President's Message - April 2022
Springtime is always a wonderful new beginning, the start of a whole new life cycle. The Foundation is no exception: from one scientific cycle to the next, from one cohort to the next, spring is synonymous with the renewal within our community as well. New discoveries, new knowledge, new initiatives and, above all, new encounters. The Foundation’s cycles follow one another and are never the same, except for the fact that they have one common denominator: the discovery and transmission of knowledge, past and present, to strengthen and reinforce the leadership of tomorrow.
At the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation, the cycles intersect, intermingle, and sometimes even collide, and they all produce something unique and essential to our societies: the democratization of knowledge and openness to others. Therefore, I am more than delighted, as nature awakens, to present to you today a summary of the various significant moments that have occurred in recent weeks within our community, because these events highlight what drives us relentlessly, day after day.
Enjoy the following news and wishing you all a wonderful spring!
President and CEO
A second Institute of Engaged Leadership for the 2021 Cohort
An unforgettable gathering in Acadia
How long ago it was that we were able to hold a major Institute of Engaged Leadership! With the last major event in 2019 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we were all looking forward to the 2022 Institute on Language, Culture & Identity, held in New Brunswick with most of the 2021 Scholars, Fellows, and Mentors, as well as with many distinguished guests.
Dear community, what pride and what a feeling of deep gratitude I feel when I think of this week, which was undeniably one of the greatest journeys into the heart of language, its plurality and its tenacity. Language, the language that binds and unbinds us, the mother tongue as well as the literary language or the oral language, has demonstrated, in the heart of New Brunswick’s Acadian, Indigenous and anglophone communities, that it carries both the impetus of identity that guarantees a promise of existence, as well as the ability to divide, exclude, dig ditches and erect walls without warning.
This Institute of Engaged Leadership has allowed us to ask some compelling questions. Who truly constitutes the linguistic majority or minority as language travels, permeates and traverses the land from place to place, community to community, person to person? Isn’t language, rather than chauvinistic, or worse, imprisoned on itself, the reflection of richness, of diversity, as well as the most beautiful of injunctions to openness to the other? Isn’t language, in the end, a hand that is permanently extended? While it comes in variations, while it is of a plasticity that is ontological in nature, naturally made of complexity, colours, and halftones, is not its only permanent aspect, after all, the relationship that it allows to establish between humans, since it gives body and speech to culture and to identity?
Top row, right: Blaine Higgs, Premier of New Brunswick and Pascale Fournier.
Middle row, left: The Honourable Aldéa Landry, 2021 Mentor.
Middle row, right: Acadian artist Abel Cormier, alias Walk Alone, at Pays de la Sagouine.
Photo credit : Abraham Lifshitz, Pimiento
Top picture: Pascale Fournier, the Honourable Graydon Nicholas and Lorna Williams, 2021 Fellow.
Bottom row, on left: Brian J. Francis, Director-Producer and Artist of Elsipogtog First Nation.
Bottom row, on right: Mi’kmaw lesson by Joan Millea, Knowledge Keeper and Elder Gary Augustine, Elsipogtog First Nation.
We spent an incredible week traveling around New Brunswick to better understand the relationship between language, culture and identity. From Moncton to Miramichi to Memramcook, from the Acadian culture to that of the Elsipogtog First Nation, we walked through the linguistic, cultural and identity soil of the province, from large amphitheatres to small community spaces. From the solemn and proud character of Moncton City Hall to the disarming authenticity of Le Pays de la Sagouine, from the graceful and naked poetry of Gabriel Robichaud to the cross-cutting project of Carrefour Beausoleil, from the salutary creativity of the Aberdeen Cultural Centre to the legendary heritage of the Monument-Lefebvre, we will have been, all together, listening to one and the same language: that of openness, foremost, that of true mutual benevolence. Together, we will have spoken the language of intelligence, the language of goodness, the one that truly allows us to be, full and complete, in the presence of each other.
Language, culture and identity shape who we all are, but all three are above all what animates us, what makes us alive. To better understand the means used here and around the world to speak to each other, but above all to hear each other, to listen to each other, to tell each other, to understand each other, even to love each other, is a fascinating adventure, and above all an inexhaustible source of knowledge, learning and discovery. This is what we have experienced.
Middle row, left: Azola Zuma Mayekiso, 2021 Mentor.
Middle row, right: Me Julius Grey, 2021 Mentor.
Bottom, left: Dawn Arnold, Mayor of Moncton, New Brunswick.
Bottom right: 2021 Scholars, Lydie Belporo. Kowan O'Keefe, Cristina Wood and Joshua Okyere.
Photo credits : Abraham Lifshitz, Pimiento
A first for the Foundation: starting on Sunday, the Scholars were divided into small groups and, thanks to original case studies, they noted their conclusions and recommendations regarding linguistic living together throughout the week. On Friday morning, a distinguished panel awaited them. Thank you to the Honourable Aldéa Landry, 2021 Mentor, the Honourable Herménégilde Chiasson, poet and former Lieutenant-Governor, Shirley MacLean, Commissioner of Official Languages for New Brunswick, Manju Varma, Commissioner of Systemic Racism, Vicki Wallace-Godbout, Indigenous entrepreneur, and Bernard Thériault, Acadian historian and Mayor of Caraquet, for their precious involvement. A special thank you also goes to the Premier of New Brunswick, the Honourable Blaine Higgs, who agreed to close this trip with an intellectual exchange with our Scholars!
Top row, right : Emmanuel Kattan, 2021 Mentor.
Bottom row, left: 2021 Scholars Chanelle Robinson, Monique Auger, Kylie Heales and Étienne Cossette-Lefebvre.
Bottom row, right: 2021 Scholars Jasmine Mah, Raphaël Grenier-Benoit and Roxana Akhmetova, in front of an appreciative panel.
