November is Make a Will Month

  • 50% of Canadians do not have a will
  • Create or update your Will today and consider including a charitable gift to Lakehead University
  • A gift in your will can change a student’s future
For more information, contact Lee-Anne Camlin, Philanthropy Associate  T: (807) 346-7792   E:

Lakehead University invites alumni to “come home” during Homecoming Week

October 9, 2019 – Orillia, Ont.

Lakehead University is excited to welcome alumni “home” to the Orillia Campus during the biggest weekend of the year.

Lakehead Orillia’s annual Homecoming celebration takes place from Friday, Oct. 18 to Saturday, Oct. 19, with activities taking place on and off campus. From sporting events to quiz night and the Principal’s brunch, Homecoming offers something for everyone.

“Lakehead has more than 63,000 alum around the globe,” said Debra Woods, President of the Alumni Association of Lakehead University. “During Homecoming we look forward to seeing alumni and celebrating their achievements since graduating from Lakehead.”

A full list of Homecoming Weekend events can be found below or on our website at  The community is welcome to attend, but are encouraged to register in advance.

Friday, Oct. 18

  • Quiz Night at Flying Monkey Brewery, 8 p.m., Flying Monkeys Craft Brewery

 Saturday, Oct. 19

  • Principal’s Homecoming Brunch, 11 a.m., Lakehead Orillia cafeteria
  • Wolfie’s 9-Hole Golf Tournament, 1:30 p.m., Hawk Ridge Golf Club
  • Alumni vs. Student Hockey Game and Tailgate, 5:30 p.m., Rotary Place

 – 30 –


Media: For further information or to arrange an interview, contact Jaclyn Bucik, Media, Communications and Marketing Associate, 705-330-4008 ext. 2014, or

Lakehead University is a fully comprehensive university with approximately 8,500 students and over 2,000 faculty and staff at two campuses in Orillia and Thunder Bay, Ontario. Lakehead has 10 faculties, including Business Administration, Education, Engineering, Graduate Studies, Health & Behavioural Sciences, Law, Natural Resources Management, the Northern Ontario School of Medicine, Science & Environmental Studies, and Social Sciences & Humanities. Maclean’s 2020 University Rankings, once again, included Lakehead University among Canada’s Top 10 primarily undergraduate universities, and in 2018, Research Infosource named Lakehead Research University of the Year in its category for the fourth consecutive year. Visit

Join us for Homecoming Weekend at the Lakehead Orillia campus

Recent Economics graduate elected MP in Kenora riding

Eric Melillo has been elected as a Canadian Member of Parliament in the riding of Kenora. Eric completed his BA degree in Economics earlier this year. Eric is one of the youngest MPs ever elected to parliament. The Department of Economics congratulates Eric on his success and looks forward to him representing the people of the Kenora area.

Lakehead University has partnered with Commute Ontario: Learn how to access sustainable transportation options


Lakehead University has partnered with Commute Ontario, a province-wide program designed to encourage commuters to adopt healthy and sustainable transportation options.

Faculty, staff and students can now enjoy free programs to help you commute smarter including:

Carpool Ontario
Find your carpool partner with Carpool Ontario, a free ride-matching tool that helps faculty, staff and students search for people to carpool with. Whether you are looking to drive a carpool or share a ride, Carpool Ontario allows you to customize your search criteria to find a perfect match.

Thunder Bay Campus:
Orillia Campus:

Active Switch
The Active Switch online tool allows faculty, staff and students to set goals, track and monitor progress and converts the distance travelled to into calories burned and greenhouse gas emissions saved. Log your active trips at for a chance to win great monthly prizes.

Monthly Rewards Program
Carpool Ontario and Active Switch faculty, staff and students are also automatically entered into a monthly prize draw simply by keeping their accounts active. Could you be the next lucky winner? Click here to see the Monthly Rewards Program prizes for 2019!

Emergency Ride Home program (ERH)
As an employee (staff or faculty ONLY) at a participating Commute Ontario campus, you are eligible for the Emergency Ride Home (ERH) program. If you have an unforeseen emergency on any day you use a sustainable method to commute to work, you can request a reimbursement of up to $75 for your emergency transportation costs.

Please note students are not eligible for the ERH Program.

