Indigenous Lecture Series kicks off with a talk by Lindsay (Swooping Hawk) Kretschmer

This fall, the School of Health Policy & Management and the Faculty of Health introduce the 2019-20 Indigenous Lecture Series on Indigenous Health and Decolonization. The six scheduled lectures in the series will bring Canada’s most respected Indigenous leaders in health care to York University’s Keele Campus to engage in a discussion of the pressing health issues facing Indigenous Peoples in Canada and how we, as an institution, can move forward in our process of decolonization.

Each of the lectures will consist of a 30- to 45-minute presentation by a keynote speaker, followed by a 45-minute facilitated discussion with two or three faculty members. A light lunch will be provided on a first-come, first-served basis.

Lindsay Kretschmer
Lindsay (Swooping Hawk) Kretschmer

Lindsay (Swooping Hawk) Kretschmer, executive director of the Toronto Aboriginal Support Services Council, will kick off the series on Sept. 12, from 1 to 3 p.m. in the second-floor conference room of York University’s Second Student Centre.

Kretschmer’s family comes from Six Nations of the Grand River Territory. She is German and Mohawk, Wolf Clan and her spirit name is Swooping Hawk. She has worked in the non-profit sector for nearly 20 years, most recently as the executive director of the Ontario Aboriginal HIV/AIDS Strategy, where she led a full-scale organizational redevelopment plan for programs in Ontario, which included notable revenue, partner and resource advancements. She has served in senior management roles, locally and provincially, for both the Ontario Federation of Indigenous Friendship Centres and Native Child & Family Services of Toronto. She started her community service work as a teenager, 19 years ago, by volunteering at Council Fire Native Cultural Centre. Her areas of expertise include Indigenous social justice issues and well-being, provincial and federal negotiations, program and training development, research and evaluation, policy and advocacy, and capacity and partnership building.

Kretschmer is passionate about Indigenous community well-being and is committed to developing sustainable and measurable solutions for social change and lasting impact. She holds a certificate in women’s studies from York University, an advanced diploma in advertising, an executive-level conflict management and alternative dispute resolution certificate from the University of Windsor Law School, and a diversity leadership certificate from York University’s Schulich School of Business. In 2003, she received the YWCA Young Woman of Distinction Award and she has been featured in a variety of media for her commitment to social change and advocacy.

Following Kretschmer’s talk, there will be an audience Q-and-A.

To register for the lecture, visit

The series’ Fall 2019 lineup will also include the following keynote speakers:

  • Oct. 10: Lynn Lavallée, interim director and professor, School of Social Work, Ryerson University
  • Nov. 14: Dr. Janet Smylie, M.D., St. Michael’s Hospital