Our Keynote Speakers

This year, we are honoured to welcome our amazing keynote speakers!

Gemma Hickey

Gemma Hickey, a multi-award-winning international author, human rights activist, and intersectional feminist from Newfoundland and Labrador, is globally renowned for their advocacy for the LGBTQ2+ community and survivors of religious institutional abuse. Their memoir “Almost Feral” (Breakwater, 2019) details their transformative 938-kilometre journey across Newfoundland, earning them widespread acclaim. Gemma’s impactful advocacy has garnered multiple awards, including the esteemed Governor General’s Award in Commemoration of the Persons Case in 2023, solidifying their pioneering role in advancing social justice.

Erica Friesen

Erica Friesen is a Research and Instruction Librarian (Law) & Online Learning Specialist at the William R. Lederman Law Library at Queen’s University.

Erica started her career as a research librarian at a Bay Street law firm, where she became interested in emerging legal research technologies such as those using artificial intelligence.

In her current role, Erica focuses on developing library support for online learning, creating opportunities for students to engage with AI-driven research tools, and building shared foundational resources to support legal research skills.

Her research interests include information literacy in online learning, AI literacies, and the impact of emerging technologies on information-seeking behaviour. Most recently, she is the co-author of the OER Legal Research Online: Information Seeking in the Digital Environment. This open textbook promotes information literacy skills to novice legal researchers and addresses current topics such as artificial intelligence in legal research.

You can find her work listed on ORCID.