Patti LaBoucane-Benson has dedicated her life to helping Indigenous families. A proud Métis, she spent most of her long career with the Native Counselling Services of Alberta, currently working as Director of Research, Training, and Communication. She has a Ph.D in Human Ecology, with a focus on Indigenous family resilience.
Over the past 15 years, Dr. LaBoucane-Benson has been the director, executive producer, and principal investigator for BearPaw Research, Training, and Communication, specializing in community-based, applied research. BearPaw’s main goal is to increase Indigenous peoples’ awareness of their legal rights and responsibilities, thus overcoming hopelessness and powerlessness experienced when facing the justice system.
She is also a lecturer for the University of Alberta’s Executive Education program, a lecturer and mentor with the Peter Lougheed Leadership College, and was the director and lead facilitator of the Canadian Nelson Mandela Dialogues 2017. She has actively worked toward improving opportunities for vulnerable youth in Alberta, as evidenced by her time with many youth-based organizations, and as a member of the Ministerial Panel on Child Intervention.
Dr. LaBoucane-Benson’s success in bridging the work of community-based historic trauma healing programs and the needs of program funders, and in creating reports that are recognizable, useful, and accurate, contributed to her appointment as the current co-chair on the board of Trauma Informed Edmonton, and the Lieutenant Governor’s Circle on Mental Health and Addiction in the past.
Dr. LaBoucane-Benson has been the recipient of numerous awards and distinctions, including the Alberta Aboriginal Role Model Award for Education, the Legal Aid Access to Justice Award, the Rotary Paul Harris Fellow, and the Sam Laboucan Memorial Award.