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Roberta Jamieson

Speaker Featured

Hamilton, Ontario, Canada

Leader, Builder, Visionary

Roberta Jamieson is a Mohawk woman from the Six Nations of the Grand River Territory and lives a life dedicated to diversity, equity and inclusion. She was Canada’s first Indigenous woman to earn a law degree, first female Ombudsman in Ontario, and the first woman to be Chief of the Six Nations of the Grand River Territory. She is a constructive disrupter of the status quo and continuously demonstrates the courage and tenacity required of leaders in a changing environment. 

Keynote Speeches

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Education

Roberta believes education is the key to transforming both this country’s Indigenous communities and the nation itself. She calls on us to make constructive change in order to better our economic circumstances. She outlines how education of Indigenous youth would addresses Canada’s growing shortage of skilled labour, while making the case that education is a sustainable investment which exponentially increases benefits over future generations and in a short time pays for itself.

Negotiation and Conflict Resolution: New Ways of Resolving Issues 

Roberta honed her vision and skills as a leader and constructive disrupter during two of the most important changes of post-war Canada: the ongoing struggle for Indigenous rights and for women’s rights. 

In this presentation, she explores the ins and outs of alternative conflict resolution and how it is crucial in making change sustainable.

Globalization: What it Means to Real People 

The rewards promised are greater employment and higher standards of living – but the question is, for whom? What can be done by public and private sectors to protect the interests of real people?

 

Governance, Accountability and Human Rights: The New Political Imperatives

Roberta believes that governments and businesses must increase their credibility and the trust of the public by enhancing their accountability and transparency. She first saw the benefits of this approach when she was Ombudsman for the Province of Ontario and as a result of her accomplishments and approach to good governance, was recognized by Deloitte Canada.

In this presentation, Roberta explores what the public expects of public servants, and the problems public servants have in meeting the expectations of politicians.

The Challenge, The Opportunity: Establishing Personal & Corporate Relationships with Indigenous Peoples to Achieve Lasting Change

It is not easy to speak or hear about the wrongs that have been committed against Indigenous Peoples, but Roberta Jamieson does that with mastery and authenticity. She tells a difficult and painful story while putting forward a cathartic vision that Canadians can work together to make a difference for future generations. One where each diverse individual, each diverse group, has the opportunity and freedom to make their distinct contribution to Canada and the world. She inspires each audience member to play a role in making that original promise good.

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Panelist/In Conversation

Audience reviews:

  • Roberta Jamieson was absolutely wonderful. She gave what can only be described as a powerful address, receiving a sustained round of applause at the conclusion. Her comments resonated with our delegates and her challenges to the organization were precisely the themes that originated from the conference and that we need to pursue during the next year. It was a total success.

    - Administrative and Professional Crown Employees of Ontario (AMAPCEO)
  • Thank you for taking the time to get to know our organization and the work we do, and for tailoring your talk to suit our needs...your remarks touched [the audience] deeply and you really made them think about how they do their jobs.

    - Canadian Association of College & University Student Services
  • You spoke to movingly at the Dinner and in case you didn’t notice, the silence and the attention in the room was palpable. Thank you for your inspiring words and the passion you bring with each and every word you say.

    - Pier 21 Foundation

Speaker Biography

Roberta Jamieson is Mohawk who has achieved many firsts. They include being the first First Nation woman in Canada to earn a law degree; the first woman Ombudsman of Ontario; and the first woman elected Chief of the Six Nations of the Grand River Territory. 
 
Roberta has long been recognized as an effective and visionary member of corporate boards, with an acknowledged expertise in Environmental, Social and Governance criteria. She is currently on the board of directors of Deloitte Canada and Chile, where she sits on the People, Purpose and Culture and the Clients, Industries and Markets committees, and the Royal Bank of Canada, where she sits on the Risk and Governance committees. She is also co-chair of the Indigenous Advisory Council advising the board and CEO of Canadian National Railway on matters relevant to CN’s relationship with Indigenous communities in Canada. At the request of Prime Minister Trudeau, she served on the inaugural Gender Equality Advisory Council during Canada’s G7 Presidency. 
 
As President of Indspire, Canada’s largest Indigenous charity, Roberta oversaw an eightfold increase in bursaries and scholarships. Charity Intelligence Canada named Indspire one of the 10 Canadian Charities with the most impact and Macleans and the Financial Post chose it as one of Canada’s Top Charities. Since 2004, Indspire has given a record $153 million in bursaries and scholarships to 49,000 First Nations, Inuit and Métis students across Canada. During her time at Indspire, Roberta launched several highly successful initiatives: the first National Gathering for Indigenous Education, a unique conference for educators to network and learn best practices for improving educational outcomes for K–12 Indigenous students and the Indspire Research Knowledge Nest, which publishes the research and data produced by Indspire to encourage policy makers and corporate leaders to invest in Indigenous education and employment. 
 
She was also Executive Producer of the Indspire Awards, a nationally broadcast celebration of Indigenous culture showcasing the highest Indigenous honours awarded by their communities. The Indspire Awards has honoured 384 First Nations, Inuit, and Métis individuals for their outstanding achievements. Since leaving Indspire, Roberta has continued her involvement in philanthropy, most recently as a Founding Visionary of the Prosperity Project. Roberta Jamieson has received 30 honorary degrees, earned numerous awards and is an Officer of the Order of Canada.