NSB Logo Lorinda Stewart Lorinda Stewart

Lorinda Stewart


Canmore, Alberta, Canada

Hostage Negotiator & Mother of Kidnapping Survivor Amanda Lindhout

460 days. In a lifetime, that is a drop in the bucket, but for Lorinda Stewart, 460 days represents a lifetime in itself as she was catapulted into the role of being the lead negotiator with the Somali kidnappers that held her daughter, Amanda Lindhout. Her daughter’s life depended on her ability to find a resolve with desperate, violent and dangerous young men.


Keynote Speeches

Finding The Missing Peace

Stewart’s story illustrates how difficult situations can leave people feeling isolated, confronted with lack of control, and the fear of losing the ability to cope. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder plagues not only the victim, but family and friends as well. Stewart shares the tools that allowed her to cope and heal during and after her ordeal. Her extraordinary, often emotional speech celebrates hope, love and the incredible personal growth, peace and healing that comes with choosing love over hate.

Audience reviews:

  • Lorinda Stewart is an inspiring and powerful speaker who conveys her story as a mother put into the unimaginable position of negotiating the release of her daughter. She speaks from her heart and compellingly... Those who have heard Lorinda speak of her experiences will be left in awe of this gentle woman whose steely resolve and courage, in the face of unbelievable odds, never gave up.

    - Linda D.
  • We need to hear these stories, we need to understand the true nature of forgiveness and peace.

    - Amanda
  • The standing ovation you received tonight was the result of an audience who were deeply moved and appreciative of you for sharing your incredible story. I have never before seen a standing ovation at any of our previous library speaker presentations.

    - Linda

Speaker Biography

On Aug. 23, 2008, Stewart’s daughter, Amanda Lindhout, a freelance journalist was kidnapped at gunpoint in Somalia, and within two days, the captors demanded $2.5 million in exchange for her daughter’s life. Faced with the Canadian government’s strict policy prohibiting ransom payment, Stewart agreed to be trained by Canada’s top criminal negotiators in an attempt to facilitate Amanda’s release without the remuneration of money.

After months of distressing conversations with the hostage takers, and the desertion of support from the Government, Stewart made a series of bold decisions to hire a private security company and fundraise the ransom.  Remarkably in 3 1/2 months, Stewart was finally reunited with her daughter in Nairobi, Kenya on Nov. 25, 2009. Although few people will experience the trauma of having their child kidnapped, everyone experiences trauma on some level.

Lorinda’s presentations offer a look at one woman’s heroic perseverance in the face of despair, and of the hope and healing to be found beyond trauma. They are also, in the end, a tribute to the extraordinary power of a mother’s love. 

After listening to Lorinda, you will reach a renewed sense of inspiration and an astonishing understanding of the gifts that come through adversity and forgiveness. Her presentations are a celebration of resilience and powerful portrait of the strength of the human spirit.