Keynote: Dr. Lori Haskell, C. Psych. – Trauma Informed Practice – Understanding the Neurobiological and Psychological Effects of Sexual Violence

Advances in neuroscience have facilitated a greater understanding of the neuroanatomy and neurophysiology of trauma, including the impacts on the brain, body and self.

These developments in neurobiological knowledge have enormous implications for the justice responses. Furthermore, they can help move us towards enhanced and more effective institutional and legal responses to those affected and harmed by sexual assault, harassment and misconduct.

In many cases the range of typical responses and demeanour of victims of violence, harassment and abuse, are not well understood by investigators, facilitators, those within the legal system and other institutions, or, indeed, by the general public. Working effectively with victims of sexual violence, however, requires a critical foundation of understanding the key brain circuitries altered by fear and trauma.

Trauma-informed practice involves more than adhering to a set of abstract principles. Knowledge about the neurobiology of trauma should play an essential role in supporting healing work, in establishing effective institutional processes and responses, as well in pursuing accountability and justice.

Keynote: Dr. Jennifer Mullan – Reconnecting the Soul Wound in a Colonial World

Dr. Mullan’s keynote will examine the soul wound at the core of Indigenous, Black, Brown People’s across the globe’s emotional, physical and energetic disconnect. From increasing rates of mental health dis-ease, to the violence laterally from our government and Systems- this keynote seeks to sew together the intersections of Historical and Ancestral Trauma that are more often than not transmitted unconsciously and intergenerationally from our family of origin. Dr. Mullan will speak to the global possibilities of a liberated process-oriented decolonial praxis. One which inspires us to re-educate our children and People from our places of joy and wellness, all while acknowledging the need to heal, feel and deal with the grief, rage and disconnect present in our her-tories.

Billy Brodovsky & Kate Kiernan – Lessons Learned – Working from a Trauma Informed Neurobiological Perspective with Children Who Have Experienced Third Party Sexual Assault and Their Families

The Families Affected by Sexual Assault (FASA) program provides therapy to families with children (under 18 and not in care) who have been sexually assaulted by someone that is not a parent or sibling. Our presentation will discuss what it means to work from a Trauma-Informed Neurobiological perspective. We will discuss how we integrated these theories in our work and the impact it has had helping children/youth and their families become Trauma-Informed. We will highlight key interventions and tools that you can use in your practice.

Dr. Lori Haskell, C.Psych. & Melanie Randall, Ph.D., LL.B. – Gender Based Violence and Restorative Justice: Exploring the Possibilities

In this workshop we critically assess some of the possibilities for taking a restorative justice approach for remedying the harms of sexual violence and for enabling collective responsibility for this entrenched social problem.

A voluminous amount of research, analysis, and experience with traditional criminal justice system approaches to sexual violence indicates that this system has profound deficiencies in providing adequate legal responses or remedies. Furthermore, the criminal justice system often harms victim-survivors of sexual assault. New, additional, and more transformative remedies to the systemic problem of sexual violence are urgently needed.

Restorative justice is an approach which potentially offers a more respectful, inclusive and victim centred response to recognizing and remedying sexual violence, and to meeting the justice needs of survivors and their communities.

Dr. Alexis Arbuthnott & Kathryn Strendin – Inpatient mental heath care for youth who have experienced sexual violence

Youth who have experienced sexual violence have an increased risk of experiencing mental health difficulties, including mental health emergencies requiring hospitalization. Some youth disclose a history of sexual violence for the first time while receiving inpatient mental health care. In order to increase the youth’s safety and stability, inpatient mental heath care may need to address both the youth’s immediate mental health concerns as well as the youth’s history of experiencing sexual violence. This presentation discusses the role of inpatient mental health care in supporting youth who have experienced sexual violence, including: the intersection between sexual violence and mental health emergencies among youth, key interventions with these youth and their caregivers within the inpatient setting, and the importance of a multidisciplinary and systemic approach for supporting these youth as they transition back into the community. The current literature and best practices in this area will be reviewed.

Shelley Thomas Prokop & Karen Sanderson – Building Culturally Relevant Practice Policies and Standards in Sask. First Nations Women’s Shelters

Saskatchewan First Nations Family & Community Institute has been working with the five First Nations Women’s’ shelters in Saskatchewan for the last 4 years. The presentation will review and share experiences of co- developing practice standards and applying First Nations Women’s shelter standards in varying programs, locations and Cultures, and needs throughout Saskatchewan.

