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Meet our presenters for this year's Indigenous HR Skill Builder Conference


With our annual Indigenous HR Skill Builder Conference coming up around the corner, we wanted to introduce our speakers and share more about our workshops and facilitators.

The theme of this year’s event is Mino-Pimatisiwin – Live the Good Life. As such, our sessions will focus on community wellness, and setting values and missions. Read on to learn more.



  1. Embracing Your Authentic Self with Marlene Waterston
  2. Discover your Resilience with Chris Hoquis
  3. Restorative HR Practices with Denise Harder
  4. Community Wellness & Engagement with Tara Petti
  5. Event details and registration




1. Embracing your Authentic Self with Marlene Waterston

Being your true authentic self means what you say in life aligns with your actions. One's authentic self goes beyond who we are professionally, and even who we are at home to our family and friends. It's who we are at our deepest core. Let's discover together how we can embrace our authentic self and why it's important.

About Marlene

Marlene is an energetic and passionate management and training professional who loves facilitating and helping workshop participants to learn new skills. Marlene has held roles of Director of Operations & Human Resources, Operations Manager, Finance Administrator, and Office Manager in both the public and private sector.

She holds the designation of Chartered Professional in Human Resources (CPHR) as well as a diploma as a Certified Aboriginal Finance Manager (CAFM) and a diploma as a Certified Aboriginal Professional Administrator (CAPA) with AFOA Canada and is currently working towards a Master’s in Business Administration.

Combining her passions for Finance and Human Resources, and her management experiences, Marlene has found facilitation to be an energizing way to share her knowledge and passion with others. Her energy to keep everyone engaged shows through in all of her sessions.


2. Discover your Resilience with Chris Hoquis

Finding strength and overcoming struggle can be daunting and tough to navigate. Learn about how you can discover resilience within yourself and others through a journey of relentless empathy.

About Chris

Chris Hoquis has been a Business, Strategy, and Information Technology professional for over 15 years. He’s been involved in coaching or instruction for 10+ years. He teaches post-graduate level courses at both the University of Winnipeg and University of Manitoba, notably in Business, Business Analysis, Project Management, Technology and Strategy. 

Chris is passionate about local businesses, and in February 2022, he launched Rally the Locals, a platform dedicated to driving growth for local businesses through lead generation, content curation, innovative marketing, and partnerships. He manages a team of 10+ people from over seven countries and anticipates 100+ businesses on the platform by the end of 2023.

Outside of the office and classroom, Chris has been relentlessly focused on positive mental health initiatives, being a part of many events across Canada as a Keynote speaker, Workshop Facilitator, and Instructor. His unique style of storytelling, and hard-hitting dialogue recently culminated into a TED Talk in Toronto (February 2022, Unlock Resilience with Relentless Empathy).


3. Restorative HR Practices with Denise Harder

Restorative HR practices borrows from the concepts used in Restorative Justice, using similar methods to assist managers and employees to work through lateral violence and heal from toxicity.

About Denise

Denise Harder is Dakota (she/her) from Long Plain First Nation. She has more than 20 years of labour relations experience working extensively in both the Provincial Labour Standards and Federal Employment Code. She is an expert negotiator who strives for mutually agreeable solutions during both contract negotiations and mediations. An engaging and motivational speaker, she is skilled at condensing difficult concepts into easily understandable theories and explaining their practical applications.

As the former chairperson for two regional health authorities, Denise excels at team building and employee engagement. Denise excels at both “femtoring*” senior and junior staff to bring out the best in themselves and their teams.

During her classes you will experience “aha” moments — where the concept or idea becomes clear in new ways that make practical sense. She will challenge you to look inside and find the best you.

*Femtoring — The Feminine Version of Mentoring — not found in the dictionary.


4. Community Wellness and Engagement with Tara Petti

What is the importance of community engagement when developing programs, policies and initiatives for your organization and community?

This workshop will help participants navigate community engagement opportunities and integration into planning for organizational and community outcomes related to wellness.

About Tara

Tara’s career has prominently been in the field of Child Welfare concentrating on positive outcomes, operational and management practices that inform First Nation children, families, communities and governments to bring forth and realize a brighter through First Nations led practices and change. 

Tara Petti is a member of Peguis First Nation in Treaty One territory, with community and family heritage to George Gordon First Nation in Treaty 4 territory.



Event details and registration

This event will be taking place at the Victoria Inn & Convention Centre in Winnipeg on April 19-20.

Be sure to register to secure your spot today: https://legacybowes.com/events/conferences

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