Campfire Chats

Honouring National Indigenous Peoples Day

How have Indigenous communities navigated the COVID-19 crisis, and how can we use Indigenous ways of knowing to move forward together with strength and hope?

Honour National Indigenous Peoples Day online with stories, reflections and discussion with experts on the topic of Indigenous resilience.

Moderated by Chancellor Deborah Yedlin. This event was recorded on June 19, 2 - 3 p.m.

Watch the recording


Opening prayer and grounding remarks from Dr. Reg Crowshoe, UCalgary's Elder in Residence.

Marlene Poitras is the Assembly of First Nations (AFN) Regional Chief for Alberta. She was selected on February 22, 2018 by Treaty no. Six, Seven and Eight Chiefs in the region, making history as the first woman to hold the role.

The Regional Chief oversees several national portfolios at the AFN. She is the lead for the Lands, Territories, and Resources; Treaties; and AFN charter renewal files. Regional Chief Poitras is passionate about addressing climate change, homelessness and advancing youth and women leadership. She currently sits on the Alberta First Nations Women’s Council on Economic Security.

Regional Chief Poitras has always dedicated her career to advancing First Nation priorities at the local, national, and international levels. She is a trained nurse and has worked as CEO for Athabasca Tribal council; bilateral director for Treaty Eight First Nations of Alberta; and with the AFN health sector and committee. In 2015, the Regional Chief received an Alberta Aboriginal Role Model Humanitarian Award.

Dr. Lynden (Lindsay) Crowshoe, MD, Associate Professor, Department of Family Medicine, Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary, is a Piikani First Nation family physician-scholar with extensive experience leading large multi-disciplinary provincial, national, and international research teams focusing on chronic disease and social equity within areas of primary healthcare, public health, and health education. Within his research, teaching and clinical activities, he focuses on bridging multiple disciplines of knowledge including health, clinical, social sciences and Indigenous Ways of Knowing, ensuring each is centered within traditional ethical principles and protocols. He provides clinical service to the urban Indigenous population of Calgary at the Elbow River Healing Lodge, an AHS primary health service model that he developed.

He is deeply connected to his traditional community as a member of the Mutsaix (Brave Dog) traditional society and maintains close connections and relationships with First Nations health care and political leadership across Alberta. He has senior provincial leadership experience in Indigenous PHC services, systems and policy; provides national input on Indigenous PHC; and has led multidisciplinary Indigenous PHC teams both on reserve and urban. He has developed and led innovative Indigenous PHC services within AHS for urban Indigenous populations and on-reserve within Treaty 7.

He provides direction for provincial and national professional health organizations and his input has resulted in numerous policy directives for medical schools across Canada related to Indigenous health admissions and education. He has actively mentored hundreds of Indigenous and non-Indigenous medical and research learners in his career as well as having directly taught thousands of medical learners within the classroom and in his clinic focusing on building critical knowledge of Indigenous health.

Ryan Robb is currently the Chief Executive Officer for Stoney Tribal Administration representing the three Stoney Nakoda Nations: Bearspaw, Chiniki, and Wesley First Nations. 

Previously, Ryan was a member of Suncor’s Stakeholder & Aboriginal Relations group, where he worked with the business units and functions, to assist them in meeting their social goal with respect to Aboriginal people in energy development. He was also the lead corporate support for Suncor’s Aboriginal Employee’s Network. 

Prior to joining Suncor, Ryan was the Chief Executive Officer for Treaty 7 Management Corporation which represented the seven Southern Alberta Nations that comprise Treaty 7. 

Following his graduation from Queen’s University with a Bachelor of Economics degree, Ryan was hired by a Calgary company working in the oil and gas sector, to manage and grow their western division. 

Ryan’s background and interests reflect his passion and ability for negotiating complex multi stakeholder agreements within the context of contemporary business practices and his deep personal respect for traditional First Nations teachings and protocols. 

Ryan serves on several boards and advisory committees helping organizations to recognize and include aboriginal interests and contributions. He takes great pride in balancing respect with well-established business practices. Some of these (both current and formerly) include: Energy Futures Lab, Heart and Stroke Foundation of Alberta & NWT, Alberta Strategic Tourism Council, Institute on Governance, and the Banff Centre – Indigenous Program Council. 

In 2009, he was honoured with the Blackfoot name “Niinistakaa” by Chief Reg Crowshoe, Piikani Nation. Ninistakaa means “the one the Chiefs depend on/Chiefs’ Warrior”. In 2011, he was further honoured with a Headdress for his service to the Treaty 7 Nations.

Campfire Chats

From left to right: Marlene Poitras, Dr. Lindsay Crowshoe, Ryan Robb

Learn more

Hear from Dr. Reg Crowshoe, UCalgary's Elder in Residence, about pandemics in Indigenous communities. Part of ii' taa'poh'to'p's Elders Wisdom Series.

Presented by ii’ taa’poh’to’p, UCalgary’s Indigenous Strategy, in partnership with the Community Engagement Team.