Tara Wilkie

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Tara Wilkie is a Registered Nurse and Forensic Nurse Examiner whose specialty is Emergency Nursing. She is passionate about caring for the health needs of persons who are trafficked. Tara was instrumental in creating the Human Trafficking Healthcare Initiative Team for Fraser Health’s Forensic Nursing Service, and a creator of Human Trafficking: Help Don’t Hinder, the first online learning modules in Canada. These modules have trained thousands of emergency health care providers on how to identify and respond to trafficking.

Tara is a part-time instructor for the British Columbia Institute of Technology, teaching the Forensic Health Science and Technology program. In 2018, Tara was awarded the BCIT Distinguished Alumni award for her work to address human trafficking. Tara is a volunteer for Soroptimist International of the Tri-cities helping women and girls locally, and has volunteered abroad in Thailand with tribal children who were at risk and trafficked which was the catalyst to her life’s work.

Click here to watch a video of Tara sharing when receiving her award last year.


David Pollendine

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David has been working for International Justice Mission (IJM) since June 2017 in Manitoba and Saskatchewan. IJM’s vision is bringing justice to the poor and setting captives free. David has many years of experience working with a range of charities in the UK, and has travelled to many countries and cultures. He returned to the UK in 2002 to work as a National Youth Advisor for CMS and set up his own Theatre Company working in schools and with youth projects. Most recently, he worked to connect individuals, faith communities, and organizations to global projects to end poverty in all its forms. David and his family relocated from London, England to Winnipeg, Manitoba in 2017.

Two IJM projects he will be highlighting at the Summit are:


Beatrice Wallace

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Beatrice lived a life of “survival” – abandoned by her birth parents and then later by her adopted mother, Beatrice learned to fend for herself. The use of drugs and alcohol gave her a way to cope, to forget the pain of rejection, sexual exploitation, and abuse she faced living life on the streets. Mother of 8, Kukom to 4, entrepreneur, public speaker, writer, activist, overcomer. She’s currently the assistant manager at Shayil Home at Souls Harbour. Nearly 16 years ago, Beatrice started the journey of healing from the abuse and addictions that had so long been a part of her life. Beatrice’s passion truly lies in helping woman/girls who are being sexual exploited. Beatrice serves on the Defend Dignity team and a part of SOS – Strengthening Our Sisters. The project goes out to First Nations reserves to share the risks of sexual exploitation in and out of our community. Beatrice co-founded White Pony Lodge which is an initiative to end violence in North Central Regina. The Lodge has had been recognized by the Federal Status of Women and the YWCA’s Women of Distinction award. Her story is featured on Context, Globe and Mail.


Andrew Hammond

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Andrew has experience in the identification of urban street gangs and its membership through various methods. He has spoken to over 400 gang members within the city of Toronto, attended countless conferences, public consolations, as well as his various partnerships with external agencies. Andrew is a board member on the Ontario Gang Investigators Association and is a member of four other gang associations across North America. He lectures extensively on current gang trends, gang migration, gang indicia, gangs and human trafficking and how social media is being used to recruit victims of human trafficking (HT), and how HT is fuelling gang violence.

Some of the organizations he has lectured to include: Toronto district School Board, Catholic District School Board, Judges, Lawyers, Children’s Aid Society, Bail and Probation officers, Ontario Gang Association Conference, Safe School Symposium in Vancouver, East African Conference in Calgary, University of Toronto Gang Symposiums, Corrections Canada, Ontario Police College, Canadian Intelligence Service of Canada, Canadian Intelligence Service of Ontario. 


Albert Brown

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Albert Brown has led over 95 John Schools in Saskatoon and is a member of HRC. He has seen first hand the devastating effects of sexual exploitation and trafficking has on victims and buyers alike.

To watch a video of Albert sharing of his experience is this work, click here


PLUS:

Shirley Isbister - President of CUMFI and member of Reconciliation Saskatoon will be a part of the panel discussion on April 26th.

PLUS:
Leading throughout the Summit include HRC presenters Jodi Kozan and Joeline Magill. Gwen Dueck (April 26 MC), Chris Randall (Panel Chair) & Cassie Van Camp (April 27th MC).


Ramona Swift thiessen- Performance Painter

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Ramona has been an active artist showing and selling her work on both sides of the border for over 20 years. She has had work in galleries in British Columbia, Alberta, California, and Saskatchewan, and has participated in many juried shows.

The normal routine of “doing” art this way changed pretty dramatically in 2016. That's when she almost accidentally said “Yes” to being asked to teach a big group fundraiser. From that one “Yes” thousands of students have been in her group classes, and now a few are taking it further with private lessons. But all of these things happened to lead her to her current job description as a Performance Painter!

From never painting publicly, to painting in front of up to 2000 people at conferences, The Remai Art Center, The Bessborough hotel for banquets, The Sheraton Hotel, Retreats, Coffee houses, special parties, Community Halls, Galas, churches, in the future weddings, and more it's been quite a journey! There is an excitement for people to see the whole process from blank to finished in one session.

Ramona will be are official performance painter at this year’s summit on April 27th. The piece will be available for purchase in the afternoon, with proceeds going to support our cause.