2022 Conference Keynotes

Karen Diver

Reclaiming Wellness and Indigenous Lifeways
Karen Diver, University of Minnesota

Friday, May 20, 2022  |  7:30 p.m.

This year we’re truly honored to open the conference with keynote speaker Karen Diver. ​Karen is currently serving as the Senior Advisor to the President for Native American Affairs at the University of Minnesota. Her previous roles include Director, Business Development, Native American Initiatives at the University of Arizona, and inaugural Faculty Fellow for Inclusive Excellence for Native American Affairs at the College of St. Scholastica in Duluth, Minnesota. 

She was an appointee of President Obama as the Special Assistant to the President for Native American Affairs. As part of the Domestic Policy Council, Ms. Diver assisted with inter-agency efforts, policy and regulatory changes to benefit 567 Native American Tribes. Karen served in this position from November 2015 until the end of the Administration. 

Karen served as Chairwoman of the Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa from 2007 to 2015. This position is elected and serves as chair of the tribal government and CEO of the reservation’s corporate boards. She served as Vice-President of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe (MCT), comprised of six members Bands, and chaired its Finance Corporation. 

She has a Bachelors in Economics from the University of Minnesota, Duluth, and as a 2002 Bush Leadership Fellow, she received a Masters in Public Administration from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.


John Noltner

A Peace of My Mind
John Noltner, A Piece of My Mind

Sunday, May 22, 2022  |  12:30 p.m.

A Peace of My Mind is a multimedia arts project created by award-winning photographer John Noltner, that uses portraits and personal stories to bridge divides and encourage dialogue around important issues. 

Frustrated with a polarized world, John drove 40,000 miles across the country interviewing and photographing hundreds of people from all walks of life. John's presentation will share this story of following his passion, and how he found ordinary people can reveal extraordinary insights into how we can work toward a common good and create a world that is more just for all. 

During the conference, John will take portraits of attendees at his on-site studio. Using compelling interview questions, he will gather your thoughts about volunteering, community and nature and incorporate them into his closing keynote talk. The result will be a powerful body of work that helps us to see ourselves and our peers in new ways.

A gifted storyteller, John has worked on four continents, gathering stories of human courage, grace, and resilience. He has produced projects for national magazines, Fortune 500 companies, and non-profit organizations. A Peace of My Mind reflects his belief that art and storytelling can help individuals, organizations and communities articulate their deepest values and encourage action toward building social capital and community connections.