“I feel like I lost a lot of years of my life not being who I am”


Eric Wardell was taken from his parents during the ’60s Scoop. His story, the latest in Turning Points, explores identity — what it means to discover who you are, and how your past can shape your future. 

Beyond School

“I tell this story because I want to give it to you”


This Father’s Day, William Greenland shares his history, wisdom and lessons learned with his son. In partnership with PBS NewsHour.

“They say it takes five generations to get healed”

Dene elder Muriel Betsina working on her sewing at her home in Ndilǫ.

Muriel Betsina is a residential school survivor. Taken with her sister from their childhood home, she suffered years of abuse. Muriel shares how she found happiness again—both for herself, her children and her grandchildren.

Baby Bugs to Aging Bugs: Exploring the Microbes Pivotal to a Healthy Long Life


Dr. B. Brett Finlay, O.C., O.B.C. F.R.S.C., F.C.A.H.S.Peter Wall Distinguished Professor, University of British Columbia &

Dr. Jessica Finlay, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Institute for Social Research, University of Michigan

Brett Finlay’s research is at the forefront of the field of cellular microbiology, making several fundamental discoveries in this area that have made him the recipient of numerous prestigious awards. Dr. Finlay is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences, a Member of the German National Academy of Sciences, and a Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology. In 2012, he received the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal, and he was inducted into the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame in 2018. Jessica M. Finlay specializes in environmental gerontology and clinical geography. She has authored publications in leading health, geography, and gerontology journals, including The Professional Geographer, Social Science & Medicine, The Gerontologist, and Ageing & Society. Brett and Jessica Finlay have co-authored The Whole-Body Microbiome: How to Harness Microbes— Inside and Out—for Lifelong Health (2018).

An Evening with the UBC Opera Ensemble, Directed by Nancy Hermiston


UBC Opera Ensemble, directed by Professor Nancy Hermiston, O.C.Chair, Voice and Opera Divisions, UBC School of Music, and University Marshal

Professor Hermiston is a distinguished opera singer, stage director and educator. She debuted in New York at Carnegie Hall, and her European début led to a permanent engagement with the prestigious Nürnberg Opera. She has held numerous appointments as voice teacher and as stage director at the Meistersinger Konservatorium, Nürnberg, and the University of Toronto Opera and Performance Divisions. In 1989 Professor Hermiston founded the first women’s opera guild in Germany, and continues as Honorary President of the Guild. She was the recipient of the Dorothy Somerset Award for Performance and Development in the Visual and Performing Arts in 2008, and the prestigious Rubie Award by Opera Canada in 2011. Her Opera Program, created in 1995, was awarded the Alfred Scow Award from UBC in 2011 for enriching and enhancing students’ experience.

Indigenous Perspectives of History: Story as a Repository


Dr. Deanna RederAssociate Professor and Chair, Department of Indigenous Studies, Simon Fraser University

Dr. Reder’s research focuses on Indigenous literature and literary history. A Cree-Métis scholar, she is a founding member of the Indigenous Literary Studies Association (ILSA), co-chair of the Indigenous Voices Awards, and the Editor for the Indigenous Studies Series at Wilfrid Laurier University Press. She also helped found, in 2020, the Indigenous Editors Association. Dr. Reder co-edited the fiftieth anniversary issue of the journal, Ariel, and has co-authored the recently released book, Cold Case North: The Search for James Brady and Absolum Halkett. Dr. Reder is the co-editor of four additional collections, including Honouring the Strength of Indian Women: Plays, Stories, Poetry (2019); Learn, Teach, Challenge: Approaching Indigenous Literatures (2016); Read, Listen, Tell: Indigenous Stories from Turtle Island (2017); and Troubling Tricksters: Revisioning Critical Conversations (2010). In 2018, Dr. Reder was inducted into the College of New Scholars, Artist, and Scientists in the Royal Society of Canada.

