Indigenous Women in Community Leadership

Class of 2011

Elena Abel
Ottawa, ON
First Nation - Ojibway

Elena is a co-ordinator at Mamidosewin (Aboriginal Student Centre) at Algonquin College. She co-ordinates the ongoing activities and operations of a busy Aboriginal student centre that provides cultural activities and services to support student retention. Click here for full bio (PDF)

Kristen Auger
Fort St. John, BC
First Nation

Kristen is employed by Macro Industries, where she works as a pipeliner on oilfield construction projects. She also volunteers with Nenan Child and Family services to create programs for Aboriginal youth. Click here for full bio (PDF)

Shawna Boyer
Mississauga First Nation, Blind River, ON
First Nation

Shawna is currently a full time independent studies student, enrolled in Athabasca University’s Bachelor of Professional Arts: Governance, Law and Management program. She is looking forward to doing her placement in Membertou First Nation in collaboration with the National Centre fro First Nation's Governance. Click here for full bio (PDF)

Tiffany M. Burns
James Smith Cree Nation, SK
First Nation

Tiffany is the Community Justice Worker employed by the Prince Albert Grand Council at James Smith Cree Nation. She has been there for eight years, and works full-time as a rural caseworker for the PAGC Justice Unit. She carries out the Alternative Measures Program for first time offenders, and absolutely loves her job! Click here for full bio (PDF)

Samantha Elijah
Walpole Island, ON
First Nation

Samantha currently works as Employment Coach at Walpole Island Employment and Training. She is helping ten youth with their job placements and delivering training for life skills and employability skills. She also enjoys working for nonprofit organizations. Samantha is a member of the Board of Directors at the Sarnia-Lambton Native Friendship Centre, which provides services, programs and social events for urban natives. Click here for full bio (PDF)

Rose Julian
Paqtnkek Mi’kmaw Nation, NS
First Nation

Rose is employed by the Paqtnkek Mi’kmaw Nation as its community Economic Development Officer. She is proud that they have had success in areas such as culture, recreation and community development, thanks to a community plan developed by the members. In working with the community - Chief Gerard Julian and Council members, strong team work and desire have moved them closer to their goals. They see great potential for further economic success due to ongoing negotiations over the Highway 104 commercial development plan. It’s all about improving economic livelihoods and community well-being at Paqtnkek. Click here for full bio (PDF)

Helen Knott
Fort St. John, BC
First Nation - Cree and Dane Zaa Woman

Helen is a recent graduate from a Social Service Worker Diploma program and intends to continue on to achieve her Bachelors of Social Work and eventually a Masters Degree. Helen has served her community through creating a youth run group, public speaking engagements, and working at an Indigenous youth center. She also enjoys writing and frequently does poetry readings at events in her community. Helen is looking forward to serving her community and working internationally in the area of community development. Click here for full bio (PDF)

Lauren McComber
Kahnawake, QC
First Nation
- Mohawk
Lauren is majoring in journalism and First Peoples studies at Concordia University in Montreal and is expected to graduate in 2013. She is the host of Kahnawake's CKER News Weekend Wrap-Up and she freelances for the on-line newspaper Since 2003, she has worked in every print, radio and TV outlet in Kahnawake and aspires to one day work for APTN News as a reporter. Click here for full bio (PDF)

Amanda Meawasige
Migisi Sahgaigan, ON Eagle Lake First Nation
First Nation

Amanda is currently employed by the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs as a Health Policy Analyst/Researcher. She believes in the protection and revitalization of the First Nation cultural way of life. Amanda was taught a strong work ethic from her parents and believes that, "the door of opportunity won't open unless you do some pushing". Click here for full bio (PDF)

Karri-Lynn Paul
Woodstock First Nation, NB
First Nation - Wolastoqiyik (Maliseet)

As the Administrator of the Aboriginal Education Program (AEP) at Iniskim Centre, Mount Royal University in Calgary, Karri-Lynn is responsible for the administration of a university/college entrance program with a capacity to prepare 100 Aboriginal students to meet their entrance requirements for their post-secondary degree or diploma. She also contributes to other Iniskim Centre activities in the areas of recruitment, retention, housing and mentorship of Aboriginal students. Click here for full bio (PDF)

Leslie Qammaniq
Pond Inlet, NU

The Advisor, Arts & Traditional Economy position analyses and supports the development of arts and traditional economy in the North Baffin region. Communities involved include: Grise Fiord, Resolute Bay, Pond Inlet, Arctic Bay, Igloolik, Clyde River and Hall Beach. She administers government funding in support of the Arts and Craft Strategy and helps artists and seamstresses apply for funding, working in concert with economic development officers. The role of the Department of Economic Development and Transportation is to respond to economic development opportunities in Nunavut and participate fully in creating benefits from economic growth. Click here for full bio (PDF)

Vanessa Tait
O-Pipon-Na-Piwin Cree Nation, MB
First Nation - Status

Vanessa is a Cree Woman from the O-Pipon-Na-Piwin Cree Nation, also known as South Indian Lake, Manitoba. Currently, she is enrolled in the Asper School of Business at the University of Manitoba, working toward a Bachelor of Commerce (Honours) degree with a Major in Aboriginal Business Studies. She also volunteers with the Association of Aboriginal Commerce Students, which she has been a part of for the last four years.  Click here for full bio (PDF)