Dr. Cathy Rocke & Laurie MacKenzie – Working with Exploited Youth

The sexual exploitation of youth is a complex and multidimensional social problem. Understanding the antecedents and factors that entrap youth into the world of sexual exploitation is imperative for effective interventions. The article, Waters of Sexual Exploitation, is used as a training tool for social service personnel to understand the world of sexually exploited youth. The article’s visual was developed through an extensive review of the literature as well as interviews with individuals involved in the sex trade, with specific focus on the overrepresentation of Aboriginal youth who are sexually exploited. The Waters of Sexual Exploitation helps to capture the complex relationships that develop between sexually exploited youth, the people that exploit the youth, and the helpers working with youth exiting this world. The visual is enhanced by the inclusion of the lived experience of a survivor of this world.

Patience Umereweneza – Sexual Violence in Saskatchewan: Voices, Stories, Insights, and Actions from the Front Lines

Sexual Violence in Saskatchewan: Voices, Stories, Insights, and Actions from the Front Lines captures the state of sexual violence in Saskatchewan through an examination of sexual violence experiences and the existing strengths and gaps in service provision. This presentation will examine key findings, lessons learned, and recommendations for the future.

This report bore witness to the ways in which sexual violence continues to be a substantial mechanism within larger processes of systemic violence in this province. One of the important lessons that this report seeks to underline is that no characteristic or combination of characteristics of any individual survivor is responsible for attracting sexual violence. Focusing on the “risk factors” of victims in relation to identity categories turns attention away from the role of disciplinary power in maintaining cultures of perpetration. Canada’s long-standing history of systemic, gendered, and racialized settler colonial violence continues to have implications in people’s lives today, including individuals’ ability to access equitable justice processes and healing services. Thus, sexual violence can be well understood only after examining the historically produced and ongoing layers of structural and institutional violence. Conducted in partnership with the Community-University of Institute for Social Research at the University of Saskatchewan, and the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations Women’s Secretariate, the findings of this report provided evidence for and informed the development of Working Together, Saskatchewan’s first Sexual Violence Action Plan. The Action Plan is designed to advance an inclusive and collaborative approach to systemically addressing sexual violence in Saskatchewan.

Sunny Marriner – VAW Advocate Case Review: An Emerging Best Practice in Sexual Assault Investigations

Canada has been the world leader in creating and implementing a new process that adds an additional layer of oversight to sexual assault investigations. Using the advocate-developed VACR model, sexual assault centre advocates review investigations that do not proceed to charges and provide an expert lens on barriers they may observe. With over 24 municipal services in Canada currently conducting reviews, and more implementing them every day, understanding the key components of the model, its methodology, and its rationales will be valuable for law enforcement, survivor advocates, and criminal justice system stakeholders.

As the leader of the federally-funded “Improving Institutional Accountability Project” (IIAP), Sunny Marriner has spear-headed the introduction of advocate-led case reviews in uncharged sexual assault investigations in Canada. Since 2011 Sunny has led pan-Canadian teams of autonomous sexual violence expert advocates in developing a uniquely Canadian case review methodology, VAW Advocate Case Review (VACR). Her work became most widely known through its inclusion in the noted Globe and Mail “Unfounded” series (2017) and today she works with all levels of advocates and policing in Canada to implement evidence-based, methodologically sound oversight practices, and best practices in sexual assault investigations. In 2019 Sunny collaborated with privacy experts and police leaders to release national policing guidance in the Canadian Framework for Collaborative Police Response on Sexual Violence, and she is currently coordinating case review implementations in over twenty-five cities across five provinces.

Dr. Catherine Barrett – Preventing Sexual Assault of Older Women – Practical Strategies From Australia 

This workshop aims to improve participants understanding of the sexual assault of older women and provide practical resources for prevention.

The workshop begins by outlining the evidence on sexual assault of older women in residential aged care and the community. It explores the changing definition of sexual assault in the Australian context, prevalence data, perpetrator and victim characteristics, signs, impacts and responses.

The silence – and the silencing – will also be described to assist participants understanding of how the sexual assault of older women is perceived and what it takes to engage key stakeholders in prevention. An understanding of ageism, sexism and cognitive dissonance can provide critical insights into how engage key stakeholders to create change.

The workshop will then focus on practical strategies for prevention and will drawn on Australia’s first national project to prevent sexual assault in residential aged care. Strategies include: narratives from older women and families, education modules, policies, an audit tool, and guides to reporting, open disclosure, consent, sexual rights, support, debriefing and reflective practice.

