Holly Prince, MSW, (PhD. Cand.)

Project Manager, Centre for Education and Research on Aging & Health (CERAH), Lakehead University

Holly Prince is an Anishinaabekwe and a member of Opwaaganisiniing in Northwestern Ontario, Canada. She has a Master’s Degree in Social Work and is a Ph.D. Candidate in Educational Studies at Lakehead University. Holly’s research focus is on decolonial and Indigenist education and Indigenous health, and community-based research. She is the Lead for the Indigenous People’s Health and Aging Division at the Centre for Education and Research on Aging and Health, Lakehead University, where she works as a Project Manager.

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A part of her role involves planning, implementing, and evaluating palliative care education and health equity initiatives for Indigenous peoples across Canada. She has devoted the last 20 years to advancing the right of Indigenous peoples’ access to culturally appropriate and equitable palliative care and has mobilized her efforts as a national champion of human rights and dignity for people preparing to journey back to the spirit world.

Corey MacKenzie, RN, MN

Director New Initiatives, SE Health First Nations, Inuit & Métis Program

Corey has many years of experience in national and regional nursing leadership positions in the Continuing Care sector and works closely with many Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities and organizations. He is a graduate of the Dalhousie University Master of Nursing Health Policy and Administration Program and has education and experience in program evaluation and project management.

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He’s a recipient of two Government of Canada Assistant Deputy Minister Leadership Awards and was recently honoured by the Atlantic Policy Congress of First Nations Chiefs as a recipient of their Supporting Our People Award in health for his work related to the Wholistic Continuum of Care (LTC) initiative. In addition to his director role at SE Health, Corey has a background in quality improvement and is a surveyor with Accreditation Canada.

Corey Mattie

Founding Partner,  Indigenous Treaty Partners (ITP)

Settler from Kjipuktuk with historic Mi’kmaw ancestry, a member of the Indigenous Professional Association of Canada, and co-founder of Indigenous Treaty Partners – Corey Mattie has always been involved with supporting Canadians through complex topics. As a professional keynote speaker to international audiences including the G7 Research Summit, United Nations Canada, and Parliament Hill; Corey is a strong advocate for the importance of environmental enhancement, social responsibility, and ethical business practices.

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A local from Mi’kma’ki (Atlantic Canada), Corey places strong value on the adoption of Indigenous practice and a triple bottom line for corporate Canada.

Holding a Bachelor of Commerce from Saint Mary’s University, a Certificate in ISO Management from the University of Toronto and Ryerson, a Certificate from the Foundation for Environmental Stewardship, a LEED Accreditation, and Antiracism training from both the Human Rights Commission and InterActivist. Corey is well-rounded in various aspects of the Canadian economic industry and ethical management.

Houston Barnaby, JD

Founding Partner, Indigenous Treaty Partners

Mi’kmaw from Listuguj, QC, Houston is an Indigenous Rights lawyer who has represented the Assembly of Nova Scotia Mi’kmaq Chiefs in areas of Governance and has gained industry knowledge and experience negotiating Impact Benefit Agreements with proponents in the Province during that time. Houston is also a Board member of the Nova Scotia Community College Foundation, whose mission is dedicated to helping students in financial need and improving access to education.

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Growing up on a First Nation’s reserve, Houston has seen firsthand the importance of all levels of government coming together to find a solution that respects the inherent right of the First Nations to govern themselves and the needs of surrounding communities. Houston is passionate about bridging the gap between stakeholders and rightsholders for a stronger Canada.

Shelby Corley, MA, CE

CEO, Three Hive Consulting, Inc.

Shelby Corley is a member of the Métis Nation of Alberta, and lives and works in Treaty 6 Territory. She is a Credentialed Evaluator who has been working in research and evaluation for over 15 years.

Shelby is the CEO of Three Hive Consulting and Eval Academy. After years of serving clients in the non-profit, government and healthcare sectors, her approach to evaluation has become highly practical. With a graduate degree in anthropology, Shelby inherently prioritizes equity and systems thinking.

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Shelby regularly presents at evaluation conferences, and loves the opportunity to talk about evaluation.

Marjorie Flowers

AngajukKâk – Hopedale, Nunatsiavut Assembly


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Biography coming soon…

Elder Doreen Bergum

Métis Elder, Métis Nation of Alberta Region 3

Doreen Bergum is currently The Métis Elder for Métis Nation of Alberta Region 3. Born in an era when it was illegal to express and practice her Métis Culture. She is proud to educate and share her knowledge and joy of the Métis Culture. As the Elder Métis Nation of Alberta Region 3, she opens conferences, meetings and cultural events with prayer. Sharing the wisdom and culture of our Métis Ancestors, Doreen teaches jigging, beading, moccasin making and capote making. Her drive comes from her commitment to teaching her Métis Culture to the youth as an important part of our Canadian History and in maintaining the Métis Culture for future generations.

Harley Crowshoe

Director, Indigenous Health Program, Alberta Health Services (Lundbreck, AB)

Harley Crowshoe’s ancestry is Blackfoot and originates from the Piikani Nation Reserve in southern Alberta.

Harley has extensive Aboriginal Policing experience with First Nations people in Alberta and British Columbia. Throughout his RCMP career he held supervisory positions as a Detachment Commander in “K” and “E” Divisions, as well as investigating serious crimes. After more than 20 years of service with the RCMP he retired at the rank of Staff Sgt.