Reading List

  1. Jo-Ann Episkenew: Taking Back our Spirits: Indigenous Literature, Public Policy, and Healing (University of Manitoba Press, 2009)  (theories on the power of reading)
  2. Dawn Dumont: Nobody Cries at Bingo (Thistledown, 2011) (comedy in the context of modern day Treaty 4) 
  3. Michael Nest, Deanna Reder, and Eric Bell: Cold Case North: the Search for James Brady and Absolom Halkett(University of Regina Press, 2020)  (a page turner about two Indigenous leaders who went missing without a trace over 50 years ago in Northern Saskatchewan)
  4. On the Other Side(s) of 150: Untold Stories and Critical Approaches to History, Literature, and Identity in Canada, edited by Linda M. Morra and Sarah Henzi (forthcoming May 2021 but includes more discussion on the unpublished novel discussed in the lecture- see Chapter One)
  5. Watch: Tasha Hubbard’s award-winning documentary, We Will Stand Up (2019)

Uncovering Global “Forever Chemical” Contamination: Legal, Regulatory, and Scientific Challenges


A recording of this lecture will be posted soon.

Robert BilottAmerican environmental lawyer and author

Mr. Bilott gained international prominence by raising awareness and exposing the global environmental contamination produced by highly toxic fluorinated chemicals (“forever chemicals”) associated with the production of Teflon. His book Exposure: Poisoned Water, Corporate Greed, and One Lawyer’s Twenty-Year Battle against DuPont (2019) is a personal account of the litigation process leading to DuPont ceasing production and use of “forever chemicals” in 2013, and was also the inspiration for the feature film, Dark Waters (2019) and the documentary, The Devil We Know (2018). Among his many distinctions for his environmental work, Mr. Bilott has received the 2017 International Right Livelihood Award (also known as the “Alternative Nobel Prize”), the 2020 Kentucky Bar Association Distinguished Lawyer Award; he was also the 2016 “Giraffe Hero” Commendation Honoree, and named the Clarence Darrow Award Honoree, Mass Tort Bar in 2014.

Difficult Times, Hard Choices: Canada and China


Paul Evans, HSBC Chair in Asian Research and Professor, UBC School of Public Policy and Global Affairs

Dr. Evans’ research and public diplomacy focuses on relations between Canada and China, and security issues and processes in the Asia Pacific region. Recently his writings and media commentaries have also focused on the emergence of techno-nationalism as a defining force in regional affairs. Dr. Evans was a co-founder of the Council for Security Cooperation in Asia Pacific, the Canadian Consortium on Human Security, and the Canada-Korea Forum, and was appointed by the Government of Canada to the ASEAN Regional Forum’s Experts and Eminent Persons (2012). He has directed research centres and programs at UBC, Harvard University, York University and the University of Toronto, and served as Co-CEO of the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada. Dr. Evans has also directed exchange and partnership projects with fifteen research institutes in Asia and the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs funded by governments and foundations in Canada, Japan, the United States, China, Taiwan, South Korea, Thailand and Indonesia. His books include The Asia-Pacific Security Lexicon (translated into six Asian languages) and Engaging China: Myth Aspiration and Strategy in Canadian Policy from Trudeau to Harper (2014).

Mr. Jonathan Manthorpe was programmed to speak this Saturday, but illness has forced him to withdraw. We hope to reschedule his appearance in the near future.

Stem Cells, Gene Editing, and Regenerative Medicine: Where Are We Heading?


Dr. Janet RossantPresident and Scientific Director, The Gairdner Foundation

Dr. Rossant’s contributions have shaped the way we understand the human genome, congenital abnormalities, and the use of cancer drugs. Her innovation in manipulating the mouse genome led to the mouse becoming the dominant model in understanding the function of the human genome sequence. Dr. Rossant is the recipient of many distinguished awards including the 2004 Killam Prize for Health Sciences, the 2005 CIHR Michael Smith Prize in Health Research, the 2007 March of Dimes Prize in Developmental Biology, the 2007 Conklin Medal from the Society for Developmental Biology, the 2013 Ross G. Harrison Medal (lifetime achievement award), and the 2015 Gairdner Wightman Award. She is a Fellow of both the Royal Societies of London and Canada, and is a foreign Associate of the US National Academy of Science.

Brain Health and the Arts


Dr. Lara BoydCanada Research Chair in Neurobiology of Motor Learning and Director of the Brain Behaviour Laboratory, University of British Columbia

George W. Poling Lecture

Dr. Boyd is a Neuroscientist and Physical Therapist. At the Brain Behaviour Lab at UBC, she performs research designed to advance theoretical conceptualizations of how brain function relates to behaviour during learning. She is an expert in mapping how behaviours, environments and experiences affect brain health and learning, using techniques such as magnetic resonance imaging and non-invasive brain stimulation. To date this work has largely examined the impact of exercise and learning on neurobiology. Dr. Boyd is also a Michael Smith Foundation for Health Career Investigator, a Peter Wall Scholar, and a Professor in the Department of Physical Therapy at UBC. Her 2015 TEDx talk, “After this your brain will not be the same,” has been watched by over 30 million viewers.

