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Photo of Dr. Cindy Blackstock with Spirit Bear


Dr. Cindy Blackstock in conversation with CBC's Connie Walker

"Spirit Bear: Decolonizing Canada by lifting up the children"

Wednesday, June 13, 5:30-7:30 p.m.
Auditorium, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education
252 Bloor Street West
Toronto, ON  M5S 1V6
(View map)

Join us for an intimate conversation with award-winning CBC journalist Connie Walker, and renowned Indigenous children’s rights advocate, Dr. Cindy Blackstock.

Learn about her fight to protect Indigenous children in Canada and the role education can play in advancing their rights, justice and more.


OISE’s annual R.W.B. Jackson Lecture is free and open to the public. 

Registration to attend this event is now closed, but we hope you'll join us via live stream. To watch the event online, register here. We'll send you a live stream link as the event approaches.


''Dr. Cindy Blackstock is Executive Director of First Nations Child and Family Caring Society of Canada and Professor at McGill University's School of Social Work. A member of the Gitksan First Nation, Dr. Blackstock has 25 years of social work experience in child protection and Indigenous children’s rights.

Her reconciliation based approach to addressing contemporary inequalities experienced by First Nations children and youth by engaging children and young people and other members of the public to implement evidence informed solutions has been recognized by the Nobel Women’s Initiative, the Aboriginal Achievement Foundation, the Indigenous Bar Association, Frontline Defenders and many others.

An author of numerous articles and a widely sought after public speaker, Cindy has collaborated with other Indigenous leaders to assist the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child in the development and adoption of a General Comment on the Rights of Indigenous children and currently serves as a Commissioner for the Pan American Health Organization’s study on Health Equity and Inequity.


''Connie Walker is a senior investigative reporter whose remarkable work focusing on unsolved cases and root causes of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls has achieved international attention.

For her gripping podcast series, Missing & Murdered: Who Killed Alberta Williams?, Connie was nominated 'Best Host in a Web Program or Series' by the Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television in 2018. In 2017, she received a YWCA Women of Distinction Award. Her work on the first season of Missing & Murdered was also nominated for a 2017 Webby Award for best podcast, and received the RTDNA's Adrienne Clarkson Award. She is Cree, from the Okanese First Nation in Saskatchewan.