From law student to #idlenomore

January 23rd, 2013 · No Comments · Aboriginal, Advisory, Alumni, History, Indigenous, Law, News Release, Outreach, Peace and Justice, Students, political studies

When Tanya Kappo graduated from the University of Manitoba’s Robson Hall law school in May, 2012, it was clear to her colleagues and friends that her drive and passion would lead her to make an impact in the world. Six months later, Kappo started the #idlenomore Twitter conversation that is now spreading like a Prairie grassfire-a new Indigenous movement that is shaking up Canada.

Kappo returns to the University of Manitoba this month from her articling position in Edmonton to talk about her experience with Idle No More. All are welcome and the event is free of charge.

Where: Moot Court, Robson Hall, Fort Garry Campus
When: January 25, 2013, noon to 1 p.m., followed by coffee

A single mother of three, Kappo is the second of at least three generations of Indigenous activists. At age 24, her father Harold Cardinal led national opposition to then Indian Affairs minister Jean Chrétien’s notorious “White Paper” designed to terminate First Nations treaty rights. And Kappo’s eldest child, James Harper, a University of Manitoba engineering student, recently spoke at an Idle No More protest on campus.

“The astonishing growth of the Idle No More movement is humbling,” says Kappo, who organized one of the movement’s first teach-ins and who advocates non-violent protest.

Kappo grew up on the Sturgeon Lake Cree Nation in Treaty 8 territory in northwestern Alberta with her mother Margaret Kappo, a social worker and community leader. Sneaking into the reserve’s eerie abandoned residential school as a child helped her understand what her parents had suffered, while law school helped prepare her for leadership in the new tech-savvy generation that is driving change.

“Kappo is smart, grounded and determined. She will be a force to reckon with in Indigenous politics and law,” said law professor Karen Busby, who directs the Centre for Human Rights Research sponsoring Kappo’s visit. Robson Hall, the University of Manitoba law school, offers a concentration in Aboriginal law and policy.

The event is also supported by the Manitoba Aboriginal Law Students Association, Mamawipawin and the university’s executive lead for Indigenous Achievement.

For more information, contact Prof. Karen Busby at 204-474-6155, or Centre for Human Rights Research manager Helen Fallding at 204-474-6156,

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