Safe Schools Saskatoon Student Conference

The Canadian Safe School Network is pleased to present, with the generous support of TD Bank, the Safe Schools Saskatoon STUDENT Conference. Running in conjunction with The 8th Annual Safe Schools Saskatoon Conference on Friday, March 8th, the Student Conference will feature three keynote presentations and a stream of workshops focused on inclusivity and LGBTQ issues in schools.

Conference Schedule

9:00 AM
Keynote Presentation:

Leo Barbe

Think Don’t Shoot

At 21, Leo Barbe was shot twice point-blank by the hand of another youth and left for dead in an alley way. Luckily a mail man on his morning route tripped over Leo’s body and performed CPR to save his life. Leo then endured a grueling one and a half years of heart wrenching mental and physical recovery before hearing the life changing voice of Martin Luther King Jr. He then traveled from the depth of darkness to the heights of self-actualization while creating something that has changed the lives of tenth of thousands of youth and counting.

Now at 26, Leo is an award winning youth activist, a published author, professional speaker, spoken word artist and a local figure on youth empowerment. He is also the founder of a youth empowerment organization called Think Don't Shoot. His memoir “Slaying the Dragon” will open your eyes to the ripple effects of violence and extend your ideas of hope and survival. Throughout the roller coaster ride of his journey you will find out what it takes to face your fear and slay your dragon.

With Leo fueling the TDS movement he is on a crusade to end youth violence from its core and provide strength and encouragement in a way that will shape the foundation of our youth.

10:15 AM
Keynote Presentation:

Michael Redhead Champagne

ARROWS Youth Engagement

Michael Redhead Champagne, 25, from Shamattawa Cree Nation, Manitoba and was raised in the North End of Winnipeg. He graduated from St. John's High School, attended 1226 Fort Garry Horse Army Cadet Corps and has attended courses with both the University of Winnipeg & Manitoba. MC has been the recipient of a Future Leaders of Manitoba Award, Royal Canadian Legion Medal of Excellence and a Manitoba Youth Achievement Award; the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Medal, all for community service.

In 2008 he created the ARROWS Youth Engagement strategy which empowers inner city youth to facilitate relationship based training to the staff & adults of youth programs. In 2010 he founded AYO! (Aboriginal Youth Opportunities) a youth-led anti-gang committed to breaking stereotypes and creating opportunity. 2011 saw the Meet Me @ The Bell Tower anti-violence rallies that occur weekly in the heart of the North End on Selkirk Avenue. He has spoken across the province about health & safety in his role with SAFE Workers of Tomorrow. In 2011 he began to act as co-host of a weekly talk radio show, Inner City Voices on CKUW 95.9 FM. He has recently been featured on Global National as an Everyday Hero and CBC?s 8th Fire mini documentary with the Bell Tower Movement. He was also selected to participate in the first ever Canada-Caribbean Emerging Leaders Dialogue as the youngest and only Indigenous participant. His passion and enthusiasm are contagious. His message is "Programs don't change people. Relationships change people."

He has become a powerful voice for his community. He moves and captivates his audience with his straight up style combined with energy and passion igniting the hopes of his listeners. A powerful presence that is both sincere and honest will have you hanging on his every word. The 7 teachings are at the core of everything he does and speaks to.

11:15 AM
Keynote Presentation:

Thomas Hall

The Pan Am Clinic Foundation

Thomas Hall is an accomplished speaker, philanthropist, scholar and athlete. This 23 year old fills each of these roles with passion and determination. His commitment to community involvement led Thomas to become a leader at the University of Manitoba. As a member of the Bison Football team, Thomas has led his team on and off the field serving as a team captain, co-director of the “Bisons Against Bullying” Program and chair of the University of Manitoba Athletes’ Council.

A recipient of a number of university, community, provincial and national awards, his noteworthy honours include the 2009 and 2010 prestigious Russ Jackson Award presented to the Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) football player who exemplifies excellence in academics, athletics and citizenship. He was also selected as a CIS Desjardins Top 8 Academic All-Canadian for the 2009-10 season.

Thomas’ dedication to making a difference in the lives of others is evidenced by his numerous endeavours in the community. Along with his three siblings, he was co-founder and honourary chair of “Challenge for Life”, CancerCare Manitoba’s signature fundraising event. Since its inception in 2007, the event has raised approximately $5 million for research, patient care and treatment. For the past three years, Thomas has volunteered his time at Siloam Mission, a local shelter which provides meals and assistance for Winnipeg’s homeless and disadvantaged. He was also the co-founder and director of “Project Echo” (a not-for-profit organization) created to improve the quality of life for others. The project’s initiatives include raising money for Winnipeg libraries, gathering and delivering hampers at Christmas, as well as raising money to assist with the building of a home and providing future care for 10 orphaned children in Namibia, Africa. Reflecting on the objectives of “Project Echo”, Thomas states: “It’s an interesting and powerful concept because what we’re trying to do is create an echo, where people see good things being done and it inspires them to get involved as well.”

Thomas has been a keynote speaker at numerous events, including the Canadian Red Cross Youth Leadership Conference in 2011 and the Canadian Centre for Diversity Conference in 2012. His perspective on youth engagement and student leadership is an inspiration to all those who hear hem speak.

1:15 PM
Keynote Presentation:

Chandra McIvor

The Avenue Community Centre

How to be an Ally: Ensuring Schools are Safe Spaces for our GSD Youth & their Allies

Gender and sexually diverse (GSD) youth are at an increased risk for all forms of bullying, violence, suicide, drug/ alcohol abuse, dropping out of school and homelessness. With the prevalence of such instances reaching alarming rates, what can school personnel and fellow youth do to ensure schools are safe, positive spaces for our GSD youth?

This session will focus on engaging youth to create a successful educational experience for all students. Participants will be equipped with knowledge, social consciousness and tools to help them navigate their school environment in a way that is inclusive and accepting of diversity.

We will look at issues of heteronormativity, the use of inclusive language, supporting school GSA’s and more. A great learning experience for both GSD students and their peers!

2:30 PM
Keynote Presentation:

Mikayla Schultz

Prince Albert Q-Network

TRANSforming Student Groups

GSAs can be a powerful force in the fight against discrimination on the basis of gender identity and gender expression. Despite the fact that these issues are often at the root of homophobic and transphobic harassment and bullying, many GSAs have not yet addressed gender issues because they do not know how to go about it. Mikayla Schultz from TransSask Support Services will provide tips and suggested activities that can be used to help your student group become more gender-inclusive.