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Harley had the opportunity to participate in a major project that developed and built Canada’s second diamond mine in the Northwest Territories. While employed by Diavik Diamond Mines he developed policies and programs for Site Security.

Harley joined the Aboriginal Policing Directorate as the Regional Manager, responsible for Alberta and North West Territories. This provided him the opportunity to continue working closely with the First Nations communities in Alberta and NWT.

Harley has worked for AHS for many years, first serving the AHS Wisdom Council as chair; then the AHS South Zone as the Indigenous Health Senior Advisor; the AHS South Sector as Indigenous Health Provincial Director; and now continues to support AHS health projects as an Indigenous Health Advisor.

He is currently working parttime with Piikani Health Service as an Accreditation Coordinator.

Harley is a board member sitting on the Windy Slopes Health Foundation and Fresh Start Recovery Centre and recently he has been appointed on the National Advisory Committee on Missing Children and Unmarked Graves.

  • Harley is the recent recipient of the Order of Canada
  • He is also a recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal
  • Commemorative Medal for the 125th Anniversary of Canadian Confederation
  • 25 Year Service Award from Public Service Canada.
  • He was presented a Soapstone sculpture and Sacred Eagle Feather in recognition for contributions to the First Nations people of Canada.
  • He was inducted as an Honorary Chief of the Piikani (Blackfoot) Nation – including traditional transfer of a sacred eagle headdress

Jocelyne (Jo) Voisin

Assistant Deputy Minister, Health Canada

Jo Voisin is Assistant Deputy Minister at Health Canada’s Strategic Policy Branch. Jo returned to Health Canada in 2020 to support Canada’s efforts to fight COVID-19 after two years working in youth employment policy. In her ten years working at Health Canada, she was instrumental in the negotiation of the Common Statement of Principles and health agreements with provinces and territories in 2017, focused on funding for home and community care, and mental health and addictions. She occupied several executive leadership positions, including in federal-provincial-territorial relations, health product regulation, horizontal policy and public health.

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Jo also worked in social policy at the Privy Council Office, and in economic policy at Treasury Board Secretariat and Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada. Jo is an avid weekend and vacation cyclist, as well as an artist.

Robin L. Buckland RN; MSCN

Chief Nursing Officer, Director General, Office of Primary Health Care within First Nations and Inuit Health Branch, Indigenous Services Canada

Robin Buckland is the Chief Nursing Officer for Indigenous Services Canada and the Director General of the Office of Primary Health Care within First Nations and Inuit Health Branch. Robin and her husband live in Kanata, Ontario on the unceded territory of the Algonquin Nation. Robin has over 30 years of experience in nursing and health services and has spent over 10 years focused on strategic direction, organizational effectiveness and health human resources planning. For the last 8 years, Robin has had the honour of serving First Nations and Inuit in rural, remote and isolated communities across Canada.

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Robin has executive oversight and monitoring of the department’s primary health care services including nursing stations to ensure nurses deliver quality health services to all clients. Robin understands the value and contribution nurses make to the people they serve, and makes every effort to provide nurses with a safe working environment. She supports the home and community care program while the team works toward the co-development of the Long- term care framework. Robin has also lead the increasingly complex expansion of the Jordan’s Principle initiative.

Robin is a strong advocate for the nursing profession; a profession whose importance during Covid-19 has only grown in public perception of importance. Robin’s love for the health care profession remains a driving force in striving for equitable access to health services for all people.

Gail Turner

Former Director of Health Services, Nunatsiavut Government, Northern Labrador

Gail Turner is Inuit, and a beneficiary of the Labrador Inuit Land Claim. She retired in 2012 from the position of Director of Health Services for the Nunatsiavut Government, Northern Labrador. She holds a Bachelor of Nursing degree from Memorial University of Newfoundland, a Master’s of Adult Education from St. Francis Xavier University, and many additional certificates in health and administration through distance programs.

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Her early career was spent in acute care nursing in Ontario and the United Kingdom. For the last twenty- six years she has been working in Labrador with Inuit, Southern Inuit of NunatuKavut, settlers, First Nations, and since 2004 exclusively with the Inuit. She has presented on Inuit health at provincial, regional, national and international meetings and symposiums, including the World Cancer Congress in 2011.

Her work has been focused in public health but she has also managed remote community clinics and continuing care. She is passionate about the North and the need for First Nations, Inuit and Métis to be heard and truly engaged in planning their health care and promoting optimal health. Her growing interest is in health equity and the pressing need for innovative and community-based solutions for bringing health care service to the people.

Gail has served as the Indigenous Director on the Board of the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer. She recently received the Labradorians of Distinction Award for services to health and community. As a senior, she has a growing interest in senior wellness, access to appropriate home care and long-term care when needed and aging in place.

Diane Boots

Director, Lifting Their Minds


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Johnathan Dunn

Senior Policy Analyst, Assembly of First Nations

Jonathan is a Senior Policy Analyst in the Health Sector of the Assembly of First Nations. He is a passionate educator with mixed ancestry, and a member of the Mississauga First Nations. He grew up in Southwest Florida, completing his BSc in Biology. He moved to Montreal to study innate immunity and Tuberculosis at McGill University’s Meakins-Christie Laboratories and later taught math and science at Indigenous High Schools in Kuujjuarapik, Nunavik and Kahnawà:ke.

