Katelynne Herchak (She/Elle) is VIDEA’s Indigenous Governance Advisor. Kate’s background is in Indigenous Family Support Work and is now completing her degree in Justice Studies at Royal Roads University. Kate is located on the traditional and unneeded territory of the Lkwungen speaking people. Kate is Inuk on her Father’s side from Kuujjuaq,QC with ties to Nunavut and Celtic & Viking on her Mother’s side. She is an alumna of UNA-Canada’s Youth As PeaceBuilder’s Forum 2017 as well as the Canadian Service Corps Program where she had the opportunity to attend COP25. Kate wears many hats outside of VIDEA, she is the Deputy Chair for the Canadian Commission for UNESCO’s Youth Advisory, a member of Pauktuutit National Inuit Women’s Youth Gender Equality Council and is the Acting President of the National Urban Inuit Youth Council. Kate is passionate decolonizing education and integrating Indigenous knowledge systems and perspectives into spaces to create meaningful relationships and change.
Michael Songiso is VIDEA’s Anti-Racism and Climate Justice Advisor – Vulnerable Youth, in Lusaka, Zambia. Michael is passionate about the deeply interrelated topics of climate change, food security, gender equality and access to education. He is an amazing storyteller and writer, and is currently writing a book that indirectly calls for climate action. Michael has recently been accepted to UBC’s SDG Praxis Institute 2020 Program, the theme of which is Shock, System Change and Agency.
Lynn Thornton has been the Executive Director of VIDEA for the past 18 years. Before moving to Canada and taking up this role, Lynn worked at Greenpeace UK, and ActionAid UK. Lynn lives in Victoria, with her partner Kris and an opinionated chocolate lab – Casey. Lynn has two sons – Adan, a pilot who lives in Winnipeg, and Dylan, a kinesiology student at Dalhousie University in Halifax. Lynn is passionate about working to achieve universal human rights and about actions that empower youth to lead global development. Lynn is co-Chair of the of the BC Council for International Cooperation, and a Board member with the environmental school in Victoria, Oak and Orca Bioregional school. Lynn is an expert in neglecting gardening and household activities in order to read and do ballet.
Lisa Hernandez is VIDEA’s Finance Manager, administrator, and all round rational thinker. Lisa, who started as a practicum student in 2011, plays a central role in our day-to-day operations and we couldn’t operate without her. She really is a jack of all trades! Lisa holds a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology and Intercultural Education Training from the University of Victoria. Lisa is passionate about the achievement of universal human rights, and youth and womens’ empowerment. Lisa is a critical and lateral thinker and has answers when others don’t. The entire team aspires to having Lisa’s calm-headedness and never-ending reserves of patience. Lisa lives in Victoria with her husband, dog and sometimes team member, Rocky, and four adorable children.
Lesley Palmer (she/her) has been the Programme Manager of VIDEA for 14 years. Lesley’s background is in Women’s Studies. She hails from Omemee, Ontario and moved to BC after exploring her 20’s in Halifax-DJ’ing and working in a vegan restaurant. In her time at VIDEA, Lesley has managed both International Youth Internship programmes, as well as Indigenous Youth Internship programmes. Lesley believes that it’s time to re-imagine and re-create the way we live in the world. It’s time to dismantle old systems, to listen, unlearn, learn, and fight for justice. Lesley lives in Victoria, with her jazz-drummer partner Kelby and daughter Juna.
Katie Haworth (she/her) is VIDEA’s Program Coordinator and a former IYIP intern. She is fascinated by global interconnectedness and passionate about inspiring collective action for the greater good. She feel so grateful to work with and learn alongside the VIDEA community. Katie lives on the traditional territory of the Wendat, the Anishinabeg, the Haudenosaunee, and the Mississaugas of the Credit, now known as Toronto.
Bertha Mukonda is our Education Hub Team Leader. Bertha joined VIDEA through Women for Change in grade 11 and has been a part of the Education Program with VIDEA for 8 years. Despite the hardship of rural life, Bertha did extremely well in Grade 12 and was accepted to the University of Zambia in 2015. She graduated with a Bachelor of Education in Special Education in 2019, and became our Education Hub Team Leader in 2020. Based in Lusaka, Bertha is keen to continue learning about global issues. Bertha was one of the delegates at the 65th Commission on the Status of Women – you can hear about her experience here!
