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    Inspiring a Generation

    2 - 4 February, 2017

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    Inspiring a Generation

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  • slidebg1

    Inspiring a Generation

    2 - 4 February, 2017


Our 2017 conference, "Inspiring a Generation", will be held on Queen's University Campus from February 2nd to 4th, 2017.

Invaluable Days

What We Do

The QNSA organizes the annual conference series in order to creates debates that matter to Canadians from coast to coast to coast.

Running from February 2nd to February 4th 2017, "Inspiring a Generation" is built on inclusive, worthwhile debate.

Our conference is entirely student-run and organized at Queen's University via the Queen's Native Student Association. As students, we strive to facilitate pressing debates between out 150 student Leaders of Tomorrow delegates and 150 professional Leaders of Today delegates on the economy and its relation to reconciliation.

Our conference provides space for meaningful debate and healthy exchange, asking and answering difficult questions.

Our team recognizes our delegates from civil society and is proud to support a "Politics Aside" approach. These debates do not privilege a liberal or conservative approach. We are more concerned with how Canadians can take the necessary economic steps to pursue reconciliation.

Today’s economy is rapidly changing in a multi-generational labour market. Our conference discusses this economic growth - the good, the bad, and the ugly - and what it means on the ground for every-day people. We know that in Canada, meaningful, positive growth only occurs in collaboration with Indigenous peoples. We are deeply committed to reconciliation and the recommendations of the TRC task force, while emphasizing the responsibilities the roles of the other 96% of Canadians. These discussions will bring leaders together and offer solutions to our shared challenges.

Three days of meaningful discussion.

The full programme of the QNSA Conference 2017: Inspiring a Generation conference will be published two weeks before the event.

In the meantime, click here to download the programme without specifics. This version will not have speakers names or titles. We had received far more interest than anticipated and our teams are working on prioritizing speakers and event so that you will have the best time possible.

Plenary Sessions

Plenary sessions are the most inspirational parts of the conference. Through various keynotes, panels and one-on-one chats, they set the tone for the background, working and social sessions.

Work Sessions

These sessions are the core of our conference. Smaller, intimate groups of ~30 delegates have the opportunity to engage in interactive discussion with fellow leaders while on equal footing. Chatham House rule is applied and will be off the record, so all attendees can fully engage with each other without fear of implicating their position or organization.

Background Sessions

Engage more on a subject and go in-depth in our background sessions around Queen’s University. With great speakers, delegates can sit back, provide input and learn more about issues that matter.

Social Sessions

Dinner nights, wine and cheese nights, concerts, and the First Nations buffet allow for a relaxing end to a long day and let you discuss the day’s topics.

We create debates. Both in person and online.

The inaugural conference focuses on economic growth and how it fits in to the reconciliation agenda. We would appreciate both conference attendees and those joining us online to engage on all social media using the hashtag #IAG2017. Our Press Review offers the option for the press to engage on a personal basis with our Topic Leaders and Speakers.

QNSA Conference Celebrates Women's History Month

For Women’s History Month, our conference announced the attendance of three trailblazing women:

Dr. Cindy Blackstock won a landmark court case on behalf of Indigenous youth facing discrimination in foster care. Dr. Blackstock, the Director of First Nations Child & Family Caring Society of Canada, is one of the foremost advocates for Indigenous kids and remains devoted to future generations. We welcome her insight and leadership to this conference’s debates.

Hon. Liz Sandals, President of the Ontario Treasury Board, has distinguished herself over nearly three decades of public space. As president of the Ontario Public School Board Association, Sandals was the first recipient of the “Outstanding Contribution to Education Award”. She received further acclaim when she spearheaded the Safe School Action Team, earning the 2009 Fourth R Award from the London Centre for Addiction and Mental Health’s Centre for Prevention Sciences. As President of the Treasury Board, Sandals will be invaluable to our debates on the economy.

Hon. Patty Hajdu, Minister of the Status of Women, is a change-maker. Whether in her home community of Thunder Bay or in her cabinet position, Hajdu has been a voice for public health. Her op-eds on homelessness spurred progress while her leadership of local initiatives improved mental health and addiction in her community. Hajdu’s dedication will be an asset as we build stronger communities.

Media Contact:
Vishmayaa Jeyamoorthy
Communications Director

While QNSA Conference has no specific webpages or social media this time around, we invite you to follow and learn more about the Queen’s Native Student Association at the following links:


Four Directions Aboriginal Student Center

A home away from home for Indigenous students and a site of information and support for the Queen's Community.