Deep Reading, Critical Thinking, and Empathy in the Age of COVID: A Digital Dilemma


Dr. Maryanne WolfDirector of the Center for Dyslexia, Diverse Learners, and Social Justice, Graduate School of Education and Information Studies, University of California, Los Angele

Dr. Wolf has dedicated her professional career to children with learning challenges. Her research focuses on dyslexia, literacy in digital culture, and the reading brain circuit. She designed the RAVE-O reading intervention for children with dyslexia. Dr. Wolf is the author of Proust and the Squid (2007), translated into 13 languages, Tales of Literacy for the 21st Century (2016), and Reader, Come Home: The Reading Brain in a Digital World (2018). She has been the recipient of multiple research and teaching honours, including the Fulbright Fellowship, the American Psychological Association Teaching Award, the Geschwind and Orton awards from the International Dyslexia Association, and the Einstein Prize from the Dyslexia Foundation. Dr. Wolf lectures around the world, including multiple presentations on global literacy for disenfranchised children at the Vatican’s Pontifical Academy of Sciences.

The Cultural and Natural Legacy in the Cradle of Maya Civilization: The Mirador-Calakmul Basin of Guatemala and Mexico


Dr. Richard D. HansenDirector of the Mirador Basin Project in Guatemala

Dr. Hansen has identified some of the largest and earliest ancient cities of the Mayan civilization in Central America with a major international archaeological research team with scholars from around the globe. His work has been featured in 36 film documentaries and he was the principal consultant for the movie Apocalypto (Mel Gibson), CBS’s Survivor Guatemala, and National Geographic’s The Story of God with Morgan Freeman. In 2013, he was named as “one of 24 individuals that changed Latin America,” by Latin Trade Magazine. Dr. Hansen has been the recipient of numerous awards including the 2005 Guatemalan National Order of Cultural Heritage, the 2012 Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in Paris, the Order of the Quetzal in 2017 (the highest civilian award in Guatemala), and the 2019 Orden de la Monja Blanca by the Guatemalan Ministry of Defense.

Media Freedom Panel: Disinformation and Attacks on Reporters’ Credibility

Photo by The Climate Reality Project on Unsplash

A free press is essential to democracy, but disinformation and attacks on reporters’ credibility undermine media freedom.

Join us for a special Media Freedom event, hosted by the British Consulate-General in Vancouver, in partnership with the UBC School of Journalism, Writing, and Media, and the UBC Global Reporting Centre, for a panel discussion to consider these important issues.

Media Freedom Panel:

  • Mohamed Fahmy, Award-winning Journalist, Author, and Human Rights Defender
  • Peter Klein, Director, Global Reporting Centre and Professor, UBC School of Journalism, Writing, and Media
  • Kiran Nazish, Founding Director, Coalition For Women In Journalism; Professor, Brandon University
  • Simon Collard-Wexler, Deputy Director, Human Rights and Indigenous Affairs Policy, Global Affairs Canada

Moderated by Susan le Jeune d’Allegeershecque, British High Commissioner

Opening Remarks from Lord Ahmad, Minister of State, Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office

Register online to receive the event link.

This event comes just a week before Canada will host the second annual Global Conference on Media Freedom, virtually with Botswana. The inaugural conference was co-hosted by the UK and Canada last year in London.

Interactive Learning Opportunities for “America’s Medical Supply Crisis”

FILE - In this July 22, 2020, file photo, people line up behind a health care worker at a mobile coronavirus testing site at the Charles Drew University of Medicine and Science in Los Angeles. Although it will take years for researchers to understand why the pandemic was disproportionately worse in the U.S., early studies that compare different countries' responses are finding that U.S. shortages of masks, gloves, gowns, shields, testing kits and other medical supplies indeed cost lives. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

The Pulitzer Center supported education resources related to “America’s Medical Supply Crisis.” These curricular resources offer a viewing guide and lesson plan for exploring the documentary in class, the opportunity to bring public health journalists into your classroom, and more.