Courageous Conversations

The challenges that face society are numerous and complex.

In a time when misinformation and misunderstanding are proliferating, in a province where deep social divides have been exposed, we must work together to cultivate understanding and bridge the divide.

As Saskatchewanians, Canadians, and as global citizens, we need to act on the responsibilities that come with our citizenship. We need to learn about the issues that matter and initiate brave conversations that will have a positive impact in our schools, our workplaces, and our communities.

Since 2014, the Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission has been hosting its Courageous Conversation Speaker Series. This series was designed to explore issues afflicting our society within a human rights context. Issues pertaining to:

  • Racial Discrimination
  • Indigenous Cultures and Awareness
  • Gender
  • Mental Health and Addictions
  • Disability, and
  • The Holocaust

These six topics were designated as cornerstones of the Courageous Conversation Speaker Series making them more visible and accessible for discussion and action. An understanding of these issues is foundational to the development of a full understanding of what it means to be a responsible, respectful, and participatory citizen committed to justice and equality in a pluralistic Canadian democracy.

With so much at stake, silence is not an option.

The Commission remains committed to holding Courageous Conversations.Where there is division and misunderstanding, it is the Commission’s goal to bring people together to engage in authentic, meaningful, and sustaining dialogue.


  • Angela Bishop and Doug Cuthand

    Angela Bishop and Doug Cuthand

    December 6, 2018

    Angela Bishop and Doug Cuthand visited the Commission to discuss Indigenous experience in rural Saskatchewan. Angela and Doug were featured on CBC’s The Current, and give a unique and informed perspective to the issues facing our province.

  • Dr. Fatima Coovadia

    Dr. Fatima Coovadia

    November 22, 2018

    Dr. Coovadia's talk — "Wearing Many Hijabs: my Canadian Journey" — explored life under Apartheid, immigration, identity, faith, and the experience of being a Muslim during the rise of Islamophobia.

  • Dr. Alaa Murabit

    Dr. Alaa Murabit

    October 11, 2018

    Dr. Murabit regaled the audience at Quance Theatre with her Courageous Conversation titled "Getting Women at the Table: A fireside chat with Dr. Alaa Murabit." Her talk explored the need for gender equality and the importance of female political involvment in today's world.

  • Betty Ann Adam

    Betty Ann Adam

    September 27, 2018

    Betty Ann Adam stopped by the Commission to have a Courageous Conversation about her experience with the Sixties Scoop. Her talk also examined other critical issues facing Indigenous people in today's society.

  • Adrian Piccoli and Andy Hargreaves

    Adrian Piccoli and Andy Hargreaves

    August 28, 2018

    Former Australian Minister for Education, Adrian Piccoli stopped by the Commission while professor Andy Hargreaves of Boston College video-conferenced in to discuss citizenship education and democracy.

  • Paul Seesequasis

    Paul Seesequasis

    June 28, 2018

    Paul Seesequasis visited the Commission to talk about Indigenous history and to share his Indigenous Archival Photo Protect with those in attendance.

  • Eugene Arcand and Nate Leipciger

    Eugene Arcand and Nate Leipciger

    June 4, 2018

    Residential school survivor, Eugene Arcand, and Holocaust survivor, Nate Leipciger, spoke with more than 200 students about their past experiences and their hopes for the future. The Courageous Conversation was held Saskatoon's Cathedral of the Holy Family.

  • KAIROS Blanket Exercise

    KAIROS Blanket Exercise

    May 15, 2018

    Commission staff and other invitees partook in a unique, interactive and participatory history lesson developed in collaboration with Indigenous Elders, knowledge keepers and educators. The event took place at the Gathercole Auditorium in Saskatoon.

  • Women Entrepreneurs and Innovation

    Women Entrepreneurs and Innovation

    March 26 + 27, 2018

    Clare Beckton, Founding Executive Director of the Carleton University Centre for Women in Politics and Public Leadership, and Janice McDonald, founder of the Beacon Agency and award-winning serial entrepreneur, were keynote speakers in town to discuss gender and how female entrepreneurs are driving innovation in Canada.

  • Dr. Jacqueline Ottmann

    Dr. Jacqueline Ottmann

    March 22, 2018

    Dr. Jacqueline Ottmann, the Vice-Provost of Indigenous Engagment at University of Saskatchewan, visited the Commission to discusss Indigenization, Reconciliation and decolonization processes, policies and programming at the U of S.

  • Angela Davis

    Angela Davis

    March 8, 2018

    Civil rights activist, scholar, author and women’s rights advocate, Angela Davis led a Courageous Conversation about gender, class, and race at the Riddell Theatre at the University of Regina. The Commission helped sponsor the event, which was hosted by the University of Regina Women's Action Group and the University of Regina Women's Centre to celebrate International Women's Day 2018.

  • Eric Howe

    Eric Howe

    March 8, 2018

    Eric Howe, a Professor in the Department of Economics at the University of Saskatchewan held a Courageous Conversation at the Commission titled “Indigenous Issues and Demographics: an Investment in Saskatchewan’s Future Prosperity."


  • Dr. Erika Dyck

    Dr. Erika Dyck

    December 7, 2017

    Dr. Erika Dyck, a Professor at the University of Saskatchewan and a Tier 2 Canada Research Chair in the History of Medicine, visited the Commission to talk about disability, mental illness and the legacy of eugenics in Canada.

  • Faye Davis

    Faye Davis

    November 15, 2017

    Faye Davis, Executive Director of the Saskatoon Sexual Assault and Information Centre, spoke to the Commission about sexual assault and the criminal justice system in Canada.