We are honored to introduce this year’s Westmont Prize experts and guest speakers
Building a better, stronger community in the post-pandemic world through reconciliation.
Born and raised on Vancouver Island, Leslie represents the 5th generation of her family to work in the field of Cultural Awareness, a legacy that began with her Great-Great Grandfather, George Hunt, who worked with anthropologist, Franz Boaz to record the cultural heritage and practices of the Kwakwaka’ wakw People. Leslie is also a Great- Granddaughter of the late Chief Mungo Martin and the eldest Granddaughter of the late Chief Henry Hunt, both of whom were internationally renowned artists as well as Master Carvers for the Royal BC Museum’s totem pole restoration project. The Royal BC Museum is also home to a replica of a Cedar Big House belonging to Chief Jonathan Hunt, Leslie’s paternal Great-Grandfather. Leslie’s Grandmother, the late Helen Hunt was a founding member of the Board of Directors for the Victoria Native Friendship Centre, where Leslie was employed for twenty-six years.
With this inspirational legacy as a guiding force, Leslie provides opportunities to enhance and develop awareness and appreciation for the cultural diversity within Canada’s Indigenous Peoples. In her current capacity as the Cultural Programmer for the Capital Regional District’s Parks, Leslie relays information that reflects an Indigenous perspective from pre-contact to post-contact history with cultural authenticity and integrity.
Leslie will be hosting a visrtual session about reconciliation on November 7, 2022, 7-8 pm PDT
Building a better, stronger community in the post-pandemic world through activism and volunteering.
Katia Bannister (she/her) grew up on Thetis Island, on the unceded territories of the Coast Salish and Hul’q’umi’num Speaking Peoples — specifically the Penelakut Tribe. Her upbringing in a close-knit Gulf Island community instilled in her a deep love and appreciation for volunteerism and community that she carries with her to this day. Katia currently resides in Victoria, on the unceded territories of the Lək’ʷəŋən Speaking Peoples and their descendants — now known as the Songhees and Esquimalt — and the SENĆOŦEN speaking W̱SÁNEĆ peoples. She is known for her current work with the University of Victoria Sustainability Project to push for decolonization, intersectionality, the creation of passionate communities, and more sustainable systems on-campus at UVic. She also works with UVic Ecological Restoration Club to connect people to place, tell grassroots stories, and inspire community-led environmental action, and the University of Victoria Whitewater Club, encouraging young people to engage with their watersheds, and tie together values of stewardship and recreation. Katia is a firm believer in environmental justice and believes in using her voice, writing, and photography to catalyze visible changes in her community, and to inspire other youth to take action at the community scale, develop their skills in leadership and use their unique voices and talents to create the change they want to see in the world.
Katia will be hosting a virtual session on November 8, 2022, 7-8 pm PDT.
Marc Alexandre Ladouceur
Building a better, stronger community in the post-pandemic world through social media.
As a Media Education Specialist at MediaSmarts, Canada’s centre for digital and media literacy, Marc Alexandre Ladouceur creates resources for educators, parents and community groups and conducts outreach activities with schools, school boards, education ministries, faculties of education and community organizations across Canada. He holds a Masters Degree in Theology, as well as Bachelors in Education and Theology. Marc Alexandre has previously worked as a teacher in the Ontario and Alberta school systems, as a facilitator in Ontario schools and as an editor and translator. He believes in the well-being of all persons experiencing the rapid growth of technology through comprehensive digital literacy and intersubjective education.
Marc will be hosting a virtual session on social media and its impact on modern youth on November 9, 2022, 7-8 pm, PDT.
Building a better, stronger community in the post pandemic world through taking care of yourself.
Sam is a Registered Clinical Counsellor in British Columbia. Her expertise includes psychoeducational assessment administration for individuals with suspected or confirmed ADHD and/or learning challenges. She also supports teens and adults with anxiety, depression, and chronic illness, and high-performance athletes in therapy. Additionally, she works with couples navigating conflict or other relationship or parenting challenges.
Sam will be hosting a virtual session on social anxiety and its impact on modern youth on November 10, 2022, 7-8 pm PDT.