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The Age of Disruption in Public Policy: DRIPA and Social Media – SOLD OUT

October 27, 2023
8:30 AM – 4:30 PM
at UBC Robson Square (map)


This image features (from left to right): Nadia Tchoumi, Khelsilem Rivers, Andrea Reimer, Carole James, and Ginger Gosnell-Myers. The background graphic comes from the Second Annual progress report on implementation of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act, published by the Department of Justice Canada.

About the Event

United Way BC Public Policy Institute (PPI) proudly presents a full-day event that brings together PPI alumni, non-profit leaders, and political science students. Dive deep into the latest trends and strategies in public policy, with a special focus on the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act (DRIPA) and the influential role of social media.

This event is a collaborative effort between United Way BC, UBC’s School of Public Policy and Global Affairs, and UBC’s Office of Community Engagement. 

Panel Discussion: DRIPA and Public Policy
Engage with our panel featuring representatives from the Squamish Nation, Real Estate Foundation of BC, and the City of Vancouver. Delve into real-world applications and challenges of integrating DRIPA into policy work for social justice.

Talk: Social Media and Public Policy
Discover the dynamic interplay between social media and public policy. Learn how digital platforms are revolutionising policy-making, advocacy, and public engagement in today’s interconnected world.

Workshop #1: Implementing DRIPA with Andrea Reimer and Ginger Gosnell-Myers
Delve deeper into the intricacies of DRIPA with guidance from Andrea and Ginger, faculty from the United Way BC Public Policy Institute. Explore practical insights, intercultural competency, and the foundational self-awareness essential for effective policy work.

Workshop #2: Social Media with Nadia Tchoumi
Continue the morning’s exploration of social media’s role in public policy. Engage in an intimate Q&A session with Nadia, discussing your organization’s unique challenges and seeking solutions in a collaborative environment.

Workshop #3: Learning Together with Carole James and Dana Hayden
Harness the collective expertise of the group to address and brainstorm solutions for your pressing policy challenges. Share, learn, and innovate together.


Event Schedule

8:30 AM – Registration and networking

9:00 AM – Welcome and blessing from Elder Roberta Price

9:10 AM – Opening remarks by Carole James

9:20 AM – Panel Discussion: DRIPA and Public Policy

11:15 AM – Talk: Social media and public policy

12:00 PM – Lunch and networking

1:00 PM – Introduction to afternoon workshops (see event description for details)

4:00 PM – Closing remarks


Carole James is the faculty lead for the United Way BC Public Policy Institute. She served as Minister of Finance and Deputy Premier of British Columbia from 2017 to 2020, Leader of the Official Opposition from 2005-2010, and Member of the Legislature for Victoria Beacon Hill from 2005-2020. Carole James has been recognized for her work and leadership through her many elected appointments, locally, provincially, and nationally, serving in elected roles for over 25 years. Ms. James was Director of Child Care Policy in the government of BC, Director for Child and Family Services at Carrier Sekani Family Services, and Coordinator for Northern Aboriginal Authority for Families. Her public service has included National Democratic Institute Election Missions in Morocco, Algeria, and Georgia.

Active in her community, she was Chair of the Greater Victoria School Board, President of the BC School Trustees Association, and First and Second Vice President of the Canadian School Boards Association. Ms. James is an honourary life member of the Vancouver Island Cooperative Preschool Association and the B.C. School Trustees Association and served as a foster parent for over 20 years for children and adults with developmental disabilities.

Since retiring from elected politics in Dec 2020, Ms. James continues her commitment to public service, serving as a board member on the Royal BC Museum Board, a board member for INBC Investment Corporation, and as a member of the Government of Canada Task Force on Women in the Economy.

Khelsilem Rivers is a prominent Indigenous leader and current Chairperson of the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw (Squamish Nation). First elected to Council in 2017, Chairperson Khelsilem was an official Spokesperson and active in leading work on various projects and initiatives including developing a not-for-profit housing society and the Sen̓áḵw development, the largest Indigenous housing development in Canadian history.

