lax̌lax̌tkʷ – Dr. Jeannette Armstrong — Associate Professor in Indigenous Studies and Canada Research Chair in Syilx Okanagan Philosophy, UBC Okanagan

Dr. Armstrong is Syilx Okanagan. As an award-winning writer and activist, novelist, and poet, she is committed to address deeply biased misconceptions relating to Indigenous people. Her research in Indigenous philosophies and Okanagan Syilx thought and environmental ethics coded into Syilx oral literatures has been recognized locally and globally. Slash (1985) was her first and most famous novel. Armstrong’s second novel, Whispering in Shadows (2000) traces the life experiences of a young Okanagan activist woman. Her poetry is collected in anthologies. Dr. Armstrong is the recipient of the George Woodcock Lifetime Achievement Award for Literature (2016).  She is also a recipient of the Eco Trust USA Buffett Award in Indigenous Leadership and serves on Canada’s Aboriginal Traditional Knowledge Subcommittee of the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada.

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Four-time Olympian and Olympic rowing silver medalist, Ms. Tricia Smith, O.C., O.B.C., has been the president of the Canadian Olympic Committee (COC) since 2015 and was elected as a member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in 2016. A practicing lawyer and UBC alumna, Ms. Smith is also a member of the Canadian Olympic Hall of Fame and the BC Sports Hall of Fame.

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Dr. Serhy Yekelchyk is a prolific scholar with expertise in the social and political history of Russia, Ukraine, and the Soviet Union. Media outlets such as The Washington Post, Politico, and The New York Times have published his political analysis.