News Release

Canada’s diverse policy community comes together for IRPP gala

November 16, 2022 Print

Douglas Sanderson (Amo Binashii) to deliver keynote address at anniversary event; Pamela Palmater, Brittany McDonald to receive awards

OTTAWA – Some of Canada’s most influential public policy thinkers and decision-makers will converge on the nation’s capital on November 23 to celebrate the Institute for Research on Public Policy’s 50th anniversary. In keeping with the IRPP’s history of tackling the country’s toughest policy challenges, the gala will feature bold conversations on how to reimagine policymaking.

University of Toronto law professor Douglas Sanderson (Amo Binashii), co-author of the critically acclaimed book, Valley of the Birdtail: An Indian Reserve, a White Town, and the Road to Reconciliation, will deliver the keynote address at the event to be held at the National Arts Centre.

To commemorate our anniversary year, the IRPP will present two Knowledge Mobilizer Awards at the gala. Pamela Palmater, Toronto Metropolitan University’s Chair of Indigenous Governance, will receive the researcher award for her work relating to the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and in highlighting sex discrimination in the Indian Act. Brittany McDonald, a recent graduate of the University of Calgary’s Master of Public Policy program, will receive the op-ed writing prize for graduate students for her article on the revitalization of Indigenous languages.

The gala will also include a provocative panel discussion on race and policymaking in Canada moderated by Carleton University’s Carty Chair in Journalism, Diversity and Inclusion Studies, Nana aba Duncan, and featuring panelists Debra Thompson (McGill University), Akwasi Owusu-Bempah (University of Toronto) and Fahad Razak (St. Michael’s Hospital).

“It’s an accomplishment to reach this milestone as an independent think tank in Canada. We have helped many governments understand how the country is changing through our in-depth research,” said Jennifer Ditchburn, president and CEO of the IRPP.

“While Canada grapples with increasingly complex, global, and overlapping challenges, the most reliable research will be evidence-based and bring as many perspectives and voices to the table as possible.”

Proceeds from the gala will go toward the creation of a new IRPP fellowship supporting the work of Black, Indigenous and racialized policy researchers.

“The IRPP has a rich history of working alongside Canadian researchers,” said IRPP board chair Anne McLellan. “The gala is an opportunity to celebrate with the various communities that we’ve collaborated with for 50 years – whether it’s government, academia, the private sector or nonprofit organizations.”

For media requests, please contact IRPP communications director Cléa Desjardins: / 514-245-2139.

Media Contact

Cléa Desjardins
Communications Director
514-245-2139 •