Thumbnail image for HumanLibrary_190x106.jpgHuman Library - Real People. Real Conversations


CBC Saskatchewan in partnership with the Regina Public Library is excited to host the first-ever Human Library Day in Regina.


What is the Human Library? Did you ever wonder what it would be like to talk to a mortician or a judge?  Do you have any questions for people who have undergone sexual reassignment?  The human library is a one-day event designed to help dispel myths and stereotypes by creating an opportunity for one-on-one conversations between individuals who might otherwise never meet.  You'll sit down and chat with someone from a different walk of life (see list below) including CBC personalities, who volunteer their time as "books."  Anyone can have a chance to "check out" a "book" and ask questions to learn more about that person and their extraordinary life at the Regina Central Library.  Conversations allow for frank, revealing and sometimes difficult questions.  


Human Library Day

When: Saturday, January 26 - 10 am to 2 pm
Where: Central Library, 2311 12th Avenue - Regina, SK
Registration: Carol Todd - ctodd@reginalibrary.ca, or call 777-6113
(10-minute conversations every 15 minutes starting on the hour)


Check out the list of Regina 'books' below and schedule your conversations!  We'll be adding more to the list so be sure to visit our page again.  Or, drop in to the Regina Central Library on January 26th to "sign out" the "books" that are still available.    




john.jpgJohn Marshall - John is a Forensic Firearms and Toolmark Examiner with the RCMP Forensic Laboratory in Regina. He has published numerous research articles and prior to starting in the Forensic Lab, John worked on the Robert Pickton investigation as a Search Technologist on Project Evenhanded. He has authored over 980 forensic reports for criminal investigations and been qualified to give expert opinion evidence 49 times in various legal jurisdictions across Canada. His areas of expertise include the mechanical assessment and classification of firearms, the identification of fired ammunition components, ballistics, range determination, interpretation of gunshot wounds and crime scene shooting reconstruction.


dierdre.jpgDeidra Roberts - Deidra is a 56 yr. old male to female transsexual. In November of 2007, Deidra had sex reassignment surgery performed in Thailand, one week after her 51st birthday. She has lived and worked in Regina all of her life. Deidra is a 35 year employee with the City of Regina, having the distinction of being the first transsexual to transition while working for the City. She is a proud union activist with the Canadian Union of Public Employees, and the Saskatchewan Federation of Labour. Deidra is in the midst of writing a book about her journey. She is currently single, with no dependants.


kellyweb.jpgKelly Bergen: Kelly is a recently retired air traffic controller.  He started his career in beautiful Thompson, Manitoba.  After spending seven years there, Kelly bounced around a bit before landing in Regina in 1988.  He worked in the tower at the YQR airport for most of his career, and then became a supervisor in 2005.  Overall, he has spent 30 years as an air traffic controller. 


neal.jpgJustice Neal Caldwell -  As a lawyer, Neal Caldwell specialized in corporate and commercial law - with an expertise in intellectual property. He was a registered Canadian trade-mark agent and gave presentations to a wide variety of organizations on issues including intellectual property, regulatory compliance and privacy law. Since his appointment to the Court of Appeal in 2010 at the age of 43, Justice Caldwell has had to become more of a generalist. He hears all types of appeals - both criminal and civil. Together with his colleagues, he is then responsible for ensuring trial courts have applied the law correctly. Becoming a judge is a major responsibility and introduced changes in his life that he had not always anticipated. 


darren.jpgDarren Okemaysim - In 2011, Darren was diagnosed with stage 4, metastatic adenocarcinoma colorectal cancer and told he had 6 months to 1.5 years of physical life remaining.  On November 19 of that year, he began chemotherapy, participating in the clinical trial of a new drug.  Now, more than one year later, Darren continues to see positive results and attributes his progress to having a positive perspective while facing the emotional, physical and financial distresses of the diagnosis.  Darren is from the Beardy's and Okemasis First Nation and has a Bachelor of Arts (Cree Linguistics), Bachelor of Education and a Master of Human Resource Development. 


ted.jpgTed Jaleta: Ted is a very well known long distance runner in Regina.  He grew up in Ethiopia and was caught in the country's civil war during the 1970's, where he was imprisoned and tortured. After he escaped he eventually made his way to Canada in 1982. He once again took up professional running and went on to be one of the world's top master class distance runners.  Now, Ted does a lot of inspirational speaking.  He's very excited to be a part of this project. 




Hira Fida:  Hira is a business student at SIAST. She was born in Rawalpindi, Pakistan but  most of spent most of her life growing up in Regina. As a Muslim woman, Hira wears a Hijab and welcomes questions about the concept of the Hijab, its significance and importance in the Muslim world.




todd.jpgCst. Todd Kaufmann: Cst. Kaufmann has been a member of the RCMP since  2000 and has been on the RCMP Underwater Recovery Team since 2004. He  has also been a recreational diver since 1992. His police diving has taken him across Western Canada with operational dives in BC, Alberta, & Manitoba and in SK, from Points North Landing near Wollaston Lake to Swift Current Creek in Southern Saskatchewan. He has logged over 125 hours of dive time and his dives have ranged from surface to 130 feet. He is classified as a Dive Master and has instructed at national courses for new police divers.   




amber.jpgAmber Wylie:  Amber is the owner of a 10 month old pitbull cross named Nixon.  Her life revolves around her Nixon.  She recently bought her dog and is very outspoken about why pitbulls do in fact make good pets.  She leaps at any opportunity to discuss and dispel the stereotypes about pitbulls and their owners, and is eager to have the chance to change those attitudes.  Amber is a U o R student enrolled in Social Work and is on the Track team.


dayna.jpgDayna Smith-Short:  Dayna used to work for CBC back in the day, but always wanted to be in the funeral home business. She was in a car accident in 1997 where 3 passengers lost their lives.  Something clicked in her that it was time to follow her dream. So she enrolled in distance education to get into the business, and became Moose Jaw's first female embalmer.  Dayna runs the funeral service program at SIAST in Moose Jaw.  Loves when people ask her questions about her job.  Dayna currently works for Jones and Son Funeral Home in Moose Jaw.