Veronica Nyirongo is an Education Hub Intern in Luwingu, Northern Province, Zambia and is originally from Chasefu in the Eastern part of Zambia. Veronica has been part of VIDEA’s Education Programme for many years. She graduated in 2019 with a Diploma in Art and English and she also holds certificates in life skills, entrepreneurship, ICT, critical thinking and problem solving. Veronica always fight hard to help her community to fight against early marriages, gender based violence, and works towards gender equality and helping young girls by counselling and motivating them.
Febby Ngwira is an Intern in Lusaka, Zambia. Febby, who has been part of VIDEA’s Education Program since junior secondary school (over 10 years!), recently completed a diploma in Early Childhood Education and has plans to pursue a degree in the near future. Febby is enjoying her internship and learning many new things.
Agness Banda is an Intern in Lusaka, Zambia and a 2021 Spur Change Youth Champion. Originally from Lundazi, Zambia, Agness has been part of VIDEA’s Education Program for many years. She recently graduated with a degree in primary teaching, with distinction! Agness began her internship with VIDEA in August 2020 where she has been able to apply the skills and knowledge she gained throughout her studies.
Hillary Ronald is VIDEA’s Youth Programmes Manager and has been on the team since 2014 when she completed her practicum with VIDEA before graduating from UVic with a focus in Social Justice later that year! Hillary leads our Indigenous Youth Programming and other central VIDEA projects and programs. Hillary is most passionate about climate justice and how it intersects with basically everything. Although always a prairie girl, Hillary happily now makes her home in Victoria enjoying the plethora of available coffee options (fair trade of course) and used bookstores!
Taleetha Tait is one of VIDEA’s IAYI Project Coordinators, based in Zambia. Taleetha is Wet’suwet’en and Gitxsan from Witset BC, born into the Tsayu/Beaver Clan. Taleetha joins VIDEA from the Fraser Region Aboriginal Friendship Centre Association where she was an Indigenous Youth Connections Worker. Taleetha is a former IndigenEYEZ Facilitator with the BC Government Aboriginal Youth Intern Program and former VIDEA IAYI intern.
Chris Singelengele is VIDEA’s Indigenous Internship Coordinator and is instrumental in supporting the journey of each and every intern who passes through VIDEA. Chris is passionate about climate change and is a strong advocate for the equality of women and girls. Chris joined VIDEA after many years working as a gender rights activist with Women for Change, focused on supporting gender equality in rural development projects. Chris is a former teacher, head teacher, and youth empowerment professional. Chris is a strong advocate for the rights of vulnerable and under-represented youth.
Isaac Mbewe is VIDEA’s Safety and Logistics Coordinator in Zambia. Isaac is passionate about fair trade and justice for all. Before joining our team at VIDEA, Isaac worked as part of the team at Women for Change, advocating for gender equality. A significant part of this role was engaging traditional leaders in Zambia on the role that they can play in implementing gender equity within their territories. During this work, Isaac met all of the traditional leaders while travelling Zambia far and wide. Isaac helps to coordinate our Indigenous Internship programme with a focus on supporting logistics and the safety of interns. Isaac has an extraordinary record of safety and is drawn to open-minded and honest people.
Brianna Parent Long is VIDEA’s Gender and Diversity Program Officer. She is passionate about sexual and reproductive health and rights, PSEA, and sex work advocacy, all reinforced by her studies, volunteer experience at AIDS clinics, and being a support worker in mental health housing. She is a proud member of the VIDEA team, her work involves revising harassment policies, integrating feminist and Indigenous methodologies into programs and activities, and writing a new policy on PSEA and sex work. She holds an undergraduate degree at Dalhousie University in Political Science and International Development Studies and is currently a master’s student at the University of Victoria. Brianna will continue her studies next year at Carleton University for her PhD in Political Science.
Sarah Danks is currently a Co-op Student but has been a summer student with VIDEA since 2016 and primarily works on VIDEA’s annual fundraiser, the Global Solidarity Challenge. She lives in Victoria and is finishing off her BSc in Psychology with a Minor in Professional Communication at UVic. Sarah is passionate about learning, human rights, photography, and mental health. In her free time, you can find her curled up with a fantasy novel, a cup of tea, and her dog, Callie.
Rachel Barr is VIDEA’s Innovation, Inclusion, and Gender Manager – lives on the traditional lands of the Lekwungen speaking peoples with her dying plants, which she just can’t manage to keep alive. Rachel became part of the VIDEA family in 2015 as an IYIP intern and joined as a staff member in 2018. She is a collaborator on a number of VIDEA programs, including the International Indigenous Youth internships and the Journey from the Heart programming. Rachel feels lucky to work within a local and international context, alongside her friends, colleagues, and partner organizations, who are always teaching her new things about the global issues that connect us all.