Myrna McCallum – Trauma-informed legal practice and working with victims/survivors of sexualized violence

Myrna’s repeated exposure to the traumas of others during her roles as lawyer/adjudicator caused her to realize that she was missing a critical competency: trauma-informed lawyering. This presentation provides an overview of the impacts of various forms of trauma on clients and skills/tools to serve survivors in the most trauma-informed approach that aims to prevent additional harm. The knowledge she shares in her presentations is relevant to anyone who works with people who have experienced trauma.

Sarah Wiley & Jeneka Johnson – Disordered Eating Recovery for Survivors of Sexual Violence

Survivors of trauma are at an increased risk for disordered eating yet supports for survivors of trauma and those struggling with disordered eating are often separate and siloed. So how can we create programming and support services that address this gap?

Sarah Wiley (she/her) is a survivor of sexual violence and has spent the last ten years in recovery from an eating disorder. She identified a gap in support in the gender-based violence sector and developed an eight-week psychoeducation and peer support group for survivors of sexual violence struggling with disordered eating.

Join Sarah and program co-facilitator, Groups and Workshops Coordinator, Jeneka Johnson as they unpack the intersection of disordered eating and sexual violence and share what they have learned though the facilitation of their group.

Lynn Gidluck – The Power of Community-University Partnerships (and pitfalls to avoid)

Evidence-based research can help in your advocacy campaigns and fundraising efforts. But how do you find the time and resources to do research, even if you have in-house expertise? One answer can be to partner with university researchers. Dr. Lynn Gidluck leads the University of Regina’s Community Engagement and Research Centre (CERC). Her job is to serve as a bridge between the community and the university. As someone with one foot in both worlds – community and academia – Lynn has insight into the motivations, needs and day-to-day realities of people working in each of these vastly different settings. In this presentation Lynn will share her thoughts on why collaborating with academic researchers can be beneficial but she will also provide information on pitfalls that can arise if you partner with the wrong people. She will provide pointers on how to find the right researchers to work with, insight into what respectful community-based research looks like, and share ideas about how to ensure you and your university partners mutually benefit from the work you do together.

Emily Ritenburg – Sex (Work) Positive Practice for Mental Health Professionals

Sex work and sex trafficking is often conflated by mental health professionals. By not recognizing the significant difference between these two experiences, severe harm can be caused unintentionally to sex workers, even with a practitioner’s best intentions. This presentation will bring to surface some of the many barriers sex workers in Saskatchewan experience when accessing mental health services. Knowledge presented in this session has been informally gathered with consent from valuable community based resources such as street-based knowledge keepers, whisper networks, and sex worker mutual aid groups. This information is paralleled with ethical issues commonly faced by mental health professionals including mandated reporting, confidentiality, and harm reduction approaches. Attendees will be asked to challenge traditional perspectives on sex work and leave with knowledge that allows them to better serve sex worker communities.

Sarah Wiley – Bolstering Healthy Relationships Education for Marginalized Youth: The Empower and Allyship Program

The Empower and Allyship program is an anti-oppressive and feminist 10-week teen healthy relationships program facilitated by the Sexual Assault Support Centre of Waterloo Region with funding from the Canadian Women’s Foundation. In this program we target youth who often do not receive information about consent, dating, or bystander intervention such as youth with disabilities and youth in care. Using engaging activities and open discussions youth are encouraged to become leaders in creating safer communities.

A key focus of this work is facilitating discussions for disabled youth. Youth with disabilities are much more likely to be targeted for sexual and gender-based violence, yet they are rarely included in conversations about sex, dating, and sexual violence prevention. Our program aims to empower disabled youth with tools and skills to set boundaries, date safely, and support peers who are struggling.

The Empower and Allyship program has received overwhelmingly positive feedback from both participants and teachers despite the hurdles of delivering a program virtually during a pandemic. Join us for a conversation about the success and limitations of our program as we explore the next steps to bring this education to more audiences.

Nicole White & Dr. Jessica McCutcheon – Enough Already: An Evidence-based Response to the Prevention of Sexual Harassment In the Workplace

Enough Already is a multi-stakeholder coalition determined to address and prevent sexual harassment in Saskatchewan workplaces. We are committed to working with government, business, industry associations, unions and community organizations to make workplaces throughout Saskatchewan safe for everyone. Given that the target audience is Saskatchewanians, we conduct an annual survey of a random sample of 400 Saskatchewan residents to assess their awareness and knowledge relating to sexual harassment in the workplace. A baseline survey was conducted in 2019, prior to the initiation of the program, followed by a repeated iteration in 2020, after the program had launched. The results revealed that knowledge about sexual harassment in the workplace had increased in the year since the baseline survey. While many factors are undoubtedly involved with shifting knowledge and attitudes relating to sexual harassment in the workplace within the general population, the survey results provide preliminary support that the Enough Already coalition may be contributing to the positive changes. The presentation will explore the results of the survey as well as their broad implications for addressing sexual harassment in workplaces and more specifically, how the Enough Already coalition is using these findings to further support Saskatchewan workplaces and increase knowledge and awareness.

