Honoured today to provide a guest lecture for the University of Manitoba Centre for Human Rights Research, Robson Hall, Law School

Honoured to be a guest lecturer for the University of Manitoba Law School, Robson Hall, Centre for Human Rights Research, 2019 series on sexual violence and reproductive rights, on my research and policing perspectives into sex trafficking and exploitation in Canada. Thank-you Professor Busby for inviting me, and my colleagues in the Manitoba Child Advocacy for Youth Office for your kind words on my work.

Started a new course tonight

I was a little hesitant about committing to another term, but once I went there and met the folks, from all walks of life and many interested in starting new law enforcement careers – I’m happy I did. If they can give up every tuesday evening to further their education, the least I can do is accommodate that.

Tai Chi

Incredible intensive seven-day workshop this past week with Sifu Adam Mizner and his top students, and practitioners at all levels from all over the world. I surpassed my own perceived limits on several levels and gained profound new, humbling, understanding of the path to advancement and being a better person.

100 people practitioner students from all over the World.
So glad I could go with folks, so I have people to train with on these new techniques
We can learn something from everyone our life touches

Paying forward and giving back through teaching

Teaching Policing in the 21st Century at Red River College. Thank- you for providing guest lectures and sharing your considerable expertise and experience: Sandra Hodzic (social innovation), Devon Clunis (Crime prevention), Kathleen Keating-Toews (addictions), Bonnie Emerson (community engagement), Lisa Alison and Rick Selensky (justice careers)

Devon Clunis, always giving back to the community, always grateful for the opportunities he’s had, even going back to his early grade school teachers; I am inspired every time I hear the story.

Honouring Our Sisters.

A panel discussion on social justice.

Great panel discussion today on social decolonization, reconciliation and a better shared future in Canada.

Join us for a panel discussion on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls and Two-spirit (MMIWG2). The event aims to bring awareness and continue dialogue around the topic.

On Saturday, March 30
At Eckhardt Grammatté Hall
(3rd Floor Centennial Hall at The University of Winnipeg)
From 10.30 AM – 2 PM

Free to attend | Child Minding Available | Lunch provided

Panelists include:

Bernadette Smith
Bernadette Smith is the NDP MLA for Point Douglas Constituency in the Province of Manitoba. Bernadette spearheads the No Stone Unturned Annual Awareness Concert for Missing and Murdered Persons, and the Drag the Red Initiative. Bernadette is proud to have co-founded the Manitoba Coalition of Families of Missing and Murdered Women in Manitoba, served on the Executive Board of Directors of the Native Women’s Association of Canada, and served as Co-Chairperson of Manitoba Moon Voices. Bernadette is Anishinaabe from Duck Lake and Pine Creek.

Nahanni Fontaine
Nahanni Fontaine is the MLA for the St. Johns constituency in the Province of Manitoba. She serves as the NDP critic for Justice, Status of Women, MMIWG and House Leader. Nahanni is Status Ojibway from the Sagkeeng Anishinaabe First Nation in southern Manitoba and is the proud mother of Jonah and Niinichaanis.

Lisa Forbes
Lisa Forbes is from Winnipeg and is a Cree/Metis/Scottish member of Peguis First Nation. She has worked for over 15 years in community development as a facilitator, writer, researcher, program developer, and advocate. Lisa is part of a team that implements the Truth and Reconciliation Commission recommendations at her workplace.

Bob Chrismas, PhD
Dr. Chrismas is an author, scholar, consultant, passionate speaker and social justice advocate. He is a police professional with expertise in sex trafficking and exploitation, community engagement and crime prevention. His PhD dissertation was on Modern Day Slavery and the Sex Industry (2017).

Facilitated by Tammy Wolfe, Masters of Arts in Indigenous Governance.

Welcome speech by Meagan Malcolm, Indigenous Students’ Association Co-President.

Due to the triggering content discussed, the option to smudge will be available for attendees. Elders will also be present to speak with people in need of healing or guidance. A list of UWinnipeg support services will also be available.

Poster artwork by Cody Wolf | Cree and Ojibwe translations by Cameron Adams and Aandeg Muldrew

Please email accessibility requests like ASL interpreters, alternate formats, accessible seating information etc. to events@theuwsa.ca

You too can overcome Glossophobia (speech anxiety)

This is a book launch I participated in a month ago.

