Prepare to be inspired!

This year, we kicked-off Claire’s Campaign by hosting a Circles of Hope at the start of the Campaign. In doing so, we sparked the spirit of philanthropy and giving through education and inspiration. For the past two years, Circles of Hope has been an incredible event that has celebrated the work being done in the homeless-serving and social-serving sectors. Participants have left this event year after year feeling inspired and re-energized in their work and motivated to make a difference in our communities.


This year’s Circles of Hope event featured thoughtful conversations with keynote speaker Jesse Thistle. With lived experience of homelessness, jail time, and addiction, Jesse is now a governor general medalist who works with Métis communities suffering from the effects of inter-generational trauma. His doctoral work on Métis road allowance communities has won the P.E. Trudeau and Vanier doctoral scholarships.


Stay tuned for videos and more Circles of Hope news.


Meet our speaker


Jesse Thistle

Jesse Thistle is Métis-Cree from Saskatchewan and raised in Toronto. He is a Ph.D. Candidate in history at the York University, as his doctoral work on Metis road allowance communities has won the P.E. Trudeau and Vanier doctoral scholarships, and he is a governor general medalist.  Jesse is the author of the Definition of Indigenous Homelessness in Canada published through the Canadian Observatory on Homelessness, and his historical research has been published in numerous academic journals, book chapters, and featured on CBC Ideas and CBC Campus.


Jesse’s personal story will inspire you to take action in your own life and make a difference in the communities you live in. Jesse used research as a means of healing and understanding as an Indigenous person growing up disconnected from his community and its history and his past experiences with homelessness, addiction and incarceration have formed the basis for his original and innovative research contributions, such as; the position of Metis people and culture within Canadian society, particularly around the idea of inter-generational trauma. The idea is that trauma suffered by previous generations can echo through the generations. Jesse is also the National Representative for Indigenous Homelessness for the Canadian Observatory on Homelessness and is a strong advocate for an Indigenous understanding of homelessness, arguing most current strategies for addressing homelessness do not account for the impacts of inter-generational trauma, the deep sense of loss of culture and connection to the idea of home for survivors of experiences such as residential schools and the Sixties Scoop, and that addressing Indigenous homelessness must take indigenous worldviews into account. Thistle published a new definition of Indigenous homelessness in October 2017.


His talk will cover the importance of family, personal identity, and adversity and how connecting with these elements can lead each of us to make a difference in our lives. After his speech, there will be a question period where audience members can ask questions and participate in discussion with Jesse.


You will not want to miss this one of a kind chance to meet one of our nation’s leaders in social change!

See photos from last year's Circles of Hope