Professor Claudette Commanda has dedicated her career to promoting First Nations people, rights, history and culture in national and international settings. She has been inspired by the work of her grandfather, William Commanda, who passed on his teachings and passion for language and cultural preservation to her. She is not only a University of Ottawa alumna but also a professor, teaching many First Nations-related courses across faculties: Law, Education, the Institute of Women’s Studies, and the Aboriginal Studies Program. She was the very first “Elder in Residence” appointed to the University’s Faculty of Law as well as the first First Nations person to serve on the University’s Board of Governors.

Having become a trusted advisor and mentor through her work with various government departments, Prof. Commanda serves as the Executive Director for the First Nations Confederacy of Cultural Education Centres, a national organization with the mandate of protecting, promoting and revitalizing First Nations languages and cultures.

09:00 AM ET

Opening Remarks

Ministerial welcome & conference overview.

Join Co-Emcees, Wendy Curtis and Devon Girard, as they kick-off StrikeUP 2021, joined by opening speakers, Algonquin Elder and Knowledge Keeper, Claudette Commanda, and Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade, Mary Ng.

As part of the opening ceremonies, you will:

  • Learn about the goals and partners involved in StrikeUP 2021.
  • Acknowledge Canada's Indigenous land and the promise women entrepreneurs hold for economic recovery.
  • Learn how StrikeUP fits within Canada's Women Entrepreneurship Strategy.
  • And gain an overview of the day, how to navigate the digital conference environment, and how to optimize StrikeUP 2021 to grow your business.