Truth and Reconciliation During a Pandemic: Challenges and Opportunities

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Join IPAC Manitoba for a workshop on the challenges and opportunities related to pursuing Truth and Reconciliation during a pandemic.

About this event

Many Truth and Reconciliation events and actions are about in-person, experiential learning. Smudging, passing tobacco, and sweats are just a few examples. The COVID-19 pandemic poses a challenge for some aspects of Reconciliation. During this event, speakers will discuss the challenges they've encoutered, as well as opportunities or good practices they have seen.

Following a panel discussion, participants will be split into breakout rooms to share their own challenges and learnings, or simply to learn from others.


  • Diane Redsky, Executive Director, Ma Mawi Chi Itata Centre
  • Annetta Armstrong, Executive Director, Indigenous Women's Healing Centre
  • Kendell Joiner, Executive Director, The Native Clan Organization
  • Dr. Laara Fitznor, Associate professor of Education, University of Manitoba
  • Moderator: Leona McIntyre, Facilitator, Indigenous Leadership Development Institute

About the Speakers

Diane Redsky is a First Nation’s woman who has long worked to address the myriad of issues facing Winnipeg’s Indigenous community in all areas all areas of health, justice, education and social services. She has served in both a professional and volunteer capacity with local, national and international agencies and has become a strong advocate for Indigenous children’s and women’s issues. Through her leadership in several Indigenous led community-based organizations, she has helped to create numerous innovative programs that have helped build healthy communities through promoting the growth and development of the urban Indigenous community particularly the safety, protection and well-being of women and girls and ending sex trafficking.

Diane is currently the Executive Director of the Ma Mawi Wi Chi Itata (Ma Mawi) Centre in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. Ma Mawi translated from Ojibway means, ‘we all work together to help one another’ is a community-based, community-led, Indigenous-driven family resource centre that is a leader in community based care for Indigenous children, youth and families in Winnipeg.

She has been acknowledged: Order of Manitoba, YMCA-YWCA Women of Distinction Award, Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal, Leadership and Innovator/Visionary Award by Joy Smith Foundation and Governor General’s Awards in Commemoration of the Persons Case, Senate of Canada Medal and Rotary Paul Harris Award.

Ma Mawi Wi Chi Itata Centre

Kendell Joiner (Méstaéhotóá'e- Ghost Bull) is an American-born, proud member of the Northern Cheyenne Nation located in Southeast Montana. The values of community, unity, and the common-good are centrepiece lessons from his tribe and culture that he carries forward in his current role as the Executive Director of the Native Clan Organization. The Native Clan Organization is an Indigenous nonprofit that takes a culturally-centred approach when working with those reintegrating into their communities, or starting new lives, after contact with the justice system. Kendell uses his role to assist his community in building a more balanced and empathetic world. He holds multiple undergraduate degrees in Criminal Justice and Corrections, possesses a Master of Public Administration, and proudly served in the United States Army Reserves.

Native Clan Organization

Dr. Laara Fitznor (Retired December 2018), is now a Senior Scholar of the Faculty of Education, University of Manitoba is from Wabowden, Manitoba and a member of the Nisichawaysihk Cree Nation. She pursued her dream of a university education once she learned that with a degree she was in a position to challenge and counter acts of oppression while advancing Aboriginal/Indigenous knowledge(s), perspectives, histories, experiences, spiritualities, and realities through her career. Laara teaches Aboriginal Education and Cross Cultural Education in the Faculty of Education, U of M. Laara is Co-Chair of the annual Aboriginal Education Research Forum ‘Shawane Dagosiwin’ program committee. 2021 is the 16th annual forum and Laara Fitznor is one of the keynoters.

Aboriginal Educators Research Forum

Leona McIntyre is from a small Métis farming and fishing community of Kinosota, MB where she currently lives. She is of Ojibway, Cree, and Scottish descent. She has a BA from Brandon University with a Major in Native Studies & Sociology. Her career has mostly been working in community development and facilitating workshops with First Nations, Métis, Inuit and non-Indigenous groups. She has designed, developed, and facilitated Indigenous Cultural workshops for numerous corporations, community organizations, and various police services among others. She is a Registered Professional Trainer with the Institute of Professional Management and helps Indigenous organizations with strategy planning, team building, respectful workplace, lateral violence and Psychogeometrics! Her career has covered Public Health, Indigenous Elders organization, Agriculture industry and as an Instructor at Assiniboine Community College teaching in the Indigenous Community Development Program. Currently she is a Project Coordinator in Stakeholder Relations and Communications with the Province of Manitoba in Economic Development and Jobs. .

She’s a volunteer in her community and was the Chairperson for the Westman Local of the SW Region Manitoba Métis Federation for over thirteen years. A national award winning photographer, she is an artist and craftsperson with pieces of her work sold in China, Sweden, Germany, Australia, Guatemala, Chile, Africa, England and Canada. Leona is a published author in the Anthology: Who Put Custer’s Bloomers on the Pony? And in her spare time, she is gardening, landscaping her lakefront property or riding her 2002 Harley Davidson Fatboy!

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Organizer IPAC Manitoba

Organizer of Truth and Reconciliation During a Pandemic: Challenges and Opportunities

The Institute of Public Administration of Canada (IPAC) is the premier organization in Canada dedicated to excellence in public service.

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