Born and raised in Winnipeg, Man., Kelly Gossfeld is a proud Indigenous woman with a passion for advocacy. She has built a rich and diverse portfolio working with a variety of social service agencies and Indigenous organizations across Treaty 1 territory.
She holds a Bachelor of Social Work from the University of Manitoba, a certificate in Indigenous Community Development from Assiniboine Community College, and she is currently pursuing her Master of Social Work based in Indigenous Knowledges from the University of Manitoba.
Kelly began her journey with the Manitoba Advocate in November 2022 as a Deputy Advocate. Prior to this role, she worked as the anti-racism coordinator for Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak (MKO) in the MMIWG+ Liaison Unit.
Kelly is strongly rooted in her spirituality and lives by cultural teachings. She is the proud mother of five children and fourteen grandchildren. In her spare time, she enjoys attending traditional ceremonies with her loved ones.
In this role, she looks forward to building connections with Indigenous Peoples and amplifying the voices of children, youth, and young adults in Manitoba.
Dr. Karlee Sapoznik Evans is an award-winning public sector leader, academic, and advocate for human rights, specializing in research, strategic policy, social service delivery, public education, systemic advocacy, human rights, communications, residential school history, and sexual exploitation prevention. She has served as part of reconciliation, anti-slavery, genocide prevention, social justice, and human rights projects and task forces across Canada, and around the world.
From 2014-2015, Dr. Evans led a team of researchers for Library and Archives Canada’s Document Disclosure Project for the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada. This work contributed to informing the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s final report and its 94 recommendations, a direct outcome of which is the digital archival repository of the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation.
Dr. Evans’ research on modern slavery, including human trafficking, helped inform Canada’s Protection of Communities and Exploited Persons Act in which it is cited, led to Ontario Children’s Aid Society reforms, and has been used by crowns. As a professor at l’Université de Saint-Boniface in Winnipeg, Man., she created the university’s first courses about the history of residential schools and human trafficking in Canada.
From 2016-2018, she was program lead for Tracia’s Trust: Manitoba’s Strategy to Prevent Sexual Exploitation and Sex Trafficking, where she and that team won the Human Rights Commitment Award of Manitoba for their work to prevent the human trafficking of young people.
Dr. Evans’ journey with the Manitoba Advocate for Children and Youth began in 2018, when she joined as manager of the research, quality assurance, and youth engagement programs. In 2023, she was appointed as the Deputy Advocate responsible for research, investigations, quality assurance, and public education. She looks forward to collaborating with community members, service providers, young people, and lived experience leaders to protect, uphold, and advocate for the rights of children and youth in Manitoba.
When not at work, you can find her volunteering in the community, and going on fun adventures with her husband and two daughters who remind her daily of the promise and power of young people.