Join us for an extraordinary day that explores the importance of our democratic voice.
Shawn A-in-chut Atleo
National Chief Shawn A-in-chut Atleo is a Hereditary Chief from the Ahousaht First Nation. In July 2012, A-in-chut was elected to a second consecutive three-year mandate as National Chief to the Assembly of First Nations.
Advancing a vision of supporting and enabling the success of every First Nation on the basis of their rights and responsibilities, National Chief Atleo and the National Executive have taken forward a bold plan of action and engagement with all sectors of Canadian society. First Nations from across Canada supported A-in-chut in confirming education as a top priority for the Assembly. Since then, A-in-chut has been a tireless advocate for First Nations by spending time in First Nations in every region of the country, with federal, provincial and territorial leaders and with national and international audiences.
Previously, A-in-chut served two terms as Regional Chief of the BC AFN. Committed to the principles of working together through inclusion and respect, he forged the historic Leadership Accord among First Nations leadership in BC in 2005.
In 2008, A-in-chut’s commitment to education was recognized in his appointment as Chancellor of Vancouver Island University, becoming BC’s first Indigenous Chancellor. He has been honoured to receive several Honourary Doctorate of Laws degrees from universities throughout Canada. He also received the University of Technology (Sydney) Alumni Award for Excellence 2011 in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. In February, 2012, he was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for his advocacy work on behalf of First Nations across Canada.
A-in-chut began his career as a facilitator, trainer and entrepreneur working with and for First Nations peoples. He holds a Masters of Education from the University of Technology, Sydney, Australia (in partnership with University of British Columbia, University of the Western Cape South Africa, and University of Linkoping Sweden).
A-in-chut is supported by and gains strength from his partner of 26 years, Nancy, and their two adult children, Tyson and Tara. Traditional teachings have guided A-in-chut to serve First Nations as a leader, facilitator, mediator, planner and teacher.
Margaret Atwood was born in 1939 in Ottawa and grew up in northern Ontario, Quebec, and Toronto. She received her undergraduate degree from Victoria College at the University of Toronto and her master’s degree from Radcliffe College.
Throughout her writing career, Margaret Atwood has received numerous awards and honourary degrees. She is the author of more than fifty volumes of poetry, children’s literature, fiction, and non-fiction and is perhaps best known for her novels, which include The Edible Woman (1970), The Handmaid’s Tale (1983), The Robber Bride (1994), Alias Grace (1996), and The Blind Assassin, which won the prestigious Booker Prize in 2000. Atwood’s dystopic novel, Oryx and Crake, was published in 2003. The Tent (mini-fictions) and Moral Disorder (short stories) both appeared in 2006. Her most recent volume of poetry, The Door, was published in 2007. Her non-fiction book, Payback: Debt and the Shadow Side of Wealth, part of the Massey Lecture series, appeared in 2008, and her most recent novel, The Year of the Flood, in the autumn of 2009. Ms. Atwood’s work has been published in more than forty languages, including Farsi, Japanese, Turkish, Finnish, Korean, Icelandic and Estonian. In 2004 she co-invented the Long Pen TM.
Margaret Atwood currently lives in Toronto with writer Graeme Gibson.
Wade Davis is perhaps the most articulate and influential western advocate for the world’s indigenous cultures. A National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence, he has been described as “a rare combination of scientist, scholar, poet and passionate defender of all of life’s diversity.” Trained in anthropology and botany at Harvard, he travels the globe to live alongside indigenous people, and document their cultural practices in books, photographs, and film. His stunning photographs and evocative stories capture the viewer’s imagination. As a speaker, he parlays that sense of wonder into passionate concern over the rate at which cultures and languages are disappearing — 50 percent of the world’s 7,000 languages, he says, are no longer taught to children. He argues, in the most beautiful terms, that language is much more than vocabulary and grammatical rules. Every language is an old-growth forest of the mind.
Indigenous cultures are not failed attempts at modernity, let alone failed attempts to be us. They are unique expressions of the human imagination and heart, unique answers to a fundamental question: What does it mean to be human and alive? When asked this question, the peoples of the world respond in 7,000 different voices, and these collectively comprise our human repertoire for dealing with all the challenges that will confront us as a species over the coming centuries.