I overcame glossophobia and you can too. The most common of all social anxiety disorders, glossophobia, or speech anxiety, derives from the Greek, “glossa” meaning tongue, and “phobos” meaning fear or dread. For more than 75% of us it is a problem and for many, it is debilitating, career limiting, and causes great anxiety or even panic, from time to time as life inevitably challenges us to speak in front of other people. 

My glossophobia was severe, and I often forget how I’ve slowly worked to overcome it. I am here to tell you there is hope, and you can easily manage the fear and even come to enjoy speaking. In high school and when I returned as an adult to finish grade 12 and starting University, inevitably there would always be a time to introduce ourselves or worse, plan a class presentation! By the time my turn came to say my name, I’d be sweating, my voice would be shaking; if I got the course outline and it included a presentation, I would quit the course. By the time I joined the Police Service, at 27 years old, I’d been in several demanding professions, a soldier for five years, a Sheriff for five years, a department head in a major hotel, and had worked in a half-way house with federal inmates- all the jobs I did while finishing my first degree. Yet, in my police recruit class, when it came time to do a short five-minute presentation, it was tough for me and I stood there shaking and sweating, basically having a mild panic attack and certainly an uncomfortable experience. 

The anxiety feels like it is entirely beyond your control; you think about speaking in a group or public, and your palms sweat and your heart beats uncontrollably, sometimes more and sometimes less, but you cannot seem to manage it. That is because it is a physiological response to stimulus in your brain that you can’t control. But there is good news; you don’t have to master it. If you want to overcome the anxiety related to public speaking, you don’t have to master your body and control the responses, all you have to do is practice. Too many people think they can fix the problem and then go out and do a big speech. You have a best man or maiden of honour speech, or a presentation at work, and are freaked out about planning for it; many resort to drugs. For many of us these things come up and then we have a time crunch and we have no time to properly overcome the phobia before the event. You can get through these and do a fine job, but it may be extremely uncomfortable or downright terrifying, and you may lose sleep worrying about it for weeks leading up to the event; this pain is unnecessary. When this happens, the best thing you can do is know your stuff and plan the speech. But my advice is to start training now, and then when the big speech comes, and it will, you can do it comfortably and even enjoy the experience (seriously). Your body is sensing the public speech input as a threat and your autonomic nervous system is causing a fight or flight response to a perceived attack. You cannot control this, except to train your body to recognize that you are in fact not being attacked and do not need your heart-rate raised in order to fight/flee and survive. 

By starting small, very small, and often, you will condition your subconscious response to public speaking, so that your body will not respond to those events with anxiety. You don’t have to train your mind or body to stop the anxiety, all you have to do is practice. Start small, pipe up in the office or at home, say something and join the conversation in classes, ask a question at a public forum. Eventually, your body will stop responding as though it is under attack and allow you to speak without your heart-rate going up. I liken it to running. If you have a marathon coming up, you cannot train for it by thinking and worrying about it, learning tricks to run better or drugs to give you energy; the only way you can really train for running is to start off small, wherever you are physically, and increase your training slowly until you’re running the whole race. Similarly, with speaking, you have to start small and train so that you eventually have more to say and less anxiety about it. Once you start talking more, there are things that will help you a great deal. For one, know what you are talking about, so you feel confident in what you are saying. A second strategy to reduce anxiety is to be prepared. Bring some props and notes if they make you feel better. Thirdly, there are some tricks that you can naturally start to incorporate in your talks; you may notice that many people tell a joke at the start of their talks; this allows them to get going and loosen up, and also to relax the audience.  

I’ve been doing more and more speaking, public presentations, media interviews, teaching classes, and even planning whole courses, and have overcome much of the speech anxiety that I used to suffer. I say much because it is always there, and I am more nervous in front of some groups, but overall I can do it, and I’ve recently realized how far I’ve come. It is as simple as taking baby steps, and you can do it too; I urge you to get going on it now, and before you know it you will look forward to speaking rather than being terrified of it; get the most out of life, you can do anything you put your mind to.