sporting tournaments. Tribal Chief Arcand holds a professional designation (Pro. Dir.) in Board of Director management from Governance Solutions Inc. which was attained in May 2016.

+ Mayor Charlie Clark, City of Saskatoon

Charlie Clark was elected Mayor of Saskatoon in October 2016. Previous to that, he was Ward 6 City Councillor for 10 years. His professional background is in the areas of mediation, education and community economic development.
Mayor Clark has been part of nation-wide conversations about the key role cities play as engines of innovation and in ensuring quality of life for all citizens. He has presented nationally at conferences on affordable housing, urban development, policing and community safety issues. He is committed to working with the talent and resilience of Saskatoon people to be the city that gets it right. He is married to Sarah Buhler, a law professor at the University of Saskatchewan, and they have three children: Simon, Ben and Rachel.

+ Chief Troy Cooper, Chief of Police, Saskatoon Police Service

Chief Cooper joined the Prince Albert Police Service in 1987 and graduated as the top academic recruit in 1988. After 31 years with Prince Albert, Chief Cooper was sworn to the office of the Chief of Police for the Saskatoon Police Service on February 28, 2018. In addition to being awarded Exemplary Service and Protective Services medals, he is the recipient of the Saskatchewan Centennial Medal, the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal and is a Member of the Order of Merit of the Police Forces. Chief Cooper has a certificate in Police Leadership Administration from Dalhousie University, a Bachelor of Arts degree majoring in Criminal Justice from Athabasca University and a Masters of Business Administration focused on policing and security from Charles Sturt University. Chief Cooper is a graduate of the Canadian Police College Executive Development Program and the Senior Management Institute for Police at Boston University. Chief Cooper is a Member of the International Association of Chiefs of Police, the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police and the Saskatchewan Association of Chiefs of Police. He sits on the National Police Services National Advisory Committee, is the Chair of the Saskatchewan Association of Chiefs of Police Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls Committee, is the Chair of the Saskatchewan Chapter of the Interoperability Interest Group and a member of the Restorative Action Program Board of Directors.

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Dr Kerry Clamp

Tuesday, November 20, 2018 | 1:00p-2:00p

Assistant Professor School of Sociology and Social Policy, University of Nottingham

Bridging the Divide: The Importance of Theory Informed Practice and Practice Informed Theory

Kerry Clamp is an Assistant Professor in the School of Sociology and Social Policy at the University of Nottingham. She has degrees from the Universities of South Africa, Sheffield and Leeds and held tenured positions in England and Australia. Kerry has written widely on the conceptualization and application of restorative justice within transitional settings as well as in policing. She is currently conducting a national survey of restorative justice across police forces within England and Wales. She has been the Chair of the Editorial Committee and Editor of the Newsletter for the European Forum for Restorative Justice since 2011. She is also the new Chair of the Board of Trustees for the Restorative Justice Council, UK.


This presentation argues that the restorative justice movement has been completely preoccupied with describing, discussing and theorising what restorative justice is while only providing limited attention to interrogating and developing discussions around why restorative justice is important and the key assumptions that underpin it. Without explicit theoretically informed practice, we cannot generate the important outcomes that we perceive to be crucial for long-lasting change (whether in respect of the individual or institutional reform).

The implications of embracing an explicit practice framework is that we have to move away from charting what processes should look like to grappling with the primary role that practitioners should play in creating opportunities for people to make sense and meaning of their lives in an effort to build healthy and sustainable relationships. The importance of such an approach can only be grasped when we understand why people behave in harmful ways and the tools that are needed to help them navigate their actions and reactions in highly emotive states. The central argument is that restorative justice is not about creating a space to teach others the ‘root of their evil ways’ (or more commonly known as holding offenders to account), but rather about creating a safe space from which they can make sense and meaning of their lives.

This involves the practitioner embracing the Socratic Method that allows participants to reflect on what happened for them before turning their attention to what has happened for others. Without this insight, it is difficult for those who have harmed to react in ways that are not defensive (see Sykes and Matzas techniques of neutralisation) and self-rationalising, or what we would term an exercise in the morality of justification. The facilitators’ role, therefore, is to help the individual to work out what is important in their own lives and then to lead them to a space where they can make sense of the shame that underpins their emotions (and thus actions) and the emotions (and reactions) of others to build healthy and sustainable relationships.


Save Your Spot


Simon Bird

Sunday, November 18, 2018 - Tuesday, November 20, 2018 

event mc & panel moderator             

Simon Bird comes from the Peter Ballantyne Cree Nation and was raised in the community of Southend, Reindeer Lake: home to the Rock Cree. He was raised to continue the northern traditional pursuits including fishing, hunting, trapping including running sled dogs. As Simon says, his language nest was in a boat and on the land. He is the proud father of two children; Sabriya and Kiyanaw with wife Naomi Bird. Simon currently holds a Bachelor of Education, a Master of Educational Administration and a Master of Northern Governance and Development degree. Simon is a very proud fluent Cree speaker and wakes up Monday to Friday at 6am to get ready to teach anyone that joins his Facebook Live classes. #CreeSimonSays has over 12,500 members and continues to steadily grow as more people use technology to connect, learn or simply laugh at posts that celebrate the social culture of the Cree nation.

One of Simon’s most valued skill is the work ethic he has learned from home through the practice of his traditional pursuits. In transferring these skills from life on the land to his journey beyond his people’s traditional boundaries. Today Simon acknowledges this as a foundation of his character. He is a strong believer in both learning traditional skills and formal education. The lessons taught in the bush are just as valuable within the classroom and are directly applicable in every walk of life. Simon believes it is critical to continue learning and keep asking questions from elders while they still hold open the door to our past.

It is his philosophy that continues to serve him well in his professional working career in education or in politics. He has served as; a teacher, a Principal, Liaison, coach and as a Superintendent of Education and now the Director of Education of the Lac La Ronge Band. Prior to returning to the field of education, he served as Vice Chief of the F.S.I.N where he held the Education portfolio for the majority of his term. Three months shy of the completion of his three year term, he and his family decided to spend more time together and relinquish his public service.

Shortly after leaving politics, Simon continued to follow his education passion by assuming the position of Superintendent of Education for the Stoney Education Authority. The Stoney Nakoda territory is home to three communities with a total of four schools. Currently, Simon is the Education Director for the Lac La Ronge Indian Band. With a population of approximately 11,000 band members, the community has made language and culture top priority. Cree language revitalization and retention through student engagement will continue to be the top priorities in every education initiative going forward. As it has been through his use of technology that has helped many people learn and re-connect to their Cree language. Technology continues to shrink teacher to student in various ways. Simon’s spare time he hosts a language initiative that is aimed at making learning fun through social media. He hopes that every user will not simply take what is being taught on the social media site, but will take the lessons learned and ask others to confirm; thus spreading the dialogue of one our largest First Nations language groups in Canada.

#‎CreeSimonSays will post a unique way of teaching the Cree Language.

It is as phonetically simple as “May You Kiss a Cow”= Miyokīsikaw, which means ‘It is a Nice/good Day’ in the Y dialect. The posts will include Cree words, English words, common pictures and picture word games to be used as cues/aides to help you learn, remember and ask. Simon firmly believes that the language is like the skill of a hunter, fisherman, and trapper as the skills give confidence to make the best opportunity of what this life has to offer. 


Training & Workshops

It is the 2018 Planning Committee goal that workshops provide opportunities for fruitful debate about critical issues in restorative justice as it relates to our five streams of programming: Healing; Transformation; Reconciliation; Inclusion; and Empowerment.