Caralyn Goode & Brianna Taylor – Keeping Youth Safe Online

Adolescence is a time of exploring and establishing identity, connecting with peers, and learning about the world. The internet is a common modern-day tool in facilitating some of these developmental tasks. While the internet provides new ways for youth to connect, learn, and grow, it also poses significant risks to vulnerable users. The purpose of this presentation is to provide a brief overview on sexual violence perpetrated through online platforms and a discussion on preventative strategies to protect youth on the web based on current literature.

Billy Brodovsky, Kate Kiernan, Cori Reimer, & Veroniek Marshall – Making Sense of Trauma

The Making Sense of Trauma webinar will help you learn how to use a trauma-informed perspective to better understand the relational, neurobiological, and developmental impact of trauma on children and youth.


  • Develop an understanding of the impact of trauma on children/youth
  • Learn the principles of trauma-informed care
  • Explore the current understanding of the nervous system survival responses
  • Identify specific tools that assist with freeze/flight/flight survival responses in children and youth

Register for the FREE webinar and access additional resources here:
Still have questions about the content of the webinar? Send your inquiries to Cori and Veroniek at:

D.M. Ditson – Wide Open: A Personal Story of Sexual Assault and Recovery

D.M. Ditson is a survivor who writes and speaks about her experience with sexual assault and recovery. When her memoir came out in 2019, it received national media attention and Dr. Vianne Timmons called it “a timely, important and necessary read.”

D.M. Ditson has spoken at a series of conferences and events for civilians and for police/counsellors/support workers. This presentation will include the following, all in relation to her experience of sexual violence:

  • Experience of sexual assault, which happened while a student at the University of Regina
  • Interactions with University of Regina campus security around 2006 and again a decade later when the case was attempted to be re-opened
  • Interactions with the police.
  • The recovery process.
  • What’s working well in terms of supporting survivors and where we need to improve.
  • How institutional efforts and practices can harm survivors or help them heal.

Cecilia Rands – Upstander Training for Men

Upstander Training for Men is traditionally a 3-hour workshop done for adults with the intention of building safer communities for all, free of violence. There are five central goals of our workshop: to unpack harmful gender norms and stereotypes, develop emotional literacy, explore the intersections of power and privilege, learn how to be an ally, and gain intervention tools to become an active bystander. This workshop was developed by YWCA Regina in 2019 in response to the lack of men specific programming that engaged young boys in discussions around healthy masculinity, emotional literacy, and privilege. We received training from White Ribbon on how to engage boys and men in these discussions and out of this we have developed this workshop for adults. We have intervention tools from Hollaback, share Non-Violent Communication techniques, prepare people to support survivors through the acceptance of disclosure, and explore ways to combat rape culture and build ally ship with women and survivors of gender-based violence.

Lisa Miller & Chris Jackiw – Violence Against Women Advocate Case Review – Regina Project

The VACR model is a unique opportunity for law enforcement to tap into community expertise in order to enhance and improve the reporting process and outcomes for those who choose to report sexual violence. This is a brief discussion of the learnings, opportunities and progress from the Regina implementation of the VACR sexual assault file review process with Regina Police Service and Regina Sexual Assault Centre.


Billy Brodovsky M.S.W. & Kate Kiernan M.Sc.

Billy Brodovsky and Kate Kiernan are Therapists in the Families Affected by Sexual Assault Program for New Directions for Children, Youth, Adults and Families in Winnipeg. They each have over 25 years of experience working with children, youth and adults who have experienced trauma. They developed and presented the workshop and webinar Making Sense of Trauma: Practical Tools for Responding to Children and Youth. They are also the authors of Big Feelings Come and Go a storybook for children done in collaboration with the Canadian Centre for Child Protection.

Dr. Melanie Randall, Ph.D., LL.B. (J.D.),

Melanie teaches at the Faculty of Law, Western University. Her academic and advocacy work address legal remedies for gendered violence, human rights, equality law, trauma informed law, and the social contexts and neurobiology of victim responses to sexual violence.

Her research and scholarship have analysed: legal images of “ideal victims” in sexual assault and domestic criminal cases, legal issues surrounding consent, legal difficulties recognizing women’s complicated responses to violence and abuse, comparative approaches to asylum claims based on gender persecution in refugee law, international human rights law and spousal sexual assault, the possibilities of restorative justice and the law for crimes of gendered violence, complex trauma in the lives of Indigenous peoples, reproductive rights and law, and using law to end discrimination and seek state accountability for achieving equality.