Crédit photos : Abraham Lifshitz, Pimiento
When I read that the Mi’kmaq language has officially become a language of Nova Scotia, or when we know that the United Nations has declared the decade 2022–2032 to be the International Indigenous Languages Decade, I can only see the relevance of Institutes of Engaged Leadership such as the one we have just experienced. This reveals that we are, of course, very much in tune with the times, even though our mission is rooted in paradigms that go well beyond the effects of fashion, but it also reveals that we all have the possibility of acting together, like a reflective assembly, a formidable sounding board to change the societies of today and tomorrow, while taking into account the past, which never ceases to be part of each and every one of us.
As I look at the efforts of our Scholars to think, to listen, and then to propose recommendations in their own language or in the language of others, I realize, in these moments of light and intelligence, and with pride, how much we manage, on a daily basis, to bring to life the fundamental mission of the Foundation. If we are so often in reflection, it is with the intention of always being more action oriented.
This Institute of Engaged Leadership was designed to foster the transmission and use of the skills of true engaged leadership—audacity and tenacity, collaboration, communication and knowledge sharing, diversity, duty of service, creativity and innovation.
As I say these last few words, in French and then in English, I smile. We have succeeded. Tomorrow’s leaders are in the spring of their great commitment, and they have what it takes to go a little further, for all the seasons they will face.
Thank you to all the members of our community, our 2021 cohort, our distinguished guests, and the employees of the Foundation, for making this event such a great success, as evidenced by this news story from Radio-Canada's L’heure de pointe Acadie.
A conversation with the Right Honourable David Johnston
While waiting for the final verdict on the selection of the 2022 Scholars, our 30 finalists had the privilege of attending a unique and exclusive meeting with the 28th Governor General of Canada, the Right Honourable David Johnston.
Invited to speak about his own leadership experience and his vision of Global Economies, and then to answer questions, each more pertinent than the last, the founder and current president of the Rideau Hall Foundation and Member of the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation, demonstrated the great interdependence of nations, but also the need to build trust between them. His remarks could not have been timelier.
He ended this most inspiring meeting with the following words:
“You can climb the mountain, the ladder of your own career, be focused on your own success. But you can’t forget the immense and possibly even greater satisfaction of working with others to help them climb their own mountain.”
Many thanks to the 2022 ANRC
With the selection process for the 2022 cohort of Scholars, Fellows, and Mentors now complete, we look forward to introducing you to those who will be actively working on Global Economies, the scientific cycle for the 2022 cohort over the next three years.
I would like to thank personally and warmly each of the fifteen members who served on the 2022 Application and Nomination Review Committee ("ANRC") and especially its Chair, Canada’s Chief Science Advisor, Dr. Mona Nemer. In the short video below, she explains the objectives of the selection process and the qualities sought in candidates that will officially become Scholars.
As a reminder, here are the members of the 2022 Fellows and Mentors Selection Subcommittee :
Dyane Adam - Vice-Chair of the Board of Directors and 2008 Mentor
Thomas Axworthy - Member of the Foundation and Chair of the Strategic Advisory Committee
Mary Anne Chambers - 2018 Mentor and Member of the Advisory Committee on Diversity
John English - Chair of the Members of the Foundation
Claire Trottier - Philanthropist and scientist
Sanni Yaya - Director and member of the Strategic Advisory Committee
… and, of course, the members of the 2022 Fellows Selection Subcommittee :
The Honourable Paul Favel - Federal Court Judge
The Honourable Myra Freeman - Director
Margarida Garcia - 2004 Scholar
Ginger Gibson - Director and 2003 Scholar
Jennifer Hall - Executive Director of the Yukon Foundation
Alain-Désiré Nimubona - 2004 Scholar
Peter Sahlas - Member of the Foundation, Director, and Chair of the Finance & Investment Committee
Pierre-Hugues Verdier - 2006 Scholar
A heartfelt thank you to all of you! Without your contribution, your rigour and your dedication, we would not have been able to achieve this high-level selection. The identity of the 2022 Scholars, Fellows, and Mentors will be revealed in the next newsletter, in a few weeks.
Closing the 2019-2022 Scientific Cycle
Cycles open. Cycles close. These closing cycles leave in their wake a plethora of experiences and encounters, each more enlightening than the last. These cycles lead to rich encounters and the emergence of complex but necessary knowledge. This wide range of experiences and encounters has allowed and continues to allow us to go further in building the committed leadership of our Scholars.
This year, we are also officially completing the Power & Knowledge scientific cycle. In the wake of this, two 2019 Fellows, Professor Christian Nadeau and Professor Marie Battiste, respectively held on April 19 and 28, a conference on The Future of Social Rights, followed by a virtual national forum on Indigenous Knowledge Systems in the Canadian Academy.
Thank you for giving us this wonderful gift !
Professor Nadeau’s conference was held in Montreal on April 19th at the auditorium of the Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec, while Professor Marie Battiste’s National Virtual Forum was held online on April 28th.
I must emphasize that I am particularly moved to see that, until the end of their cycle, the different cohorts of Scholars, Fellows, and Mentors that we meet over the years always follow through on their commitment to the democratization of knowledge and to the fortification of tomorrow’s leadership. Dear Scholars, Fellows, and Mentors, it is simply because of all of you and your commitment that the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation can bring its mission to life with each new day.
The Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation turns 20!
In honour of its 20th anniversary, the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation is proud to announce an evening of celebrations in honour of this very special anniversary will be held on November 18th at the Canadian Museum of History in Gatineau, QC. Mark your calendars now, as this exclusive evening, full of colour and surprises, promises to be a memorable one.
We look forward to seeing you there and welcoming you personally!