Episode # 21: Michèle Stanners on Building Bridges of Reconciliation

Early in my life, there was a saying that drove me crazy: “You don’t know what you don’t know.” Honestly, I liked knowing a lot more than not knowing. So much so that I was willing to just ignore what I didn’t – or couldn’t – know.

Becoming willing to acknowledge and embrace curiosity has been a journey for me and I found a fellow traveler in Michèle Stanners. In this podcast, she shares her own journey of coming to recognize what she didn’t and couldn’t know.

There’s a false courage in knowledge. Curiosity opens a whole Pandora’s box of the unknown, and uncontrollable. In our conversation, Michèle opens up to those moments where she embraced true courage and curiosity, starting with an arrowhead she found on a beach as a child.

We had several “magical moments” in this conversation, around everything from her take on Level 4 Listening, to the moment she said I was reading her mind.

Michèle’s seminal work “Unsettled” is the title of  her upcoming book and podcast. With this work, as a woman of the arts and business, she is building bridges of reconciliation with the First Nations people of Canada.

Michèle is a nationally recognized culture leader and nation builder with over 30 years developing the arts and cultural landscape in Canada. Through her consulting practice she has been a thought leader and collaborator in key cultural planning within Alberta including providing strategic direction and leading multi-stakeholder consultation for the Province of Alberta and creating the province’s cultural policy. She is a pioneer in indigenous relations, launching in 2000 the Crossroads program for the Canadian Unity Council and advising and leading the Making Treaty 7 Cultural Society following the tragic passing of its founder. Since 2015, she has developed a unique arts and experience based methodology to build bridges of understanding towards reconciliation. Michèle led Alberta Ballet through a rebrand and provided strategic advice to ACAD (now Alberta University of the Arts), Crow’s Theatre (Toronto), the Honens International Piano Competition, and Chief Crowchild of the Tsuut’ina Nation. As a volunteer, she is currently engaged with a number of strategic priorities for the International Women’s Forum. She is a founding and board member of Futura20, a new collaboration between female leaders and influencers from Alberta and Quebec to identify the next “big ideas” to advance women’s issues. Michèle is a graduate of Harvard University, an accomplished pianist and acts as a mentor to a number of arts and culture leaders through Business for the Arts.

I would love to hear what you like about this conversation. All you have to do is go to the podcast page on this website at www.lynncarnes.com and click the “send a voicemail button” on the right hand side of the page. Super easy to do and it helps me know what to bring you in future episodes.

Of course, also share this episode with your colleagues and friends . I hope you enjoy this episode.


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