She was a research collaborator with the 5 year community-academic project about restorative justice, which formed the Nova Scotia Restorative Justice Community University Research Alliance, and continues to work on elaborating the need for establishing a trauma-informed legal system.

She is currently working on a multi-year project as one of the three court appointed “Subject Matter Experts” advising on the design and development of the Restorative Engagement program for sexual misconduct. This program is designed for Class Members as part of the (2019) Final Settlement Agreement in the Heyder and Beattie class action addressing sexual misconduct in the Canadian Armed Forces.

Dr. Alexis Arbuthnott

Alexis Arbuthnott, PhD, R.D.Psych., is a clinical psychologist with the Saskatchewan Health Authority in Regina, Saskatchewan. She completed her doctorate in the Clinical Psychology: Applied Developmental Emphasis program at the University of Guelph. Her accredited predoctoral internship was with the London Clinical Psychology Residency Consortium in London, Ontario, where her rotations included the Relational Trauma Service and the Residential/Intensive Service at the Child and Parent Resource Institute. Dr. Arbuthnott’s current position with the Saskatchewan Health Authority is on the Adolescent Psychiatry Unit at the Regina General Hospital, and she is an Assistant Professor with the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Saskatchewan. She also volunteers on the leadership teams for both the Inpatient and the Child and Adolescent Special Interest Groups within the International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation. With these platforms, she is a strong advocate for compassionate and collaborative trauma-informed care.

Kathryn Strendin

Kathryn Strendin, BSW, RSW, is a social worker at Regina General Hospital’s Adolescent Psychiatry Unit in Regina, Saskatchewan. Kathryn received her Bachelor of Social Work from the University of Regina. She has been working with inpatient mental health at Regina General Hospital for 7 years and also has experience in government working with financial assistance programs. Kathryn’s social work career has allowed her to work with an immensely diverse population. Kathryn lives and works in Regina. She enjoys spending as much time as she can with her one year old and extended family.

Shelley Thomas Prokop-she/her/iskwew

Shelley Thomas Prokop, is a Cree from Beardy’s & Okeymasis First Nation in central Saskatchewan. Shelley focuses on community based approaches, process development, and ethical practices in her position as the Director of Programs at the Saskatchewan First Nations Family and Community Institute (SFNFCI). Programs focus on developing resources, training, and support for those working with First Nations children, youth and families.

Karen Sanderson

Karen Sanderson is the Executive Director of Piwapan Women’s Centre in La Ronge, Saskatchewan. She has been with Piwapan for 14 years and worked 10 years as a probation officer prior to joining the shelter. She is a wife and mother to five and a grandmother to two young boys and a pup.

Dr. Cathy Rocke

Cathy Rocke, PhD, is Dean of Social Work at the University of Regina. Her research program is focused on addressing and evaluating how we reconcile the relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples in Canada, both on campus and in the community through intergroup dialogue. Prior to her academic career, Dr. Rocke gained wide experience in both the education and social work fields, including developing postsecondary educational programs for Indigenous communities, diversity training for child welfare professionals, quality assurance for child welfare agencies, counseling women who were victims of domestic violence, and child protection.

Laurie Mackenzie

Great White Owl Woman (Elder Laurie Mackenzie) was a member of the Canadian Women’s Foundation’s National Task Force on Sex Trafficking of Women and Girls in Canada. She is a survivor of sex trafficking and a graduate of the Ndinawe Child and Youth Care Certificate Program at Red River College in Manitoba. As she emphasizes, “All stages of change, shapes, and sizes of people belong.” The Indigenous model of understanding is premised on inclusivity and togetherness. This means embracing diversity, respecting intersectionality, and honouring the vast variability in life experience of persons with lived experiences.

Patience Umereweneza

Patience Umereweneza is the the Project Specialist at the Sexual Assault Services of Saskatchewan. She led the development of the first comprehensive study on the state of sexual violence in Saskatchewan. Patience oversees the implementation of key actions from the Saskatchewan Sexual Violence Action Plan, supports the Capacity Building Initiatives of the organization, and connects SASS with national strategic initiatives that are working to address gender-based violence across Canada.