Miranda Yates is VIDEA’s Inclusion Officer, identifying ways to engage differently-abled youth in global issues. She is also a student at the University of Victoria. Miranda is excited to learn more about global issues and how we can come together to help these issues. Miranda is an athlete – she is part of the UVic cheer team, plays baseball and basketball, and also enjoys watching football and wrestling. Miranda love flowers and gardening, she is currently growing carrots and loves to smell roses and sunflowers. She also loves to watch TV and listen to music, her favourite shows are Seth Myers, Jimmy Fallen, Jimmy Kimmel, and Ellen. Miranda is a radio host for Voluntary Noise on CFUV 101.9 FM and loves playing hip hop, country and pop.
Vanessa Sterling is VIDEA’s Indigenous Youth Facilitator. Vanessa is passionate about helping build a sustainable future for our Indigenous youth and partners overseas. Vanessa, who is from Simpcw First Nation in Barriere and a past VIDEA IAYI intern, thrives on being a life-long learner. She loves taking trainings to better her education and believes that education makes her family and community stronger. Her most recent certification was becoming a First Responder in her community. Vanessa coordinates some of VIDEA’s youth work in the Okanagan region, plays other fabulous roles in our team. In non-COVID times, Vanessa is one of our IAYI Community-Supported Cohort, Indigenous Youth support people, set to accompany Indigenous interns on their journeys to Zambia and Uganda.
Lili Coyes-Loiselle first joined VIDEA as an IAYI intern in 2020 and is now a Program Coordinator. Lili was born and raised in Treaty 6 territory in Edmonton, Alberta and she is a proud member of the Métis Nation of Alberta. She is currently living in Calgary and completing the final year of her undergraduate degree at the University of Calgary with a double major in Development Studies and Indigenous Studies. Lili is especially passionate about Indigenous rights, sustainability, gender equality, and the intersections between them all. On a given day, she is likely to be found out hiking, biking, running, or anything else involving the outdoors! Lili is so grateful to be able to work and learn alongside such an incredible team and family at VIDEA.
Jennifer Dosanj is VIDEA’s Facilitation and Engagement Officer. She was part of the Connect with Kindness project, and works on the Global Solidarity Challenge committee and the Digital Kindness App development team. Jennifer, who graduated from the University of Victoria in 2010, is passionate about gender equality, human rights, inclusion and disability rights. She loves bowling, outdoor adventures, dancing, listening to Hindi and Punjabi music, and trips to the gym, mall and movie theatre.
Deena Watson is VIDEA’s Project Officer and a student at the University of Victoria majoring in Indigenous Studies and Social Justice Studies. Deena is a proud member of Mistawasis Nêhiyawak located on Treaty 6 territory. Deena is also a former IAYI intern where she was placed at a non-profit organization in Uganda for four months to gain knowledge on global human rights and promote gender equality. She is a strong advocate for Indigenous women and girls and supports the intersectional theory of Indigenous feminisms that practices decolonization, Indigenous sovereignty, and human rights for Indigenous women and their families.
JR Brass is a Project Officer at VIDEA and a former IAYI intern.
Shelby Anderson is a Nehiyaw/Metis woman from Wabasca and Gift Lake, Alberta. A former IAYI intern, she is currently the Media Engagement and Advocacy Officer. Shelby has an active interest in theatre, film, and social media. She is Pisces with a love for humous, puppies, and Indigenous rights. She is a true northern spirit with a passion for her land and her people. Some of her many interests are sustainable living, the preservation of Indigenous knowledge, and scary stories told around a vampire. Her greatest inspiration is her Nookum, Mary Louise Oar.
Skw’akw’as (Sunshine) Dunstan-Moore (She/Her) is a Nla’kapamux/ Yakima woman from Lytton, British Columbia. A former IAYI intern, she is currently a Community Climate Justice Coordinator. Sunshine is a strong advocate for climate justice along with Human and Indigenous rights. Her other passions include photography, filmmaking, playing the piano, and reading. Sunshine is very excited to be working and learning alongside the VIDEA Team.
Cheyenne Kechego works on VIDEA’s Futures For Youth program, Wellness Wednesdays and the Anti-Racism Action Program. She is from Munsee-Delaware First Nation in Ontario where she lives with her 2 year old daughter. Cheyenne aspires to get a PhD in social work one day and hopes to give the children of her community a voice. She is committed to loving herself, healing her inner child, and teaching her daughter to do the same. Cheyenne loves art and music, spending time outside, travelling, and creating new adventures and memories with her daughter.
