Day 3 - Plenary Session 2

August 30, 2022, 9:30-10:50 PST

Power of Sport in Bridging Divides

Sport has a unique power for bridging divides. Our world is fractured along many fault lines, yet, throughout history, all stripes of people gathered around sport and sporting events despite their differences.  Nelson Mandela famously said “Sport has the power to change the world. It has the power to inspire. It has the power to unite people in a way that little else does. It speaks to youth in a language they understand. Sport can create hope where once there was only despair.” This plenary session engages in a constructive conversation around the role of sport for bridging economic, social and environmental divides around the world. The panel of distinguished speakers will explore different constructive ideas and use cases (such as the Commonwealth lək̓ʷəŋən (Lekwungen) Sport Declaration on Truth, Reconciliation and Partnership with Indigenous Peoples) to develop solutions and recommendations.


  • Richard Powers image

    Richard Powers

    Commonwealth Sport Canada
    Richard Powers image

    Richard Powers

    President Commonwealth Sport Canada

    After receiving his MBA and LLB from Queen’s University, Powers began his legal career in Toronto with Smith, Lyons, Torrance, Stevenson and Mayer (now Gowlings) before serving as Corporate Counsel for Honda Canada Inc. He joined the University of Toronto in 1992 where he currently holds the position of National Academic Director, Governance Programs at The Rotman School of Management at the University.

    Prior to teaching in Rotman’s MBA, Executive MBA, OMNIUM, and Executive Education Programs, Rick was deeply involved with U of T’s Bachelor of Commerce and Bachelor of Business Administration. His areas of expertise include corporate governance, ethics, business and corporate law, and sports marketing, for which he’s received numerous teaching awards.

    In addition to providing frequent commentary on legal and governance issues in various media across Canada, Rick is an Academic Director of The Directors Education Program, the Governance Essentials Program (in partnership with the Institute of Corporate Directors – ICD), and currently sits on the Boards of several not-for-profit organizations including:

    • Rugby Canada (Representative to Canadian Olympic Committee and Past Vice-Chair)
    • Rugby Ontario (Past President)
    • Childhood Cancer Canada (Director)
    • eLearning Consortium Canada (Director)
    • Powers has been the Team Leader for the Canadian Maple Leafs Rugby 7s team at the World Games in Cali, Columbia (2013), and was also a representative of CSC at the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games.

    Prior to being elected President of Commonwealth Sport Canada, Powers served as CSC Treasurer of from 2006-2014 and currently resides in Toronto.


  • Marty Deacon image

    Marty Deacon

    Senate of Canada
    Marty Deacon image

    Marty Deacon

    Senator Senate of Canada

    Marty Deacon was appointed to the Senate of Canada on February 15, 2018.

    Prior to serving in the Senate, Senator Deacon completed a 35-year career in Education. As an Educator with a Masters of Education (Western University) she taught (Physics, Science, Physical & Health Education) in Secondary Schools (Waterloo Region District School Board), at two Universities (University of Toronto, Western University), was a Consultant, and an Administrator at the Elementary and Secondary School level. Deacon finished her career in Education as Superintendent. Following this career, Senator Deacon consulted across sectors with a focus on organizational excellence.

    Senator Deacon, while raising two daughters (Kristine and Kailee) with husband Bruce, also volunteered extensively in her community and internationally. She garnered international respect in sport and education. This work began when Deacon served as an Apprentice Coach for the 1994 Commonwealth Games. Over the past 24 years Deacon has coached, led or served at 15 Olympic, Commonwealth and Pan Am Games. Her highest international opportunity was leading Team Canada (Chef de Mission) at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi, India.

    Senator Deacon presently serves as Director on the Canadian Olympic Committee, Commonwealth Games Canada, Ontario Excellence Leadership Centre and the Grand River Jazz Society.

    Senator Deacon is most passionate about the physical and mental well-being of all Canadians. She is an advocate for the future of women and young girls and children worldwide. She has mentored and supported leaders in developing countries with a belief that sport, the arts and education can build better communities, one community at a time.

    Senator Deacon is dedicated to ensuring organizations can thrive and function at optimal levels. She has assisted with developing governance and policy that allows this to happen in a meaningful, purposeful and respectful way. Senator Deacon will use all of her skills and experiences to ensure an inclusive. inviting meaningful connection for all Canadians. All perspectives need to be heard and understood. Senator Deacon understands the importance of taking risks, participating in courageous conversations and learning every day.

    Senator Deacon has been recognized through a variety of awards including: The Women of Distinction and Lifetime Achievement Award (YWCA), Waterloo Region, The International Olympic Committee, Education and Youth Award, the Jules Nisse “Playground to Podium” award, the Queen Diamond Jubilee Medal, Induction in the Cambridge Sports Hall of Fame and the Cambridge Hall of Fame.

