Presenters & Schedule

We were thrilled to bring presenters and facilitators from across Canada to the Summer Institute. Each of them brourght diverse experiences and expertise in community-based research. Stay tuned for videos of these exciting presentations which will be uploaded to YouTube in the weeks to come.

Click this link to see the complete schedule 


Opening with Elder Brenda Dubois

Brenda Dubois is a mother and grandmother (kokum), from Muscowpetung First Nation. She has worked extensively in the areas of Child welfare, Human justice and environmental issues. She is an advocate for education and vulnerable peoples. Brenda believes that practicing culture and
traditions is important for people to continually learn and evolve. She has contributed to many community building initiatives including Northern Survival Gathering, Peyakowak, Family Support Centre, and the Randall Kinship Centre. “I consider it a great honor to be placed in such a position to mentor youth and young adults from a variety of cultures, for we are all one human race.

Dr. Isobel Findlay

About Isobel: Isobel Findlay is co-director of the Community-University Institute for Social Research at the University of Saskatchewan. As an engaged scholar, she designs and conducts research with community partners to promote and support economic development, community entrepreneurship, and environmental sustainability. Her research facilitation work has been instrumental to the formation of grassroots organizations and services, such the Northern Trappers Association Co-operative and a Saskatoon community hub, Station 20 West. She has written extensively on the ethics and methods of community engagement, particularly in relation to partnerships with Indigenous communities.  

Dr. Jim Silver

About Jim: Jim Silver is a professor of urban and inner city studies at the University of Winnipeg, and the author of the book Solving Poverty (2016). As an engaged scholar, he has been active in the redevelopment of the Merchant’s Hotel into a campus-community hub and subsidized housing location. His prolific scholarly work and research into inner-city and Indigenous issues has garnered respect across Canada, and includes the publication of more than 100 books, chapters and articles on urban Indigenous community development, inner-city issues and public policy. As a well-known and highly regarded speaker on campus-community action, he will draw much interest in the Summer Institute.

Dr. Shauna MacKinnon

About Shauna: Shauna MacKinnon has conducted numerous research studies utilizing a collaborative community-based participatory approach. She is currently a co-investigator of the Manitoba Research Alliance project Partnering for Change: Solutions to Aboriginal and Inner City Poverty, and editor of the forthcoming publication, Community Based Participatory Research Stories: Journeys to Social Change. Recognized in 2013 by the Community Campus Partnership for Health for excellence in community-engaged research, she will bring both a theoretical overview and strong practical experience to Summer Institute participants.

Dr. Patricia Elliott

About Patricia (Trish):  Trish Elliott was the first director of the University of Regina Community Research Unit, and served as a coordinating committee member and working group research lead for the national Community Engaged Scholarship Partnership. She is the author of Participatory Action Research: Challenges, Complications and Opportunities (2011) and co-author of Community Engaged Scholarship and Faculty Assessment: A Review of Canadian Practices (2013). As an associate professor of journalism, she has used experiential and community service learning in her classrooms for over a decade, involving students in community media projects in rural and low-income communities. She will lend to the discussion her experiences drafting syllabi and planning student projects around community engagement.

Dr. Wanda Wuttunee

About Wanda:  Wanda Wuttunee is a professor of Native Studies at the University of Manitoba. Her research interests include Indigenous economy, community economic development, social responsibility and participatory research methodologies. She is a past co-chair of a community-campus Poverty Reduction Research Project through her work with Misipawistik Cree Nation. She will provide insight into working in close connection with community members in poverty reduction initiatives.

Dr. Cindy Hanson

About Cindy:  Cindy Hanson is Director of the Adult Education Unit at the University of Regina. She is an adult educator involved in participatory, community-based action and research, and transformational forms of learning and research. Her scholarship is linked to non-formal learning, equity issues, and research and facilitation methodologies. This includes local and global research into intergenerational learning, in Indigenous communities, non formal learning, gender, and labour education. Cindy is President of the Canadian Research Institute for the Advancement of Women (CRIAW), a feminist organization that developed frameworks and training in intersectional feminist frameworks. As a scholar and community activist with a long engagement in community-based research, she is well placed to provide guidance to Summer Institute participants seeking to initiate and/or improve their community-based practice.


Dr. Rachel Engler-Stringer

About Rachel: Rachel Engler-Stringer is associate professor in the Department of Community Health and Epidemiology at the University of Saskatchewan. Her research interests include food systems and food securities, nutritional health inequities, health promotion and community-based participatory research. She has been involved in numerous campus-community partnerships, both successful and problematic, and will be able to lend that experience to Summer Institute participants.

Bruce Anderson, MBA, ICD.D, CMC

About Bruce: After senior roles in not-for-profit organizations, Bruce Anderson became an entrepreneur in 1997, launching and building several businesses. He continues as Managing Partner with b-creative group, a six-person firm specializing serving the association and business sectors in  outsourcing, marketing and branding, and strategic / business planning and growth. In 2007, Bruce followed a life-long passion for adult education and began teaching at the University of Regina. He currently teaches strategy and entrepreneurship classes at the Paul J. Hill School of Business and the Kenneth Levene Graduate School of Business. He has been very active in the community. Bruce serves on the Board of Directors with CAA Saskatchewan, Habitat for Humanity Regina, and the Institute of Certified Management Consultants of Saskatchewan, where is also Board Chair. He mentors entrepreneurs and serves on Economic Development Regina’s Council for Entrepreneurial Growth. He is Past Chair of Regina and Saskatchewan Chambers of Commerce, Past Chair of the Saskatchewan Science Centre, and is a past Director Canadian Chamber of Commerce.

