Provincial First Nation Child Care Supervisor’s Network Working Group Learning Circle
The Working Group Learning Circle provides a platform for representatives of regional First Nation Child Care Supervisor Networks to learn from one another, share strategies and resources that support one another’s work in their respective networks. The Working Group Learning Circle work in partnership with the Ministry of Education to support First Nation Child Care Supervisor’s Networks.
Each regional network has selected at least one representative to attend the working group learning circle meetings. Members are given an opportunity to have a voice by providing input, sharing ideas, posing questions and actively participating in discussions. Members bring the input of their respective communities /region and share information from the meeting discussions with their own networks and PTOs. Monthly meetings are held by teleconference.
Regional Representatives Profiles
Click + to learn more about each regional representative.
Kinomaagemskoyaabe is my Anishinaabe name, I am otherwise known as Jaime Cornelius the Early Years Director for Enji Maajtaawaad Early Years (Where They Start) in Chippewas of the Thames First Nation. I am a member of this First Nation and always choose to describe it as the beautiful territory of Deshkan Ziibiing (Antler River). I belong to the maang (loon) clan, which are known to be leaders within the community. I am both honored and thankful every day for being able to lead the early learning and care initiatives, programs, and services, we have happening in our community. Revitalizing the Anishinaabe language and traditional ways of knowing have always been at the forefront of my work and sustains the passion I have with working with the educators, children, and families we serve.
I am the appointed representative of the Southwest Region Progressive Early-learning Aboriginal Centres of Excellence (PEACE) network. PEACE membership includes those in supervisory roles leading in both on and off reserve Indigenous-led Child Care, Head Start, and EarlyON programs/services. We use the collective strengths, knowledge, and experience of our members to offer support, provide advocacy, professional development, and recognition to those working in the southwest region early learning sector. Regular zoom meetings and email correspondence are the tools we use to stay connected, keeping our relationships strong and on task for events we host such as the Annual PEACE Conference and Awards Banquet.
I am looking forward to being a part of the Provincial First Nations Supervisors Network – Learning Circle knowing it will sustain the passion and love I have for the work we do.
“You’ve got to know your language to understand your culture.”
—Beatrice Taylor, Ojibwe
Enji-maajtaawaad Early Years Program, Chippewas of the Thames
Tel: 519-289-0584. Ext. 1
Stephanie Michano-Drover, RECE (she/her) Ojibway Educator from Biigtigong Nishnaabeg, First Nation, Ontario. Stephanie is the Early Childhood Director at the Biigtigong Nishnaabeg Children & Family Learning Centre, with many years in the early learning sector. Stephanie sits as a member of the Provincial Supervisors Working Group and a member of the First Nations Early Years Mentors Gijiikendaamin Group. Stephanie has worked in all capacities of Childcare and is passionate about the children, families and the team of Biigtigong.
In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family; enjoying life with her husband and their 3 children; camping, fishing, enjoying the outdoors and cheering her sons on in the many sports activities that they are a part of.
Stephanie has experience designing and building culturally responsive child care programs and supporting educators, children and families living in her First Nation community.
Contact information: Email: email@example.com
I am Wanda Gordon from Ear Falls, a small town located in northwestern Ontario on Hwy 105, north of Vermilion Bay. Although my family is originally from Pickle Crow, my mother is from Big Trout Lake First Nation, and my father is from Shamattawa First Nation, MB, I have lived most of my life in Ear Falls!
I have worked in a variety of positions in the child care and early years field since 1980, when I graduated from Confederation College in Thunder Bay with a diploma in Early Childhood Education. I have had my current position, Child Care Resource & Training Coordinator, for 16 years. In this role, I provide guidance and support services to more than 60 Child Care and Child and Family Programs in the Thunder Bay region. The majority of these programs are located in First Nations communities, some accessible only by air and/or water. In addition to my current role, I also enjoy networking with regional colleagues as I have been an active member of the Provincial Supervisors Network Learning Circle since its inception.
This past year, in addition to my ‘regular’ job, I accepted a new and exciting opportunity with the Indigenous Professional Learning Opportunities Project for Child Care and Child and Family Programs, on reserve throughout Ontario. Currently, I am the On Reserve Indigenous Professional Learning Opportunities Project Coordinator and work alongside many committed and passionate early years colleagues across the province.
When I am not working, I enjoy spending time at home with my family and traveling to Toronto to visit my daughter. My pastimes include scrapbooking, reading, and going on long walks.
From working directly with children and families, to supporting dedicated professionals, I have found my work in the early years to be very rewarding and fulfilling and feel I have been very fortunate to have chosen this career path.
