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Lori Campbell Education + Two Spirit + Identity

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“The Power of Knowing Who You Are”

After a 25 year search for her biological mother, Lori Campbell was faced with a new challenge, finding the six unknown siblings she discovered in her quest. Covered extensively by national media, Lori’s story echoes the journey of thousands Indigenous adults who were taken shortly after birth, in Canada's '60’s Scoop Era.' Lori’s incredible journey of self-discovery inspires her listeners while stimulating compassion and strengthening reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples.

Lori Campbell is a proud Indigenous 2-Spirited woman, an intergenerational survivor of the residential school system and a survivor of the "60's Scoop Era."  After a relentless 25 year search to locate her birth family, Lori located her birth mother, and all 7 of her siblings across 4 different provinces.

Lori states, "Knowing who you are and where you come from is important for developing a strong, positive sense of identity." As a Two-Spirited Indigenous woman, Lori’s journey of self-discovery has directly contributed to her personal and professional successes. It is her aspiration that through sharing her stories, others from the 60's Scoop era would gain strength and feel inspired, as well as a sense of pride and confidence as an Indigenous person.  Lori hopes that through sharing her experiences she can stimulate compassion and strengthen reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples.

Lori’s entire adult career has been primarily in what she calls the Indigenous human service field, working in areas that help to support the well-being and success of Indigenous people. Starting out working with youth-at-risk, Lori spent some time working as the Aboriginal Resource Officer for Victim Services with the Regina Police Service. Here she worked with victims of crime and traumatic events as well as taking the opportunity to work on breaking down negative barriers between the Police Service and Indigenous community members. Campbell spent the last 11 years working in post-secondary education, focusing on ways to create opportunities for Indigenous students to experience success. This have involved providing staff and faculty education on what is commonly known as "Indigenization."

Over the years Campbell has met well over 100 Indigenous survivors of the "60's Scoop Era" and often times, those that have not yet been able to learn who they are or where they came from and they all express how lost they feel in this world. Learning and understanding the broader historical context of Indigenous peoples in Canada, as well as coming to know the specific familial stories can help to heal the spirits of those taken from their families.

Lori Campbell was born in Treaty Four territory, but her birth mother and the generations before belonged to Montreal Lake Cree First Nation of Treaty 6. Ironically, after she was adopted she was raised in a rural farming community in the Treaty 6 territory.

Growing up with her adopted family in rural Saskatchewan surrounded by farm life, Lori spent hours out in the field on her own with her horses. Here she developed her strong connection to the land and to the horses. To this day, she still draws on that strength - connecting with the land and her horses has been one of Lori’s strongest therapies.

  • Reconciliation Through Education: Opportunities for Positive Impact

    Our educational institutions can both contribute to a positive and a negative self-identity of an Indigenous person. Lori’s experiences within the educational system help us develop and incorporate ways to bridge the education and communication gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous learners.

    • Insights into the Indigenous education experience
    • Bridging the educational gap across cultures
    • The positive role our educational institutes can play

    The Letters Tell Me Who I Am: Discovering Lori Campbell

    Imagine searching for 25 years for your birth mother, only to discover that you were not alone, but were in fact the eldest sibling of 8 children. The answer that ever haunting question "Who am I?", just became more completed.

    As a young adult, Lori was driven to start an exploration into her self-identity. However, not until Lori received those letters regarding her birth family did her real journey begin. She was not the only child taken from her birth mother, there were eight. Journey with Lori on this road of self-discovery and learn how the power of relationships, place, and time, make all the difference knowing who your truly are.

    • Finding a true self-identity
    • Connecting with family
    • Real reconciliation

    The Beat of My Own Drum: Two-Spirit Identity

    This story of the search for gender identity is poignant, touching, and real. Lori searches for answers to her feelings as a teenager, discovering, as many do, that she does not fit the mold set out before her.

    Through her connection to her Indigenous identity she discovered who and what she really is. Learn as well what being Two-Spirited is all about. Join her as she shares the exploration into the historical significance and contemporary usage and practice of gender diverse people.

