Dale Ladouceur is a musician, composer, writer, journalist, producer, artist, Parkland Institute board member and a good-troublemaker. Her critically acclaimed original project "Dale Ladouceur and the Broke Ensemble" have two releases, Brimstone and Clover and Do Ya Think. Prior to that, her first original group was The Mavens with whom she released; To You (1997). She has written scores for a number of Canadian theatre companies and has played alongside musical heroes, interviewed icons and bakes a mean sourdough bread. When she is not recording her new album at Crowtown, you may catch her attacking windmills.
Janice Makokis is a nehiyaw iskwew (Cree woman) and mother from Onihcikiskwapiwin (Saddle Lake Cree Nation) of Treaty No. 6 Territory in what is now called Alberta (Canada). She is an indigenous legal scholar, indigenous researcher, a truth teller and an educator. Currently, Janice works with various Indigenous Nations in the area of Treaty advocacy and protection, the development and implementation of Indigenous laws and land based Indigenous education and governance initiatives. She is sessional Faculty at the University of Alberta in the Faculty of Extension’s Indigenous programs and Yellowhead Tribal College’s Indigenous Governance program. She served as the co-chair/ co-coordinator on the North American Indigenous Peoples Caucus (NAIPC) from 2013-2016, a voluntary Indigenous body that makes recommendations to the agenda items to be addressed by the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues. She was a part of the core organizing group for the Idle No Movement.
Binnu Jeyakumar brings a wealth of skills, expertise and experience from the power industry, government and non-profit sectors to her position as director of the clean energy program of the Pembina Institute, Canada’s leading energy think tank. Her portfolio includes managing the phase-out of coal power, integrating renewables, and modernizing the grid. She has expertise in fossil fuel and renewable generation technologies, community energy and sustainability strategy development. She has designed and convened several multi-stakeholder engagements on energy policy issues.
V Guzmán is a non-binary, disabled, first-generation Salvadoran Nawat Canadian born and raised in Treaty Six, traditional Papaschase Cree territory. The eldest of eight and a self-taught visual artist who sometimes performs spoken word poetry, though most of their creative energy is invested into their work as a strategic urban frontline community organizer and inner city QTBIPOC youth advocate for almost a decade. You can usually find them online or through Shades of Colour YEG.
A true preserver of the spirit of folk music, twice Juno-nominated Maria Dunn writes thought-provoking, hope-mongering songs that honour the resilience and grace of “ordinary” people, past and present. Her 2016 album Gathering celebrates the love of family, community and humanity that fires our actions to make the world a better place. In January 2021, Maria releases her seventh album Joyful Banner Blazing, produced by Shannon Johnson (Juno-winner with The McDades) and again highlighting stories of compassion and community action.
Edmonton-based, Maria performs at festivals, theatres, union halls and conferences, including with the multimedia history shows she developed in collaboration with videographer Don Bouzek of Edmonton’s Ground Zero Productions—Packingtown and GWG: Piece by Piece (with historian Catherine C. Cole), On The River (with Edmonton Indigenous women’s trio Asani) and Troublemakers: Working Albertans.
Adham Shaikh is an Emmy- and Juno Award-nominated music producer, composer, sound designer and DJ. Adham brings his uniquely powerful global sounds to the world stage and screen. He has scored original soundtracks for a number of film and television productions, including National Geographic (Emmy nomination), has mixed and produced the debut album of award winning fusion act Delhi2Dublin and has received a Leo Award for Best Musical Score in a Documentary Program. Other highlights include headlining sets at The Royal Ontario Museum, Basscoast Festival, Shambhala, the Vancouver Folk Festival and many others. His newest collaboration is titled Monkey Dragon.
Melanee Thomas is an Associate Professor & Graduate Program Director in the Department of Political Science at the University of Calgary. She researches the causes and consequences of gender-based political inequality, with a particular focus on political attitudes and behaviour. Her current projects include an exploration of the effects of gender, socialization, and psychological orientations to politics, an examination of the role electoral districts play in representational diversity, a study of how gendered mediation affects how voters see themselves and candidates as political actors, and an exploration of public and elite opinion about the environment, the economy, and climate change.
President, United Nurses of Alberta
Heather Smith is president of the United Nurses of Alberta, which represents more than 30,000 registered nurses, registered psychiatric nurses and allied workers. Smith came to Alberta in 1976 from Ontario and soon became active in the union, serving on every bargaining committee since 1984 and becoming president in 1988. She received the Spirit of Tommy Douglas Award in 2007 for her commitment to the dreams of the late Saskatchewan premier and creator of Canadian Medicare.
Dr. Ubaka Ogbogu is an associate professor in the faculties of Law and Pharmacy & Pharmaceutical Sciences, and the Katz Research Fellow in Health Law and Science Policy at the University of Alberta. Ogbogu is a Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation Fellow (2020-23) and a recipient of the Confederation of Alberta Faculties Association Distinguished Academic Early Career Award. Ogbogu is a nationally recognized expert in the fields of health law and policy, law and technology, and bioethics.
Ricardo Acuña is president of the Association of Academic Staff at the U of A (AASUA), the union representing 4,000 professors, teaching staff, librarians, researchers and administrators on campus. He is on leave from his position as executive director of Parkland Institute, a position he has held since 2002. He has a degree in political science and history from the University of Alberta, and has over 20 years of experience as a volunteer, staffer and consultant for various non-government and non-profit organizations around the province. He has spoken extensively and written on energy policy, democracy, privatization and the Alberta economy. He is a regular media commentator on post-secondary and public policy issues, and is currently chair of Oxfam Canada and interim chair of Oxfam International.