Shawna Oochoo:  Shawna is an organizer with the Treaty 4 Grassroots and Idle No More movements.



kathleen.jpgKathleen Peterson:  Kathleen has been a divorce lawyer for 15 years.  Started in Winnipeg, then moved to rural Saskatchewan before coming to Regina.  She has been practicing law in Regina since 1997.  Kathleen is a founding member of the Collaborative Lawyers of Saskatchewan and was one of the first lawyers to volunteer with the Regina Free Legal Clinic.


shae.jpgShae Therrien:  Shae has bi-polar depression, but is trying his best to overcome this mental illness through boxing, art, writing and electroshock therapy.  Shae is quite open to telling his personal story...how he struggled with drugs and alcohol while he learned to accept his illness.  His behavior put a strain on his family, and how keeping a daily journal of his thoughts has helped calm him down. 

sheila.jpgSheila Coles:  Host of CBC Radio One's The Morning Edition heard weekdays from 6 to 9 am.  For years, Sheila has been getting up at 4 am on weekdays to get ready to bring the province up-to-date on what's happening.  She  also teaches at the U of R.  Throughout her career she has interviewed thousands of people and heard some great stories. Learn more from Sheila about what it's like to host a daily radio show.




clark.jpgClark Jule' - Clark is a STARS pilot from Moose Jaw, SK with 26 years of flying experience. Pilots who work for Saskatchewan's new helicopter EMS service must have a minimum of 3,000 flying hours and are trained in the use of night vision goggles.  


denise.jpgDenise Treleaven - Denise is a STARS flight nurse.  She lives in Milestone, SK and has 19 years of nursing experience. STARS crew consists of two pilots, a nurse experienced in emergency/ICU care and an advanced life support paramedic. A transport physician trained in pre-hospital care and transportation is also available by telephone for emergency response, and is airborne in the helicopter when medically necessary.    



paige.jpgPaige Kezima - Paige is a 22 year old social work student at the University of Regina. After spending years trying to navigate through Saskatchewan's mental health system, she received a diagnosis of Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) in early 2012. She soon realized that mental illness is still deeply stigmatized in our society, and within the mental health community BPD is the most negatively stigmatized. An activist in other areas, Paige decided that she didn't want to put up with ignorant and hurtful attitudes and started publicly talking about her mental illness.



jordan.jpgJordan Bell - Jordan's love of television broadcasting started in Grade 4 when he took a tour of CBC Calgary.  From that moment on, Jordan knew what he wanted to do with his life. His profession has taken him from Yorkton, to Saskatoon, to Calgary and he even spent a few years on the high seas with Royal Caribbean Cruise lines.  He has travelled as far north as Stanley Mission and as far south as the Panama Canal. In 2004 he returned home to Regina where he is working as a freelancer for CBC Saskatchewan, shooting and editing news and documentaries.


nicoleweb.jpgNicole Bear - Nicole lives life to the fullest in a wheelchair and sees herself as abled not disabled.  She is a 4th year student at the First Nations University of Canada, majoring in Indian Communication Arts (INCA). Nicole is applying to the University of Regina's School of Journalism and says, "Through a career in journalism, I hope to be able to tell the stories of everyday people who are making a difference in their communities, and as a woman with a disability, I hope that I can serve as an example that anything is possible." She also has a keen interest in theatre, forensics, and human rights.


lani.jpgLani Elliott - Lani is an outspoken advocate for survivors of domestic violence, children in foster care, and victims of racism.  Born a member of the Carry the Kettle First Nation, she was placed into foster care and brought up in a non-Aboriginal home. At 17 she rebelled, left home and moved to Manitoba, where, on her own, she completed her high school education. She then returned to Saskatchewan to pursue her life-long dream of becoming a member of the RCMP.  Lani finished at the top of her class in pre-RCMP training, earning her a spot in Depot to join the force as a regular member.  Her dreams were shattered however, by an abusive husband who brutally assaulted her with a baseball bat, breaking her legs and eliminating all possibility of her meeting the physical requirements of the job. Determined to carry on, Lani decided to switch career paths and went back to school to study Business Education at Siast and Arts at University of Regina.  For the past five years, she has worked tirelessly alongside friends and co-workers, leading her team within the federal government to raise thousands of dollars for the United Way Campaign, her way of giving back to her community. She has performed alongside other advocates including Maria Campbell and Michelle Thrush in the now famous play, The Vagina Monologues. Most recently, Lani is working on a book, detailing her story of survival and hope. She also volunteers her time by sharing her story with young men and women in schools, to raise awareness regarding family and relationship violence, and to bring hope to other survivors.


paule.jpgPaule Hjertaas:  Paule is an advocate for a clean, green environment. She has fought for many years to keep chemicals/pesticides out of our natural environment.  This is in part due to her own chemical sensitivities to the environment.  For the past 27 years, Paule has worn a mask when walking outdoors.  She is more than willing to discuss the challenges that go along with being so sensitive to the world around her.


Be sure to check out the Human Library's interactive map, and sample feature "books" from across the country. A  live digital event on National Human Library Day will extend the conversation from various locations across the country.  Canadians are also encouraged to engage in conversations on Twitter by using the hashtag #CBCHumanLibrary

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