We're pleased to welcome our 2024 Conference Instructors

Anne Smith, Trauma Free World

Ann initially connected with Trauma Free World when, for over 10 years, she worked with orphaned and vulnerable children in Kenya. She’s now joined our team, leading the Affiliate Trainer program of over 100 trainers in 50+ countries. She is passionate about helping people everywhere learn more about healing from trauma and is especially focused on equipping people to teach in their own language and cultural context.

Key Details

  • Manages all Affiliate Trainers around the world
  • Leads Trauma Free World’s East Africa Collaborative
  • 15+ years of working with vulnerable populations
  • Undergraduate Nursing degree
  • Currently pursuing a masters in social work from University of Michigan

Autumm Rabbitskin, Evermore Centre

Autumn Rabbitskin is a Treaty six Plains Cree woman from Big River First Nation. She was born and raised in Prince Albert but now resides in Saskatoon with her fiancée and their three amazing children. Autumn recently graduated from First Nations University of Canada with a degree in Social Work.

She did her last practicum at The Evermore Centre and now works with the Ministry of Social Services. Autumn was fortunate to be raised with traditional teachings and values and is pleased to be able to share her culture.

Camilla Layne, Canadian Centre for Child Protection Inc.

Camillia Layne is the Project Arachnid Hotline Liaison with Cybertip.ca, Canada’s national tipline for the reporting of online child sexual exploitation, operated by the Canadian Centre for Child Protection Inc. In her role, she provides ongoing support for survivors of child sexual abuse material (CSAM) and their families, with a special focus in Project Arachnid, an AI tool that crawls the web for known CSAM to prompt its removal.

Camillia has worked within the Manitoba Justice and Winnipeg CFS streams and has spent time at several organizations focused on the prevention and intervention of child trafficking. With a lengthy background in child protection, and a specialization in computer systems technology, Camillia seamlessly blends her knowledge of tech with her dedication to keeping kids safe and is passionate about providing parents and professionals working with children information on the risks youth are facing, and strategies to protect them.

Elder Richard Laurin & Elder Isabelle Impey

Jeff Cappo

Jeff Cappo is a well-known and active leader who has made many contributions within and beyond the First Nations community. Jeff is a residential school survivor who began his passion for First Nations language and culture very young. Since then, Jeff has shared his story about resilience at various events across Saskatchewan.

Jeff is an advocate for language and culture as a way to provide healing. Jeff continues to actively showcase, share, and create cultural awareness for his people, among his many other community leadership endeavors. Jeff is an Indigenous Educator, specializing in Indigenous studies with a minor in English. 

John Lagimodiere, ACS Aboriginal Consulting Services

John Lagimodiere, the proprietor of ACS Aboriginal Consulting Services, is a prominent figure in Saskatchewan's entrepreneurial landscape and a proud member of the Métis Nation-Saskatchewan, CUMFI Local #165, tracing his roots to the Red River. Hailing from Saskatoon, John's interests span from sports to literature, fishing expeditions with companions, and cherished moments of familial camaraderie filled with anecdotes, laughter, and games. Before attaining his university degree, John traversed various vocations. Post-graduation, he joined forces with two fellow University of Saskatchewan alumni to establish ACS, venturing into Indigenous awareness education.

The advent of an opportunity to publish a newspaper prompted the birth of Eagle Feather News, a monthly publication dedicated to spotlighting the positive narratives of Indigenous communities in Saskatchewan. Although the journey was fraught with financial strains and health setbacks, John's unwavering integrity and resilience propelled him forward. Over time, ACS expanded its repertoire of services, garnering a diverse clientele encompassing international corporations, governmental bodies, and community organizations. Simultaneously, Eagle Feather News burgeoned into Saskatchewan's premier independent media outlet, boasting a monthly circulation of 10,000 copies and a daily online readership exceeding 20,000 visitors.

In 2022, after a quarter-century at the helm, John entrusted the reins of Eagle Feather News to new custodians. Reflecting on the nomenclature conundrum, John elucidates the dichotomy between "Aboriginal" and "Indigenous," underscoring the constitutional recognition and affirmation of Aboriginal Peoples' Rights while acknowledging the contemporary resonance of the term "Indigenous."

Julie Cooper

Julie researches, develops, and implements world-class, trauma-informed training and leads curriculum development for Trauma Free World.

With extensive experience training internationally and focusing on vulnerable children, non-profit leadership and self-care, Dr. Cooper specializes in building trauma-informed training that anyone can put to use immediately, regardless of background or education.

KEY DETAILS

  • PhD in Counselling & Psychology, with a dissertation on trauma-informed leadership
  • Currently running research to quantitatively demonstrate evidence-based outcomes of trauma training
  • Passionate about destigmatizing mental illness and the importance of self-care
  • Foster and adoptive mom to over twenty children has helped shape Julie's focus on training that's immediately applicable

Larissa Severight, Beading with Larissa

Larissa Severight resides in Saskatoon and is a member of the Red Pheasant First Nation, Larissa’s passion for beading began at an early age. She was raised by a creative family who always had cultural projects on the go whether it was beadwork, regalia making, moccasins, or drums. Watching a project slowly come to life was always fascinating to her. She showed an interest in beading at 8 years old and was taught the basics by close aunts and cousins. At 17 she assisted with a family project and that’s where her own interest in beadwork and collections began. She has learned several different styles of beading methods and has come to love the 2-needle method.

Throughout the years she has completed a variety of beadwork pieces which include earrings, necklaces, pins, keychains, medallions, and beaded regalia. She has hosted beading classes within the public school system and inside the classroom. Larissa has enjoyed teaching others how to bead and will teach anyone willing to learn. Beading requires a lot of patience and positive energy that goes into the piece as it’s created. She was always told not to bead or create anything in a negative mindset as that energy could be transferred into the artwork. Larissa is looking forward to sharing her beading story with everyone. 

Leah Dorion

Leah Marie Dorion is a Metis writer and artist currently living near Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, Canada. Her artwork celebrates the strength and resilience of Indigenous women and families.  Leah is also a published children's book author and illustrator. Several of her Metis cultural books are available through Gabriel Dumont Press in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan and Strong Nations Publishing in Nanaimo, British Columbia.  Oscardo Gifts an online gift shop based in Toronto, Ontario began distributing products and fashions featuring her unique style of art works.  https://www.oscardo.com/collections/leah-dorion   

Strong Earth Woman a new fabric line “Strong Earth Woman,” was released in early 2024 called, it is her first experience with fabric as an new artistic medium. Leah has a passion for early year’s education and is currently working with the Metis Nation of British Columbia (MNBC) to develop Metis cultural early years resources for children and families.  She is a proud member of CARFAC which is the national voice of Canada's professional visual artists.  Visit www.leahdorion.ca for more information about her artistic practice.

Richard Smith

Biography to follow.