Key-note Addresses

“Journey of Inclusion…...or Assimilation?”

Russell B. Mirasty, Assistant Commissioner RCMP (Retired), will share a story that describes a personal and professional journey that begins on a First Nation in northern Saskatchewan and eventually leads to the Senior Management Team of the RCMP.  A journey that spans Canada and ventures into the Northern Territory of Australia.  A journey that includes personal reflections on the meaning of inclusion and diversity in our country.

Russ resides in La Ronge where he retired to after serving 36 years in the RCMP.  

He joined the RCMP in 1976 and served in Saskatchewan for several years.  This was followed by postings to six other provinces including RCMP National Headquarters in Ottawa where he was the Officer in Charge for National Aboriginal Policing Services and National Crime Prevention Services.  His work took him to every province and territory and included an exchange with the Northern Territory Police Service in Australia.  In 2010 he was appointed as the Commanding Officer for “F” Division (Saskatchewan) at the rank of Assistant Commissioner. 

Shortly after retiring, Russ was appointed as an advisor for the Student First Engagement process for the Ministry of Education.   Following this work Russ was appointed to the Advisory Group on Poverty Reduction for the province.  Russ was also a board member of the Community Safety Knowledge Alliance as well as the public representative for the League of Educational Administrators, Directors and Superintendents in Saskatchewan.   

Russ is the recipient of the RCMP Long Service Medal, the Queens Jubilee Medal and the Meritorious Service Medal.

“Balancing Indigenous consultation with natural resources projects”

By Douglas White III Kwul’a’sul’tunmember and former Chief of the Snuneymuxw First Nation, and director of VIU’s Centre for Pre-Confederation Treaties and Reconciliation, on June 10, 9:00AM.

After completing his B.A. in First Nations Studies (with distinction) from Malaspina University-College, he graduated from the Faculty of Law at the University of Victoria in 2006. He was called to the Bar of British Columbia in January 2008. He has been a director of the Indigenous Bar Association of Canada and an associate lawyer at Mandell Pinder.

He was the elected Chief of the Snuneymuxw First Nation from December 2009 to February 2014 where a major focus of his work was in relation to the implementation of the Snuneymuxw Treaty of 1854.

From June of 2010 to June 2013, he was elected by Chiefs of British Columbia to lead the First Nations Summit as a member of the FNS Task Group. In that capacity, he advocated for First Nations seeking resolution of outstanding issues with the Crown. In that role, he was also a member of the BC First Nations Leadership Council working on common issues with BC First Nations, particularly the Crown’s duty to consult and accommodate, and advocated on their behalf with the governments of British Columbia, Canada and internationally at the United Nations.

Doug was appointed to the BC Aboriginal Justice Council by the First Nations Summit in April, 2016. He is currently the Director of the Centre for Pre-Confederation Treaties and Reconciliation at Vancouver Island University and practices as a lawyer and negotiator across the country for First Nations governments. He is an also legal counsel for First Nations across the country. He lectures frequently at universities on Indigenous legal issues.

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