2019 Guest Speakers
Danette Anderson’s greatest passion since graduating with her Bachelor and Master of Education degrees is working with students who have been through traumatic and/or stressful situations. As the Principal of Hospital School Campuses, she brings a variety of experience garnered from her various roles and many years of experience as a teacher, behavioural consultant, program coordinator, and supervisor within Edmonton Public Schools. Danette’s focus is always doing what is in best interest of the hundreds of students she and her staff serve. As part of her legacy, Danette wants to ensure that the best interest of students are met by ensuring coherent systems and strong advocates by building strong collective leadership capacity in those she serves. Danette is an administrator who is transparent in her work and leads with heart in all the decisions she make.
Wilson Bearhead (Nakota) is a member of the Wabamun Lake Indian Band in Treaty 6 territory, Alberta.
He has served as a Chief in his community, the Grand Chief of the Confederacy of Treaty 6 First Nations, Assembly of First Nations Alberta Regional Chief as well as a koashka tayzun (pipe carrier and traditional helper) in ceremony and community events.
Wilson has also served on the Elders’ Wisdom Circle for Alberta Human Services (Child Welfare), was the first Elder in Residence for Edmonton Public Libraries and has provided guidance and support on Family Group Conferencing as well as Elder support for Native Counselling Services of Alberta.
He has been sharing Nakota teachings in schools in the Edmonton area for several years and is currently the Elder for Elk Island Public Schools. Wilson was the cultural coordinator for the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) National Event in Edmonton in March 2014 and continues to provide cultural support and reconciliation focused group facilitation throughout Alberta.
Mike Linn is the Senior Director Capital Management, Edmonton Zone, for Alberta Health Services. Mike has over 20 years of Health and Social Services leadership experience across the country. Mike is responsible for leading, collaborating with and supporting a cross disciplinary group consisting of Clinical Engineering, Facilities Maintenance & Engineering, and Construction Project Management.
Mike is quite proud of being part of the team that helped to get the Northern Lights Regional Health Centre ‘back up and running’ after the 2016 fire in Fort McMurray. From evacuating 73 acute care patients and 32 continuing care residents in 2 hours - to having the Health Centre back in operation in a month’s time is no small task.
Mike inherently understands that the patient is the single most important part of the health system and he is motivated by the pursuit of patient driven focus, experience, ideals, and design thinking.Mike loves to be active and has had the opportunity in taking part in several team ultra-marathons over the last few years – the Death Race, Sinister 7 and the Fat Dog 120 to name a few.
Dr. James Makokis is a proud Cree from the Saddle Lake First Nation in Northern Alberta. James received his Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.) in Nutrition and Food Sciences from University of Alberta in 2004, obtained a Masters in Health Science (M.H.Sc.) in Community Nutrition from the University of Toronto in 2006, acquired a Doctorate in Medicine (M.D) from the University of Ottawa in 2010 and became certified under the Aboriginal Family Medicine Training Program, University of British Columbia in 2012. He practices Family Medicine on the Siksika Blackfoot Nation in southern Alberta.
As a doctor, national presenter, and proud member of the LGBTQ2S and First Nation community, Dr. James Makokis offers a truly unique perspective when audiences hear his story. Not only are his stories humourous and insightful, they highlight the high caliber of his character and celebrate triumph over adversity. Above all, using his education and experiences to enlighten us on health access and health treatment strategies for Aboriginals in Canada.
Dr. James shares inspirational and practical advice on how he was able to achieve so much through his education, culture, spirituality, health, self-confidence, self-motivation, and overcoming adversity. James has overcome bullying in his prior years, is a proud member of the LGBTQ2 community and has faced off with many government leaders, and is at the forefront of a shift in government perspectives on Indigenous rights, healthcare, access, programming, housing, mental health, and social services.
Dr. James Makokis is a leader among the First Nation community and is a primary resource for the government and Alberta Health Service agencies. James inspires audience members through his experiences, education and understanding of aboriginal issues for youth and the importance issues surrounding challenges faced through diversity in the classroom. James has a passion, and in his own words, “a responsibility” to help Indigenous Youth become all they can be, no matter what their situation.
Ply was born in Sakhon Nakhon, Thailand. From his very early years, Ply was an entrepreneur. He would resell fireworks, toys, and collectible card games at school. This early entrepreneurship got him into major trouble with a few of his teachers...but in his later years, would prove to be benefical.
At the age of 13, Ply moved to West Vancouver where he excelled in biology and chemistry, which lead him to the University of Alberta where he graduated with a bachelor’s degree with specialization in Biochemistry. Ply continued his journey in biochemistry, and is presently working on his post graduate education with a focus on chemical and biological regulation of protein phosphatases. Part of his research involves the study of inhibitor of protein phosphatases and marine toxin, microcystin, which are actively uptake by the liver and causes liver cancer in human and animal with prolong exposure
Ply’s goal is to develop microcystin into liver targeted delivery molecule for more effective liver drugs delivery.
Currently, Ply is an operating partner at Rogue Wave Coffee Roasters in Edmonton Alberta. It all started when he found something that he was passionate about, hand brewed coffee and how amazing coffee can be when its given love and care throughout the process from farm to cup. He was a regular customer at Rogue Wave, the original owners and Ply would chat about coffee brewing and flavour extraction. Eventually, he was asked if he wanted to be a partner at Rogue Wave... this was a great opportunity for Ply to put science into coffee brewing. Since he has joined the company, he has brought in many new methods of brewing as well as optimizing coffee extraction and brewing procedure. At Rogue Coffee, the aim to be the leader in manual coffee brewing in Canada.
In addition and in Ply’s spare time, for the past 10 years, he has devoted hours to volunteering with the Glenrose pediatric rehabilitation hospital, Littlebits therapeutic riding association, and Special Olympic of Alberta. Although having his own business and finishing his doctorate degree has taken most of his time away from volunteering, He is looking forward to going back to regularly volunteer with these organization.
When you put your heart into anything you do, you already start leading with heart