Aboriginal Council of Queen’s University

Established in 1992 to ensure that for generations hereafter Aboriginal peoples will have access to higher education at Queen's University.

Aboriginal Teacher Education Program

Provides an opportunity for teacher candidates to specialize in Aboriginal education, and qualifies graduates for Ontario College of Teachers certification.

Queen’s Coalition Against Racial and Ethnic Discrimination

An anti-oppressive non-hierarchical coalition of students, staff and faculty that work to create an anti-racist climate on the Queen’s University campus.

Queen’s University Human Rights Office

Promotes human rights and addresses harassment and discrimination on the grounds of race, ancestry, place of origin, colour, ethnic origin, citizenship, creed, sex, sexual orientation, age, marital status, disability and gender identity as well as analogous grounds.

Ontario Public Interest Research Group

Inspiring research, education, and action for a more socially and environmentally just Kingston and Queen's community.

Who We Are

Our conference team is a unique collection of leaders from all walks of life. We aspire for diversity at every level of our team, providing a daily basis for discussion and learning experiences. We are an ever-growing number of students from Queen's University, volunteering for the greater good. and supported by the Government of Ontario and Queen's University.

In each of our Directors’ and Chairs’ mandate letters there lay one key phrase:

"QNSA asks that you continue to build on the strong relationships we have with Queen’s University, the Four Directions Aboriginal Student Centre, First Nations organizations, levels of government, and the private, non-profit and voluntary sectors. We want to be a conference that works for the people — and with them."

Our team creates close relationships with everyone we meet with. We recognize that reconciliation requires every Canadian to work together, and thus partnership between sectors and organization is key. It is these relationships that support us financially, materially, and in advisory roles.

By this time next year, we hope to create a Circle of Benefactors and Patron program of individuals and organizations whom are committed to creating debates that matter for Canadians from coast to coast to coast. We envision companies that form Canada’s economic backbone to be a part of these programs so that students and the leaders of today can all come together and create debates that matter.

As proud Gaels, we also recognize the help Queen’s University gives to us. We are the only student conference supported by the Queen’s University administration and thus receive in-kind support from Government Relations, Alumni Relations, Advancement and Communications.

It is through these key partnerships that allow the ongoing success of this initiative. Our team is extremely proud of the work we’ve done, and very thankful to work with our stellar partners.

Our team.

We pride ourselves on forming one of the most unique teams on campus. With differing backgrounds, fields of study, and experiences, we hope that this multi-disciplinary approach ensures that the QNSA Conferences are the strongest you will attend.

Lauren Winkler

President of QNSA ~ Co-Chair

Holly McCann

Vice-President of QNSA ~ Co-Chair

Pamela Simpson


Darian Baskatawang


Alexandra Severino

Social Sessions Director

Chris Reid

Social Sessions Director

Nick Pearce

Communications Director

Vishmayaa Jeyamoorthi

Communications Director

Shuang Liang

Director of Technical Operations

Allie Lajoie

Technical Operations Director

Courtney Bannerman

Finance and Sponsorship Director

Dianna Hann

Director of Participant Services

Quinn Henderson

Director of Speaker Engagement

Zachary Baum

Director of Web Development

Allison Murray

Procurement Officer

Ana Neri

Social Sessions Officer

Carling Counter

Social Sessions Officer

Courtney Lanthier

Participant Services Officer

Jennifer Williams

Procurement Officer

Kandice Pardy

Participant Services Officer

Lucas Kapeniuk

Budgeting Officer

Madeleine Heinkle

Public Relations Officer

Meghan Labelle

Procurement Officer

Melani Maheswaran

Social Sessions OFficer

Myles Goodman-Vincent

Marketing Officer

Nicka Kalaydina

Social Sessions Officer

Samantha D'Souza-Sen

Social Sessions Officer

Vanessa Mo

Social Sessions Officer

Victoria Rilstone

Marketing Officer

Dakota Lavery


Darcy Curran


Diahanna Rose


Emma McCallum


Mikhaela Shattler


Why did we choose "Inspiring a Generation"?

This year’s theme represents our commitment to investing in a new generation leaders. A stronger, more diverse Canada begins with young people. Consequently, we invite leaders of today to mentor this younger generation to meet the challenges of economic growth and reconciliation head-on. Professional experience can guide these students and nurture an environment of continuous improvement and inspiration. Following this model, our conference leaders create change on a person-to-person, community-by-community basis long after the final debate.