Sustainable Commuting Information Portals
Visit the Lakehead Thunder Bay or Orillia Campus Information Portal for program details and year-round campaigns and take the first steps towards a sustainable commute!

Thunder Bay Campus Information Portal:
Orillia Campus Information Portal:

Interview with Dr. Todd Dufresne about his new book, The Democracy of Suffering

Brandon Walker: What can you tell us about your new book?

Dr. Todd Dufresne: In The Democracy of Suffering I examine climate change in the light of philosophy and intellectual history.  My goal is to survey how we got here, what we have become, and what happens to us next.  I’m afraid it’s a horror story.   

BW: What inspired you to write it?

TD: I’m worried about the future of humanity, and thought it irresponsible to just ignore it – especially when my students, as well as my own daughter, now live in a world very different from the one into which I was born.  I wanted to answer the question: What is this new condition of human existence?  What is the ‘Anthropocene’? 

BW: How would you describe humanity’s future with the seeming reluctance of many governments around the world to step up and make a real difference?

TD: It depends on which day you ask me.  Some days I despair for real change, as when the Brazilian government instigates the burning of the Amazon.  It’s very obvious that these actions will accelerate the “sixth extinction” currently underway.  But there are also grassroots movements, like Idle No More and Fridays for Future, and there are politicians like Bernie Sanders who seem to understand.  So we are a few key electoral wins away from avoiding a catastrophic, literally unlivable future world. 

BW: Where do philosophy and intellectual history intersect with the environment? How can philosophy and intellectual history help save us all?

TD: Philosophy is just a discipline and, as such, it can’t “save us all.”  But ‘lovers of wisdom’ can!  Listen, the fates of human beings and the earth are entwined in a way that we often don’t comprehend.  How we think, what we think, who gets to think – these abstractions have concrete impacts in the real world, in nature.  Through our ideas, through ‘philosophy’, we have radically remade the natural world in our own image.  And it’s a hostile world.  But today this newly remade nature is also remaking us.  It’s not just baking, flooding, choking, starving, and killing us, reminding us that we are, after all, animals.  It’s also obliging us to rethink, and therefore recreate, our identities as human beings as a part of nature.  As “Earthlings.”  So at best philosophy has the power to diagnose, analyze, and prescribe what is happening, and then maybe help decide what is to be done.  But it will be lovers of wisdom, real philosophers like you and I, who will embrace this new reality and, along with it, forge a future very different from the recent past.

For more information, please see Dr. Dufresne's upcoming readings on Oct. 19 and Oct. 22, or you can purchase the book here.

You can also read more about Dr. Dufresne's book in this Los Angeles Review of Books interview.

In its first year, Joint Mobile Crisis Response Team proves its worth

Photo of Jo-Ann Vis and Ashley Palmer
Lakehead University associate professor Jo-Ann Vis, left, and master’s student Ashley Palmer worked on an evaluation of the Joint Mobile Crisis Response Team program.
By Julio Heleno Gomes
Research in Action
This story ran in the Chronicle-Journal on Oct. 1, 2019

A pilot project that brings together police, health-care workers and crisis support staff to deal with mental health issues in Thunder Bay is getting rave reviews from its partners, thanks in part to research undertaken by Lakehead University that has shown the benefits of the program as well as areas for improvement.

“We were highly successful in terms of meeting our targets,” Jennifer Hyslop, CEO of the Canadian Mental Health Association’s Thunder Bay branch, says of the Joint Mobile Crisis Response Team’s initial efforts. “We were extremely pleased with the results of the Lakehead University study. It really spoke to the impact of the program and also gave us some insight into what we can do in next in terms of making sure we’re delivering the service that’s meeting the needs of people having a mental health crisis.”

Thunder Bay Police Chief Sylvie Hauth was equally pleased with results in the first year.

“We fully support the program and appreciate the positive impact the team has on our ability to provide emergency services in Thunder Bay,” she says.

With a $300,000 contribution from the North West LHIN, the JMCRT program sees a mental health crisis response worker summoned to a 911 call to assist police in dealing with a person suffering an issue. The crisis response worker tries to de-escalate the situation and may refer the individual to other care in the community, easing the burden on hospital staff and the police.
The program was launched in June 2018 and an evaluation was conducted by a graduate student, part of Lakehead’s commitment to developing community partnerships.