Yvonne Hanson

About Yvonne: Yvonne Hanson is the executive director of CHEP Good Food Inc., a Saskatoon-based nonprofit organization that works with children, families and communities to access good food and promote food security. CHEP works with campus partners to further a community development approach that brings people together around good food. In addition to working with successful, respectful campus partners, she also has experience with campus-community partnerships that fell short; she is able to contribute not only what to do, but also what not to do, when engaging in community-based research.  

Dr. Leah Levac

About Leah: Leah's research work focuses on the politics of engagement among diverse communities, as well as students’ development as engaged citizens and community-engaged scholars. At the University of Guelph she has worked over the past five years to develop a Certificate in Civic Engagement and Global Citizenship. She leads a national research project working with Indigenous and northern women in Happy Valley-Goose Bay Labrador, Haisla Nation and Kitimat, British Columbia, and NunatuKavut, Labrador. This work focuses on understanding diverse northern women's wellbeing and developing tools and strategies to monitor wellbeing changes. She also works with community partners on diverse women's engagement in, and experiences with, municipal policies. Her experiences in both community-based research and student development will be of great value to Summer Institute participants.

Dr. Jo-Anne Lee

About Jo-Anne: Jo-Anne is Associate Professor of gender studies at the University of Victoria. Her research focuses on anti-racist, decolonizing feminist theory and practice. She has a background in adult education, community development and organizing with women and girls in urban settings, and has studied action research approaches such as photovoice projects. Her path-breaking work in participatory action research uses popular theatre, video documentaries, digital media, and arts based methods. She is a past President of CRIAW, the Canadian Research Institute for the Advancement of Women, Canada's only independent national feminist research institute.

Tracy Sanden

About Tracy:  Tracy Sanden is a graduate with a B. Sc. in Nutrition from University of Saskatchewan (2003) and a Masters of public health in health promotion from the School of Public Health, University of Alberta (2012). Tracy has worked for over 10 years in community and public health roles. Her focus has been community development, food security, high risk pregnant women and their families and built environments which includes community design, needs assessments, food environments and sustainable food systems. Her current work is in health promotion as a senior lead on healthy environments with the Saskatchewan Health Authority in Regina, SK.  In her spare time, Tracy enjoys growing food, learning and creating adventures with her family.

Heather Fox Griffith

 About Heather: Heather Fox Griffith is a doctoral candidate in the PhD in Education program at the University of Regina. Heather conducted a community-based research study entitled, Victimology and Survivor Studies – Bridging Perspectives in a Transdisciplinary Landscape of Practice. Victimology is a transdisciplinary field of study focused on harm, victimization, victims and survivors of crimes, victims and survivors of non-criminal victimizations including human rights violations, and the societal relationships and responses to victimization. Victimology places victims and survivors at the centre of interest. The research question asks: How can the differing perspectives, needs and work practices of a diverse range of stakeholders including societal responders, policy makers, non-disciplinary knowledge sources, scholars, interested learners, and victims themselves, be bridged to help determine priorities in victimology education? Heather has a personal interest in gendered victimization and childhood maltreatment, and expressive arts as a therapeutic modality.

Robyn Edwards Bentz, Chief Executive Officer - United Way Regina

About Robyn:  Robyn Edwards-Bentz is the Chief Executive Officer of United Way Regina.  Born and raised in Saskatchewan, she is a graduate of the University of Regina and a proud community advocate. From developing comprehensive homelessness community plans to poverty reduction strategies, she has made a career out of utilizing community-based research and local data to co-create impact strategies that engage everyday people in creating a better community for all.  Robyn believes uniting people, purpose and passion will lead to greater impact and sustainable results.

Colleen Christopherson-Cote

About Colleen: As a community-based anti-poverty organizer, Colleen Christopherson-Cote has developed extensive working relationships with university researchers. She is the coordinator for the Saskatoon Poverty Reduction Partnership, the community development coordinator for the Saskatoon Housing Initiatives Partnership (SHIP) HIFIS project and the community co-lead for the Evaluation and Analysis working group of Community-First: Impacts of Community Engagement (CFICE). The interconnect between these roles has provided an opportunity to catalyze community-based research and action, including help guide the development of Saskatoon's Strategy to reduce and eliminate poverty. Fostering new and existing community-campus relationships, creating a culture of inclusion for people with lived experience and embedded non-colonial, reconciliation practices are core priorities of her work.

Dr. Michelle Stewart

Michelle Stewart is Associate Professor in the Department of Justice Studies and has served as the Director of the Community Research Unit. She holds multiple appointments on research teams including the Strategic Research Lead for Justice Interventions with Canada FASD Research Network with projects that have included community based and patient oriented research. Her work involves community engaged and community driven research projects focused on cognitive disabilities, mental health and racialized inequalities in health, justice and social service sectors. Her research addresses these social justice issues through mobilization of research findings that focus on training and policy outcomes by working directly with stakeholders to change programs and practices as a mechanism to bring about better outcomes for individuals---but with attention to the systemic nature of these forms of oppression.

Dr. Lynn Gidluck

Lynn Gidluck is filling in as Coordinator of the Community Research Unit until August 2019 while Naomi Beingessner is pursuing her PhD at the University of Manitoba. Lynn's personal research interests are varied. Currently, she is a co-investigator for a national SSHRC Partnership Grant evaluating the role and actions of Canadian grantmaking foundations in addressing issues of social inequalities and environmental challenges. She looks forward to working with community partners from the United Way of Regina and the South Saskatchewan Community Foundation, along with their colleagues from across the country, on a number of community-based research projects addressing pressing identified by the community that they explore together. When Lynn is not wearing her “academic hat” through her role with the CRU, she is a partner in the Regina-based public relations firm, Benchmark Public Relations.