On behalf of the Association of Professional Executives of the Public Service of Canada (APEX), we would like to express our sincere appreciation for delivering your keynote presentation Changing the Landscape on Reconciliation: Success Requires Courageous Leadership at our 2019 Leadership Symposium. We appreciated the time you took to develop a tailored presentation to our executive audience, and for making your talk so interesting and entertaining. For your information, our attendance in 2019 reached 823 participants – this is the highest ever in the 31 years of the Symposium. We are proud to report that 94% of Symposium respondents rated the Symposium as good or excellent – an increase over last year. We received outstanding feedback on your panel discussion with 92% of the executives saying that it met or exceeded their expectations. Executives were inspired with practical ideas and appreciated hearing that reconciliaction is key to moving forward. Many executives felt this keynote panel conversation was one of the highlights of the Symposium. Comments from executives include: excellent session; impressive line-up of presenters; very authentic and practical; relevant, moving, captivating, and funny; amazing ambassadors.
Regina Catholic School Division was blessed with the opportunity to have Michael Linklater share his story with staff and students in our division. Michael spoke about the importance of connection to his First Nations culture, gratitude, his experiences growing up and breaking through the barriers to achieve success. Our staff & students were able to connect and appreciate the experience fully with Michael’s openness during the question and answer session. Our staff & students felt comfortable with him and were able to share their stories without fear of being vulnerable. His message is something both Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities would benefit from as we journey toward Reconciliation.
“It was a pleasure to work with Mike Linklater, who did a great job directing a fun and engaging basketball skills clinic for us in Ottawa. Mike’s empathetic leadership and clear communications were effective in bringing together a diverse group of youth from the Odawa Native Friendship Centre, Boys and Girls Club and Ottawa Shooting Stars Basketball. We welcome the chance to work with him again in the future. He provides a model for how we can use the sport of basketball to break down barriers, foster inter-cultural understanding and to build community.
It has been a pleasure to work with Michael for the past 3 years. His accomplishments representing Canada in 3x3 competitions at the international stage are remarkable. He has a great basketball mind and plays the game with tremendous intensity and passion… great qualities that will lend well to his coaching career. To me, the most impressive thing about Michael is his ability to lead on and off the court. He is one of the great teachers of the game – doing it for all the right reasons. His great love for the game and his passion for teaching, will make him one of the best! As a player and as a coach, Michael possesses three ingredients: experience, knowledge and patience. The same ingredients that helped make him a champion as a player, will certainly help him to become a champion coach, while developing the next generation of champion athletes!
When Michael Linklater visited Dennis Franklin Cromarty High School in Thunder Bay, Ontario, he made a tremendous impact on the school. Most of our students come from small, remote, First Nations communities in North-Western Ontario. His keynote presentation to the entire school inspired the students to see that anyone can achieve their dreams if they are willing to make healthy choices and commit themselves fully to their goals. Students were also very receptive to the cultural teachings that Michael offered to small groups as well as the basketball skills clinic. We definitely noticed an improvement in the demeanor of many of our students, as well as the commitment and skill level on the court, after Michaels visit. Having an Indigenous role model such as Michael Linklater visit DFC was a rare treat that will not be forgotten anytime soon. We are looking forward to having him back again soon!
For many years we’ve had Michael Linklater conduct camps not only for our community but also for our Tribal Council. Whether it’s been for our beginning junior players or our elite senior players, he has always been able to adapt his instruction so that the youth receive the maximum benefit. They have not only gained by being taught advanced technical instruction but many have been inspired and motivated by Michaels life story and accomplishments.
“Mr. Linklater spoke at the U15 National Championships, held in Regina. Michael’s message was positive and inspirational as he shared his experiences playing basketball, growing up as a young indigenous man and the positive lifestyle choices he makes. Michael spoke with humility and grace. Michael is not just a basketball leader in our province but also a leader in creating social change.
I am writing to give Michael my highest recommendation. I got in contact with Michael through SaskSport in June 2015. Every communication with him since this time period has been nothing but positive. He came to visit our community a few months after our initial conversation as a guest speaker at a school assembly. He also hosted a basketball clinic for youth ages 10-18. During both events the school population and community were impressed with his knowledge and expertise. So much so that students continually ask if he will be coming back for a visit in the near future. Michael possesses all the attributes to be a mentor, coach, athlete and leader. He is committed, consistent, positive, adaptable, balanced and a team player. It was a pleasure working with someone with such experience and knowledge.
I was impressed with the presentation that Michael gave to our students. He provides a positive role model for both indigenous and non-indigenous youth with his message of resilience, hard work, and effort and that by doing so you can be the very best.
Thank you,You made a real, lasting impression with our students and staff! You have kicked off our unit of study in such an authentic and powerful way that the students are eager to dive into these topics of culture, Residential schools and the 60’s Scoop. Thanks again and looking forward to cheering you on in 2020!