Reiner Nokohoo is VIDEA’s Gender & Climate Youth Leader, working on many projects including the Futures for Youth and Anti-Racism and Online Hate projects. Reiner is passionate about equality and youth empowerment – they want to see a better future for their nieces and nephews, where they have many options. Reiner believes in the importance of getting out of your comfort zone to learn about yourself, meet new people, build community and try new things. Reiner also happens to be an amazing artist of all kinds, but loves sketching the most.
Andy Harris is VIDEA’s Graphic Designer. He studied marketing at Camosun College in Victoria, and became involved with VIDEA after taking part in the annual VIDEA and Camosun collaboration. Growing up idolizing artists like Joe Strummer or Chuck D, Andy always had a passion for human rights and the rights of workers and the importance of small independent business. If you have ever admired any of our resources or graphics in recent years, be assured that it was Andy who delivered their brilliance. He is passionate about the preservation, appreciation and recognition of arts and cultural globally and in our communities. Andy is not a fan of photos, this is a photo of his beautiful work.
Graeme Kilshaw is VIDEA’s Digital Connection and Inclusion Officer. Graeme attended the University of Victoria as a Millennium scholar and went on to found the EduCube Canada project. EduCube is a communication and teaching tool with an alphabet code that sounds the way it looks. There is a correlation between light and sound, or geometry and phonetics, making it intuitive. Graeme is passionate about inclusion and global connection, which is what led him to both EduCube and the VIDEA community. He wants to inspire a new way of thinking and believes in the power of kindness and leading by example.
Isabelle Herzig has been part of the VIDEA family for over 10 years! In this time, Isabelle has coordinated a range of VIDEA youth, and other, programming in the Nelson area, most recently working with our youth reconciliation project. Isabelle lives in Ymir with husband Marcus and daughter Fawn. Isabelle shares a love of ballet with Lynn, and they can be seen taking ballet classes together when Lynn is in Nelson, or Isabelle in Victoria! Isabelle is passionate about supporting access to education and opportunities for under-represented youth. During our COVID restrictions, Isabelle has been delivering professional development training online for the whole VIDEA team – we are now better communicators as a result of Isabelle’s excellent training and facilitation! This is a photo from the top of Pulpit in Nelson, a hike that Isabelle does often.
Rose Busingye is VIDEA’s Intern Coordinator in Entebbe, Uganda. She is a passionate supporter of Black Lives Matter and integrates this into her work and personal life. She believes strongly in the importance of equality, inclusion and diversity. She wants equal rights to be reached for all women and girls. Rose is an extremely selfless person who wants to see others succeed and achieve their goals. Rose loves being a mentor, and she is a fabulous mentor to many, including VIDEA interns!
Obino Chibilika is VIDEA’s Internship Facilitator in Lundazi, Zambia. Obino facilitates the stay of interns at the house in Lundazi and orients them to their new community and local issues. Obino is passionate about equitable distribution of resources. He is an extraordinary caretaker and adapts well in multicultural environments. Obino always wants to be learning new things.
Kayla Watson-McNab. Tansī! (Hello) I am Kayla Watson-McNab and currently 21 years old, from George Gordon First Nation’s located in Treaty 4 territory. I am in my fifth year at the First Nation’s University of Canada, studying Indigenous Studies. A global issue I am interested in is the acknowledgement of bringing home the children, along with being a voice for those who did not make it home from Residential school’s. I am the first generation in my family to not attend these schools, so It is very important to be the voice for those who did not have one, and to speak on the intergenerational trauma Canada has done towards our people. The reason for being a part of this team is to help me grow as a person, and to gain knowledge I am able to use in the future, along with meeting new people!
Noah Lorusso is a member of the Kebaowek First Nation (formerly known as Algonquin Anishinabeg Eagle Village First Nation) from rural Ontario. His love of visual storytelling and character design come from both his ancestry and his compulsion to play fantasy video games. Noah has graduated from the Haliburton School of Art + Design with a Visual Creative Arts diploma and a certificate in Digital Making (formerly Digital Image Design). Noah is now eager to join IAYI to diversify and strengthen his knowledge in international issues, as well as learn and laugh alongside his cohorts and coordinators. Noah will begin his two-year diploma course in Broadcasting – Radio & Contemporary Media at Durham College in Oshawa, Ontario as of September, 2021.
