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Mandela: Struggle for Freedom extended until late summer 2019!

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Board of Trustees

Under the Museums Act, the Museum’s Board of Trustees serves as its governing body and is accountable to Parliament for the stewardship of the Museum through the Minister of Canadian Heritage. The Board is appointed by the Governor in Council.

Board of Trustees as of February 5, 2019

J. Pauline Rafferty, Victoria, British Columbia 
Vice Chair
Michèle Rivet, Montréal, Québec
  • Jeannette Acheson, Winnipeg, Manitoba
  • Gail Asper, Winnipeg, Manitoba
  • Mark L. Berlin, Ottawa, Ontario
  • Julie Jai, Toronto, Ontario and Whitehorse, Yukon
  • Wilton Littlechild, Maskwacis, Alberta
  • Lindy Ledohowski, Ottawa, Ontario
  • Pardeep Singh Nagra, Toronto, Ontario
  • Benjamin Nycum, Halifax, Nova Scotia
  • Ana Serrano, Toronto, Ontario

J. Pauline Rafferty, Victoria, British Columbia

Pauline Rafferty is the former chief executive officer of the Royal British Columbia Museum (RBCM). Trained as an archaeologist, Pauline’s work first centred on archaeology, then on heritage interpretation. Throughout her career, Pauline held various high-level positions in government, and was appointed assistant deputy minister at the Ministry of Women’s Equality in 1990. After retiring from the RBCM in March 2012, she has continued to be active on the boards of both national and provincial organizations. She serves on the board of the British Columbia Government House Foundation, and BC’s Provincial Health Services. She is a former board member of Simon Fraser University, Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce, as well as former president of the Alliance of Natural History Museums of Canada. Pauline has also been honoured for her work in 2014 with a Honorary Doctor of Laws from the University of Victoria. In 2016, she was honoured with the Order of British Columbia and also received the Queen Elizabeth II, Diamond Jubilee Medal.

Michèle Rivet, Montréal, Québec

Bio coming soon.

Jeannette Acheson, Winnipeg, Manitoba

Jeannette Acheson has a degree (with distinction) in Criminology and Psychology at the University of Manitoba. She has worked with the Correctional Service of Canada since 1984, holding a variety of positions. Jeannette is also an expert witness for the Correctional Service of Canada in the area of dangerous offenders and testifies in Manitoba and Ontario courts. She is fluently bilingual. Jeannette is a committed community volunteer, who has served as the Chair of the Board of Directors for The Laurel Centre in Winnipeg, a treatment centre for women who were sexually abused as children. She continues to be involved with The Laurel Centre as an Honorary Board Member.

Gail Asper, Winnipeg, Manitoba

Gail Asper is President of The Asper Foundation, a private charitable foundation, which spearheaded the creation of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights. Previous to that she served as General Counsel and Corporate Secretary of CanWest Global Communications Corp. and was a member of the Board from 1992–2010. She graduated with an LLB from the University of Manitoba in 1984 and practiced corporate and commercial law in Halifax. Ms. Asper is a Governor of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and a member of the Friends of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights Board, having served as the National Campaign Chair for the Museum’s private sector campaign. Ms. Asper has received numerous awards for her community service, including the 2005 Governor-General’s Ramon John Hnatyshyn Award for Voluntarism in the Performing Arts, the Order of Manitoba, the Order of Canada and several honorary doctorates. She has also received the Queen’s Golden and Diamond Jubilee Medal.

Mark L. Berlin, Ottawa, Ontario

Mark Berlin is Professor of Practice at McGill University in Montreal where he teaches courses in international development. Mark was formerly Director General of International Legal Programmes at the Department of Justice, Senior General Counsel and Special Advisor to the Deputy Minister, as well as counsel and advisor to four former Ministers of Justice and Attorney Generals of Canada, including serving as Special Advisor on the Middle East. As National Executive Director of Outreach for the Department of Justice, he lectured at every law school across the country. Throughout his public service career, he was Adjunct Professor of Law at the University of Ottawa in both the civil law and common law faculties, teaching in both official languages and writing extensively on human rights; he co-authored the legal text book Human Rights and Freedoms in Canada. A graduate of the Universities of Toronto (B.A.), Ottawa (LL.B) and Cambridge (M.Phil.), Mark is a former Board member of the Canadian Bar Association, the Ontario Bar Association and the Law Commission of Ontario. He was Chair of the Board of Reach Canada, an organization providing pro bono legal advice to members of the disability community. He also served as Vice-Chair of the Children’s Aid Society of Ottawa- Carleton and as Vice-Chair of the Mayor’s committee on visible minorities. Mark is passionate about human rights and equality issues and honoured to be able to devote his energies to serving on the board of this magnificent and important museum.

