Cicely Belle Blain
CEO, Cicely Blain Consulting
Cicely Belle Blain is a diversity and inclusion consultant, activist and writer; they are one of Vancouver’s fifty most influential people of 2018, as awarded by Vancouver Magazine, a co-founder of Black Lives Matter – Vancouver, one of CBC’s 150 Black Womxn Making Change in Canada and BC Business 30 Under 30 2019 and has served as a member of the Canadian Youth Delegation to the United Nations. Their work is informed by their professional and academic background at the University of British Columbia and their lived experience as a Black, queer artist, a community builder, an intersectional feminist and a Black liberation activist. Cicely Belle’s first book debuts in 2020 with VS Books & Arsenal Pulp Press.
BC First Nations Data Governance Initiative Champion, Ktunaxa Nation
Gwen is a citizen of the Ktunaxa Nation and has worked for the Ktunaxa Nation Council for the past thirty-five years, holding a variety of senior management functions, at times overseeing departments of Education, Health, Corporate Services, Traditional Knowledge and Language and for the past decade, functioning as the Director responsible for Governance Transition; leading the Ktunaxa Nation back to self-government.
In the early 1990’s while serving as the Director of Operations of the Ktunaxa Independent School System (KISS), Gwen established the Community Healing and Intervention Program (CHIP), following a population health approach, to address individual and community issues related to Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder. In order to further the Nation’s interests in providing appropriate educational interventions in addition to community-based intervention activities, the Ktunaxa Nation signed the first Local Education Agreement between a First Nation and a Public School District, effectively breaking the federal-provincial Master Tuition Agreement for all First Nations governments in British Columbia. Building on the strength gained through this early work, the Nation established one of the most successful First Nation child welfare agencies in the province of British Columbia. This has resulted in significant systems transformation and the Ktunaxa Nation now provides a variety of social services to all Aboriginal people across their territory, both on and off reserve.
Gwen has represented the Ktunaxa Nation on numerous Boards and Committees, locally, regionally and nationally and is currently championing the BC First Nations’ Data Governance Initiative (bcfndgi.com); a tripartite government initiative (federal, provincial and First Nations governments) with a key objective being timely access to quality data to plan, manage and account for investments and outcomes associated with First Nations well-being. As a member of the First Nations Health Council, Gwen is part of the team that negotiated the transfer of Health Canada’s BC Region First Nations and Inuit Health Branch to First Nations control, and she represents BC First Nations’ interests nationally in Data Governance, as a member of the First Nations Information Governance Centre Board.
Gwen is also assisting Indigenous Services Canada in the implementation of their Indigenous Community Development National Strategy; a co-developed approach to manage the shift from program-based funding and reporting relationships, to community-driven investments and reporting that is aligned with Community-driven, Nation-based development plans. These Governance Planning Pilots involve over 170 First Nation communities from all across the country.
Gwen has extensive experience in relationship building and has developed and instructed First Nation Studies courses at the elementary, secondary and college levels and continues to function as a public educator. Her formal training is in Business Administration and she has operated her own small business, as a community planner, facilitator/trainer, artist and curriculum developer. Gwen’s most enjoyable pastime as of late is being at the river or elsewhere on the land, with her 11-year-old granddaughter and just spending time with her family.
Palliative Care Doctor
Lauren is on a mission to wake you up to your own mortality.
Lauren was inspired to pursue a career in palliative medicine after her mother’s unexpected death. Over the years, she’s experienced first-hand the benefits of having a healthy relationship with death and dying. As a palliative care doctor, Lauren also appreciates the challenges of delivering quality end-of-life care in a society crippled by death anxiety.
Twitter & Instagram: @talkdyingtome
Stay tuned! We’ll be announcing new speakers shortly.
Health Talks Student Contest Winner
Winner to be announced in December.