February 13 & 14, 2024
UCN Campus & TRCC, Thompson, Manitoba

Presented by:
University College of the North and Mining Association of Manitoba



Linkages: Honouring the Past, Building our Future is focused on initiating creative, critical thinking and collaborative conversations about the potential future of Northern Manitoba.

With a focus on innovation, people and partnership and language and culture, Linkages will discuss not only the challenges but opportunities and applications within each. Showcasing the strengths of Northern Manitoba and how we can thrive.

This Linkages Conference will begin to foster these conversations to create connections, relationships a opportunities with the intention of building and sustainable and long-lasting community.



JR LaRose

JR LaRose is a retired nine-year veteran of the CFL and a 2011 Grey Cup champion. A proud member of One Arrow First Nation, he is an accomplished speaker who has been recognized and awarded for contributions to his community.

JR’s path to success has been a long and hard fought journey that began in low income housing in Edmonton’s inner city. JR’s upbringing was significantly impacted by his Mother’s exposure to abuse suffered during her time at a residential school. JR overcame an environment of poverty, drugs, and abuse.

The sport of football was the opportunity that JR longed for. His passion for football as a youth would turn out to be his profession as a young man. Now retired from football, JR is a gifted speaker, whose story of redemption is universal, breaking down racial and generational walls, bringing forth a sense of hope and humanity.

Ken Coates

Ken Coates is a rare public commentator who brings deep understanding of past and present realities together with compelling ideas about Canada’s future. His passionate and highly engaging talks have captivated diverse audiences across the country, from college administrators and economic development officers to Aboriginal entrepreneurs and community activists.

Ken is Canada’s Research Chair in Regional Innovation and brings his experience in East Asia and around the Circumpolar world to bear on his understanding of Canada’s strengths and weaknesses. Ken combines irreverence, insight and a sense of humour in his conversations about the issues that matter most to Canadians.


Tuesday, February 13, 2024

9:00AM – 10:00AM

Registration & Coffee

10:00AM – 10:30AM

Conference Opening

10:30AM – 11:15AM

Keynote: Skills Building

11:15AM – 11:45AM

MAMI: Opening Presentation

11:45AM – 1:00PM


1:00PM – 1:30PM

Minister of Advanced Education and Training
Honourable Renée Cable

1:30PM – 2:30PM

Mining Communities Panel: Community Relations, Challenges and Successes

2:30PM – 3:15PM


3:15PM – 3:45PM

The Inspire Program
Ajmal Sataar, Small Economy Works

3:45PM – 4:15PM

NORCAT in Northern Manitoba

4:15PM – 4:20PM

Daily Closing



7:00PM – 8:00PM

Keynote: JR LaRose

Wednesday, February 14, 2024

8:00AM – 8:45AM

Networking & Breakfast

8:45AM – 9:00AM

Daily Opening

9:00AM – 9:30AM

Apprenticeship Manitoba
David McCutcheon

9:30AM – 10:00AM

Innovation in Mining

10:00AM – 10:30AM


10:30AM – 11:15AM

Keynote: Ken Coates

11:15AM – 11:45AM

Creating Pipelines to Employment
Jamie Dumont, Chadwick Consulting

11:45AM – 12:30PM

Closing Keynote

12:30PM – 1:30PM


1:30PM – 5:00PM

Thompson Tours


Best Western Thompson Hotel & Suites
205 Mystery Lake Road
Thompson, MB R8N 1Z8
Phone: 1-204-778-8887

Reservation Deadline:
Friday, January 19, 2024

Group ID:



Registration is free of charge.

For information on registration, please contact Kelly Watters at [email protected].



Kelly Forgala
Kelly Forgala Events
[email protected]
204 391 4419

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