Chairperson Khelsilem’s lifelong work has focused on progressive social change, including climate justice, social democracy and gender equity. Chairperson Khelsilem brought this passion for change when he became leader of the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw (Squamish Nation) in 2021. Chairperson Khelsilem has been a strong advocate for transparency, accountability and ethical governing standards that will allow all Nation Members to benefit. Chairperson Khelsilem sits on numerous boards and advisory committees. He is currently the Co-chair of the City of Vancouver’s United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People Taskforce.

Chairperson Khelsilem is a fluent speaker of Sḵwx̱wú7mesh sníchim (language) and prior to serving the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw (Squamish Nation), he founded a program at Simon Fraser University to help train a new generation of Sḵwx̱wú7mesh sníchim (language) speakers. Chairperson Khelsilem currently resides in Vancouver.

Andrea Reimer is a member of the faculty at the United Way BC Public Policy Institute. Reimer served four terms in local government from 2002-2018 including 10 years on Vancouver City Council where she led ground-breaking policy efforts on social justice, making Vancouver the greenest city in the world, democratizing engagement and the emerging economy. In government her efforts garnered numerous awards including the World Green Building Council’s Chairperson award and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee medal. After leaving office, she was awarded a Loeb Fellowship at Harvard in recognition of her civic leadership. She currently teaches about power at several universities and through her consultancy, Tawaw Strategies, acts as a strategic advisor to governments and advocacy organizations acting with courage on bold policy initiatives.

Reimer is a long-time community organizer on issues of social, economic, and environmental justice. In 2002 she was elected to the Vancouver School Board – a first for the Green Party in Canada. In 2008 she co-chaired Gregor Robertson’s successful nomination campaign and subsequently ran with Vision Vancouver for City Council, won and went on to serve three terms.

As Vancouver’s first permanent Deputy Mayor she took the lead on many transformative policy initiatives including the bold plan to make Vancouver the world’s Greenest City, the first municipal reconciliation initiative in Canada and the ground-breaking Engaged City Task Force. Andrea has been recognized with several awards for her work on City Council including the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Award and the World Green Building Council Chairman’s Award.

In 2018, Andrea was awarded a Loeb Fellowship at Harvard for her civic leadership. Upon returning to Vancouver she served as the first ever Policy Practitioner Fellow at UBC’s School of Public Policy and Global Affairs. She was subsequently appointed an Adjunct Professor of Practice, teaching power literacy and connecting future policy makers to practice. She also teaches public engagement at SFU.

She continues to contribute to public debate as a commentator, columnist and public speaker, and contribute to policy-making as a Board member at Translink and chair of Metro Vancouver’s Solid Waste Management Plan Independent Consultation and Engagement Panel. In fall of 2020, Andrea established Tawâw Strategies to provide strategic advice to governments, organizations and mission-driven businesses acting with uncommon courage on the biggest problems of our times.

Nadia Tchoumi is a storyteller, entrepreneur, community leader & humanitarian. She understands the power of words, the importance of giving voice to those often misrepresented or unheard, and the value of sharing life-giving stories. She spent 17 years travelling across Canada as a journalist. Today, you can find her helping nonprofits across Canada engage with the media helping nonprofit leaders become effective storytellers for the causes they support.

Ginger Gosnell-Myers, from the Nisga’a and Kwakwak’awakw Nations is passionate about advancing Indigenous rights and knowledge through public policy and engagement processes. Truth is the pathway to reconciliation, and her award-winning projects have broken down barriers while co-creating new approaches for systemic change.

In November 2019, Gosnell-Myers was appointed as the first Indigenous Fellow with the Simon Fraser University Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue. This appointment reflects her distinguished achievements as a thought leader and practitioner who brings a deep understanding of urban Indigenous issues, years of practice in bridging Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities in developing public policy, and a passion for innovating new engagement processes that advance the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Gosnell-Myers’s fellowship will focus on Decolonization and Urban Indigenous Policy and Planning and builds upon the 20+ years she has in this field.

