Dr. Patti LaBoucane-Benson

Patti LaBoucane-Benson has a PhD in Human Ecology, focusing on Aboriginal Family and Community Resilience. She has worked for Native Counselling Services of Alberta (NCSA) for 21 years and is currently the Director of Research, Training and Communication, providing leadership for teams undertaking community-based, applied research. Patti also is executive producer and principle investigator for BearPaw Communications, BearPaw Media video productions and BearPaw Legal Education publications and oversees the development and implementation of the historic trauma healing programs for NCSA.

Dr. LaBoucane-Benson is also a mentor and lecturer for the Peter Lougheed Leadership College, a lecturer for the University of Alberta Executive Education, and provides Historic Trauma-Informed Service delivery training locally and nationally.

In 2015, Patti’s first novel was published by House of Anansi Press. Based on her PhD research, The Outside Circle is a work of creative non-fiction about healing and reconciliation for an inner-city Aboriginal family struggling with poverty, gang affiliation and hopelessness. The Outside Circle was on the Globe and Mail’s Top Ten Canadian books, named an Outstanding International Books 2016 by the United States Board on Books for Young People, and won the 2015 Burt Award for First Nation, Métis and Inuit Literature.

Patti has been awarded the Alberta Aboriginal Role Model Award for Education; the Legal Aid Access to Justice Award and the Rotary Paul Harris Fellow.

Ruth Cardinal de Ubiera

Ruth Cardinal de Ubiera is a member of Saddle Lake Cree Nation who lives and works in Edmonton, Alberta. Her career in addictions and mental health working primarily with Indigenous people has spanned 37 years. She has worked with youth, community addiction prevention and intervention, training and management.

Her current focus is working with the In Search of Your Warrior Program with men and Spirit of a Warrior Program with women who are healing from intergenerational trauma, colonization and are working on their own personal wellness. These programs are part of Native Counselling Services of Alberta’s work at the Stan Daniels Healing Centre and the Buffalo Sage Wellness House.