Lori Campbell knows what it means to walk the wire, she has what it takes to fight her way through hardship, and she understands both the pain of being the ‘other’ and the joy of carving your own place in the world. Campbell is the recipient of the National Women of Inspiration Indigenous Leader Award of the Universal Women’s Network 2020.
Representing both the Indigenous and LGBTQ+ community, Lori Campbell is a survivor of cultural genocide, as an intergenerational survivor of the Residential School system and a descendant of the Sixties Scoop Generation. Coming out to her parents as Two-Spirit only to lose touch with them is a tragic story that many can relate to, but Campbell’s story is one of optimism. She is a trailblazer for others who must take a stand in the name of self love, she lives her truth as ‘unapologetically Indigenous, and she shares her experiences and wisdom as a political leader in the NDP taking action on issues she is passionate about.
In an interview shortly after receiving the award, Campbell said, “When I was younger it was hard to imagine receiving this type of recognition,” Campbell said. “I never really saw myself reflected in leadership positions. But I really hope my work inspires young women, particularly Indigenous women, to make their voices heard and for them to know that they belong in leadership positions.”
Current director and Shatitsirótha of the Waterloo Indigenous Student Centre (WISC) at St. Paul’s University College, Campbell educates students and advocates for classes in Indigenious Studies, including a brand new course, IndigenousEntrepreneurship. One of her current projects is to inspire and encourage Indigenous youth to pursue their academic passions.
Nominated in the three different categories, including ‘Authentic Leader’ and ‘Difference Maker’, Campbell has made a difference in the lives of people from all walks of life in her work as an Aboriginal Resource Officer with the Regina Police Service, an Aboriginal Community Coordinator and Counsellor, a Professor and Lecturer at universities across Canada, and as a speaker at TedX and leadership conferences.