Sunny Marriner

Sunny’s work is grounded in 24 years of frontline support and advocacy work in independent sexual assault centres, including the Sexual Assault Support Centre of Ottawa Collective, and as the former Executive Director of the Ottawa Rape Crisis Centre. IIAP’s national work now occurs through a partnership with the Ottawa Coalition to End Violence Against Women. She was an Executive member and past Vice-President of the Ontario Coalition of Rape Crisis Centres, a member of the Ontario Ministry of the Attorney General Sexual Assault Centre Provincial Advisory Committee, and has led independent sexual assault centres across Canada in education, law reform, policy analysis and advocacy for gender-equality and survivors of sexual violence. Sunny’s core work has centred the experiences of marginalized and criminalized girls and women, including through numerous publications and academic collaborations.

Dr. Catherine Barrett

For the past 25 years, Dr. Catherine Barrett has been using her roles as a Nurse Unit Manager, Academic and Cultural Engineer to prevent sexual assault of older women. Her work has included cultural change in residential aged care, undertaking research, exploring art and narrative based approaches to change, establishing a clearing house and coordinating a national project to prevent sexual assault in residential aged care.

Myrna McCallum

Myrna McCallum is the founding lawyer of Miyo Pimatisiwin Legal Services in North Vancouver, British Columbia and host of the podcast The Trauma Informed Lawyer. She is a Métis mother and grandmother from Treaty Six territory (Green Lake) in northern Saskatchewan. As a teen, Myrna knew that she would become a lawyer and work with Indigenous people and victims of violence but she did not know exactly how she would do that work in a safe and empowering way. A decade and a half later, she became a prosecutor and eventually an adjudicator (in the Indian Residential School Independent Assessment Process). Myrna is the recipient of the Federal Department of Justice’s 2020 Excellence in Legal Practice and Victim Support Award and has delivered presentations to medical regulatory bodies, police, post-secondary institutions and other legal professionals.

Sarah Wiley

Sarah Wiley is a Violence Prevention Educator at the Sexual Assault Support Centre of Waterloo Region. Sarah is an activist, survivor, speaker, and facilitator of learning. She has a bachelor’s degree in Psychology with a minor Sexuality, Marriage, and Family Studies from the University of Waterloo, as well as a master’s degree in Social Justice and Community Engagement from Wilfrid Laurier University. She also received extensive education through grassroots organizing in the feminist movement and student movement. In 2017 Sarah received the Provincial Draw the Line Post-Secondary Sexual Violence Prevention Award, and in 2018 she received the University of Waterloo Equity and Inclusivity Award, all for her work to address campus sexual violence. In her work Sarah uses her education and lived experience to engage community in conversation about gender-based violence using a feminist and anti-oppressive lens. In her spare time, Sarah enjoys pole dancing, painting, and spending time with her cat.

Jeneka Johnson

Jeneka Johnson (she/her) is the Groups and Workshops Coordinator at the Sexual Assault Support Centre (SASC) of Waterloo Region. She is a Caribbean-Canadian facilitator, sexual health educator, writer and catalyst for trauma healing. She has a background in Psychology, Social and Applied Human Sciences, a graduate diploma in Sexualities, Marriages and Families and spent several years working towards the betterment of students at the University of Guelph and Waterloo Wellness Education Centres. She is fueled (shamelessly) by TikTok, consent, literature about human sexuality, solo travel and pasta. Lots and lots of pasta.

Dr. Lynn Gidluck

Lynn leads the University of Regina’s Community Engagement and Research Centre (CERC). As CERC’s Community Director it is her job to connect people working in the community with University of Regina faculty and students through research, service learning and other collaborative activities. Her PhD in Public Policy and History focused on funding policies in the nonprofit sector and collaborative governance and best practices of government-voluntary sector partnerships and relationships. She is the former Director of the Saskatchewan office of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives and worked for many years in a variety of senior policy and communications roles with the provincial government. When she’s not wearing her “academic” hat, Lynn is a partner in the Regina-based strategic communications and marketing firm – Benchmark Public Relations. She is a mom to three daughters and is recently feeling sleep deprived due to a very energetic Welsh Corgi puppy that joined their family in August.

Emily Ritenburg, BSW, RSW, MSW Candidate (she/they)

Bringing a balance of both lived experience and formal education, Emily Ritenburg (she/they) is an anti-oppressive social worker, mental health counsellor, and community organizer. She has over 10 years of experience working with youth, adults, and communities in social, therapeutic, educational, and activist contexts. In their practice, Emily specializes in areas related to gender and sexual diversity, sex work advocacy and competency, addictions, and the intersections within and between these areas.

Nicole White (she/her)

Nicole White is the Project Lead for Enough Already, a multi-stakeholder coalition determined to address and prevent workplace sexual harassment in Saskatchewan. Before joining Enough Already, Nicole worked in community for nearly two decades and focused her professional work on gender-based issues and engaging marginalized populations. She’s a registered social worker and in her spare time, spearheaded the non-profit, Moon Time Sisters, getting free menstrual products to girls in northern Saskatchewan to improve access to education.

