December 2022

Pamela Barnes

Okanagan Elder and member of the Westbank First Nation

Her/She

Pamela Barnes is an Okanagan Elder and member of the Westbank First Nation. Her formal education is in Aboriginal Government. She has worked as an Indigenous Educator for 35 years and is an Adjunct Professor at UBCO School of Nursing. Pamela also offers Syilx cultural teachings to the public, in partnership with the Kelowna Heritage Museum, the Kelowna Art Gallery, the Rotary Centre for the Arts and the Regional Parks.

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Arlene Ruiz

Owner of Alexene Immigration & Employment Services Inc

She/Her

Arlene Ruiz, the proud owner of Alexene Immigration & Employment Services Inc and an ICCRC & CAPIC member, has been practicing as a licensed immigration consultant and recruiter since December 2013 with the office situated in the heart of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon.

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Ben Cottrill 

Soulful Folk-Rock Artist

He/Him

Ben Cottrill is a spirited west-coast artist with a soulful Folk-Rock sound, shaped by a decade of performing on streets across Canada. Blending live vocal looping with the warm rhythms of piano & guitar.

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Ben Dunnill 

Singer, Pianist, Producer & Arranger

He/Him

Ben has played over 1500 professional shows as a singer/pianist as well as serving as a musical director for the Sassy Awards, and the University of Fraser Valley. In 2022 Ben Performed alongside Mathew V at the Legendary Massey Hall. Ben also works as a composer having written music for TV shows such as “Momondays” and “When paintings come alive”. He was named “One of the ten artists to look out for” by the Vancouver press in 2016.

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North Saskatchewan Regiment Pipes and Drums

Traditional Bag Piper Performers

The North Saskatchewan Regiment Pipes and Drums are based in Saskatoon, SK under the command of Pipe Major Craig Shirley. Comprised mostly of volunteers, and a few enlisted members, the band is active in the community and participates in both military and civilian parades.

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Bruce Sinclair

Metis Theatre Artist & Teacher

He/Him

Bruce Sinclair is a Metis theatre artist, teacher, student of the nehiyawewin (Cree) and Michif languages and is currently based in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. Bruce formed an artistic entity, miyoteh performance that will develop and produce works based on working with Indigenous artists, youth, elders, the nehiyawewin\michif languages as well as artistic collaborations with diverse communities

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KTheChosen

Performer, Singer and Activist

He/Him

Born in Zimbabwe and currently based in Calgary, Hip-hop artist and TEDx speaker, KTheChosen writes lyrics that are both entertaining and enlightening.

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Alla Melnychuk 

Concert Pianist

She/Her

Alla Melnychuk, concert pianist from Ukraine. She graduated from Kharkiv National University of Arts. An experienced concert pianist, she has been teaching piano for more than a decade in many European countries such as Luxembourg, Germany, Poland, Spain, and Italy and continues to teach them online. She has been honoured with various awards for outstanding creative and intellectual achievement in many international competitions.

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Cheryl Simon

Assistant Professor

Her/She

Cheryl Simon is an Assistant Professor who will teach Property and Special Issues in Aboriginal Law and Indigenous Governance at the law school. She is a proud Mi’kmaq woman from Epekwitk (PEI) with extensive experience in community-based policy development. She completed her BA in Native Studies from the University of Lethbridge and a law degree from the University of Victoria.

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Becca Bartlett 

Singer & Songwriter

She/Her

Becca Bartlett is a 19 year old Newfoundland singer/songwriter and performer. She enjoys playing original songs and covers. In 2021, Becca was awarded the Focus on Youth Performing Individual award by the City of Mount Pearl, in recognition of her involvement in the local entertainment industry.. Her original song “Calypso” was produced and performed by local musician Pete, and her first single “Dreams were made for sleeping” will be available on all major streaming platforms.

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Wendy Philips

Elder from the Bald Eagle Clan

She/Her

Wendy is of the Bald Eagle Clan; She is Pot-ta-wat-to-me and Ojibwa and a proud member of Was-sauk-sing First Nation in the heart of the Muskokas. She is a keeper of the 8th Fire Prophecies, Keeper of the Ancient Thunderbird Calendar, Ceremonial Leader, Spiritual Educator, Cultural Innovator and Traditional Indigenous Healer. In 2018, Wendy was awarded the Community Medal for Scarborough/Guildwood from M.P John McKay and she was also a recipient for the Remarkable Woman Award.

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Terry Young

Program Manager, Indigenous Studies and Community Engagement Initiative

He/Him

Terry Young is Wolastoqiyik (Maliseet). He hails from Kingsclear First Nation located in New Brunswick. For the last 15 years, he’s resided on the Kanienkehaka Territory of Tiotake (Montreal) with his husband Justin Mahoney.Young holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree from St. Thomas University, with a double major in Native Studies and Anthropology.

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Justin Birco

Musician, Artist, Singer & Song Writer

He/Him

Justin Birco; a soulful artist with fundamentals based in Blues/Funk/Pop and Rock n’ Roll,  is a singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, producer and Holistic Health enthusiast with over 13+ years of experience. The Scarborough native is currently recording his EP, which will be titled “13”, and is releasing it in 2023. Follow @justinbirco on all social media for more details! 

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Karla Briones

Business Strategist

She/Her

Karla Briones is a business strategist that coaches new immigrants, BIPOC and underrepresented business owners on becoming successful entrepreneurs with scalable ventures. 

