Morning Plenary Talk

9:00am to 10:00am

J. Paul Nadeau

Former police detective, hostage negotiator and international peacekeeper J. Paul Nadeau spent more than 30 years working with victims of crime and perpetrators and learning from top experts in abuse situations, murder investigations, hostage takings, terrorist attacks and human behavior in general. Over the course of his career, Nadeau talked hostage takers into giving themselves up and murderers into admitting to their crimes. And because of his extensive training and his unique approach to connecting with people of all walks of life and under every circumstance, his life was saved by a terrorist during a terrorist attack in the Middle East. Nadeau understands the importance of connecting to others, without judgement, prejudice or fear so that we can each contribute to helping the world become a better and safer place.  

As accomplished as Nadeau’s career has been – and continues to be, his life has been equally influenced by events in his youth that were beyond his control. As a survivor of severe physical and emotional abuse by an alcoholic father, he experienced firsthand the loss of hope and destructive internal dialogue that can immobilize a person as effectively as any prison. Suffering from low self-esteem, anxiety and depression at an early age, Nadeau experienced a moment in grade 7 that turned his life around and led him to confidently take control of his life. He credits that moment for providing him the personal power to achieve many successes, both personally and professionally. He became the policeman he promised himself he’d become to arrest men like his father and he has made it his life’s mission to guide others through the thoughts and experiences in their lives that hold them hostage, just as his thoughts had done to him.  He now speaks to thousands of people-in large audiences and one on one about what they can do not only to overcome their fears and challenges, but also to confidently step forward into a new, happier and more fulfilled life.

Nadeau’s success in helping others led him to write the acclaimed book, “Take Control of Your Life,” published by HarperCollins Canada, and his book has been credited for saving lives and helping hundreds of people deal with anxiety, depression, self-sabotage and a number of other human conditions. Nadeau is also a regular guest on SiriusXM’s talk radio, a consultant to world news networks such as CNN, The National and CP24 for his expertise on terrorism and global hostage crisis’ and a screenwriter.

His website is:

Plenary Session A

1:00pm to 2:00pm

How will the mental health and well-being of Indigenous individuals, families, communities, and nations be achieved through reconciliation and reclamation? How will our society be enriched and transformed through this critical investment?

These are some of the themes explored within this powerful panel plenary session involving some of Canada’s prominent Indigenous leaders and knowledge keepers. Through a moderated conversation, panelists will explore various dimensions of structural and cultural shifts that will contribute to change, healing, and healthy relationships that promise to re-define the Canadian identity. This session promises to motivate leaders, practitioners, and citizens to become engaged and committed to this important work.


Louis Sorin

Louis Sorin is an Indigenous person who has spent his entire working career in the health and social service sector.  He received his Masters in Social Work from the University of Manitoba and subsequently completed a graduate certificate in Health Systems Leadership from Royal Roads University in Victoria, BC.  He as worked as a leader and executive within the community and at national and regional levels.  A significant part of his career was dedicated to the delivery of health services to First Nations on-reserve and within the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority.  At the WRHA, he served as a Community Area Director for Downtown-Point Douglas and Aboriginal Health Advocate for the Winnipeg Health Region.  More recently he served two years as CEO for End Homelessness Winnipeg, a new community-driven organization with the mandate to end homelessness in Winnipeg.  In this capacity, he established the organization and successfully hosted a national conference on homelessness.

Louis has served as a volunteer on numerous community boards and taught for five years in the Social Work program at University de St. Boniface.  For the past seven years he has held the chairperson role on the advisory board of the National Collaborative Centre for Determinants of Health in Antigonish, Nova Scotia.  He is also serving his first term on the national board of the Canadian Mental Health Association.  Most recently, Louis has joined the interim board of the Manitoba Public Health Association.


Albert McLeod

Albert McLeod is a Status Indian with ancestry from Nisichawayasihk Cree Nation and the Metis community of Norway House in northern Manitoba. Albert began his Two-Spirit advocacy in Winnipeg in 1986 and became an HIV/AIDS activist in 1987. He was the director of the Manitoba Aboriginal AIDS Task Force from 1991 to 2001. In 2018, Albert received an Honorary Doctorate of Laws from the University of Winnipeg and received the CAMIMH 2019 Champions of Mental Health Award for Community (Individual). Albert lives in Winnipeg, where he works as a consultant specializing in Indigenous peoples, cultural reclamation, and cross-cultural training.

Carol Hopkins

Carol Hopkins is the Executive Director of the Thunderbird Partnership Foundation (a division of the National Native Addictions Partnership Foundation) and is of the Lenape Nation at Moraviantown, ON.  Carol was appointed as an Officer in the Order of Canada, 2018.  In 2019, she was recognized with an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from Western University.

Carol Hopkins has spent more than 20 years in the field of First Nations addictions and mental health.  She holds both a Masters of Social Work Degree from the University of Toronto and a degree in sacred Indigenous Knowledge, equivalent to a PhD in western based education systems. Carol also holds a sessional faculty position in the school of social work at Kings University College at Western University.