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He currently works for the Assembly of First Nations, utilizing his scientific background and experiences to support and aid First Nations Communities.

Tanya Nancarrow

Senior Policy Advisor / Conseillière principale en politique, Indigenous Palliative Care and MAID Policy / Politique de soins palliatifs et AMM, End-of-Life Care Unit / Unité de soins à la fin de vie, Health Care Programs and Policy Directorate / Direction des programmes et politiques de soins de santé, Strategic Policy Branch / Direction générale de la politique stratégique, Health Canada / Santé Canada

Tanya Nancarrow is a Senior Policy Advisor with the End-of-Life Care Unit of Health Canada’s Strategic Policy Branch. Her main focus is working with Indigenous partners to improve policies around end-of-life care, including palliative care and medical assistance in dying.

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Tanya has 15 years of professional experience working to advance Indigenous health policy priorities, including at Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, Indigenous Services Canada and Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada. Tanya completed her Master of Science at McGill’s Centre for Indigenous Peoples’ Nutrition and Environment. She is of Cornish, Irish and Scottish descent and lives with her partner, 2 children and 2 dogs on the traditional territory of the Attawandaron, Anishinaabe, and Haudenosaunee Peoples.

Vanessa Follon, RN

A/ Director / Directrice par intérime, Home, Community and Preventative Care Division / Division des Soins prėventifs à domicile et en milieu communautaire, First Nations and Inuit Health Branch / Direction de la Santé des Premières nations et des Inuits, Indigenous Services Canada / Services aux Auchtochtones Canada, Government of Canada

Vanessa has been a Registered Nurse since 1999 with a background in both the provincial and federal system. Home, community and long term care nursing makes up the bulk of her work experience and supporting service delivery, policy and program development in this space is her passion.

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Currently in the Director role at the National office for the Home, Community and Preventative Care Division, she has had the opportunity to provide leadership in Jordan’s Principle for many years as well as in various roles in the Ontario Regional office since joining the First Nations and Inuit Health Branch in 2009.

Katy Pintar

Director, Health Care Policy, Strategic Policy Branch, Health Canada / Santé Canada

Katy Pintar is the Director of Health Care Policy with Health Canada’s Strategic Policy Branch, where she leads on supportive care priorities, including end-of-life care, home care and long-term care. As an epidemiologist, Katy spent the first half of her public service career working with the Public Health Agency of Canada in the Infectious Diseases Branch.

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The second half of her career has focused on advancing policy priorities for the government of Canada, with rich experiences at Health Canada, Natural Resources Canada, Treasury Board Secretariat and the Canada Border Services Agency.

Elise Ho-Foong

Principal, Socioeconomics and Facilitation, Avaanz

Dr. Ho-Foong is a socio-economic and facilitation expert. She has led many complex projects for government, non-government, and Indigenous clients, with a strong focus on Northern communities. She has worked in a wide range of fields including health, education, transportation, waste, and climate change. She has facilitated many sensitive and large-scale workshops and meetings using clear methodologies and inclusive communication to move groups towards focused and meaningful actions. She is a proven leader in policy development and strategic planning and works with her clients to set priorities, secure funding, develop actions, and achieve goals.

JME Maxwell

Director, Financial Analysis and Organizational Management, Avaanz

JME is a senior consultant with more than 20-years experience working for government and private sector clients across Canada and internationally. He has been a project manager, management consultant, and economic advisor on numerous strategy, economic, and policy projects.

JME has significant expertise in project and program management, strategic planning, business planning, financial analysis, and economic assessment.

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Mr. Maxwell sits on the board of directors and provides ongoing strategic and operational advice to several organizations.

Prior to joining Avaanz, JME was responsible for managing the profits and losses of the Canadian operations of one of the world’s largest engineering and environmental consulting firms and managed the operations of a $120M per annum Environmental consulting business in Central United States.

Jessica L. Wyatt, BEd., MA, PMP

Knowledge Broker – Palliative Care Education for Indigenous Communities, Centre for Education and Research on Aging & Health (CERAH), Lakehead University

Jessica Wyatt is a white settler originally from Treaty 9 territory (Timmins, Ontario), currently living in Thunder Bay which is located on the traditional lands of the Fort William First Nation, Signatory to the Robinson Superior Treaty of 1850. Jessica is an experienced Knowledge Broker who began her career at Lakehead University’s Centre for Education and Research in Aging & Health (CERAH) in 2008.

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Skilled in curriculum development, planning, and project management, Jessica has a keen interest in social justice and health equity for marginalized populations. She holds a Bachelor of Education and a Master of Arts degree in English with a specialization in Women’s Studies. She is also a certified Project Management Professional. In her current role at CERAH, she supports the development and delivery of culturally safer palliative care education for Indigenous communities across Canada.

Ryan Fritsch

Legal Counsel, Law Commission of Ontario

Ryan Fritsch is Legal Counsel with the Law Commission of Ontario where he leads law reform projects looking at the impact of AI on Ontario’s criminal justice institutions (https://www.lco-cdo.org/crimai); the need to modernize consumer protection law for terms of service contracts in the digital marketplace (https://www.lco-cdo.org/digitalmarketplace); and approaches to decolonizing health law for Indigenous communities in Ontario (https://www.lco-cdo.org/indigenous_lsl).