Dr. Jessica McCutcheon

Jessica McCutcheon is the Survey Research Manager and Specialist at the University of Saskatchewan’s Canadian Hub for Applied and Social Research. She has a PhD in Social Psychology and her academic work has focused on discrimination towards women and LGBTQ+ populations, gender roles, and mothering. In her current role, she conducts survey research on various social science-related topics and engages in program evaluation work for a number of social programs across Saskatchewan.

Caralyn Goode

Caralyn Goode BA, BSW, RSW, is also completing her Master’s degree in Social work with a clinical specialization through the University of Calgary. She is completing her practicum with the counselling department at Saffron Centre, a sexual assault centre located in Sherwood Park Alberta. Caralyn has had the privilege of working in the field of mental health and substance misuse throughout the majority of her career and is currently employed as an adult mental health therapist in Wetaskiwin Alberta. Caralyn enjoys traveling, hiking, and spending time with her two adorable doodles.

Brianna Taylor

Brianna Taylor BSW, GCert(CSWP), RSW, is a student with the University of Calgary completing her Master’s degree in Social Work with a clinical specialization in infant, child, and youth mental health. She is currently completing her practicum with the counselling team at the Regina Sexual Assault Centre. Throughout her career Brianna has worked with children and youth in the community in a number different capacities. She is passionate about early intervention, reducing the stigma around mental health, and making mental health supports accessible to children and youth from all walks of life.

Cori Reimer

Cori Reimer, MFT, has been a clinician with New Directions Family Therapy Services (FTS) for five years and devotes part of her time maintaining and further developing the MSOT workshop and webinar.

Veroniek Marshall

Veroniek Marshall, MFT, joined the FTS team in March 2021, bringing with her 16 years of experience in trauma-informed family therapy and the delivery of training across Canada on related topics.

D. M. Ditson

D. M. Ditson is obsessed with telling the truth. She has been writing for over a decade as a journalist and communications consultant.

Ditson endured a series of sexual assaults as a young woman, including one so devastating that it left her with post-traumatic stress disorder. She wrote a memoir, Wide Open, about her experience, her recovery and her interactions with campus security, police and therapists along the way. She shares her life story to show that healing is possible and maps out her trauma recovery with hopes of helping others free themselves.

Ditson is an accomplished speaker and advocate for survivors and their loved ones. She was a featured speaker at the Kootenay Regional Domestic Violence Conference and consulted with the Government of Saskatchewan on content related to sexual assault.

Wide Open was published through Coteau Books in 2019 and won the John V. Hicks prize (Saskatchewan Writers’ Guild), the 2020 Saskatchewan Book Award for the Regina Book of the Year and a Columbia Basin Trust artist grant. Wide Open has been featured on CBC radio, the Leader Post, Star Phoenix and the Globe and Mail. Prairie Dog Magazine called Wide Open “the must-read memoir of the year.”

Ditson recently moved from Regina, Saskatchewan to Nelson, British Columbia, where she can be found enjoying the mountains. She is happy.

Cecilia Rands, Advocacy Coordinator

Hi there, I’m Cecilia Rands, the Advocacy Coordinator with the YWCA Regina. My work involves developing and facilitating mental health programming for youth, and delivering sexual harassment prevention and bystander intervention workshops for folks of all ages. I have a Bachelor of Education degree from the University of Regina, and I’m passionate about working within communities to make positive change.

Lisa Miller

Lisa has worked and volunteered for 20 years for organizations and projects supporting justice and inclusion. She has held the position of executive director of the Regina and Area Sexual Assault Centre for five years, where she has had opportunities to create valued relationships with external stakeholders – to share knowledge, identify mutual goals and enhance the work of each – ultimately for the wellbeing of communities and enhanced support for those who have experienced sexual violence. She especially enjoys a chance to participate in public education, as this is where many of these positive relationships start. Lisa received a Community Policing Award in 2015 for her role, as part of a project team, for designing and producing mixed-media materials for newcomers on Canadian law. She has a deep fondness for northern Saskatchewan and is an official with Boxing Saskatchewan. She spends most of her off-time with her family (of the two- and four-legged variety!) on a small farm.

Staff Sergeant Chris Jackiw – Regina Police Service

Staff Sergeant Chris Jackiw is a twenty-one-year member of the Regina Police Service. Early in his career, he was fortunate to spend a short stint with the Organized Crime unit, which piqued his interest in the investigational side of policing. Since then, Chris has worked in the Street Crimes Unit and spent a notable term in the Regina Integrated Drug Unit working alongside RCMP partners, including large scale projects in the province. 