Rosie Taylor. I am Rosie Taylor, a Canadian, Cree woman, of Cold Lake First Nations. I was given the name “Nipemnanis”, as it was my Kokum’s childhood-nickname her father called her by. It means the last berry of summer/the high-bush-cranberry. Alberta is where I call home, and I have been blessed with having been raised across two provinces BC/AB. As a child, I was taught legends of the Coast Salish and Haida first nations. Then in my youth, I am grateful to have lessons from the Syilx Okanagan Nations. These days, I am exploring my Cree language and culture through traditional singing and drumming. I see it as an honor, and responsibility, to keep my indigenous practices alive for the next generations. My dream is to equip and empower under-valued indigenous peoples, so that together, we can accomplish extraordinary things! A couple fun facts about me; I am talented in the culinary arts, and a personal goal of mine is to speak 5 languages.
Serenity Half. My name is Serenity Half, I’m a Nehiyaw from Saddle Lake Cree Nation. I just joined the VIDEA team and I’m very excited to learn and meet new people. I 100% percent support the MMIW act and land back and every child matters movements. Some of my interests are, I enjoy going to ceremony and learning more and more about my culture every day, also sports has always been a passion for me. I’m excited about my time with VIDEA because it’s something for me to do that I really look forward to, it’s exciting meeting new people from different places!
Kaniece Letander is Afro-Indigenous and grew up on the Ojibways of Onigaming First Nation located in northwestern Ontario. She is passionate about de-stigmatizing mental health and interested in a career in community work. Kaniece is a foodie!
Stephanie Jebb is Métis and originally from St. Laurent, Manitoba. She is a Deaf woman who is married and has 3 beautiful children. Stephanie graduated from Red River College in 2020 with a diploma in Child and Youth Care. She strongly advocates for the improvement and awareness of youth mental health. She also believes in upholding the equality of human rights for Indigenous and Deaf & Hard-of-Hearing peoples. Being Deaf does not stop Stephanie from breaking communication barriers, learning daily, and achieving her goals. She is actively involved within the indigenous culture; Sundance, Pow Wow, Sweats, Fasting, and many other ceremonies. In her free time Stephanie enjoys spending time with family and friends, sewing, writing, swimming, and traveling.
Cole Sankey. ‘Oii, sii.ngaay ‘laa (Hello, Good Day) I’m Daal Xilang, English name Cole Sankey. I am from the Tsimshian and Haida Nations in the Northwest coast of British Columbia. I am a youth worker with the Skidegate Youth Centre for 7 years now. I also work with an international organization called Right To Play to deliver programming to our community’s youth and promote building healthy relationships through sport and I am a FitNation leader/trainer. I attended Langara College for 3 years chasing an Associate of Arts Degree in Indigenous Studies. Global issues I like to address include: Every Child Matters, Land Back Movement, Idle No More, MMIWG2S, and NO LNG. I’m really excited to start my journey with VIDEA and exploring global issues outside our own communities, province and country and building connections with other youth who share similar interests.
Clairice Tuckanow (she/her) is part of the IAYI team working along with Women for Change in Zambia, she is currently residing and learning from Regina, Saskatchewan in the Treaty 4 Territory. Aside from her daily life of cooking, cleaning and raising 3 small children, Clairice enjoys her time outside, going for a walks and visiting family, laughing and sharing good stories and she is also interested to learn more about the beautiful land she walks on and as well as the beautiful culture and Cree people she comes from, she is most passionate about gender equality and good governance and to honour and acknowledge indigenous people around the globe.
Marrisa Baptiste. Tansi! My name is Marrisa Baptiste, I am 22 years old from Maskwacis, Alberta treaty 6 territory. Some global issues I stand behind is the Every Child Matters movement and the MMIWM movement and anything that helps indigenous voices to be heard. I love reading and writing and spending quality time with my family.
Apollo Queskekapow. Tanisi Apollo Queskekapow nitisinkason (Hello my name is Apollo Queskekapow), I am a Swampy Cree Two-Spirit person from Opaskwayak Cree Nation and Kinosewi Sipihk (Norway House) Cree Nation residing on Treaty 5. My heart is set in human rights issues and I am currently attending the University of Manitoba for Social Work to work towards my goal of further helping Indigenous communities. I have been involved in Indigenous communities from a young age and after setting up a diversity conference where rural reserves attend and the first Two-Spirit woman in parliament attended and spoke, I found my passion for human rights and I began working full time as a youth worker while still in my final year of high school. Once I graduated I moved to Winnipeg Manitoba, on Treaty 1, home of Anishinaabeg, Cree, Oji-Cree, Dakota, and Dene Peoples, and on the homeland of the Métis Nation. Where I continued my work as a youth worker and started my post-secondary studies. My goals are to continue to fight for human rights and become a language keeper to help ensure that Indigenous languages are not forgotten.