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Ryan also served as a sessional professor of mental heath law at the University of Windsor Faculty of Law (2011-2019), the Osgoode Hall Law School Professional LLM in Health Law (2020) and as Acting Academic Director to the Osgoode Hall Disability Law Intensive Program (2022-2023). Ryan previously led development of Legal Aid Ontario’s Mental Health Strategy and was in-house counsel to the Psychiatric Patient Advocate Office.

Lindsay Yarrow, MSW, RSW, MSc, CHE

Senior Program Lead / Responsable principale de programme, Healthcare Excellence Canada | Excellence en santé Canada

Lindsay Yarrow, MSW, RSW, MSc, CHE, is a Senior Program Lead with Healthcare Excellence Canada. Lindsay is a white settler grateful to be living on the traditional and unceded territory of the Anishinaabe and Haudenosaunee peoples in what is now known as Kingston, Ontario. Lindsay is committed to working in partnership and understanding how she can use her role to support the design and delivery of more equitable care while reflecting on systems of oppression and effective ways in which to address structural determinants of health.

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Lindsay has a clinical background as a Social Worker and has her MSc. in Healthcare Quality. She has extensive experience providing clinical leadership in both hospital and community settings with a particular interest in increasing access to high quality healthcare services for underserved populations. She is currently supporting work focused on more equitable access to palliative care for individuals experiencing homelessness or vulnerable housing.

Dr. Cara A. Bablitz

Palliative Care Outreach and Advocacy Team, George’s House Palliative Care Program

Cara Bablitz (MD) is a Métis physician from Northern Alberta. She works with the University of Alberta, Department of Family Medicine at the Royal Alexandra Hospital in the Indigenous Wellness Clinic. Her work in health equity has included the development of a team serving vulnerably housed and homeless people in Edmonton, called the Palliative Care Outreach and Advocacy Team. Through this work, she has helped establish and run George’s House, a 5 bed end-of-life harm reduction home in Edmonton.

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In 2018, she helped write the policy paper for the Alberta Medical Association (AMA) on Indigenous Health, which lead to the development of the AMA Indigenous Health Committee that she chaired for 6 years. She was part of Turtle Island Consulting Services Inc. Project Team that consulted on the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer, “Beginning the journey into the spirit world: First Nations, Inuit and Métis approaches to palliative and end-of-life care.” Her busiest job remains her role as a Mother to two children.

Juliet Foster

RN, CHPCN(C), Indigenous Palliative Nurse Navigator

Juliet Foster is a palliative and hospice certified Registered Nurse (RN) funded by the Alberta Palliative Care and End-of-Life Care Grant to work with First Nations, Métis and Inuit people across Alberta impacted by illness requiring palliative care. She has over ten years of experience in palliative care working with patients to manage physical symptoms as well as support emotional, spiritual and mental wellbeing. The role of the Indigenous Palliative Nurse Navigator is to help Indigenous clients and their family navigate the health care system to find supports available.

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This role aims to improve access and health equity by supporting the patient and their caregivers with a culturally informed approach to care which advocates to meet their physical, mental, spiritual and emotional needs.

Jill Marcella

Palliative Care Education Facilitator, Centre for Education and Research on Aging & Health (CERAH), Lakehead University

Jill Marcella was born and raised in the town of Terrace Bay, and has called the City of Thunder Bay Ontario home for the past 30 years. Jill is the mother of two sons Jaden and Jacob. In her current work, Jill is a Registered Social Worker and the manager of the North West Regional Palliative Care Program, St. Joseph’s Care Group, located in Thunder Bay, Ontario.

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In addition to this role, she is a palliative care education facilitator with the Centre for Education and Research on Aging & Health, Lakehead University, and a regional champion for Hospice Palliative Care Ontario’s Health Care Consent and Advance Care Planning. Her academic background is in Social Work with a specialization in Gerontology.

Joanna Vautour

Palliative Care Education Facilitator, Centre for Education and Research on Aging & Health (CERAH), Lakehead University

Joanna Meawasige Vautour is an Anishinaabe band member of Serpent River First Nation (SRFN). She was born and raised in Toronto by her Anishinaabe mother, who ensured a connection to their family and community in SRFN. Joanna’s ancestry from her paternal side is French Canadian from New Brunswick. Joanna is a mother to twin daughters, Shyanne and Sienna.

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Joanna is a Clinical Social Worker with experience working in the Indigenous community in Toronto in youth recreation, family & community development, child welfare, mental health and patient navigation in cancer care. Joanna integrates her Anishinaabe lived experiences and traditional teachings into her professional practice.

In her current work, she is the Regional Indigenous Cancer Lead for the Toronto Central Regional Indigenous Cancer Program. Joanna has an interest in Palliative Care, where she was the Lead in First Nation, Inuit and Métis Engagement for the Ontario Palliative Care Network in Partnership with the Indigenous Cancer Care Unit at Ontario Health. Her work continues in Palliative Care in education and research as a community facilitator for Palliative Care Training for Frontline Workers in Indigenous Communities with the Centre for Education and Research on Aging & Health at Lakehead University and as a Senior Research Coordinator in the Supporting the Journey Home: Growing the Community Bundle to Care for Those with Serious Illness in the Department of Oncology at McMaster University.

