There were two inspirational keynote opening speakers at the Dietitians of Canada conference: Gabrielle Scrimshaw and Adam Kreek.

Gabrielle Scrimshaw was born in Northern Saskatchewan, Canada. She is a young aboriginal professional. She opens her story talking about how her mother was an alcoholic and her father made the difficult decision to raise three daughters by himself. Gabrielle talks about her eldest sister who was ten years old had left home and her father was a developing artist who travelled a lot, leaving her and her younger sister by themselves. Her other sister dealt with the situation by running away. There were some dark times at the age of 13 for Gabrielle, when she was home alone and contemplated suicide. And then one day she met someone who had travelled the world and told her she was “one of the most amazing young woman I have ever met”. This chance meeting gave Gabrielle hope and confidence, and got her through the day thinking maybe she was a special person. She went on to become the first in her family to go to university and then was an Associate in the Graduate Leadership Program at the Royal Bank of Canada where she was able to travel the globe.

More recently, Gabrielle has co-founded the Aboriginal Professional Association of Canada. She ended by talking about everyone has a story to tell and value to add. And that we should create footprints for others to follow. Her story was inspiring from the struggles she overcame to her amazing vision to create a better world, especially for aboriginals. Listen to Gabrielle’s story for yourself in the video above. Click here to read more about Gabrielle and her work.

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Adam Kreek was a Canadian Olympic gold medallist in eight-man rowing at the Beijing Olympics in 2008.  Through his experience in rowing and surviving a flooding rowboat cabin in the ocean, Adam discusses the importance of teamwork.  Watch a Dateline NBC video about his remarkable survival story.

He talked about having a higher goal to create teamwork, such as for industry professionals and dietitians it might be to create a healthier nation; and then you have the ability to work together for a common shared vision.  He also talked about if you are looking for hope, you can find it.  Hope is essential for life.  He asked us what is our hope for the profession?  


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