Lexxington ManyHeads. Oki! Niitsiinkasim Ikinapaki (Gentle Woman)! Hello my name is Lexxington ManyHeads and I am from the Siksika Nation of Treaty 7 of the Blackfoot Confederacy. I am 18 years old and have recently graduated from high school. I really enjoy playing music, reading, baking, and watching movies. I’ve been accepted into the Bachelor of Arts program at the Vancouver campus of UBC (University of British Columbia) with a 4-year renewal scholarship. After completing the 4 year BA program, I hope to go to Peter A. Allard school of Law. However, I’ve decided to take a gap year this year so that I can not only explore my options a bit more but, also spend time with family before heading off to BC! Although I am still continuing to learn about many different global issues, the 3 issues that I am interested in, so far, include movements that advocate for the well-being of the environment and wild/ocean life, the MMIWM movement, and Every Child matters. I am excited to be part of this amazing team so that I can expand my knowledge of global issues and meet amazing new people.
Ariel. I’m Ariel from Saddlelake AB. Some global issues I’m interested in right now are Missing and Murdered Indigenous W/M, the Every Child Matters movement, Water is Life and any movement that supports the earth. I love animals, the earth and everyone.
Jen Johnstone. Tansī! (Hello), I am Jen Johnstone or Jennifer if you want to call me by my real name. I am 20 years old, but have experienced a ton of life changing events for such a young age. I am on the IAYI team, learning from the organization Women for Change with VIDEA. I was born in Saskatoon. SK but lived in a small city by the name of Martensville for 18 years. My home reserve is Mistawasis First Nation on Treaty 6 Territory. Living in such a small city like Martensville made me have the ability to be comfortable in my own skin and not listen to negativity or feel out of place because of my ethnicity. I was able to gain the courage of being proud to be Native and Romanian. I then graduated in 2019 and had been accepted at the University of Saskatchewan which meant I had to move to Saskatoon with my mother and my 3 nieces in our care. I also received the Kelly Penner award at my graduation for completing my studies with great effort as I was still dealing with outstanding out of school issues. I am now going into my 3rd year for my Bachelors of Arts in Psychology. I have dealt with many issues in my life which has made me very resilient and able to control any situation when needed. I joined the VIDEA team as I have always wanted to make a difference/change in the world whether it starts small and becomes successful. One of my many international development goals is to help generational trauma and addiction in the Indigenous people of Canada as I myself have seen addiction and how it can tear apart a family. I want to make peace with others as much as I can!
Megan Pashe. I currently reside in treaty no 1 territory which is Winnipeg Manitoba. I’m currently taking Culinary arts Indigenous at red river college. I cant wait to achieve my red seal. Im excited to be a part of VIDEA IAYI team. I’m excited to meet new people and learn about new about other cultures. I’m really interested in gender equality and social development and mmiw. On my free time I enjoy going to pow wows, sweats and ceremonies. I love being with my two children and visiting family. I like traveling and seeing different cities.
Roxanne Kakapshe-Lewis is Ojib-Cree from Michipicoten First Nation. I will be starting Social Service Worker indigenous specialization program in the fall. I am working to create programs for the children and youth of my community and recently got elected to be a youth council for Dilico. A global issue I am interested in is climate change, pollution of the oceans, MMIWG2S, every child matters movement. I’m interested in these global issues because they affect our mother earth and our future generations to come and spend awareness. I’m excited about Videa Internship program to gain more knowledge about other communities and cultures. Fun Fact: I love being on the lake!
Maddison White. Oki, my name is Maddison White. I am a 23 year old university student attending Mount Royal University. I am a First Nations Blackfoot, from Siksika, Alberta apart of the Treaty 7 confederation. My boyfriend and I are happily expecting our little one in October 2021. I am very excited to learn more about gender equality, social justice and human rights through VIDEA’s wonderful IAYI team, also learning a lot about Uganda and Zambia simultaneously.
Mariah Wigwas is an Anishinabek Kwe, from Kiashke Zaaging Anishinabek currently residing in Thunder Bay, ON. She is a the proud mother of two children. Mariah is passionate about the Empowerment of Women, Food and Gender Equality. Mariah loves to have fun and sing karaoke. She is a self-proclaimed Beautiful Bannock Maker, in which she uses to empower others. “if your sister’s Bannock isn’t rising, show her what kind of baking powder to use!” Mariah was selected to participate in 2019 for VIDEA however could not attend at that time. Mariah is very excited to join this cohort, and is looking forward to making connections with folks.