As a clinical social worker, Joanna has developed curriculum and provided instruction in the Social Service Worker and Mental Health & addictions Programs at FNTI. She is an Adjunct Lecturer/Cultural Teacher in the Masters of Social Work Indigenous Trauma and Resiliency Program in the Faculty of Social Work at the University of Toronto. In her consulting work, Joanna works in Mental Health and writes curriculum for Indigenous Social Work programs.

Sue Bartnik, RN, BScN, CEC

Practice Consultant, Palliative Care & Serious Illness, First Nations Health Authority

Sue is a white settler with Polish ancestry who is grateful to live on the beautiful unceded and traditional lands of the Coast Salish people, namely the Kwikwetlem and Musqueam First Nations (Coquitlam, BC). She is a sister, aunt, spouse and mother. Graduating from McMaster University School of Nursing, Sue has 25+ years of nursing experience in oncology, hospice palliative care, Medical Assistance in Dying and Advance Care Planning. She has also practiced and taught meditation and energy healing throughout her career.

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Joining First Nations Health Authority 3 years ago, Sue has been learning and unlearning along a journey of advocating and supporting culturally safer end of life care.

Jo-Anne Gottfriedson

Elder in Residence | Cultural Liaison, Lumara Grief & Bereavement Society

Jo-Anne Gottfriedson of the Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc (Kamloops) joined Lumara in 2020, and soon after she joined as a Resident Elder and Cultural Liaison.

In collaboration with the First Nations Health Authority and Indigenous Elders, Leaders, Artists, and Healers across the country, Jo-Anne and Director of Operations, Joshua Dahling, have developed a wide-reaching, culturally-safe program that combines traditional Indigenous healing rituals and practices with Lumara’s long-held belief in the power of a nurturing community.

Leonard Benoit

Palliative Care Education Facilitator, Centre for Education and Research on Aging & Health (CERAH), Lakehead University

A member of the Qalipu Mi’Kmaq First Nation in Newfoundland and Labrador, Leonard Benoit serves as the Regional Indigenous Cancer Patient Navigator for Toronto Central (Toronto Regional Cancer Program) and the Indigenous Patient Navigator for University Health Network. Leonard marries his professional background, as a nurse and community service worker, and Indigenous lived experience, to bridge the gap between Western medicine and Indigenous spiritual practices. Leonard also works as a casual facilitator with CERAH, Lakehead University to deliver Palliative care training to front-line staff in Indigenous Communities. He is a certified Death Doula, holds certification in Palliative Care and is studying Thanatology (Death Studies). Toronto has been home for the last 17 years.

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Alice Muirhead

First Nations, Inuit and Métis Lead, Canadian Partnership Against Cancer

Alice Muirhead is a First Nations, Inuit and Métis Lead with the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer. Working with multiple teams across the organization, Alice leads efforts to embed a focus on First Nations, Inuit and Métis priorities across the work of the Partnership. Alice has a Masters in Health Administration from the University of Regina and enjoys running and skiing.

Victoria Marchand

Health, Gender Diversity, Sport, Policy Analyst, National Association of Friendship Centres


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Marilee Nowgesic

CEO, Canadian Indigenous Nurses Association

Marilee Nowgesic has been the executive director of the Canadian Indigenous Nurses Association since January 2018 and has more than 25 years of experience working on Indigenous issues. Originally from Thunder Bay, she is a member in good standing with the Fort William First Nation and is an Eagle clan member.

Serghei Reabov

Client Engagement Lead for Indigenous Health Services, Accreditation Canada


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Judith Eigenbrod

Director of Programs, First Nations Health Managers Association

Judith is the Director of Programs at the First Nations Health Managers Association (FNHMA). Judith supported the work of the AFN Health Sector before joining the FNHMA in 2022. Prior to her move to Ottawa, she was part of the Research and Knowledge Exchange Team at the First Nations Health Authority in BC and a Senior Research Assistant at Simon Fraser University Children’s Health Policy Centre, and as an environmental consultant.

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Judith has a Master of Public Health from Simon Fraser University and a Master of Science from the University of Toronto. Judith was born in Germany and grew up in Thunder Bay, Ontario and currently lives on the traditional unceded territory of the Algonquin Anishnaabe Nation in Ottawa, Ontario with her husband and two children.

She is excited and honored to continue to work with and support First Nations health leaders in her role at the FNHMA.

Melinda Laboucan

Founder & Executive Director, Goba Care

Melinda began her career in advocacy, health systems navigation, research, and group facilitation in 2003. Her widely recognized skills and successes in these endeavours are rooted in strong community relationships and networks, ongoing training, and unwavering commitment to the care and well-being of others. These are the elements that underpin her work through Goba Consulting.

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Melinda is a proud member of the K’asho Got’ine First Nation. At a young age, Melinda’s Dene community of Fort Good Hope in the Northwest Territories encouraged her active volunteer and social justice ethics and successes. Melinda honed these values through professional development and certification in such areas as leadership, addictions training, healing and loss counselling, and elder ministry training.

Melinda has a wealth of advocacy, research, navigation, programming, and facilitation experience. Of late she has used this expertise in patient support, advocacy, program delivery, and research through the Indigenous Global Health and Research Group with the University of Alberta, the NWT Breast Health/Breast Cancer Action Group, and the Goba Cancer Support Group. In fact, Melinda was the founder of the very successful Goba Cancer Support Group in Fort Good Hope.

