Grand Chief Joel Abram
Grand Chief Joel Abram hails from the Oneida Nation of the Thames Settlement, is a member of the Wolf Clan, and his Oneida name is Tewa:slake, which translates to ‘axe with two blades’. Joel served for 12 years on the elected Chief and Council in Oneida; six as a councillor, and six as the Chief. He had a role in initiating the institution of a Gladue Court in the City of London, only the third such court in Ontario. He also played a critical role in the successful establishment of a 64 bed long-term care facility in Oneida. Joel has been involved with the Oneida community radio station, 89.5 The Eagle, in various roles including DJ, fundraiser, and technician for the past 17 years. In his free time, Joel enjoys playing competitive chess, spending time with family, and getting out his guitar and playing the occasional gig with his brother.
Yogi, mentor, body worker, educator and speaker, Carly Brown has been sharing wellness for the past decade under the guidance and grace of her Guru, Shri Prasad Rangnekar. Imparting traditional holistic teachings and blessing her with the spiritual name, Jagruti, “the one who wakes up and awakens others”, it has become Carly’s soul-based mission to awaken those she meets on her path to live a happy, authentic and meaningful life.
In 2013, a year after returning home from studying in the Himalayas, finishing her degree in Education and hanging up her boots from 7 years of forest fire fighting, Carly created her studio Lokah Sangha Yoga. This hidden gem in Dryden, ON is a refuge for many who come to study and practice traditional yoga. With thousands of hours of yoga training, Carly continued to grow as a Reiki Practitioner, Reflexologist, wellness speaker and leader. Carly’s degrees are in Kinesiology and Education. She founded a girl’s empowerment program, ShineON! And co-founded EnlightenEd, A mindfulness Mecca for educators.
Carly’s teachings are a mix of ancient traditional yoga combined with modern scientific applications with a dose of practicality, and a sprinkle of humour. Her passion, loving nature and ability to draw out the best in people make her a motivating force for self-transformation.
Debbie Eisan, CPO2, CD2(Retired)Chief Petty Officer Second Class(Ret’d) Debbie Eisan is an Ojibway Anishinabe kwe from Batchewana First Nation, and was born in Sault Ste Marie, Ontario. During her 36 year military career, Debbie served numerous tours of duty, highlighted by her involvement in the close out operation of the United Nations Base in Rwanda, Africa, and her posting to the HMCS Iroquois, which saw her spend seven months in the Arabian Sea supporting the War against Terrorism. In 2004, Eisan was the recipient of the National Aboriginal Women in Leadership Foundation Award of Distinction, and in 2012, she was presented the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee medal for her work in advocating and bringing Cultural awareness for Aboriginal people serving in the Canadian Armed Forces.
Now working as the community Events Planner at the Mi’kmaw Native Friendship Centre in Halifax, she organizes and plans a myriad of events that are of benefit to individuals and groups within the larger Halifax community. It is an extensive and growing list, be it veterans, the homeless, seniors, youth, mothers, fathers and students. Her reach also extends to those who are incarcerated, bringing them culture and spirituality as well as traditional foods.
Deb is a member of the Indigenous Council of Elders at Dalhousie University, St Mary’s University and the Chair of the Halifax Police Diversity working group, and an Elder with the Halifax Fire Department. She has been named as an Honorary Naval Captain with Maritime Forces Command, and is affiliated with Her Majesties Canadian Ship Margaret Brooke. She is also a member of the Advisory Committee for care and Compassion to the Minister of Veterans Affairs. As a devoted wife, mother and grandmother of five, and a former board member of Indspire, Deb believes that Indigenous youth must be given the chance of success through Education and maintaining connection to their grass roots.
Faith Hale is a graduate from Wayne State University M.Ed., BA. Soc., Brock University, B.Ed., St. Clair College RECE. As a certified Trainer of Trainers in the High/Scope Curriculum Approach focusing on Aboriginal culture and education, she has trained numerous Registered Early Childhood Educator’s in the High/Scope Approach on and off reserve.
She is currently the Executive Director of the Ska:na Family Learning Centre (SFLC), the first Aboriginal owned childcare centre in Windsor. As a founding member of SFLC, she has been instrumental in the ongoing success of SFLC, which has evolved into four fully operational and profitable child care centre’s in Ontario. With her twenty-nine years of experience in the fields of Early Childhood Education, Children and Youth Programming, Community Development, and Aboriginal Adult Education, she has been recognized as a significant contributor in advancing the vision of leadership in both the Aboriginal and mainstream organizations.
Furthermore, Ms. Hale is passionate about Urban Aboriginal leadership and the advancement of Aboriginal people in all levels of government. Some of her esteemed accomplishments include: being elected and serving as President of her local Friendship Centre, the development of local Aboriginal networks advising Municipalities on children and youth services and the development of PEACE (Progressive Early-childhood Aboriginal Centres of Excellence) a network that provides professional development and advises the Ministry of Education on Aboriginal Early Learning practices.
