Larry has worked in research and evaluation for approximately 40 years with extensive experience in both qualitative and quantitative methods. In 1984 he established Proactive Information Services Inc. to provide social research services to the not-for-profit and public sectors. He has assisted organizations (government ministries, post-secondary institutions, school districts, Indigenous organizations, community-based agencies, foundations, other NGOs) in meeting their learning and information needs. He has worked throughout Canada, including Northern and Indigenous communities, as well as in Central and Southeastern Europe and Mongolia.
In 2012, Larry was elected National President of the Canadian Evaluation Society for a two-year term. As Past President, he represented CES on the international stage and was the driving force behind the creation of the global EvalPartners network EvalIndigenous which he currently Co-Chairs. In 2017, he was given the CES Service Award and, in 2018, the prestigious Contribution to Evaluation in Canada Award.
Larry is proud of his Métis heritage and is passionate about issues of equity and access. He has worked to promote rights-based evaluation, as he believes too many evaluations focus on programs whose ‘beneficiaries’ (individuals, communities) are
seen as having needs or deficits, rather than recognizing and building on their existing assets. Often the voices of the ‘beneficiaries’ are muffled by the attitudes of those who have power and privilege leading to the use of exclusionary, paternalistic and inauthentic practices. As evaluators, Larry believes we are compelled to expand our future to one that is inclusive, both in terms of voices and methods, if we are to address the crucial social, environmental, and economic issues that we face in today’s world.
Larry Bremner and Mā te Rae: The role of our professional associations in claiming the space
The American Evaluation Association has the Indigenous Peoples in Evaluation TIG (Topic Interest Group) while Indigenous evaluators in New Zealand formed their own association; Mā te Rae. In Canada the Canadian Evaluation Society has a Diversity Working Group and has committed to work to incorporate Truth and Reconciliation into its values, practices and principles. Are TIG’s and resolutions enough to ensure that Indigenous ways of knowing and being become central to the life of our evaluation associations? Also, how can we claim our space without losing our identity in a much larger non-Indigenous membership. Are national associations the answer or do they serve to splinter our voices? When we talk about Turtle Island, should we disregard artificially imposed borders and look at global Indigenous associations? Is there a model that can lend itself to ensure that Indigenous evaluators can claim their space?