Melinda is a well-regarded conference speaker, leader of sharing circles, and presenter in videos and other media. She is a champion and advocate of using resources as survivor care plans, traditional medicines, healthy nutrition practices, regular exercise, and a variety of stress-relieving routines. She is much sought after for her responsive self-care programming, ability to foster positive and supportive networks, and effective working relationships with professionals and lay-persons alike. She is an innovative and inspirational programmer, facilitator, advocate, and problem solver.

I have worked with Melinda and seen how effective she is with NWT patients seeking medical services in southern Canada. She is compassionate, smart, and effective which are just what patients need when they are in an unfamiliar health system.” Lois Little, social justice advocate, Yellowknife, NWT

Tyler Geisler, RSW, MSW

Wellness Lead, SE Health First Nations, Inuit and Métis Program

Tyler Geisler is an Education Liaison with SE Health and has a private practice where he provides mental health counseling. Tyler has received his Master of Social Work from Dalhousie University and has a certification in play therapy as well as nature and forest therapy. Prior to SE Health, Tyler has worked as a Social Worker in various health settings and the past 5 years in tribal health as a Mental Health Therapist and most recently as a Director of Health.

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Through this experience, Tyler is able to understand and identify needs for patient care outside of the biomedical model to ensure holistic care and how societal structures impact the welfare of others.

Tyler is a father of five boys who enjoys sports, learning, traveling, cultures and being on hikes and at home with his children. Tyler was named one of CBC’s Top 40 Under 40 for community activism and continues to be involved in volunteering and community-based programs.

Jennifer Hudder, RN, BscN

Education Lead, SE Health First Nations, Inuit and Métis Program

Jennifer grew up on the Traditional lands of Wahnapitae First Nations, in the beautiful Traditional Territory of Atikameksheng Anishnawbek, Robinson Huron Treaty of 1850. Jennifer attended Laurentian University and graduated with her Bachelor of Nursing in 2007. She is currently pursuing her Master of Nursing with a focus on Teaching. Jennifer has over 16 years of experience, including primary care, health promotion, disease prevention, rural and remote community health nursing, and education.

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Jennifer began working with SE Health in April 2007, where she has had the opportunity to focus on Chronic Disease Prevention and Management, Pediatric Care, Palliative Care, and the Digital Health Space. Working in the home and community space has allowed Jennifer to focus on promoting health equity, holistic and culturally sensitive care, and clinical quality and developing, designing, and implementing programs to expand care to facilitate individuals to remain in their homes independently. Jennifer joined the First Nations, Inuit, and Métis Program as an Education Lead in July 2022. She is passionate and committed to supporting Indigenous health through knowledge translation and supporting communities to build capacity, improve access, and address barriers to care.

Kimberley Ramsbottom

Outreach Program Coordinator, Hospice Northwest Services

Kimberley Ramsbottom lives in Thunder Bay, Ontario and comes from a large family from the Nipigon Lake area. She has 1 son and 3 grand fur-babies. Her background is in child/youth work and social work. Kimberly has worked with Lakehead University and the Quality Palliative Care in Long Term Care and Improving End-of-Life Care in First Nation Communities projects, and continues to work with the Palliative Care for Frontline Workers in Indigenous Communities.

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Presently she is working at Hospice Northwest as the Outreach Program Coordinator where she helps coordinate the Gashkendamide’e (Be Grieved from the Heart) Loss and Grief Support Group and supports vulnerable community members at end-of-life and in their grief journeys.

Noella Augustine

Elispogtog Elder, Home for Life

A Migmag from Elsipogtog First Nation in New Bunswick, Noella Augustine is a mother of 5 (2 adopted), grandmother of 36 and great grandmother of 23. Noella enjoys cooking, playing bingo and spending time with her grandchildren.

Noella was employed by Elsipogtog Health and Wellness Centre for many years. She worked with young pregnant women who were struggling with addictions and later was a Certified Home Visitor for Elders.

Noella enjoys travelling to Powwows selling Indian crafts with her husband.

Anita Joseph

Elispogtog Elder, Home for Life

A Migmag from Elsipogtog First Nation in New Brunswick, Anita Joseph is a mother to 5 children, grandmother to 12 and great grandmother to 4. Anita’s hobbies are sewing, making memory bears, playing bingo and cooking.

Anita is dedicated to working at the Church, bringing communion to those who are unable to attend Church services.

Margaret Ann Milliea

Elispogtog Elder, Home for Life

A Migmag from Elsipogtog First Nation in New Brunswick, Margaret Ann Milliea is a mother of 3 children, grandmother of 8 and great grandmother of 3. All she holds very dear to her heart.

Margaret Ann is dedicated to her family and loves sewing, making homemade bread, travelling and attending line dancing classes.

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Margaret Ann has been working with the Elders for many years. She also works as a Diabetes Prevention Worker with a registered dietician.

Margaret Ann is a cancer survivor and leads a Cancer Support Group.

Jennifer Dobbelsteyn, PhD, MBA

President, Dobbelsteyn Consulting Group International Inc.


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Edith Mercieca

Maamwesying North Shore Community Health Services


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Lori Monture

Manager, Six Nations Home & Community Care

Lori Monture is a Mohawk of the wolf clan, a wife, mother and grandmother. She graduated as a Registered Nurse in 1985. She was hired at St. Josephs hospital in Brantford immediately after graduation and continued to work there for 12 years. In 1996, she returned to her home community; Six Nations to work at the Gane Yohs medical clinic for 3 years. She completed training in “Community Nursing in First Nations” from Lakehead University.

