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2022 Conference Speakers

Find out more about the speakers at the Provincial Summit to Grow Communities One Idea at a Time on September 27 and 28, 2022
Download the conference program here.

Plenary Session Speakers

Teara Fraser stands in front of greenery, looking to the left of the camera. Teara is a Métis woman of Cree ancestry with long wavy brown hair. She is wearing a white, red, and black jacket over a black shirt and silver necklace with a silver pendant.

Teara Fraser

For award winning entrepreneur and Canadian Aviation leader, CEO Teara Fraser, "the sky is no limit." As the first Indigenous woman to establish her own airline, Iskwew Air, Fraser is carving her own path through what has historically been a male-dominated industry. Named one of Canada’s Top 25 Most Influential Women and featured on the MacLean's 2021 Power List and chosen as one of 18 "real-world hereos" for DC's Comics Graphic Novel Wonderful Women of History. Teara is inspiring the next generation of women and applying her gifts to the empowerment of indigenous peoples around the globe.

Jesse Hirsch speaks in front a screen bearing his name and the title "Futurist & Digital Strategist." Jesse is a white man with curly dark blonde hair and a beard and mustache. He is wearing glasses with thick black frames, a navy suit jacket over a black shirt and blue patterned scarf. He holds a microphone in his right hand and is gesturing with his left.

Jesse Hirsch — Remote Keynote

Jesse is a futurist, speaker, consultant, and goatherd who brings an outsider's perspective and literal critical distance, operating from his farm in rural Eastern Ontario. Yet this is no ordinary farm. Wired up with high-speed fibre optic Internet, the Academy of the Impossible engages in a wide range of research regarding agriculture, media, technology, and culture. With almost 30 years of professional experience as a public speaker, facilitator, and broadcaster, Jesse can perform in any media environment, stage, office, or virtual world, though he strongly prefers virtual formats over travelling. His passion for media extends into the world of technology, and he is best known for his knack for translating the bleeding edge of tech into the practical world of business and civil society. Jesse has an infectious energy that lifts spirits and enables creative thinking. He’s always learning, sharing, and helping others to do the same.

Concurrent Session Speakers

Ta7talíya Michelle Nahanee, stands in front of a wooden building, looking to the left of the camera. Ta7talíya Michelle is a First Nations woman with curly brown hair under a beaded headband. She wears long beaded earrings, a deep red velvet shirt, and a cream blanket with red accents.

Ta7talíya Michelle Nahanee

Ta7talíya Michelle Nahanee, Sḵwx̱wú7mesh, is a decolonial creative & strategist catalyzing social change to transform colonial narratives & impacts. She works within the intersection of class, culture and creativity focusing on social change through communications and deep engagement. Ta7talíya’s collaborations have influenced opinions, changed behaviours and mobilized community action. She is the designer of a life-size board game called Sínulhkay and Ladders. Her facilitated workshops aim to answer the question “what now” in this era of truth & reconciliation. Her approach earned her the 2019 City of Vancouver Award of Excellence in Diversity and Inclusion. Michelle is also a 2020 Dialogue Associate with the Simon Fraser University Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue. She is also the author and designer of a two decolonizing workbooks and is currently writing a full-length creative non-fiction about her decolonizing journey.

Erwin Heuck headshot. Erwin is a white man with a shaved head and light-coloured soul patch. He is wearing a pink dress shirt and smiling at the camera.

Erwin Heuck P.Eng.

A lifelong energy sector enthusiast, I spent 28 years working for TransGas, a crown utility, where my department planned out and executed on roughly $750 million of customer growth and revenue related natural gas infrastructure. While at the utility, I helped create and deliver on the strategic planning sessions with SaskPower in support of their transition from coal to utility scale natural gas and renewable wind. The December 2018 rhime frost weather event, where over one third to nearly half of the province lost power service, was critical in understanding the economic and service risks associated the near absolute consumer reliance on the utility scale grid service. This critical event helped shape my view for the need for smaller scale, community based and resilient energy service through distributed energy services. In September of 2019, I founded the Distributed Energy Association of Saskatchewan to promote industry, utility and municipal collaboration in the energy transition to cleaner, smaller-scale and more resilient energy service and choice. The DEAS mission is to be a pathway to energy collaboration, a pathway to secure Federal funding for energy transition and a pathway to enabling public policy to create the space and opportunity for non-utility scale energy solutions. Whether it’s to save money, decarbonize their operations, achieve on community climate initiatives and sustainability goals or simply access federal funding to create secure energy solutions and local clean energy jobs and careers, the Distributed Energy Association of Saskatchewan is here to support businesses and communities that are looking to play a greater role in their own energy service. When I’m not working on our rental property business, or supporting Saskatchewan’s Energy Transition, I enjoy spending time with my family at our cottage at Eldora Beach on Last Mountain Lake.

Jeff Montgomery

Jeff Montgomery was born in 1954 in Saskatoon, SK. After graduating from the University of Saskatchewan with a B.Ed. in Industrial Arts/Vocational Education, Jeff pursued a life in contracting. In 1983 Jeff joined Blue Insurance Ltd., a family business, where he spent 25 years making a career in underwriting and claims management. He operated the business until his retirement in 2008. Jeff married his wife Judy in 1982. They have four children, Scott, Maja, Adrian, and Natasha, as well as four grandchildren, Freyja, Brennan, Tikken, and Isaac. Jeff and Judy live on an acreage near Beaver Creek in a passive solar home that they built in 2003. They have their own wind turbine and photovoltaic panels for electricity production. Jeff has always had an interest in energy efficiency and waste reduction in building and transportation. He has become involved with the Saskatchewan Environmental Society, volunteering on various projects with his wife Judy. Since 'retirement', Jeff has returned to building, constructing infill homes in Saskatoon.