His interests also led him to the Regina Integrated Intelligence Unit, where he worked collaboratively with Federal and Provincial Justice Agencies including the RCMP, CBSA, CSC, and SCAN. Chris was the Chair of the Criminal Intelligence Service of Saskatchewan (CISS) for three years, allowing him to establish justice contacts throughout North America. 

Chris was also a long serving member and Team Leader of the RPS Crisis Negotiation Team, the RPS Crowd Control Unit, and the Critical Incident Stress Management team. After taking a position as the S/Sgt. in charge of the Central District, he had the opportunity to support the VACR initiative, including creating internal sexual assault investigation policies and training. Chris is now in charge of the Major Crimes unit and is the current Chair of the Multi-Sector Review Committee for Clare’s Law.

Student Symposium

Sarah Nakonechny

Sarah Nakonechny is a 4th year undergraduate student at the University of Regina who is currently working on 2 degrees; B.A Psychology and B.A Honours Philosophy. She is active both on campus and in the community as she serves on multiple student boards, spends time doing research in a handful of the psychology labs, is an editor for the Carillon, and volunteers with the Schizophrenia Society of Saskatchewan. Their research interests surround the concepts of ethics, trauma disorders, sexual/physical violence, systemic betrayal, and the justice system. In her spare time you will find her at the gym or curled up her cats.

Denae Easton (she/her)

Denae Easton (she/her) is a honours psychology student at the University of Regina. She is interested in forensic psychology, and is currently conducting research on childhood trauma and revictimization. She also serves on the board of the Psychology Students’ Association as the Communications Coordinator.

Shae Sackman (they/them)

Shae Sackman (they/them) is an honours philosophy and honours psychology student at the University of Regina. They are interested in trauma, dissociation, clinical assessment, diagnosis, identity, and time. They are currently the President of the Psychology Students’ Association, President of the Campion College chapter of Alpha Sigma Nu, the Managing Editor of the University of Regina Undergraduate Research Journal, the Technical Editor of The Carillon, and a student Research Assistant in the Depression, Cognition, and Culture lab.

Warm-ups, Cool-downs, & Greetings

Melissa Morgan & the University of Regina Chamber Singers – Choir Performance

From the Faculty of Media, Art, and Performance at the University of Regina, the Chamber Singers is an award-winning select ensemble specializing in the performance of a cappella choral repertoire. Led by the Director of Choirs Melissa Morgan, the Chamber Singers will be providing a two-song warm welcome for the conference on November 9.

Tyler Meadows, MSc. – Breathing, Stretching, and Relaxation

Tyler Meadows is a Ph.D. Candidate in the department of Kinesiology and Health Studies with a focus on Sport Psychology and mindfulness. Tyler completed his Master’s degree at Cardiff Metropolitan University in Wales studying Sport Psychology following his Honours degree in Psychology here at the University of Regina. Tyler is focused on evidence-based practices to promote human flourishing.

Often we become distracted by our thoughts and focusing our attention on the external world that we lose track of building tension in our bodies. Used as a warm up and cool down for this conference, these sessions will make use of our attention, breathing, and stretching to relax, refocus, and reenergize.

Stacey Bliss, PhD – Meditation Sept-Dec 2021

Stacey Bliss, PhD, is a researcher, educator, and sound artist. For the Faculty of Media, Art, and Performance (MAP) at the University of Regina, she teaches sessionals on the topics of meditation, art, and social justice. She is also an Appointed Academic Colleague at the University of Alberta and a SSHRC Insight Development Grant recipient (2021-2023) for her project: Toward a Sound Pedagogy: A Sonic and Performative Ethnography of ‘Sound Healers’ in Canada. Contemporary influences on her personal and pedagogical mindfulness and meditation practices include Thich Nhat Hanh and Rev. angel Kyodo williams. Find out more about Stacey’s research and sound-art projects at

Stacey Bliss invites you to a meditation/chill out session which includes breath meditation, sound-scape (live gong and bowls), and silence. It is a 30-minute zoom where there is no need to speak or put on your video – it is for you to relax, rest, and rejuvenate your system. Try one! If you like it, sign up for Tuesdays until the end of December 2021. About Stacey Bliss: Stacey is currently teaching “Meditation and Art” in the faculty of Media, Art, and Performance. Her contemporary influences for mindfulness and meditation include Thich Nhat Hanh and Rev. angel Kyodo williams. To register, please visit:

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