I am Lani Sunday the Program Manager for the Akwesasne Zero 2 Six Family Program, and the Akwesasne Child Care Program for the last 12 years. Our Zero 2 Six Child & Family Program is fairly new operating over the last three years on reserve, and our three licensed care centers have been operating for the last 25 years on reserve.
I am Mohawk, bear clan and have my Master’s degree in Education, Bachelor’s degree in Sociology. I have been working on Akwesasne reserve my entire career starting in social services, health administration and found my passion in working with early years within our education department.
As an active member of the First Nations Child Care Provincial Supervisors Network Learning Circle, and Co-Chair of the Barrie/Ottawa First Nations Childcare Supervisors Regional network I am here to assist however I can.
Early childhood education, child care and parent engagement on reserve in Ontario is ever changing and a critical piece of early learning for our First Nations families. As we advocate for the needs of our youngest and newest learners we do so together to make their early experiences culturally enriched and meaningful.
Please feel free to reach out and I am excited to meet you. Niawen kowa!
North Shore FN Supervisor’s Network
Aanii-Boozhoo Kina Wiya!
Sarah Assinewe Ndizhnikaaz.
Anishinaabe-kwe ndaaw. Wiikwemkoong Ndoonjiba. Wiikwemkoong Hub Centre, n’doon nokii.
I am Sarah Assinewe, I am Ojibway/Odawa from Wiikwemkoong. I work at the Wikwemikong Hub Centre as the Program Manager.
I began my career in Early Childhood Education in 1989 at the old nursery school building in our community, as a student placement. I was then hired permanently as a part-time Toy Library Assistant in 1992, at the newly completed Hub Centre (1990). In 2013, I applied for position of Program Manager. I am a Registered Early Childhood Educator and have my ECE Resource Teacher credentials.
This profession has given me opportunity to participate and travel to different countries in the world. In 1999, I attended the 8th International Toy Library Conference in Tokyo Japan. I also was a participant in a Canadian Study Tour to Reggio Emilia, Italy – The Reggio Emilia Approach to Education 2015. I also participated and completed the College of ECE – Continuous Professional Learning Program – Leadership Pilot Two.
I am an active member of the Provincial Supervisors Network Learning Circle, First Nations Childcare Supervisors Regional network, and local network – Mndioo Mnising Supervisor’s Network.
I have come to appreciate and enjoy all the experiences I receive in this position. Within the last several years the early learning and childcare sector is steadfast in transforming to meet the needs of young children, parents, and early childhood educators.
Nahaa Miigwech, I look forward to seeing and meeting you!
Sarah Assinewe, RECE-RT
Gaa giizhigo-bimosed dizhnikaaz, Ma’iingan dodem, Ketegaunzeebee doonjiba.
My English name is Ruth Ann Syrette and I have been an Early Childhood Educator for almost 29 years. I am currently the Manager of Abinoojiinyag Onji, Garden River Child Care Centre. I have been in this position for almost 10 years. It hasn’t been an easy path working for my own community, but the good times outweigh the most challenging. The love and support of my three children and my two grandsons is what carried my spirit through to today. I am the representative of the tiny network of five First Nations along the North Shore of the Algoma region. Our network includes Supervisors/Managers/Directors from Sagamok, Missisaugi, Serpent River, Batchewana and Garden River. It has been a challenge to stay in contact with one another, but we know we can always count on one another when needed.
Our network hosted the NECE Conference several times and one of our goals was to rename the conference and thanks to the support of a larger network we successfully changed it to “All Nations Child Care Gathering.” We must never forget our children who are currently in care and our goal is to support the Early Childhood Educators who are caring for them. We have expanded our little network to include our brothers and sisters who work at Waabinong Head Start and the area Early Years Programs.
Our Centre’s spirit name was gifted to us by our Elder Barbara Nolan. Barb is currently the Language Commissioner for the Anishinaabek Nation. Our name means “because of the children.” This is why we do what we do, why we love what we do and together we are working for all of our children across the province and Turtle Island.
Lastly, I want to mention that we have made application to the Indigenous Early Learning and Child Care (IELCC) Quality Improvement Projects in the hopes that we can form an Indigenous Early Childhood Educator Association. We are also working with the AECEO to establish an Indigenous Community of Practice. It all comes down to supporting one another and celebrating our achievements. We will hear in June if our application was successful.
Chi Miigwech for this life, every day we are surrounded by the greatest teachers of unconditional love and kindness. May I forever be humble and grateful for my former teachers and for the future teachers that will pass through these doors, you made me who I am today.
Regional Contact Ruth Ann Syrette firstname.lastname@example.org