Tiyam Dunstan (he/him they/them) is from Nlaka’pamux and Yakama Nations. Tiyam is passionate about climate change, the Every Child Matters and Free Palestine movements. He loves music and drawing. Tiyam is excited to broaden his worldview and learn about amazing people, their culture and history.
Karen Fisher. Boozhoo, My name is Karen Fisher. I am from Wabaseemoong First Nation, which is a part of the treaty 3 area. I am a mother of 2 beautiful girls. And I have been working as a Jordan’s Principle navigator since August 1, 2019. As a Jordan’s Principle navigator, we help children in our community access services and supports when they need them. It has been such a learning experience for me and has helped children in my community! We have faced many hardships in our life but we continue to overcome them, learn and grow everyday. My daughters bring me so much joy and purpose. My job as a navigator has given me so much to learn from and Helping the children in my community has made me want to reach out further to help more kids and families in need.
Lindsey Tipewan is part of the VIDEA family on the IAYI team with Women for Change. She is 27 years old and was born in North Battleford, SK Canada. Her Home Reserve Witchekan Lake First Nation Treaty 6 ,She Has joined the Videa To learn New skill, Cultural and For a better change in life so With the Videa team She has been learning about her friends from Uganda and ZAmbia and Also Getting know about the other Interns as well listening and hearing their stories and about Good governance,Gender and Environment So she Enjoys learning More. So little Bit more about Lindsey is she loves to draw , have fun, Enjoy hangout with friends and family and also Road trips.
Laurene. Hello my name is Laurene, I am from Fort.St.James BC. I am Carrier Sekani First Nations. I love to be outside playing soccer, reading, and watching my favourite Netflix shows. I want to be able to help my community in any way that I can, and VIDEA is an amaizing beginning to that goal. VIDEA is an awesome place to learning about other people’s cultures and experiences which is something that I am very passionate about
Aiden Powderface. Hello! I’m Aiden Powderface, I am Stoney Nakoda from Morley, Alberta from the treaty 7 territory. I am part of the IAYI team. I am the first person in my community to under go transition from female to male I’m also really very passionate about animals, and I am the lead for the Nakoda A/V Club’s doc about Rez dogs.
Kobe Goforth is a Plains Cree person from Onion Lake Cree nation. They are currently an IAYI intern at VIDEA working alongside Women for Change based in Zambia, Africa and Environmental Women in Action based in Uganda, Africa. As an Aries, they are passionate about Indigenous rights advocacy, good coffee and gender equality. Kobe enjoys listening to the rainfall, learning more about themselves and expanding their mind.
Amber Twoyoungmen is a storyteller and a young leader. She is one of the founding members of the Nakoda AV Club, a volunteer-run production society that works to promote storytelling through film on the Nakoda reserves. She dreams of being the first female film director from her Nation, and knows that if she achieves this, she will be an inspiration to other young women struggling to succeed. Amber is also a musician, composing the scores for her short films, and an artist. She is an avid volunteer, and in high school sat on the Cochrane Youth Council, working on campaigns such as breast cancer awareness, and hunger. Amber is also an important member of her family, and she takes pride in her role as a caretaker and mentor to her young relations. Her family and her culture are very important to her, and they are part of everything she does. She loves to travel and is always excited for new adventures that bring her new perspectives of the world, and the Nakoda people’s place within it.
Astrid Pérez Piñán is an assistant professor at the UVic School of Public Administration. In her work, she combines interdisciplinary research with feminist scholarship to critically explore the changing international development landscape. Astrid’s other areas of research include: politics of colonization and decolonization, and sustainable development. Prior to academia, Astrid worked in international development in the non-governmental sector and as a consultant in Europe.
Madeleine Begin is Mi’kmaw First Nation and French Canadien. We’re very lucky to have Madeleine on the VIDEA Board. She is passionate about food security, and justice for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women (MMIW). Madeleine really enjoys learning about plants and their medicinal properties – mint and lavender being her favourites!
David Monk has been on the VIDEA Board for 2 years and has been a volunteer with VIDEA for over 8 years. He has supported a full range of VIDEA activities including the Global Solidarity Challenge. David has been teaching at Gulu University in Uganda for the past 2 years, during which he has participated remotely in the VIDEA Board. David has a keen interest in supporting different knowledge systems and in community-based research.