    • Develop an understanding of culture and gender issues
    • Explore the background and historical significance of Two-Spirited people
    • Contemporary usage and practice

    Reconciliation Through the Eyes of an Indigenous Adoptee: Growing Up Non-Indigenous

    Adopted at the age of two, apprehended from an Indigenous mother, and held in foster care, Lori grew up with a non-Indigenous family on a farm in Saskatchewan. Realization hit her that she was different not only because she was Indigenous, but because she was gay. The positive and negative impacts of her collective experiences have contributed to the success Lori has found striving for reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples.

    • Self-acceptance & self-realization
    • The Indigenous adoptee experience of reconciliation
    • Positive spirit of being adopted
  • Awards/Highlights

    • (2016) Regional Centre of Expertise on Education for Sustainable Development, presented for the development and delivery of Reach Up & Down, Reach Out & Across: Indigenization at Saskatchewan Polytechnic, a four-part speaker series for faculty and staff. UNESCO Global Action Program.
    • (2011-2012) SIAST. Applied Research grant and Applied Research Relief Time Stipend as lead researcher for project: Indigenizing the institution.
    • (2009, 2010) IPHRC. Indigenous People’s Health Research Committee scholarship for post-graduate research in Aboriginal studies.
    • (2005) Regina Police Service. Meritorious Performance Award, presented for operational work well above standard, Victim Services.
  • Clients

    • 6th International Conference on Indigenous Education: Pacific Rim, Cairns, Australia
    • Native American Student Advocacy Institute Conference, Albuquerque, NM
    • Canadian Association of College & University Student Services
    • Saskatchewan Polytechnic
    • Federation of Saskatchewan First Nations
    • Saskatoon Tribal Council Urban First Nations Services Inc.
    • University of Saskatchewan
    • University of Regina
    • Cumberland College
    • Regina Missing Women's Conference
    • Queen City Pride
    • Regina Police Service
    • United Church of Canada
    • Metis Addictions Council
    • Regina Alternative Measures Program

Lori Campbell is a proud Indigenous 2-Spirited woman, an intergenerational survivor of the residential school system and a survivor of the "60's Scoop Era."  After a relentless 25 year search to locate her birth family, Lori located her birth mother, and all 7 of her siblings across 4 different provinces.

Lori states, "Knowing who you are and where you come from is important for developing a strong, positive sense of identity." As a Two-Spirited Indigenous woman, Lori’s journey of self-discovery has directly contributed to her personal and professional successes. It is her aspiration that through sharing her stories, others from the 60's Scoop era would gain strength and feel inspired, as well as a sense of pride and confidence as an Indigenous person.  Lori hopes that through sharing her experiences she can stimulate compassion and strengthen reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples.

Lori’s entire adult career has been primarily in what she calls the Indigenous human service field, working in areas that help to support the well-being and success of Indigenous people. Starting out working with youth-at-risk, Lori spent some time working as the Aboriginal Resource Officer for Victim Services with the Regina Police Service. Here she worked with victims of crime and traumatic events as well as taking the opportunity to work on breaking down negative barriers between the Police Service and Indigenous community members. Campbell spent the last 11 years working in post-secondary education, focusing on ways to create opportunities for Indigenous students to experience success. This have involved providing staff and faculty education on what is commonly known as "Indigenization."

Over the years Campbell has met well over 100 Indigenous survivors of the "60's Scoop Era" and often times, those that have not yet been able to learn who they are or where they came from and they all express how lost they feel in this world. Learning and understanding the broader historical context of Indigenous peoples in Canada, as well as coming to know the specific familial stories can help to heal the spirits of those taken from their families.

Lori Campbell was born in Treaty Four territory, but her birth mother and the generations before belonged to Montreal Lake Cree First Nation of Treaty 6. Ironically, after she was adopted she was raised in a rural farming community in the Treaty 6 territory.

Growing up with her adopted family in rural Saskatchewan surrounded by farm life, Lori spent hours out in the field on her own with her horses. Here she developed her strong connection to the land and to the horses. To this day, she still draws on that strength - connecting with the land and her horses has been one of Lori’s strongest therapies.

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