    Senator Deacon enjoys time with family and friends, exploring the world as a global citizen, hiking, cycling, yoga, quiet reading and music.

  • Ava Hill image

    Ava Hill

    Commonwealth Sport Canada
    Ava Hill image

    Ava Hill

    Board Director Commonwealth Sport Canada

    Ava Hill, whose traditional name is Iohahatie, has extensive experience working with Indigenous organizations. She was elected Chief of the 56th and 57th Six Nations Elected Council, succeeding her fifteen years as a member. Ava is a member of the National Consortium for Indigenous Economic Development at the University of Victoria and is Co-Chair for a group working on a Declaration on Reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples Through Sports.

    Ava is a Board Director for Commonwealth Sport Canada and has been appointed to the position of Indigenous Advisor to the Geographical Names Board of Canada. She was recently awarded the YMCA Peacemaker Medal for 2020. Ava was recruited for the Advisory Board in 2021.

  • Wilton Littlechild image

    Wilton Littlechild

    Confederacy of Treaty Six First Nations
    Wilton Littlechild image

    Wilton Littlechild

    Grand Chief Confederacy of Treaty Six First Nations

    Wilton Littlechild, Ph.D., is a Cree chief, residential school survivor, and lawyer who has worked both nationally and internationally including with the United Nations to advance Indigenous rights and Treaties. He has also – through leadership with the Truth and Reconciliation Commission – raised awareness of former Canadian policies that decimated the livelihood and culture of Indigenous Canadians.

    Born in Alberta, Wilton Littlechild was raised largely at residential schools from 1951 to 1964, where he spent 14 years surviving through study and sport. After leaving residential school, he studied physical education at the University of Alberta and law at the University of New Mexico, where he continued his balance of academics and hockey.

    Chief Littlechild was a member of the 1977 Indigenous delegation to the United Nations (UN), and worked on the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. He organized within the UN to increase Indigenous input in the economic and social issues the UN tackles. In the 1980s, he worked on the lawsuit to prevent patriation of the Canadian Constitution until the Aboriginal and Treaty Rights were protected and, in more recent years, has been a regional and International Chief on Treaties No. 6, 7, 8.

    Chief Littlechild has been a member of parliament, Vice-President of the Indigenous Parliament of the Americas, North American representative to the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, and a chairperson for the UN Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and the Commission on First Nations and Métis Peoples and Justice Reform.

    In addition to his ongoing work with the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, he’s continued to run his own law firm in Erminiskin Reserve, Alberta, and maintains his commitment to sport. He has been inducted into seven Sports Halls of Fame.

    He has been awarded the Order of Canada and in 1993, the Canadian government awarded Chief Littlechild the Canada 125 Medal. He is a 2015 Laureate of the Indspire Awards and was recently honoured with the Alberta Award of Excellence.

  • Dame Louise Livingstone Martin image

    Dame Louise Livingstone Martin

    Commonwealth Games Federation
    Dame Louise Livingstone Martin image

    Dame Louise Livingstone Martin

    President Commonwealth Games Federation

    President of the Commonwealth Games Federation. She is also a Scottish sports administrator, retired athlete, nutritionist and former educator. She is President of the Commonwealth Games Federation. She was elected to the role by the Commonwealth Sport Movement in September 2015 in Auckland, New Zealand, becoming the first female to hold the prestigious office. She was re-elected to a second term in September 2019 in Kigali, Rwanda.

    Dame Louise has a long and distinguished association with the Games as an athlete (swimming for Team Scotland at the Perth 1962 Commonwealth Games) and thereafter as Team Manager, Administrator and Honorary Secretary, while she was the first female elected to the CGF Executive Board. Dame Louise played a lead role in bringing the Commonwealth Games to Glasgow during the Bid, served as Vice Chair of the Glasgow 2014 Organising Committee, and was formerly chair of SportScotland from 2008 to 2015 and Commonwealth Games Scotland from 1999 until 2007.

    In 2008, she joined the Commonwealth Advisory Body on Sport, which she chaired from 2014-2018. In 2018, she was awarded a Damehood in the New Year’s Honours List for services to Commonwealth Sport. She was awarded the CBE in 2003 for services to the Commonwealth Games.

  • Alice Pepper image

    Alice Pepper

    Gunaikurnai Land and Waters Traditional Owners
    Alice Pepper image

    Alice Pepper

    Gunaikurnai Land and Waters Traditional Owners

    Alice Pepper is a member and employee of Gunaikurnai Land and Waters Traditional Owners whose lands cover the Latrobe Valley, Gippsland. Alice is also an influential member of the Victorian First Peoples Assembly which is currently negotiating a Treaty Framework with the Victorian Government.


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