Conference Director & Lead Facilitator

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.