By Samantha Campling
This year, the theme for International Women’s Day is #ChallengeForChange. Carleton University is celebrating by sharing the stories of 16 leaders – students, staff and faculty members – who continue to challenge the status quo and push for better—a better community, a better Canada and a better world.
2020 proved to be a great year for Carleton Chancellor Yaprak Baltacıoğlu.
Not only was she reappointed to her role as chancellor for a second term, she was awarded the country’s highest honour, the Order of Canada, in December 2020 .
Born in Turkey, Baltacıoğlu has held many positions across the landscape of Canadian democracy since coming to Canada many years ago.
She’s received many awards along the way, including the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond and Jubilee medals.
Baltacıoğlu received a Bachelor of Laws degree from the University of Istanbul and a Master of Arts in Public Administration from Carleton in 1989.
“They gave me a degree, professional contacts and confidence, which is no small thing. They really supported me as a young woman,” she says of Carleton.
“How can First Nations work free of Indian Act governance to become fully self-governing within Canada?”
That’s the question researcher Frances Abele and project manager Catherine MacQuarrie are asking with their project – Rebuilding First Nations Governance (RFNG) project. Co-founded by Wet’suwet’en Hereditary Chief of the Frog Clan, Satsan (Herb George), the project will receive $2.5 million over six years from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC).
RFNG is an alliance of First Nation communities and tribal councils with academic researchers and practitioners to put an end to Indian Act governance while finding ways that actualize the inherent right of First Nation peoples to self-govern.
“At the core of this partnership is the understanding that positive change away from the Indian Act must be led by First Nation communities,” says Abele.
“The academic and practitioner partners are taking their lead from First Nation priorities, and we build upon the experience of Satsan and his colleagues at the Centre for First Nations Governance.”
A leader within the Carleton community and beyond, Chief Advancement and Community Liaison Officer, Jennifer Conley, was awarded an Ottawa Businesswoman of the Year Award in the organization category from the Women’s Business Network of the National Capital Region.
Conley, who has been with Carleton for almost 10 years, was appointed chief advancement officer and president and CEO of the Carleton University Foundation in 2014.
Since then, she’s exceeded campaign objectives for both the Here for Good and Collaborate campaigns.
Conley works to establish new relationships and partnerships for the Carleton community in service of academic and research missions. Since graduating with a Master of Philanthropy and Nonprofit Leadership (MPNL) in 2019, Conley now serves as an instructor in the MPNL program.