Speaker: Faith Hale
Jennifer Gervais is a dynamic member of the Grant Assistance Program team at North Bay Regional Health Centre. She has a background in Administration and is the mother to two beautiful daughters. Jennifer joined the Grant Assistance Program in April 2016 and has assisted many people in Ontario in learning about and accessing the Quality Upgrade Program for financial assistance to upgrade their skills, knowledge and qualifications in the Early Childhood Education profession.
Julie is a proud mother of 3 adult children, and blessed to have 2 grandchildren. She loves camping, fishing, cooking for her family. She is an Ojibway from Biigitigong First Nation born and raised. She lives a sober life for over 40+ years. Julie is a pipe carrier, and conducts sweat lodges. She attends ceremonies all year around. She is a part of the full moon gathering held monthly with women and children sharing stories.
Julie is one of the founders of the Melgan Lake Camp, this was a vision her late father Ken Desmoulin had always wanted to create. A place where people can go back to the land. Julie hosts workshops and ceremonies on the land for everyone to attend.
Nancy Hood MSW RSW
Nancy is a registered Social Worker and Certified Mental Health Works Trainer. Nancy is a strong supporter, advocate, and champion for healthy communities built in partnership with their members. Over the last fifteen years, much of Nancy’s career has been dedicated to creating and delivering programs to support youth and young adults living with mental health challenges. Nancy’s bio would not be fully complete without introducing her guide Dog Neesa – a beautiful red-headed golden who has been at Nancy’s side for the last five years doing what she loves most – guiding and making people smile.
Indigenous Inspirational Speaker, Author/Activist/Entrepreneur! Sandi Boucher is an internationally recognized and much-loved speaker. A proud member of Seine River First Nation in northern Ontario, Canada, Sandi is a dedicated author, activist, and advocate for both Indigenous self-determination and Canadian reconciliation. But first and foremost, Sandi is a storyteller with the unique ability to tell a story that not only increases the listener’s self-awareness but their awareness of others as well. Using metaphors and analogies, Sandi makes complex concepts understandable while providing support and encouragement throughout her presentations. The result – a listener who never feels “shamed” for what they did not previously know or understand. It is this gift that has Sandi loved by so many dedicated fans and followers – her undeniable faith in her listeners and their ability to learn. No matter the topic, Sandi uses conversational English, humour, and stories to ensure that learning is enjoyable for all, whether her audience is Indigenous, non-Indigenous, or mixed. Sandi Boucher makes her home in Thunder Bay, Ontario, where she enjoys spoiling her grandchildren every chance she gets. For more on Sandi and her work, please visit www.sandiboucher.com
Sharon is a proud member of Biigtogong First Nation. She was born in the little village of Port Coldwell. She is a proud momma bear of 6 adult children and blessed with 3 grandchildren. She is honoured to be GG to her great grandson River and granny to Jazmyn Grace. Sharon has walked her spiritual path for over 25 years. She is from the Turtle Clan and her helpers are the thunder birds and grandmother turtle. She started fasting at a sacred gathering near dreamers rock, where she was gifted a sacred pipe. She carries the teachings of the Thunderbird pipe and has led the full moon ceremonies for over 20 years where the women and children gather to share in a sacred circle. They receive teachings of grandmother moon and the blessings of the moon water. She has a lot of experience in the special ceremony of strawberry fasting for the young women who are walking into motherhood and the spiritual circle. She also participates in ceremonies with the eagle fan for people who are seeking healing for physical, emotional and spiritual guidance.
Tiffany is a practicing teacher and 500 hr RYT who focuses on children’s yoga and mindfulness. She holds her 120 hr Self-Reg Foundations certificate through Dr. Shanker’s MEHRIT Centre. She has practiced yoga for 4 years under Prasad Ragnekar and recently led a $30,000 TLLP project to share/implement mindfulness in schools. She runs workshops and develops mindfulness resources for as Enlightened.
Tiffany Goulet is the Experiential Learning Lead for the Northwest Catholic DSB, a former Kindergarten teacher, parent of twins, blogger, workshop presenter, yoga teacher. She is a 500 hr certified yoga teacher who has also completed the Self-Reg Foundations and Facilitator’s courses and is currently working on her Neurosequential Model in Education Trainer’s course. She has delivered many talks, workshops and trainings at school boards across Ontario and regularly speaks at National conferences. Her work has been published in the International Journal of Holistic Early Learning and Development, self-reg.ca, Canadian Yogi and the Podcasts VoiceEd Radio and Transform Yourself, Inspire Others