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Rhonda Downey 

Settlement Trainer

She/Her

Rhonda Downey is a Settlement Trainer at YMCA, Newcomer Connections.  Working as an English teacher for over 10 years and then as a Settlement Trainer for over 6 years, Rhonda has applied her passion to help others learn about culture differences and help newcomers to settle in New Brunswick.  Newcomer Connections provides wraparound services to clients, taking a holistic approach to assistance with community connections, language, employment supports and settlement orientation. 

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November 2022

KTheChosen

Performer, Singer and Activist

He/Him

Born in Zimbabwe and currently based in Calgary, Hip-hop artist and TEDx speaker, KTheChosen writes lyrics that are both entertaining and enlightening.

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Isadore

R&B Singer & Songwriter

She/Her

Isadore is a R&B singer/songwriter based in Toronto whose soulful melodies and soft voice chronicle her ever-evolving relationship with herself and others. Touching on topics such as mental health and feelings of uncertainty, Isadore aims to connect to those also finding themselves unsure of which path to take and how to find happiness in a world that seems foreign and overwhelming. Her singing style lends itself to years of musical infatuation with genres such as soul, R&B and its various sub-genres whose own pioneers also led with their hearts on their sleeves, unashamed of baring their souls, and giving a voice to those who couldn’t find the words to express themselves as freely

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Lowa Beebe

Public Relations, Advocacy, Governance, Media, Strategy and Communications

She/Her

Lowa is a proud member of the Piikani Nation of the Blackfoot Confederacy & Treaty 7. She is recognized for her work in Public Relations, Advocacy, Governance, Media, Strategy and Communications. She has worked in Indigenous communities locally, provincially, and nationally with First Nation, Inuit and Métis communities in areas such as Policy, Custom Election Codes, Engagement, Governance, Consultation, Strategic Planning and more

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Frances Koncan

Playwright & Director

She/Her

Frances Koncan (she/they) is an Anishinaabe and Slovene writer originally from Couchiching First Nation in Treaty 3 territory. They are currently based in Treaty 1 territory, Winnipeg, Manitoba, where they work as a playwright and journalist. They are currently the Writer-in-Residence at the Winnipeg Public Library.

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Nikki Komaksiutiksak

Inuit Throat Singer & Teacher

She/Her

Nikki is an Inuit woman from Chesterfield Inlet, Nunavut. She currently works for the Department of Manitoba Justice. Nikki has found the strength to preserve her “Inukness” living in the southern part of Canada. Nikki uses her knowledge and understanding of the south to assist other Inuit moving to the big city.

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Kevin Deer

Faithkeeper at the Mohawk Trail Longhouse

He/Him

Kanahsohon Kevin Deer from Kahnawake Mohawk Territory.  For the last 30 years involved in Mohawk Language retention and revitalization.  He is also a Faithkeeper at the Mohawk Trail Longhouse which involves knowing sacred songs, dances and rituals. He enjoys discussing and presenting the Iroquoian world views, history and philosophy. He was involved in the Kahnawake Police Commission from 2005 to 2015. 

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Dr. Laura Forsythe

Red River Métis tenure track lecturer UWinnipeg Faculty of Education.

She/Her

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Katie Tupper

Neo Soul-Singer

She/Her

Katie Tupper, a 24-year old neo-soul musician, embodies that spirit of boundary-pushing, genre-defying artists at work within the often overlooked region. Her latest EP Towards The End–a sultry, glittering debut that showcases Tupper’s mastery as a musician, writer and producer, and is an ode to love, identity and the inextricable ways the two entwine. 

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Dr. Sabrina Jafralie

PhD, Educator, Change maker, Activist

She/Her

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Takayce

Afro-Jamaican-Canadian Singer & Songwriter

She/Her

Afro-Jamaican-Canadian,Singer-Songwriter, daughter of Jamaica’s Pioneer of Gospel, Claudelle Clarke. She began to follow her mother’s footsteps at the age of five in full force. She has performed in Europe, North America, Latin America and the Caribbean. Shy to sing off stage but a tigress on. She is captivating, eclectic with a deep soulful voice

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Gabrielle Cloutier

Singer, Animator and Vocal Teacher

She/Her

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The Sadler Sisters

Singers & Songwriters

She/Her/They

Although their personalities may differ, they share many common musical influences and tastes. Hailing from Winnipeg Manitoba. The Sadler Sisters perform a mixture of pop covers and jazz standards while recently starting to dabble in their own songwriting. They enjoy creating paired-down acoustic arrangements of popular music infused with jazz stylings.  

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Amber Epp

Jazz Singer

She/Her

Amber Epp performs uplifting vocal jazz music with a rhythmic beat. She lives in Winnipeg, Manitoba, and loves to meet and interact with newcomers to Canada. Amber has performed across our country, and won a Western Canadian Music Award for one of her four albums. She also supports newcomers in Canada by teaching English to refugees. Please enjoy this original song by Canadian artist, Amber Epp. 

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Banafsheh Taherian

Writer & Storyteller

She/Her

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Grandmother Kim Wheatley

Ojibwe Anishinaabe Grandmother from Shawanaga First Nation Reserve

She/Her

Grandmother Kim Wheatley carries the spirit name Head or Leader of the Fireflower.

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