Noel Varghese Joseph is a recent addition to the VIDEA Board and we are so happy to have him. He is a recent graduate of Camosun College who has been involved in VIDEA’s theatre and reconciliation programmes for the last year. Noel, who moved to Canada from the Middle East 2 years ago, is passionate about building community networks and women’s empowerment. Noel brings with him a deep appreciation for diversity, inclusion and vulnerability.
Alison Brophey has been a member of the VIDEA family for 12 years! She first joined the Board in 2008 – serving as the Co-Chair from 2014 to 2015. Alison has been a Program Coordinator in UVic’s Division of Continuing Studies since 2008, focusing on teacher professional development, adult education and social justice studies programming. She is excited to work with the VIDEA Community to achieve our goals in Canada and internationally.
Hayden Leo is another exciting new addition to the VIDEA Board. Hayden joined VIDEA several years ago as a Shared Wisdom Youth Leader, where he worked with like-minded individuals to advocate for Gender Equality. He currently lives in Campbell River, where he is working in Forestry and exploring Vancouver Island. He comes from a First Nations Band from Mt. Currie, North of Whistler. Hayden is also a coach for the First Nations Snowboard Team – a sport he developed a passion for over many years living in Whistler.
Sabreena Thouli is VIDEA’s Board Treasurer. Sabreena has been involved with VIDEA in some capacity for over eight years, from co-op student to volunteer extraordinaire to board member. She is proud to continuously support an organization that challenges people, organizations, governments and more to do and be better. Sabreena’s current day job is writing communications materials for the provincial government, but her dream job is owning a bookstore. Other than books, Sabreena’s nerdiness manifests in her love for Doctor Who and all things Marvel. Although she loves to travel, Sabreena is grateful to have been born, raised and currently residing in the beautiful territory of the Lekwungen peoples and the Songhees and Esquimalt Nations.
Su Russell is the Vice Chair of the VIDEA Board. At this point in Su’s life, when she might feel like she has been “put out to pasture” (her words, not ours), it’s great to be actively engaged with an organization that is passionate about human rights issues. Su feels privileged to be the most “senior” member of the VIDEA Board and to have the opportunity to draw on the many resources of younger staff and board members. Su believes it is an awesome gift that the support she has to offer VIDEA is so deeply valued, and we feel so incredibly grateful to have Su’s insights. Su is a clinical counsellor, and while she is (happily) still counselling, a lot of Su’s spare time is spent pulling weeds from her vegetable garden, scraping paint on their ancient wooden boat, writing, or walking their dog Hanna.
Bryan Emery has been with VIDEA since 2016, when he started as an IYIP intern at the recommendation of one of his university professors. He is currently in his second year on the VIDEA Board. Outside of VIDEA, Bryan is a Financial Analyst with the BC Public Service, and enjoys reading when he’s not working. Bryan’s family is split between Canadian settlers and German immigrants, making Bryan a first generation Canadian on his mum’s side. Bryan is passionate about human rights specifically, and politics more generally, which is what drew him to VIDEA in the first place.
Alli Bunting is the Co-Chair of the VIDEA Board. Alli started with VIDEA through the Global Solidarity Challenge in 2015, after meeting with Lynn and Hillary, and a group of awesome volunteers at the Good Earth in Uptown. Alli was an intern in 2016 and has sat on the Board since 2017. In real life, Alli is a cat-mom, outdoor enthusiast, avid reader, and works in global health and gender equality. Alli is passionate about VIDEA – about working with an organization that is truly unique and is ready to stand with their partners and friends in Canada, and around the world, against injustice.
Dana Clavette is a Board Member at VIDEA and an International Student Counsellor at UVic. She first started with VIDEA as an intern in 2016, working as a Crisis Support worker with the YWCA in Kitwe, Zambia. When she returned, Dana was able to complete her Counselling practicum, counselling other VIDEA interns, and then joined the Health and Wellness Committee before becoming a Board member last year. It may obvious, but one of the social justice issues that Dana is the most passionate about is Global Mental Health access. Dana loved working in the Mental Health field in India, Nepal, and Zambia and would love to continue to be involved in the area. Dana believes that Mental Health support can come in many different forms and through various platforms in order to make it accessible. Dana has travelled to about 21 countries so far and counting (once COVID is over)! She love staying in places for long periods of time in order to understand the culture and get to know the locals better. Dana also hiked the Himalayas in Nepal for about a month and met so many lovely families along the way. A random fun fact is that Dana got really good at Nunchucks while she was procrastinating from school work.