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In December 1999 until present; she has been the Manager for the Home and Community Care program. She also has achieved a certificate in Diabetes Education. Lori is a recipient of the “Award of Excellence in Nursing” from the First Nations and Inuit Health.

Her goal is to have an aboriginal Hospice in the community.

Verna Fruch

Registered Nurse Case Manager, Six Nations Home & Community Care


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Biography coming soon…

Albert McLeod

Indigenous Cultural Facilitator, 2Spiritconsultants

Albert McLeod is a Status Indian with ancestry from Nisichawayasihk Cree Nation and the Métis community of Norway House in northern Manitoba. He has over thirty years of experience as a human rights activist and is one of the directors of the Two-Spirited People of Manitoba.

Albert began his Two-Spirit advocacy in Winnipeg in 1986 and became an HIV/AIDS activist in 1987. He was the director of the Manitoba Aboriginal AIDS Task Force from 1991 to 2001.

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In 2018, Albert received an Honorary Doctorate of Laws from the University of Winnipeg.

Albert lives in Winnipeg, where he works as a consultant specializing in Indigenous peoples, cultural reclamation, and cross-cultural training.

Senior Patient Advisory Council

Maamwesying North Shore Community Health Services

The Senior PAC was established in 2015 to support the development of a community-based palliative care program to serve First Nations members of the North Shore Tribal Council. The overall goal of this project was to improve access to palliative care and to reclaim an Indigenous approach to the end of life journey.

The Senior PAC members consist of seniors and elders from each of the seven First Nation communities of the NSTC.

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Individuals were selected and personally invited to participate on the Council by the home and community support service providers. The health care providers identified service recipients who they felt would contribute to the knowledge transfer and who would provide a unique perspective of their community’s traditional practices and customs. The membership is based on relationships with the senior receiving care and the health care provider and served as a foundation of trust.

The Senior PAC provides the patient and family perspective for service planning and delivery. By participating as Advisors, their experiences assist the Maamwesying North Shore Community Health Services -– Home and Community Support Services to continue to improve the quality of care and service provided to clients and their families.

Since the completion of the initial project which brought the Seniors together, they have committed to continue to support the Home and Community Support Services in their ongoing service development and improvement efforts. The bond that has been created is attributed to the many stories, tears and laughter shared. The knowledge and wisdom of the Senior PAC has contributed to ensuring the highest quality of services for the senior who reside within our First Nation communities.

Elaine Borg

Legal Counsel, Canadian Nurses Protective Society

Mary Lou Kelley, MSW, PhD

(she/her), Professor Emeritus, School of Social Work, Centre for Education & Research on Aging & Health (CERAH), Lakehead University

Mary Lou Kelley MSW, PhD has been engaged in practice, teaching and research in gerontology and palliative care since 1972. Major contributions involved co-creating strategies to provide palliative care in rural and First Nations communities and long-term care homes. She was the recipient of the Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Association’s Award of Excellence (2011) and the Ontario Hospice Palliative Care Visionary award (2015) in recognition of her career contribution to Canadian palliative care practice, education, and research.

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After 35 years as a Social Work professor at Lakehead University, Thunder Bay, she retired in 2015 and relocated to Ottawa to be with family. Mary Lou has been a volunteer with Compassionate Ottawa since 2016 where she works with multicultural communities to support their community care networks at end of life. Mary Lou is a member of the Strengthening the Palliative Approach in Long-Term Care Homes (SPA-LTC) team since 2020 and collaborates with SE Health FNIM program to support Indigenous long term care homes across Canada.

Emily Field

Les Femmes Michif Otipemisiwak – Women of the Métis Nation


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Wajihah Mughal, PhD

Partnership & Research Program Manager, Manitoba Métis Federation


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Chantal Perchotte

Research Project Coordinator, Manitoba Métis Federation


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Sebastien Lefebvre

Research & Development Coordinator, Maamwesying North Shore Community Health Services

Sebastien Lefebvre is a settler ally from Northern Ontario, living in the Robinson-Huron Treaty territory. Sebastien holds a B.Sc. and a M.Sc. Biology, both from Laurentian University. He has been working in community-based Indigenous health research since 2018, and is now the Research and Development Coordinator at Maamwesying North Shore Community Health Services, with skills focused on research project design, research ethics, and qualitative data analysis.

Gerald Hoffman RN BSN HCA

Nurse Practice Advisor, Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations Home Care Working Group

Gerald is a graduate of University of Saskatchewan in Nursing and in Health Care Administration. He has worked 14 years in hospital/nursing home settings as a front line nurse as well as a Nurse Administrator.

He was employed as a community health nurse for 8 years with Cowessess First Nation and then as the Southern Home Care Nurse Practice Advisor for 15 years with Indigenous Services Canada and is going on 7 years as the SK FN Regional HCN Practice Advisor.

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His present position sees him providing assistance in the development of policy, professional practice support and programming in a culturally appropriate manner. He assists the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations Home Care Working Group in ensuring the quality of the Home Care Program is continuously evaluated and improvements made. He assists in the analysis of training needed, and assists in providing the necessary and required training.