“We offer supervision and research assistance to the student to collaborate with a community partner,” explains Dr. Jo-Ann Vis, an associate professor in Lakehead’s School of Social Work.

The review by master’s student Ashley Palmer involved focus groups and surveys with Thunder Bay Police officers and communications staff, crisis response workers, Emergency department nursing staff as well as interviews with clients of the program.

“What came out of that is the positive relationships between all the partners,” Palmer explains. “They spoke of how well everyone was working collaboratively.”

Other findings from Palmer’s research:

  • The program was able to provide better and more specific care to the individual;
  • Better use of police resources; officers were able to clear the hospital quicker or not even need to attend there at all;
  • Individuals were connected to other services in the community.

Thunder Bay Police say there were 1,416 incidents where the JMCRT was utilized, of which there were 622 instances where police did not have to also attend the Regional hospital. There were 647 instances where the team was not available, either because it fell outside their hours of operation or they were already at another call.

“This project is a really good example of how we can bridge education and research to a practical level,” Vis says.

There remain, however, challenges. Palmer has suggested improvement, such as: hiring more staff to expand the program beyond 12-hour daily coverage; have the crisis response worker ride along with police rather than wait in an office for a callout; and ongoing mental health training for frontline police and hospital personnel.

“Ashley’s work really complemented the project and gave us some great insight to further support the longevity and need for continuing the partnership,” says Hyslop, adding that the research is being shared with groups across Ontario to develop their own plans.

The program’s future in Thunder Bay is still not assured, though. Funding was for the initial one-year period, which ended March 31. Hyslop says they have submitted a proposal to the North West LHIN for permanent funding. The team continues to operate in the interim.

Continuation of the JMCRT program is important to the Thunder Bay Police Service and to the community as a whole, the police chief says.

“The success of the program is in the fact that persons in crisis are getting the appropriate assistance,” Hauth states. “Given the ongoing challenges of mental health and the high number of calls to police, the use of such an important resource as the JMCRT diverts persons in crisis from being solely in the care of police. There is a clear need to continue and expand the program to provide the community with a much needed service.”

Lakehead University invites the community to celebrate Homecoming Weekend, Oct. 3 to 5

September 27, 2019 – Thunder Bay, Ont.

Lakehead University will host its annual Homecoming Weekend Thursday, Oct. 3 to Saturday, Oct. 5.

Homecoming celebrates Lakehead University’s past and present, bringing alumni home to engage with each other and participate in a full weekend of events. Guests will enjoy exciting varsity sports and social events held over three days. 

“Lakehead has more than 63,000 alum around the globe,” said Debra Woods, President of the Alumni Association of Lakehead University. “During Homecoming we look forward to seeing alumni and celebrating their achievements since graduating from Lakehead.”

Tom Warden, Lakehead’s Director of Athletics, is looking forward to recognizing exceptional athletes during Saturday’s Wall of Fame Induction ceremony:

“It’s a chance to honour those who have made great contributions to sport and supported the Athletics Program at Lakehead University,” Warden said, adding that he also hopes to see many fans cheering on the Thunderwolves in basketball games being played over the weekend.

The year 2019 marks the 50th anniversary of the Varsity Wrestling Program at Lakehead.  Dozens of former wrestlers and coaches are expected to travel to the city to celebrate the programs legacy at various socials held throughout the weekend.   

The community is welcome to attend events like the celebration of the new Alumni House, located at 1294 Balmoral St., an evening of foreign films held at the Bora Laskin Faculty of Law, a coffee tasting in The Study featuring alumni coffee roasters and a selection of brews from local shops. The weekend ends with the Alumni Honours Dinner, celebrating the exceptional achievements of Lakehead graduates. 

