Symposium Agenda

Dates: October 19 & 20, 2023

Location: Alt Hotel – Ottawa, Ontario, Canada


Download agenda in PDF format

Meet our Facilitator: Khulud Baig

Khulud is the Director of Policy and Community Engagement at the Women’s National Housing and Homelessness Network (WNHHN). Previously, she has served as the lead on housing and homelessness research with the WNHHN’s key Indigenous partner Keepers of the Circle. Khulud holds a Masters in Global Development Studies from Queen’s University and has valuable experience in community-based, participatory research, with a key focus on gender-based analysis and Indigenous methodologies.

Previously, Khulud has led gender-equity and housing files at the City for All Women’s Initiative and Native Women’s Association of Canada. Her key focus in all her work is to create and hold space for lived experience voices in decision-making.

Symposium Guests and Speakers

Marie-Josée Houle, Federal Housing Advocate

Marie-Josée Houle was appointed as Canada’s first Federal Housing Advocate in February 2022, marking a new chapter in a career defined by her work in the affordable housing and homelessness sector.

Ms. Houle is an experienced leader who is recognized for her community activism, expertise in human rights, and extensive knowledge of the housing and homelessness system.

Prior to her appointment as Canada’s first Federal Housing Advocate, Ms. Houle has held a number of roles that inform her broad experience, including frontline work in housing co-ops, consulting and project management for affordable housing development, by-law review, housing-related research projects, developing educational programs for housing co-ops and non-profits, and senior leadership roles.

Romy Bowers, President and CEO, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC)

Romy Bowers was appointed President and Chief Executive Officer of CMHC in April 2021.

She leads a team of housing experts who share a single goal: that “By 2030, everyone in Canada will have a home that they can afford and that meets their needs.” As CEO, Ms. Bowers believes CMHC can be a catalyst for solving housing affordability challenges and a leader in building a housing system that is equitable and free of systemic racism.

Ms. Bowers joined CMHC in 2015 as the company’s chief risk officer. She has also served as CMHC’s chief commercial officer and most recently was senior vice president of client solutions, where she led a team that brings together the expertise of CMHC’s commercial and assisted housing businesses to better understand the housing needs of Canadians and develop new client-focused products and services to meet those needs.

Ange Valentini

Ange Valentini (she/her) is a political advisor, strategist, and community organizer. She brings 25 years of experience building creative solutions to complex challenges.

Ange is a trusted advisor working on the front lines of critical issues from advancing reconciliation and climate change mitigation, to meeting the demands for affordable housing and infrastructure. Since 2016, Ange has worked through her consulting practice – the Strategic Impact Collective. Her clients include First Nations governments, local governments, health authorities, Chambers of Commerce, NGOs, environmental organizations and technology companies.

Mission-driven public policy advocacy is the connecting thread throughout Ange’s career. She knows from experience that effective advocacy is a powerful motivator and multiplier for creating positive change, building social equity, and advancing economic justice.

Ange is a mom and step-mom raising 5 young people. She lives with her partner on the unceded and traditional territories of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), and səlilwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh), also known as Vancouver, Canada.

Julieta Perucca

Julieta Perucca is an experienced human rights advocate, previously working alongside the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the right to housing.

She is now the co-founder and Deputy Director of The Shift, a human rights organization working at the intersection of housing, finance, and climate change.

Julieta leads the work on housing and climate change for The Shift.

Anne Landry

Anne Landry has rented the same apartment for more than 25 years from one of Canada’s largest financialized landlords in Calgary, Alberta. She has a disability – post traumatic stress. Anne’s career background includes strategic planning and data analytics. She has been unemployed in her career since the 2015 recession. She will soon be of retirement age and would like to age-in-place, but is finding it increasingly difficult to do so at a time of escalating rents and lack of security of housing.

Anne is now a Calgarian for HOUSING is a HUMAN RIGHT and is taking action for housing human rights amidst the growing housing emergency in Calgary and across Canada. She has led housing human rights activities, including the recent HOUSING HOPE Community Meeting in Calgary with other human rights/housing human rights advocates and has created a CHANGE.ORG petition to require landlords to appear at the House of Commons Review of Financialization & Rent Gouging.

Anne also advocates to all levels of government. She has recently spoken before The City of Calgary Council at the time of its new housing strategy and has also provided briefs to the House of Commons HUMA Committee Review regarding financialization of housing, rent gouging, renovictions, and related issues, and to the National Housing Council Review regarding financialization of purpose-built rental housing.

