TEDxTRU returns for its second year

This year's event focused on bringing the community together to better lives

Morrison led attendees in a relaxing meditation after lunch before his speech on empowering change through technology. (Cailyn Mocci/The Omega)

TRU welcomed back for their second year TEDxTRU, bringing together the minds and ideas of our community and sharing in the wealth of that knowledge. This year’s theme, Acknowledge, Deconstruct and Empower, revolved around the community working together to better themselves in both their work and personal lives.

TEDxTRU is an independently-organized TED event focusing on the issues and ideas within the community, honing in on what’s important to Kamloops.

This year’s event worked to engage the community to become catalysts for societal change and self-evolution.

The Saturday event was a success in bringing to light ideas and experiences that many may not have full knowledge in. Concepts such as climate change, generational trauma, self-advocacy and more were on full display at the second TEDxTRU event.

The afternoon’s first speaker, TRU Sustainability’s James Gordon, took on the topic of climate change but in a more personal way, with his love for outdoor hockey. Gordon spoke of the dangers this beloved Canadian past time is facing and with rising temperatures the game of shinny might quietly slip into extinction.

“If we lost outdoor hockey many northern communities would mourn but in the grand scheme of things it would hardly get noticed,” said Gordon, “But it is a warning.”

TEDxTRU took a far more emotional turn with the personal tale of Juanita Lindley, an Indigenous woman descending from the Upper Nicola Band of the Syilx (Okanagan) Nation. She spoke of her personal battles with the generational traumas she faced growing up, being of the first generation to not attend the Canadian Residential Schools. Her traumas, which trickled down from a childhood raised by Residential School survivors, led to struggles with addictions and despair. Her fight and personal empowerment lead to her overcoming these addictions and acknowledging the grief that she was carrying along with her.

“What I didn’t realize growing up was my mother did the best she could, through the traumas she experienced, to give me a better life,” said Lindley.

“It wasn’t until losing my grandma that I was able to understand that loss, so I can actually grieve the multitude of loses that I have already experienced in my life,” said Lindley.

Other speakers included Darrick Morrison, director at Kamloops-based iTel Networks AI Platform Team, who led the audience in a mindful meditation and spoke to visionary activism and community-driven change. TRU professor Julio Viskovich spoke about his time at the social media marketing company Hootsuite and Marcia Dick, spoke about the little steps everyone can do to work towards a more waste-free lifestyle.

TRU student, Brody Butts, who is pursuing a Bachelor of Science spoke about surpassing the expectations of his doctors. Butts is a student with high functioning autism and throughout his life, many didn’t believe that he would be able to graduate and achieve the goals he is successfully navigating today. Carrying him through this winding world was his determination to become his own advocate.

Through self-advocacy, Butts educated the audience on the importance of acknowledging that those who have autism are truly capable of achieving the same as you.

TEDxTRU showcased the variety of voices that make up the TRU and Kamloops community, bringing a sense of inspiration and knowledge to all that came out to listen.