Series IRPP Event

50th anniversary celebration

Trusted research → Sound decisions

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Institute for Research on Public Policy, we gathered in Ottawa on November 23, 2022 for an in-person evening that emphasized the importance of trusted research and constructive dialogue in an increasingly complex policy environment.

The festivities kicked off with a provocative panel discussion on race and policy-making in Canada, moderated by Nana aba Duncan, Carleton University’s Carty Chair in Journalism, Diversity and Inclusion Studies. Nana aba was joined by panelists Debra Thompson (McGill University), Akwasi Owusu-Bempah (University of Toronto), and Sabreena Delhon (Samara Centre for Democracy).

A networking reception followed the panel and led into a dinner emceed by Concordia University’s Aphrodite Salas.

University of Toronto law professor Douglas Sanderson (Amo Binashii), delivered the keynote address, “Public policy in Canada from an Indigenous perspective.” Douglas is the co-author, with Andrew Stobo Sniderman, of the new book Valley of the Birdtail: An Indian Reserve, a White Town, and the Road to Reconciliation.

Over the course of the evening, we also presented the IRPP’s Knowledge Mobilizer Awards – one to Pamela Palmater, a Canadian researcher who has done an exceptional job in increasing the public’s understanding of a key public policy issue; and another to Brittany McDonald, a post-secondary student who won our public policy op-ed writing contest.

Our evening closed with stirring and powerful poetry from Greg Frankson (aka Ritallin), a leading Black Canadian poet who edited the anthology AfriCANthology: Perspectives of Black Canadian Poets (2022). The work he shared at the gala dovetailed with the themes of our panel and keynote speech.

A strategic priority for the IRPP is helping to foster a more inclusive public policy dialogue in Canada. Funds raised from our gala will go toward establishing a fellowship for a researcher who identifies as Black, Indigenous or as a racialized person.


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Date and time
November 23, 2022
4:30pm panel; 5:45pm reception
National Arts Centre
Ottawa, Ontario
Event Type
Registration is closed