Davis is the author of 15 books including The Serpent and the Rainbow, One River, and The Wayfinders. His many film credits include Light at the Edge of the World, an eight-hour documentary series produced for the National Geographic. In 2009 he received the Gold Medal from the Royal Canadian Geographical Society for his contributions to anthropology and conservation, and he is the 2011 recipient of the Explorers Medal, the highest award of the Explorers’ Club, and the 2012 recipient of the Fairchild Medal for Plant Exploration. His latest books are Into the Silence: The Great War, Mallory and the Conquest of Everest, which was shortlisted for the Governor General’s Award for Non-Fiction and the Charles Taylor Prize and won the prestigious Samuel Johnson Award, and The Sacred Headwaters: the Fight to Save the Stikine, Skeena and the Nass.
Chris Hedges spent nearly two decades as a foreign correspondent in Central America, the Middle East, Africa and the Balkans. He has reported from more than 50 countries and has worked for The Christian Science Monitor, National Public Radio, The Dallas Morning News and The New York Times, for which he was a foreign correspondent for 15 years.
Hedges was part of the team of reporters at The New York Times awarded a Pulitzer Prize in 2002 for the paper’s coverage of global terrorism. He also received the Amnesty International Global Award for Human Rights Journalism in 2002. The Los Angeles Press Club honored Hedges’ original columns in Truthdig by naming the author the Online Journalist of the Year in 2009 and again in 2011. The LAPC also granted him the Best Online Column award in 2010 for his Truthdig essay “One Day We’ll All Be Terrorists.”
Hedges is a senior fellow at The Nation Institute in New York City and has taught at Columbia University, New York University and Princeton University. He currently teaches inmates at a correctional facility in New Jersey.
Hedges began his career reporting the war in El Salvador. Following six years in Latin America, he took time off to study Arabic and then went to Jerusalem and later Cairo. He spent seven years in the Middle East, most of them as the bureau chief there for The New York Times. He left the Middle East in 1995 for Sarajevo to cover the war in Bosnia and later reported the war in Kosovo. Afterward, he joined the Times’ investigative team and was based in Paris to cover al-Qaida. He left the Times after being issued a formal reprimand for denouncing the Bush administration’s invasion of Iraq.
He has written twelve books, including “Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt” (2012), “Death of the Liberal Class” (2010), “Empire of Illusion: The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle” (2009), “I Don’t Believe in Atheists” (2008) and the best-selling “American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America” (2008). His book “War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning” (2003) was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award for Nonfiction. In 2011, Nation Books published a collection of Hedges’ Truthdig columns called “The World As It Is: Dispatches on the Myth of Human Progress.”
Hedges holds a B.A. in English literature from Colgate University and a Master of Divinity degree from Harvard University. He was awarded an honorary doctorate from Starr King School for the Ministry in Berkeley, Calif. Hedges speaks Arabic, French and Spanish and knows ancient Greek and Latin. In addition to writing a weekly original column for Truthdig, he has written for Harper’s Magazine, The New Statesman, The New York Review of Books, Adbusters, Granta, Foreign Affairs and other publications.
John Ralston Saul
An award-winning essayist and novelist, Saul has had a growing impact on political and economic thought in many countries. Declared a “prophet” by TIME magazine, he is included in the prestigious Utne Reader’s list of the world’s 100 leading thinkers and visionaries. His works have been translated into 22 languages in 30 countries.
Saul is perhaps best known for his philosophical trilogy - Voltaire’s Bastards: The Dictatorship of Reason in the West, The Doubter’s Companion: A Dictionary of Aggressive Common Sense and The Unconscious Civilization. This was followed by a meditation on the trilogy - On Equilibrium: Six Qualities of the New Humanism.
He is General Editor of the Penguin Extraordinary Canadians project, a series of 18 biographies that reinterprets important Canadian figures for a contemporary audience by pairing well-known Canadian writers with significant historical, political and artistic figures from 1850 onwards. His most recent work of non-fiction, a biography of Louis-Hippolyte LaFontaine and Robert Baldwin, is his own contribution to this series.
In 2005 in The Collapse of Globalism and the Reinvention of the World, Saul warned that, like it or not, globalism was already collapsing and that if we did not act quickly we would be caught in a crisis and limited to emergency reactions. The Collapse of Globalism was re-issued in 2009 with an updated epilogue that addresses the current crisis.
In his 2008 national bestseller, A Fair Country: Telling Truths about Canada, Saul argued that Canada is a métis nation, heavily influenced and shaped by aboriginal ideas: egalitarianism, a proper balance between individual and groups, and a penchant for negotiation over violence are all aboriginal values that Canada absorbed.
He has received many national and international awards for his writing, most recently South Korea’s Manhae Grand Prize for Literature. The Unconscious Civilization won Canada’s Governor General’s Literary Award for Non-Fiction, as well as the Gordon Montador Award for Best Canadian Book on Social Issues. His Reflections of a Siamese Twin was chosen by Maclean’s magazine as one of the ten best non-fiction books of the twentieth century. His novel, The Paradise Eater, won Italy’s Premio Lettarario Internazionale.
