Amanda Lindhout

Kidnap Survivor, Bestselling Author & Journalist

Amanda is a New York Times bestselling author, speaker and journalist. Her multiple award winning memoir, A House in the Sky, has been on the bestseller top ten list for over three years and her work as a journalist has included writing feature stories in Maclean’s, National Post and Flare, with photography for Flare.

As a child, Amanda Lindhout escaped a violent household by paging through issues of National Geographic and imagining herself in its exotic locales. At the age of nineteen, she began to travel the globe. Aspiring to understand the world and live a significant life, she backpacked through Latin America, Laos, In war-ridden Afghanistan and Iraq she carved out a fledgling career as a television reporter. And then, in August 2008, she traveled to Somalia—“the most dangerous place on earth.” On her fourth day, she was abducted by a group of masked men along a dusty road. Held hostage for 460 days, Amanda converts to Islam as a survival tactic, receives “wife lessons” from one of her captors, and risks a daring escape. Moved between a series of abandoned houses in the desert, she survives on memory—every lush detail of the world she experienced in her life before captivity—and on strategy, fortitude, and hope. When she is most desperate, she visits a house in the sky, high above the woman kept in chains, in the dark, being tortured. Vivid and suspenseful, hers is the searingly intimate story of an intrepid young woman and her search for compassion in the face of unimaginable adversity. A captivating, unforgettable speaker, Lindhout alights on the positive and leaves the audience with a fuller understanding of the freedom we can all experience when we choose to embrace compassion. What emerges is a celebration of resilience — a powerful portrait of the strength of the human spirit.

Keynote Speaker: Sheldon Kennedy

Sheldon Kennedy won a Memorial Cup, World Junior Gold Medal and skated for three teams in his eight-year National Hockey League career. He is best known for his courageous decision to charge his hockey coach with sexual assault for the abuse he suffered over a five year period while a teenager under his care. Through this disclosure, and the important work that Sheldon continues to do, he has become an inspiration to millions of sexual abuse survivors around the world.

Sheldon is the embodiment of “Leading Change”. As Lead Director at the Sheldon Kennedy Child Advocacy Centre, he helped to create a first-of-its-kind in Canada, centre that offers full wrap-around services for victims of child abuse. Sheldon has been instrumental in changing the way police, child and family services, health and the justice system work together to better help the victims of this crime. Sheldon has also brought together government and public and private sector partners to work collaboratively to influence policy change and improve the way child abuse is handled. He has influenced changes in Canadian law and has taken his message to the International Olympic Committee and the United States Senate.

He is also the Co-Founder of Respect Group Inc., which provides empowering online abuse, bullying and harassment prevention education to sport organizations, schools and the workplace. In 2015, Sheldon received the Order of Canada for his endless work.

Keynote Speaker: Caroline Ouellette

Caroline Ouellette’s record speaks for itself.

A pillar of Canada’s national hockey team since 1999, she has also been a source of inspiration through the years as a player for the Montreal Les Canadiennes, the Canadian Women’s Hockey League and the University Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs. The Montreal-born athlete has enjoyed an impeccable Olympic career.

In 2014, Caroline started the Caroline Ouellette Girls Hockey Tournament, an annual girl’s hockey tournament for 6 to 12 year olds. This event was the first of its kind. Not only were teams able to register, but individual players that play in boy’s hockey could sign up and be placed on a team created for the tournament, allowing many girls their first experience in female hockey. Through a partnership with RBC and Hockey Québec, the event also offered a Try Hockey program where girls that have never tried hockey could sign up and try hockey with several Olympians and members of the Montreal Les Canadiennes of the CWHL. Caroline has also worked to create the First Shift Female Hockey Program, giving young girls the opportunity to learn the basics of hockey from Olympians. Through all of these programs, hundreds of girls experience hockey for the first time.

Caroline won the 2014 YMCA Women of Distinction Award, in the Sports and Wellness Category, for her determination. She also won the 2013 Isobel Gathorne-Hardy Award, awarded annually during the Esso Cup, to an active female player who has made a significant contribution to female hockey both on and off the ice and who demonstrates strong community involvement and dedication to all aspects of the game. Caroline’s involvement in the community earned her a nomination for 2013 CWHL Humanitarian Award. As an ambassador with Right to Play since 2004, she visited a Right to Play program in Bénin, Africa in 2011.

Ouellette was a guest speaker for the 60 Million Girls foundation and the Québec Breast Cancer Foundation. She was a spokesperson for “Carrément Rose,” a fundraising campaign that raised over $15,000.00 for the Breast Cancer Research. Caroline has taken part several times in the Run for the Cure. She is an active advocate in the annual CWHL Montreal Stars fundraising game to fight Breast Cancer. Caroline has been inspired by the courage and determination of her aunt Claire, a breast cancer survivor.

Caroline participates annually in the Montreal Media Hockey Marathon to benefit the Otis Grant Foundation and she has been chair of the Hockey Canada Women’s High Performance Advisory Committee since 2009. She co-founded athletichub.com, a website designed to help young student-athletes get recruited at the collegiate level.

If you would be interested in presenting at our conference please contact us at iawp2018@calgarypolice.ca 


The conference committee invites the submission of abstracts for those interested in presenting at the conference. Presenters will be given 45-60 minutes to deliver an oral presentation (including question time). While co-authors or presenters are allowed, the primary author should submit the abstract. Presenters must be paid registrants at the conference and will receive a discounted registration fee of $800. All abstracts must be submitted online via this website using the submission form provided.


Those submitting abstracts should focus their material on the following topics:

  • Respect/Bullying/Harassment
  • Diversity and Inclusion
  • Leadership
  • Organizational Change
  • Leading Change
  • Relationships With External Agencies
  • Community Partnerships and Community Engagement
  • Recruiting/Employee Retention
  • Collaborative/Investigative Approach to Solving Crime
  • Wellness and Mindfulness

***Should a presenter have a topic they wish to speak about that is not applicable to one of the topics above, there will be a miscellaneous category for consideration.


Abstract Submissions:  December 31, 2017

Author Notification:     January 31, 2018

Author Registration :    April 30, 2018


Abstracts are evaluated according to the following criteria:

  • Relevance to the conference theme
  • Interest to an international audience
  • Professional contributions and merit
  • Clarity of abstract

Applicants will also be required to submit a minimum of two references with their abstract that can be contacted by the evaluating committee and to provide a brief biography in the space provided.


When submitting an abstract, presenters must abide by the following guidelines:

  • Abstract must not exceed one page in length using standard margins
  • Abstracts are to be submitted in Arial font size 11, left justified
  • References, graphics, tables, footnotes or images should NOT be included with the abstract