For information about Homecoming, how to register and travel discounts for out-of-town guests, visit


Social Events

Thursday, Oct. 3

  • 3 pm – Alumni House Open House – 1294 Balmoral St., ribbon cutting at 3:30 pm.
  • 6 pm – Women’s Basketball vs. Manitoba Bisons – CJ Sanders Fieldhouse
  • 7 pm – Foreign Film Night – Bora Laskin Faculty of Law – PACI – 401 Red River Rd.
  • 7 pm – Wrestling Meet and Greet – Prospector Steakhouse

Friday, Oct. 4

  • 12 pm – Men’s Basketball vs. Winnipeg Wesmen
  • 1 pm – Lakehead Archives Open House – Chancellor Paterson Library – fifth floor
  • 2 pm – School of Kinesiology Open House – CJ Sanders Fieldhouse
  • 2 pm – Women’s Basketball vs. Manitoba Bisons – CJ Sanders Fieldhouse
  • 4 pm – Coffee Tasting ft. Alumni Roasters and Local Coffee Houses – The Study Coffeehouse           
  • 7 pm – Wrestling 50th Anniversary Reception – Victoria Inn and Convention Centre

Saturday, Oct. 5

  • 11 am – Wall of Fame Symposium, The Hangar
  • 11:30 am – Wall of Fame Induction Ceremony, The Hangar
  • 1:30 pm – Alumni Social, The Hangar Lounge
  • 2 pm – Zanatta Basketball and Volleyball games, CJ Sanders Fieldhouse
  • 6 pm – Alumni Honours Dinner, Residence Cafeteria *SOLD OUT EVENT*

Lakehead University will celebrate the achievements of the following exceptional alumni at the 2019 Alumni Honours Dinner, which is sold out, on Saturday, Oct. 5 at 6 pm.


  • Dr. Donald Chow (BSc ‘77) (will be honoured at a future Lakehead event)
  • Dave Siciliano (BA ‘69)



  • Rosa Carlino (HBComm ’08, MSMGT ‘10)


  • Jim Eccles (posthumously)
  • The Paterson Family (will be honoured at a future Lakehead event)


  • Frances Harding
  • Dr. Moira McPherson
  • Vince Mirabelli
  • Ross Murray
  • Paul Weber*

    *Paul Weber received his Honorary Membership during the Chancellor’s Dinner in Orillia on June 7th.



– 30 –


Media: For more information or interviews, please contact Brandon Walker, Media, Communications and Marketing Associate, at (807) 343-8177 or


Lakehead University has approximately 9,700 full-time equivalent students and 2,000 faculty and staff in 10 faculties at two campuses in Orillia and Thunder Bay, Ontario. Lakehead is a fully comprehensive university: home to Ontario’s newest Faculty of Law in 44 years, the Northern Ontario School of Medicine, and faculties of Engineering, Business Administration, Health & Behavioural Sciences, Social Sciences & Humanities, Science & Environmental Studies, Natural Resources Management, Education, and Graduate Studies. Maclean’s 2019 University Rankings place Lakehead University among Canada's Top 10 primarily undergraduate universities and in 2018 Research Infosource named Lakehead Research University of the Year in its category for the fourth consecutive year. Visit

Rocky Cree story comes to life in new app

The following story was recently shared on the University of Winnipeg's website.

In 1993, the remains of a 25-year-old Cree woman who lived 350 years ago were discovered by two residents of South Indian Lake in northern Manitoba. The return of this ancestor to the community inspired renowned storyteller William Dumas to re-imagine a week in her life at the age of 13 in the award-winning picture book, Pīsim Finds Her Miskanow, published in 2013.

Now Pīsim gets a fresh lease on life in the first interactive picture book app in a planned series of six picture books and picture book apps to be developed in collaboration with Knowledge Keepers and Elders of the Asiniskaw Ithiniwak (Rocky Cree) communities of northern Manitoba.

The app features Rocky Cree and English voiced narrations of the book, text in English, Cree and syllabics, songs and soundscape, as well as pop-up notes that add cultural, linguistic, and historical contexts to the story, and participatory games such as “pack the canoe” and “gather a bundle” that encourage reflection on Rocky Cree culture.

“The story of Pīsim is a historical fiction, looking back at the past of the Rocky Cree in their places, but the story has always been understood by the research team as a gift to the children of today and tomorrow,” said Dr. Mavis Reimer, who is directing the project. “The app form itself exemplifies our future-directed aspirations.”