He has published six novels, including The Birds of Prey, as well as The Field Trilogy, which deals with the crisis of modern power and its clash with the individual. It includes Baraka or The Lives, Fortunes and Sacred Honor of Anthony Smith, The Next Best Thing, and The Paradise Eater. His most recent work of fiction – the first in over fifteen years – is Dark Diversions, a picaresque novel in which he observes the life of modern nouveaux riches Americans.
President of Canadian PEN from 1990-1992 and an active member of Centre québécois du PEN international, he helped create the Canadian PEN Writers In Exile Network in 2004. He is a member of the Norway based Council of Writers and Experts of ICORN (International Cities of Refuge Network).
John Ralston Saul is co-Chair of the Institute for Canadian Citizenship, a national organization working with new citizens. He is also Founder and Honorary Chair of Le français pour l’avenir/French for the Future, an organisation which advances the use of French among secondary school students. He is Founder and Chair of the LaFontaine-Baldwin symposium, which advances an egalitarian and inclusive approach to democracy, and the patron of PLAN, a cutting edge organization serving people with disabilities. A Companion in the Order of Canada, he is also Chevalier in the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres of France. His 17 honourary degrees range from McGill University in Montréal to Herzen State Pedagogical University in St. Petersburg, Russia.
Born in Ottawa, Saul studied at McGill University and King’s College, University of London, where he obtained his Ph.D. in 1972.
Micah M. White is a senior editor at Adbusters, a writer for the UK Guardian, and an award-winning activist. He has appeared on Politically Incorrect with Bill Maher and his activist efforts have been featured in the AP, The Chronicle for Higher Education, The New York Times, and Teen People. Micah graduated from Swarthmore College with a B.A. in Philosophy, and is currently pursuing a Ph.D in Media and Communications from the European Graduate School.
Gillian Findlay is one of the co-hosts of CBC TV’s award-winning the fifth estate. Over the course of her distinguished career as journalist, Ms. Findlay has served as London correspondent for CBC News, where she covered such stories as the war in the former Yugoslavia, the famine in Somalia and the Persian Gulf War and its aftermath. As ABC News’s Moscow-based correspondent, she covered the war in Chechnya and later, as the network’s Middle East correspondent, she reported on the Palestinian Intifada, and events in Iran, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Egypt and Jordan.
While at the fifth estate, Ms. Findlay’s story on David Milgaard helped make the case for his innocence and against the man who was eventually convicted. In 1991, she covered the Dubin Inquiry for CBC TV’s The National. Called after the Ben Johnson scandal in 1988 at the Seoul Olympics, the national inquiry investigated the use of banned substances by Canadian athletes.
Ms. Findlay has been nominated for more than 10 Gemini Awards, and has twice won the Gemini for Best Host of an Information Program. While with ABC, she was nominated for an Emmy Award and was also part of the ABC team that won a special Emmy in 2001 for their coverage of September 11. She was recently awarded the 2011 Amnesty International Broadcast Media Award for radio documentary on Remy Beauregard and the demise of Canada’s Rights and Democracy human rights organization.
Carol Off is the host of CBC Radio’s As It Happens and has covered conflicts in the Middle East, Haiti, the Balkans and the sub-continent, as well as events in the former Soviet Union, Europe, Asia, the United States and Canada. She reported the fallout from the 9/11 disasters with news features and documentaries from New York, Washington, London, Cairo and Afghanistan. She has covered Canadian military missions around the world, including its latest combat operation in Kandahar.
Ms. Off has won numerous awards for television and radio work, among them: a Gemini, 2 gold medals from the New York Festival of Television; a selected screening at the Monte Carlo Television Festival; several awards and citations from the Columbia Television awards; a Gabriel award; a B’nai Brith Award and number of awards and citations from the National Radio and Television Association. She is also the author of the national bestselling books The Lion, The Fox and The Eagle: A Story of Generals and Justice in Rwanda and Yugoslavia, The Ghosts of Medak Pocket: The Story of Canada’s Secret War, and Bitter Chocolate: Investigating the Dark Side of the World’s Most Seductive Sweet.
Saturday, May 4, 2013
9:30am – 5:30pm
Tickets for GET UP! STAND UP! are $30.00 and are available through www.ticketweb.ca. A limited number of specially priced $20.00 student tickets will also be available.
Proceeds go to the Toronto Public Library Foundation and Frontier College