Julie Jai, Toronto, Ontario and Whitehorse, Yukon

Bio coming soon.

Lindy Ledohowski, Ottawa, Ontario

Former teacher and professor, Dr. Lindy Ledohowski was born and raised in the hospitality industry in Winnipeg, Manitoba and completed her B.A. (Hons.) at the University of Manitoba before heading to Ontario. She completed her B.Ed., M.A., and Ph.D. at the University of Toronto. Her SSHRC-funded doctoral dissertation theorized culture and identity politics in post-multicultural Canada using fifty years of English-language Ukrainian Canadian literature as her key case study. She then completed a SSHRC-funded postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Ottawa before taking a tenure-track post as a professor at the University of Waterloo. Currently she is the CEO of an educational software company, EssayJack, which she co-founded. As a cultural studies expert focusing on issues of ethno-national identities in contemporary Canada, she writes on postcolonial, ethnic, racial, diasporic, and transnational concerns in her scholarly publications, such as her co-edited book Unbound: Ukrainian Canadians Writing Home with the University of Toronto Press that asks questions about what it means to be Ukrainian in Canada today and won the nation-wide Kobzar Award in 2018. An award-winning scholar, educator and entrepreneur, Dr. Ledohowski focuses on giving back and mentoring as much as she can.

Wilton Littlechild, Maskwacis, Alberta

For more than 30 years, Dr. Littlechild has worked to build bridges between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people through athletics, politics, and law. An accomplished lawyer, he is the first Indigenous person appointed to Queen's Council by the Alberta Law Society. He brought Native issues to public attention while serving as the first Treaty Indian Member of Parliament. Dr. Littlechild has been active with a number of organizations both within Canada and abroad, including the Indigenous Parliament of the Americas, the United Nations, the National Indian Athletic Association, and the Canadian Council of International Law. He has given lectures on various occasions, including at the Human Rights Institute of the University of Hawaii. Dr. Littlechild served as one of three Commissioners on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, whose final report was release on December 15, 2015. For his participation in Aboriginal and athletic endeavours, Dr. Littlechild has been honoured with several awards, including the Lifetime Achievement Award as an Aboriginal Role Model and the Order of Canada and inducted into seven sports Halls of Fame. He graduated from the University of Alberta with a master’s degree in Physical Education, a Bachelor of Law Degree, and an Honorary Doctorate at Law. In December 2016, Dr. Littlechild accepted his nomination as Grand Chief of the Confederacy of Treaty Six First Nations.

Pardeep Singh Nagra, Toronto, Ontario

Professionally, Pardeep Singh Nagra is a speaker, teacher, trainer and consultant with substantial experience in organizational change. He specializes in employee engagement, inclusive workplace strategies, equity, and diversity work. He has held positions in university, college, public health, police and human services sectors, and currently works with the Toronto District School Board as Manager, Employment Equity. Personally, Pardeep’s interest in charitable, community spirit and humanitarian work has touched the lives of many people and communities over an extended period of time. His work and service has been recognized and valued as he was the recipient of the YMCA Canada Peace Medal, University of Toronto Arbor Award, Region of Peel Chair’s Award for community service, Auxiliary Constable of the Year with Peel Regional Police, and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal, to name a few. Some of his favourite charitable activities are the CN Tower stair climb and the Toronto Polar Bear Dip. In addition to being highlighted in various text books in Canada, Pardeep is featured as a question in the Trivial Pursuit board game. The Hollywood movie Tiger, released in October 2018, is based on the true story of Pardeep’s journey as a boxer.

Benjamin Nycum, Halifax, Nova Scotia

Benjie is the CEO of Nycum + Associates, a Halifax-based architecture and planning firm that specializes in complex public architecture and planning. Benjie is passionate about the intersections of human processes and group dynamics in the service of marginalized populations. Benjie is an adjunct professor at Dalhousie University Faculty of Architecture and an instructor at the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada Syllabus Program where he is also engaged as a subject matter expert for curriculum development. In 2000 he wrote and published the XY Survival Guide for LGBT teens and subsequently founded Young Gay America, which conducted road-trip style interviews with 1500 lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth in 47 states and 6 provinces. The project culminated in the creation of the full-length documentary Jim in Bold, the YGA magazine and the Exuberance! exhibition which extensively toured Europe and North America. Benjie is currently a director at the Design and Construction Institute of Nova Scotia, the Canadian Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce and the Halifax International Airport, and has served on the board of Egale Canada Human Rights Trust.

Ana Serrano, Toronto, Ontario

Bio coming soon.