Lavenia Schug

Lavenia Schug is from Montana First Nation in Maskwacis, Alberta. Lavenia Schug is a woman of remarkable depth and unwavering dedication. Her life journey is shared with her husband, Clayton Schug, forming a blended family of four children and carrying the cherished memory of a beloved daughter who has passed away. Lavenia’s role as a matriarch extends warmly to her six cherished grandbabies, a beloved Grandma by all the children she has kept in care, and helping them live rewarding lives.

Guided by her mother, Mariah Rabbit, herself a Matriarch of the Rabbit family in Maskwacis, Alberta, Lavenia was deeply immersed in the rich Cree culture of the Montana Cree Nation. This upbringing bestowed upon her fluency in the Cree language and molded her into a dedicated Cree helper.

In her capacity as an elder for “Walk a Mile in a Ribbon Skirt,” Lavenia and her family received a profound honor when the female council members of the City of Edmonton proclaimed a “Walk a Mile in a Ribbon Skirt Day.” This recognition, bestowed on September 23, 2023, by the Canadian Civil Society at Edmonton City Hall, underscores her unshakable commitment to celebrating and preserving indigenous traditions. Lavenia has supported her child, Chevi Rabbit, and has been with Chevi every step of the way during their advocacy Journey.

Lavenia’s late father, Montana First Nation councilman Joe Rabbit, was a farmer and Cree leader profoundly impacted by Canada’s Residential Schools. Her community and the kinship of Montana First Nation continue to grapple with the intergenerational trauma stemming from Canada’s Residential Schools and Indian Day Schools. During her formative years, Lavenia shared her life by helping her older sister who has passed on, the esteemed First Lady of Montana Cree Nation, Velma Cattleman, who was married to the late Cree Chief Leo Cattleman, then Canada’s longest-serving Chief. Both were pillars of their community and left an indelible mark on Lavenia and her family.

Professionally, Lavenia served as a Montana Arts and Crafts manager, allowing her to nurture her profound passion for preserving indigenous culture and providing vital employment opportunities for women in her community. She furthered her education at Maskwacis Cultural College and took pride in her role as a custodian, instilling the values of hard work and humility in all her children. Lavenia contributed to her community by working for the Maskwacis Education School Commission at Meskanahk ka nipa School.

She generously dedicated herself as a cultural helper at feasts, Cree tea dances, and various cultural events firmly rooted in Cree values and customs. Additionally, Lavenia assumed the role of an elder student advisor at Meskanahk ka nipa wit School, offering her guidance to younger generations on the role of young women, instilling in them the cherished values and traditions of their rich Cree culture.

Beyond her career, Lavenia embraced the roles of caregiver, kinship, and foster care provider at Akamihk Child and Family Services. Lavenia tends to her home as she cares for her elderly mother and provides kinship care to youth in her community, ensuring that her children maintain a profound connection to Cree culture and traditions.

Lavenia Schug’s extensive certifications in Child Care and Foster Care underscore her dedication to serving the Montana First Nation community, reflecting her unwavering commitment to providing comprehensive support and care to children and families in her community, thereby emphasizing her dedication to their well-being.

Lavenia Schug’s multifaceted career and her roles as a caregiver illuminate her remarkable ability to serve her community in diverse and profound ways. Her life’s work, deeply enriched by her family’s legacy, mirrors the enduring strength of kinship and the profound impact of generations of leaders within the Montana Cree Nation. Her partnership with her sister, Shirley Rabbit, in preserving Cree culture exemplifies their collective dedication to ensuring their cultural heritage thrives for future generations.

Domanique Grant

Domanique Grant is an award winning Pop-Soul Singer/Songwriter, a Motivational Speaker, and a Humanitarian Award recipient from Toronto. Named one of BuzzFeed’s top 20 artists to watch, her unconventional upbringing, having lived in Canada, Uganda, and Argentina before the age of 22 translated into an instant superpower – connection through music. With music that is healing, empowering, and genre-bending all at the same time, her fusion of feel-good pop, moody R&B, and soul, translates beyond language and border.

Domanique’s single Till We See The Sun, brought together front line workers from 25 countries, in 3 languages, and during the COVID-19 Pandemic being named “The anthem of our time” by CTV National. Her double EP QUEEN/DOM was added to the 2023 Women in Music Canada Honour Roll presented by Spotify and in 2020, was featured in a national commercial spot and campaign with RBCxMusic during the Grammy awards, which highlighted Canadian emerging artists.

Beyond the music it’s Domanique’s dual passion for music, housing rights and education access that makes her talent for music as impactful as her passion for community. Domanique has sold out a Tedx Talk, been invited to perform for World Aids Day in Uganda for over 20,000 and was invited to perform her EP PLAYHOUSE, exploring the meaning of home, for the United Nations.