KeyNote Address: Cynthia Wesley-Esquimaux

Cynthia Wesley-Esquimaux
Chair on Truth and Reconciliation, Lakehead University

Cynthia Wesley-Esquimaux served as a Vice Provost at Lakehead University for three years, effective September 2016 she was appointed as the 1st Indigenous Chair for Truth and Reconciliation in Canada and continues to develop pathways forward to reconciliation in Canada.

She is an adjunct asst. professor for the Faculty of Anthropology and maintains a status-only appointment at the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Social Work. Her teaching and academic writing is directed towards understanding and resolving the continuing transmission of unresolved intergenerational trauma and grief primarily within the Indigenous community.

Cynthia is a Board Member of the Teach for Canada non-profit which addresses the needs of Indigenous schools in Northern Ontario. She was inducted as a “Honourary Witness” by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, and is a member of the Governing Circle for the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation at the University of Manitoba.

Cynthia is a member of the Chippewa of Georgina Island First Nation in Ontario and has dedicated her life to building bridges of understanding between peoples. She sees endless merit in bringing people from diverse cultures, ages, and backgrounds together to engage in practical dialogue and applied research initiatives. She remains deeply committed to public education and active youth engagement from all cultures and backgrounds.

Cynthia co-founded a youth project out of the University of Toronto, the University of Saskatchewan and Lakehead University. Information on the Canadian Roots Exchange can be found at: