Dr. Marie Wilson to Speak on TRC Work

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Lakehead University
Lakehead University

Thunder Bay, ON – Lakehead University’s Chair on Truth and Reconciliation, Dr. Cynthia Wesley-Esquimaux, and the Office of Aboriginal Initiatives are hosting a free public talk by Dr. Marie Wilson on Wednesday, March 22 at 2:30PM EDT in the Agora.

Dr. Wilson will discuss her work as the Commissioner for the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada.

She has more than 30 years of professional experience as an award-winning journalist, trainer, and senior executive manager.

Dr. Wilson has also been a university lecturer, a high school teacher in Africa, a senior executive manager in both federal and territorial Crown Corporations, and an independent contractor and consultant in journalism, program evaluation, and project management. She has lived, studied and worked in cross-cultural environments for almost 40 years, including Europe, Africa, and various parts of Canada.

As a journalist, Dr. Wilson worked in print, radio and television as a regional and national reporter, and later as the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation’s senior manager for northern Quebec and the three northern Territories.

She was the first television program host of northern Canada’s flagship weekly information program, Focus North. Her reports tackled complex issues, from the Quebec sovereignty referendum and national unity debates to the national Constitutional talks of the 1980s; from the settlement of historic aboriginal rights agreements to the state of health in First Nations and Inuit communities; from Papal visits to centennial celebrations of the Riel Rebellion.

As a Regional Director for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, Dr. Wilson was a pioneer. She launched the first Daily Television News service for northern Canada, against a back-drop of four time zones and 10 languages: English, French and eight indigenous. She developed the Arctic Winter Games and True North Concert series, to showcase northern performing artists and traditional indigenous sports for audiences across southern Canada. She fought for the recruitment and development of aboriginal staff and their on-air reflection. She acknowledged staff excellence with the CBC North Awards. She acknowledged the community with program initiatives to support and promote literacy.

A career highlight was to deliver training through the South African Broadcasting Corporation as part of that country’s transition to democracy, and coinciding with the start-up of South Africa’s own Truth and Reconciliation Commission. For several years she served as an associate board member of what was to become APTN, the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network.

Over the years she has worked with various other boards and agencies committed to social justice, journalism and civic engagement, community, spiritual and international development, and the wellbeing of children and youth.

Dr. Wilson is the recipient of a CBC North Award for Lifetime Achievement, the Northerner of the Year Award, and various awards and recognitions for journalism, writing excellence, and work-place safety initiatives. In May 2012, she was awarded an honourary Doctor of Laws degree by St. Thomas University of Fredericton, New Brunswick, in recognition of a professional career “marked by public service and social justice.”

Dr. Wilson speaks English and French, with some knowledge of Spanish and Sahtu Dene. She and her husband, Stephen Kakfwi, are the proud parents of Kyla, Daylyn and Keenan, and are blessed with four grandchildren.

Refreshments will be served. Everyone is welcome to attend.

EVENT Talk by Canada’s Chair on Truth and Reconciliation, Dr. Marie Wilson
When Wednesday, March 22
2:30 pm
Where The Agora
Lakehead University

955 Oliver Rd.

Thunder Bay, ON