Julie Desautels

Palliative Care Learning Specialist, Alzheimer Society of Alberta and Northwest Territories

Graduating with McGill University in 2001 with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing, Julie has always had an interest in how to best support people living with life-limiting illnesses. Holding position as front-line nurse and nurse educator, Julie had the opportunity to work in many areas of healthcare. She is now working with the Alzheimer Society of Alberta and Northwest Territories on enhancing the Palliative Care resources for Care Partners to individuals living with dementia. She is grateful to call Canmore home, where she lives with her husband and young son.

Laurie De Croos, LPN

Support and Education Coordinator & Indigenous Community Engagement, Alzheimer Society of BC

Laurie De Croos is the Support & Education Coordinator, First Link® and Northern Indigenous Community Outreach & Collaboration Coordinator for the Alzheimer Society of B.C.’s Northern Resource Center. Laurie has been a Licensed Practical Nurse for 36 years and an End-of-Life Doula. She also holds an Advanced Diploma in Gerontology. Laurie has loved , lived, and worked all her life in the northern communities of Alberta and British Columbia, and she enjoys the outdoors, spending time with her husband, two young adult children and their variety of pets.

Jackie Labonte

Traditional Healing Coordinator, De dwa da dehs nye>s Aboriginal Health Centre

Jackie (Tekaiatakwas), is Turtle Clan of the Mohawk Nation, born and raised on Six Nations of Grand River Territory. Her family moved to the Niagara region when she was young, and where she currently resides. She has three beautiful daughters and “Dodah” (GrandMother) to 15 young Spirits, ranging from 2 to 23 years of age.

Jackie has worked with Native organizations for over thirty years providing services for individuals, or within groups sharing Traditional Teachings and facilitating ceremonies.

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20 of these years has been working with individuals and families experiencing crisis situations and domestic violence, and assisting them on their path of healing for healthy lifestyles. This is a generational response to community needs as her Mother, as the first Aboriginal Courtworker, assisted many people through the justice stream, and now her daughters are also varying helpers in the community.

Willard Pine

Elder, Garden River First Nation, Sr PAC Member, North Shore Community Health Services

Willard Pine is a beloved and respected Anishinaabe (Ojibway) Elder from the Garden River First Nation. His father is Elder Dan Pine and his great-grandfather Shingwaukonse who was the Garden River Chief who signed the Robinson-Huron Treaty at Sault Ste. Marie in 1850.

Willard is a traditional healer, knowledge keeper, teacher, advisor and counsellor and is an important leader in his community and throughout the territory.

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Willard is always there to support his community in times of celebration, sickness, bereavement and hardships. He is regularly called upon to perform smudging ceremonies, sweats, traditional burials and to provide teachings. He sits on many committees and councils to ensure community work is grounded in traditional culture and honours our ancestors. Willard is also well known for his humour. He believes laughter is medicine.

Dr. James Makokis

Two Spirit Doctor – LGBTQ2S, Indigenous, Diversity & Inclusion Expert

Dr. James Makokis is a Nehiyô (Neh-hee-yo) Two-Spirit doctor from the Onihcikiskapowinihk (Saddle Lake Cree Nation) in Treaty Number Six Territory. He practices Family Medicine in Kinokamasihk (Kih-no-kum-a-sick) Cree Nation in northeastern Alberta and has a transgender health-focused practice in South Edmonton.

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He was the inaugural Medical Director at Shkaabe Makwa (Shkaa-bay Muh-kwa) at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto – the first Indigenous health centre designed to lead systems’ transformation in Indigenous mental health across the country. He is also an Associate Clinical Professor in the Department of Family Medicine at the University of Alberta.

In 2020 Dr. Makokis was named one of the 30 most powerful physicians in the country by The Medical Post but believes power is a concept that should be shared amongst others. Dr. Makokis is a regular guest on the Marilyn Denis show and a commentator in the media. Dr. Makokis is enthusiastic about revitalizing the Nehiyô medical system, educating people about Treaty, and working toward the vision of Turtle Island, which is to live together in peace and friendship.

Anthony Johnson

LGBTQ2S+, Two-Spirit and Diversity Expert

Anthony Johnson, a self-proclaimed spiritual nomad, is an artist, poet, photographer, cultural documentarian, community leader and strategic analyst whose mission in life is to explore the beauty of the Earth and its inhabitants. A proud Two-Spirt warrior from Navajo Nation, he has been on a mission to discover purpose and reconnect himself and others through traditional knowledge and healing.

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He has lived in many cities across Turtle Island and even had a short stint in Shanghai, China where he went as an exchange student to achieve his Bachelor of Arts in Social Anthropology. He later went to Harvard University in 2009 and received his Bachelor of Economics.

With a vast amount of experience and knowledge, Anthony has contributed to play a major role in working with startups that drive social impact within the tech industry, and fashion world as well as mentoring Two-Spirit Youth along his journey. His move to Treaty 6 Territory in Edmonton, Alberta marked the beginning of the newest chapter in his life when he wed his husband, Dr. James Makokis while running the BMO Harris Vancouver Marathon in 2017.

Anthony currently works alongside Dr. James Makokis as a Project Coordinator in Kehewin Cree Nation where he is helping to revitalize Traditional Cree birthing practices, medicines, and ceremonies as they relate to the Cree 7 Stages of Life philosophy. He is an aspiring filmmaker who believes in the power of stories to bring healing.