Gosnell-Myers is featured in the inspirational book: Notes from Canada’s Young Activists: A Generation Stands up for Change (2007). In 2012 as part of the CBC documentary series “8th Fire”, Gosnell-Myers was highlighted and profiled for her views on Indigenous issues and relations in Canada. She has delivered a TedX Talk – ‘Canadian Shame: A history of Residential Schools’, and a Walrus Talk – ‘Who do you think we are’.

Dana Hayden is Chair of the Board of Infrastructure B.C. and a Director on the Boards of TimberWest and Mosaic Forest Management where she also chairs the Safety, Health & Stewardship Committee. She is also a Director on the Board of the BC Parks Foundation. Dana is also vice chair of the SFU Beedie School of Business Advisory Committee, the Fraser Basin Council Sustainability Solutions Fund Advisory Committee, the Institute of Corporate Directors Victoria Executive, and is a faculty member with the United Way Public Policy Institute.

Hayden provides consulting services to a variety of public and private corporations in strategic and business planning, natural resource development, public infrastructure development and governance. She served in the British Columbia public sector for 30 years during which she held 6 Deputy Minister positions in natural resource and economic portfolios and the Premier’s office.

Hayden was also President & CEO of three crown corporations – BC Pavilion Corporation, Destination BC and the BC Lottery Corporation. She has a B.Sc. in Forest Science, a M.Sc. in Natural Resource Economics, and is a Chartered Director (C. Dir). Hayden was inducted into Canada’s 100 Most Powerful Women Hall of Fame in 2016, is a Diversity 50 awardee, and received the Vancouver Influential Women in Business award in 2014.

Mark Gifford is the CEO of the Real Estate Foundation of BC, a philanthropic organization working to advance sustainable, equitable, and socially just land use and real estate practices across what is known as BC.

Mark brings more than 20 years of leadership experience in the philanthropic, public, private, and non-profit sectors. Most recently, he served as Executive Director of Kiwassa Neighbourhood House. Previously, he served in senior grantmaking and community engagement roles at Vancouver Foundation and The Philadelphia Foundation. Mark is a former Trustee and past Chair of the New Westminster Board of Education, and has served on numerous boards and committees throughout his career. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Geography and Latin American Studies from Simon Fraser University and a Master of Arts in Urban Studies from Temple University in Philadelphia, PA.

Mark and his family are settlers on unceded hun’qumi’num’ – speaking lands, including those of Musqueam, Kwantlen, Kwikwetlem, Katzie and Qayqayt First Nations, and where he enjoys riding his bike, occasional hikes, and frequent cups of coffee.

Michelle Bryant-Gravelles is an experienced leadership coach, corporate professional, and educator with a demonstrated history of successfully bridging gaps between industry and Indigenous communities. She joined the City of Vancouver in September 2022 as the Senior Director, Indigenous Relations from her role as Corporate Affairs Manager at Trigon Pacific Terminal (formally Ridley Terminals Inc.), in Prince Rupert, BC, where she worked since 2011. She previously worked as a teacher and vice principal for 10 years. 

Michelle has been on many Boards, including serving as the first Indigenous woman President of the Prince Rupert and District Chamber of Commerce. Michelle currently is the Vice President of the Women’s Leadership Network and an elected Trustee for the Lax Kw’alaams Settlement Trust. Michelle is also a Director for Skilled Trades BC, a Director for the Indigenous Business Investment Council, and on the Committee for the Medal of Good Citizenship for the province.

She holds a Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Education degree from Vancouver Island University and a Master of Education in Multidisciplinary Leadership from the University of Northern British Columbia. Michelle is passionate about coaching and received a Diploma in Solution Focused Coaching, and a Certificate in Advanced Management.

Michelle is from the Ts’msyen Nation, from the Nine Allied Tribes of Lax Kw’alaams. She is from the Gitwilgyoots (People of the Kelp) Tribe and Gispudwada (Killer Whale) Clan. Her traditional name is Bilha’am Nelx, which means “Pearl (inside of the abalone shell) on the fin of the killer whale”.

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