The app is one outcome of the Six Seasons of the Asiniskaw Ithiniwak: Reclamation, Regeneration, and Reconciliation research project, a seven-year project funded by a Partnership Grant in the amount of $2.5 million by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) in 2017.

Directed by Reimer, the project aims to support the ongoing, grassroots work of the Asiniskaw Ithiniwak to reclaim their language, culture, and history, by creating a cycle of stories about the Rocky Cree people set during the proto-contact period of the mid-1600s. These stories will appear in both picture book and app forms. Both versions will be grounded in archaeological and historical research and supplemented by teachers’ guides to enhance their use in classroooms. 

Dumas, the storyteller, is the creative heart of the project. In addition to developing the stories, he continues to guide the whole team in the protocols of research with Rocky Cree communities and in becoming culturally competent researchers and educators.

Knowledge Keepers and Elders who work with the Nisichawayasihk Nehetho Culture and Education Authority (NNCEA) in the Nisichawayasihk Cree Nation (NCN) in northern Manitoba translated the story into Cree for the app. Elder Carol Prince from NCN narrates the story in Cree and in English on the app. Tactica Interactive, a Winnipeg company specializing in digital text production, is responsible for the design and technical implementation of the research team’s vision for the app.  

The Six Season app launches on Thursday, October 24, with two events planned for the day.

The Design and Development of the Interactive Pīsim App: The Limits and Affordances of Adapting Picture Books for Mobile Platforms
Naomi Hamer, 
2:30 – 3:45 pm, Centre for Research in Young People’s Texts and Cultures (3C25)

Hamer will highlight some of the research in progress by members of the research team in relation to the app project, as well as situating the Six Seasons project within the broader and theoretical discussions of remediated picture books. She will consider both the possibilities and the limitations of the form for remediating oral stories and land-based practices and knowledges. 

Hamer is an assistant professor in child and youth studies at Ryerson University. She specializes in the cross-media adaptation of children’s literature, with a focus on books, mobile apps, and children’s museums. She is the co-editor of More Words About Pictures: Current Research on Picture Books and Visual/Verbal Texts for Young People (eds. Hamer, Nodelman and Reimer, 2017), and The Routledge Companion of Fairy-tale Cultures and Media (eds. Greenhill, Rudy, Hamer, and Bosc, 2018). Her current research project (Curating the Story Museum) has been awarded a SSHRC Insight Development Grant. 

Official Launch with William Dumas
4:30 pm, Leatherdale Hall
Members of the audience will have an opportunity to interact with the new app and chat with Dumas. 

The Six Seasons of the Asiniskow Ithiniwak: Reclamation, Regeneration, and Reconciliation project is housed in the Centre for Research in Young People’s Texts and Cultures (CRYTC).  In addition to Dumas and Reimer, research teams in the Six Seasons project are led by Kevin Brownlee of The Manitoba Museum, Scott Hamilton of Lakehead University, Warren Cariou of the University of Manitoba, Myra Sitchon of the Nisichawayasihk Nehetho Culture and Education Authority, and Doris Wolf, Roland Bohr, and Linda DeRiviere, all from the University of Winnipeg.

CRYTC supports scholarly inquiry into literary, media, and other cultural texts for children and youth. Directed by Mavis ReimerHeather Snell, and Doris Wolf, the Centre provides a focus for research in the field at the University of Winnipeg, houses the journal Jeunesse: Young People, Texts, Cultures, facilitates the development and management of collaborative national and international research projects, hosts visiting speakers and researchers, and maintains links with other research centres in children’s studies internationally.

Call for Volunteers: Trick or Eat 2019 with the LUSU Food Bank this Halloween

The LUSU Food Bank needs your help for the biggest annual food drive, Trick or Eat! This event makes it possible for the Food Bank to feed hundreds of students each year.

Outreach Teams: Go out into the community to COLLECT donations on Halloween night! Sign up as a team to be assigned a specific neighborhood.

Volunteer Drivers: Provide transportation to teams that don't have their own cars.

Sorters: Hang out in the Agora to sort and organize the food that has been brought in from our volunteer teams.

All volunteers are invited to the 4 p.m. campaign kick-off dinner and a costume contest in the Agora on Thursday, Oct. 31.

Visit our Facebook page or email us at to join the LUSU Food Bank Team!