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Keynote Speakers

Manitoba Nature Summit Inc. is pleased to announce that we have confirmed two amazing keynote speakers for the 2012 Nature Summit this September 14 and 15th!!! We are very excited to hear from these two inspiring women and we hope you will be too.

Severn Cullis-Suzuki


Severn Cullis-Suzuki has been speaking up for what she believes since she was small. At age 9, she started the Environmental Children’s Organization, a group of friends committed to learning and teaching other kids about environmental issues. They were successful in fundraising and organizing to attend the 1992 Rio Earth Summit, where 12-year-old Severn delivered a powerful speech that garnered worldwide attention. For this she received the UN Environment Program’s Global 500 Award in Beijing the following year. This speech is still having an impact today, as citizens worldwide are still watching it on YouTube.

Since then Severn has continued as an advocate for intergenerational justice, fighting for long term sustainability, and for awareness of the fundamental interconnection between culture and environment. She is proud of her work as an Earth Charter Commissioner (  In 2000, she and five friends carried out Powershift – a cross-Canada cycling campaign to raise awareness about climate change and air pollution.  In 2001, with fellow students at Yale University, she developed ‘the Skyfish Project’, a youth think-tank that brought their ‘Recognition of Responsibility’ to the 2002 UN World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg, South Africa, where she was on the UN Secretary General Kofi Annan’s Special Advisory Panel. The trip was the subject of a documentary film that aired on CBC’s long-running documentary series The Nature of Things.

Severn believes that science is important for informing global change, and it must be coupled with media and communication. She received a Bachelor of Science in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from Yale University, and a Masters of Science in Ethnoecology from the University of Victoria, British Columbia, where she studied with Kwakwaka’wakw elders on the Pacific Northwest coast.  She has completed several speaking tours in Japan with the Namakemono Club and published several books including The Day You Will Change the World (Gakuyo Shobo, 2003), now in its 19th printing.  She is one of the authors and editors of the book Notes from Canada’s Young Activists (Greystone Books 2007).  As a youth Severn co-hosted a TV series in North America for children called Suzuki’s NatureQuest, and currently hosts the APTN series Samaqan – Water Stories about First Nations and water issues, heading into its third season.

Severn lives on the Pacific Westcoast archipelago of Haida Gwaii, where she lives in Skidegate with her husband and little boy and where she studies the Haida language. She is a board member of the David Suzuki Foundation and the Haida Gwaii Higher Education Society, a Spark for the Girls Action Foundation, and a Champion for WE CANada at the Earth Summit 2012.  She hopes her pursuit of traditional and scientific knowledge and dedication to using her voice will help her promote a culture of diversity, sustainability and joy.

Heather Hinam- PhD.

Heather Hinam is a highly-trained naturalist and skilled educator, I have devoted much of my life to helping people reconnect with the natural world. My never-ending curiosity in the details that drive ecosystems fuelled my studies through three university degrees, culminating in a Ph.D. in Ecology and Conservation Biology from the University of Alberta, where I studied owl behaviour and habitat relationships.

I love to share my knowledge just as much as I love to learn. Over the last 15 years, I have led group programs with the Universities of Manitoba and Alberta, Fort Whyte Alive, The Friends of Elk Island National Park and the Grindstone Cottage Owners Association.

After completing my doctorate, I came home to Manitoba, creating a position for myself as Naturalist/Program Director at the newly-renovated Radisson Hecla Oasis Resort. There, I developed and delivered nature-based programming to over 400 groups.

I am now building that experience into my own business: Second Nature, Adventures in Discovery. This new learning adventures business offers intimate, engaging and customizable travel experiences, highlighting the natural and cultural treasures of Manitoba’s Interlake and beyond. We also offer custom outdoor group activities, personalized nature guide services, naturalist consulting and the design of nature educational materials.

Severn will be appearing via satelite Saturday morning and Heather will be with us for both days and will be presenting workshops all weekend in addition to her keynote address.

You can watch here for more announcements about workshops during February and March and early bird registration will begin in April.


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