Freya McGregor; Birdability

Birdability Coordinator and Occupational Therapist

Birdability: Because birding is for everybody and every body!

Monday, 9 August, 10:30 a.m. (EDT) (During opening events.)

Birding is an activity that can bring so much joy and empowerment to everybody, but not everybody is able to go birding easily. Birdability is a brand new non-profit, based in the U.S. but with a global reach. Through education, outreach, and advocacy, Birdability works to ensure the birding community and the outdoors are welcoming, inclusive, safe, and accessible for everybody. We focus on people with mobility challenges, blindness or low vision, chronic illness, intellectual or developmental disabilities, mental illness, and those who are neurodivergent, deaf or hard of hearing, or who have other health concerns. In addition to current birders, we strive to introduce birding to people with disabilities and other health concerns who are not yet birders so they too can experience the joys of birding. Learn about why this should matter to you (even if you don’t have an accessibility challenge), ways to be a more welcoming and inclusive birder, the Birdability Map (and how to submit a Birdability Site Review), and our resources for birders (and potential future birders) with accessibility challenges… because birding is for everybody and every body! Learn more and find resources at or follow @birdability on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Generously sponsored by Birds Canada.


Dr. Leroy Little Bear

Professor Emeritus, University of Lethbridge; Founding Director of the Native American Program, Harvard University; Member of the Small Robes Band of the Blood Indian Tribe of the Blackfoot Confederacy

The Ecological Role of birds and what it says about Homo sapiens

Friday, 13 August, 4:30 p.m. (EDT) (During closing events.)

invited speaker dr leroy little bear

Dr. Leroy Little Bear is a member of the Small Robes Band of the Blood Indian Tribe of the Blackfoot Confederacy; born and raised on the Blood Indian Reserve; attended and graduated from St. Mary’s School on the Blood Indian Reserve; attended and graduated from the University of Lethbridge, Lethbridge, Alberta, with a B.A. Degree in 1971; attended and graduated from the College of Law, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah, with a Juris Doctor Degree in 1975. From 1975 to the end of 1996, Mr. Little Bear was a professor in the Native American Studies Dept. at the University of Lethbridge. In January of 1997, Mr. Little Bear retired from the University of Lethbridge. From January 1998 to June 1999, Mr. Little Bear was the Director of the Harvard University Native American Program. 

Mr. Little Bear has served in a legal and consultant capacity to many Indian Tribes, and organizations including the Blood Tribe, Indian Association of Alberta, and the Assembly of First Nations of Canada. He has served on many different committees, commissions, and boards, including the Task Force on the Criminal Justice System and Its Impact on the Indian and Metis Peoples of Alberta in 1990–91.

Mr. Little Bear has authored many articles including, “A Concept of Native Title,” which has been cited in a Canadian Supreme Court decision. He has co-authored books including Pathways to Self-Determination, Quest For Justice, and Governments in Conflict with Dr. Menno Boldt and Dr. Anthony Long. 

In 2003, Mr. Little Bear was the recipient of a Canadian National Aboriginal Achievement Award in Education. In June of 2004, Mr. Little Bear was the recipient of an honorary doctorate degree in Arts and Science from the University of Lethbridge and, in 2016, from the University of Northern British Columbia. Mr. Little Bear received the Alberta Order of Excellence in 2016, and most recently was made an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2018. 

Mr. Little Bear, with his wife, Amethyst First Rider, were major movers of the historic Buffalo Treaty signed by First Nations on both sides of the U.S.-Canada border. Both dedicate a large amount of their time to buffalo restoration.

Special thanks to our conference supporters