Artist | Pen and Ink
Ojibway artist Kevin Anderson was born in Sioux Lookout, and has lived in multiple locations throughout Ontario and Manitoba. With little guidance, he learned to be self-reliant, almost detached from society. To escape from this dilemma, he used his natural drawing ability to overcome circumstances. Homeless for almost a decade, Kevin developed a black-and-white view of the world, which comes out in his artwork. With no previous schooling in the arts and primarily self-taught, he developed his own style. In 2012, he was diagnosed with a rare terminal blood cancer called Multiple Myeloma. Today, Kevin is focused on leaving behind a legacy of artwork for endeared friends and colleagues.
St. Theresa Point First Nation member Siobhan Dooley grew up in Sioux Lookout, Ontario. Education came first for her parents, which is the same mentality that has motivated Siobhan into trying her best. Unaware of a specific career in mind, her sister and high school chemistry teachers encouraged her to study engineering. She attended Queen University for Chemical Engineering. Despite the stress and struggle, Siobhan persevered to complete her courses and graduated. Presently, Siobhan is a Chemical Engineer for Hatch Associates Ltd. She has been working there for about six years and loves it! Driven by the incentive of challenge and learning opportunities, she aspires to find opportunities to work alongside Indigenous People and move along all roles and responsibilities of Hatch.
Civil 3D CADD Designer
Big Trout Lake First Nation member Peter Cromarty-Chapman is a Civil 3D CADD (computer-aided design and drafting) Designer and a father of one. He grew up interested in assembling and disassembling things, which grew into a passion for Civil Engineering. He left his community to complete his final year of high school, which was a difficult transition he had to overcome and succeeded. After High School, he graduated from Civil Engineering Technology at Confederation College. He is currently working for Hatch Corporation. He still hopes to continue building his career and education by eventually attending the Civil Engineering program at Lakehead University. Afterwards, he may become a professional engineer and pursue his PhD in Civil Engineering. But for now, he is glad to maintain his current roles at work and home.
Dr. Dan Cutfeet
Doctor | Senior Physician
Dr. Daniel “Dan” Cutfeet is a member of Big Trout Lake First Nation. He grew up in Sioux Lookout, Ontario. He found inspiration from his grandfather, mother and father to find a career that would benefit Indigenous People. He overcame many challenges to succeed and moulded to be the man he is today. Dan is currently the Senior Physician in a Namgis First Nation community in British Columbia and does his best to provide the best care he can for patients at the local hospital and long-term care facility. He aspires to see dramatic improvements made in the standard of living for First Nations people, particularly on reserves.
Integrated Policy Officer
Yolanda Wanakamik is the Integrated Policy Officer for Dilico Anishinabek Family Care in Thunder Bay. She is a member of Whitesand First Nation and grew up in Armstrong Station. Despite having to move to Thunder Bay at thirteen, she never forgot her heritage and strived to make positive changes for Indigenous Peoples. In high school, she struggled academically but preserved with support from friends, family and service agencies such as the Thunder Bay Indian Friendship Centre. Yolanda completed a Social Service Worker college diploma and Political Science university degree. After each graduation, she returned to Whitesand to apply her new skills. Yolanda strongly believes in the power of education, knowledge acquisition and transfer and has not stopped there. Her careers in social justice, education, health, wellbeing and community revived a need to continue her education. She is currently enrolled in a Master’s Program at Lakehead University.
Catriona Dooley is an Oji-Cree and Irish Lawyer (specifically Barrister and Solicitor ) and mother of two. She is a band member of St. Theresa Point First Nation in Treaty 5 territory of Manitoba but grew up in Winnipeg and Sioux Lookout, Ontario. Her education has taken her and her family to Vancouver and back. Motivated by the wide range of issues across Indigenous communities, she set out to find a career that will make positive changes.
Being a student mother is not easy; she had to find balance with the help of her partner, family, and extended family and continually going back to her Indigenous roots through beading and other crafts. For years, she explored different fields of study and employment until she found her true calling “Law”.
Evelyn Bighead-Gliddy is a Marathon Runner and Education Director Assistant from Wunnumin Lake First Nation in Northern Ontario. She has lived there all her life. Outside of work, she focuses on herself and family to create a better foundation of healing and moving forward. Running has become a significant part of Evelyn’s life. It has granted her opportunities to travel and run in different marathons around Ontario. She was able to leave the country doing what she loves and encourages others to reach their goals regardless of age.
Singer-songwriter Nick Sherman was born and raised in Sioux Lookout. He often spent his youth returning to his home community of North Caribou Lake First Nation, where his family members would play the guitar as they tended their trapline, and Nick found himself soaking in songs and lyrics. His ability to write, play and perform music developed all through high school. He attended the Recording Arts Canada for Audio Engineering and Broadcasting to better hone his skills in “sound”. Today, Nick has released two full-length albums, "Drag Your Words Through" and "Knives and Wildrice", and performed at several well-known events around Canada. His accomplishments did not come easily, he had to work hard and learn many other things most people do not consider while pursuing music as a career.
Native Language Lead
Sarah Johnson was born and raised in North Caribou Lake First Nation. Primarily raised by elders in the community she developed a lifelong passion for Anishininiimowin and culture, which led her to a career as an educator. She has experience teaching from kindergarten to a university level. After many years of teaching, she has recently obtained a position at Keewaytinook Okimakanak as the Native Language/Perspectives Lead. She currently enjoys her role in supporting other Native Language teachers and hopes to become a qualified Principal one day.
Pilot | First Officer
Wasaya Pilot Chris Winnepetonga is a from Wunnumin Lake First Nation. He is a First Officer for Beechcraft 1900, which entails flying passengers to and from there destinations safely. Chris’ mind was set to finish and do well in high school, even if it meant leaving the reserve. It was difficult at first, but he overcame homesickness and adjusting to an urbanized community. After high school, he moved even further away to pursue Aviation Technology - Flight at the First Nations Technical Institute (FNTI) in Tyendinaga, Ontario. There he met many other Indigenous People from other regions. He spent years of education, training, and placement to get to where he is now. He hopes to help youth leaving their communities to pursue their education or career anyway he can.
Pilot | Captain
Wasaya Pilot Darren Anderson is from Kasabonika Lake First Nation. He is the Captain of the Cessna C208B Caravan, which entails responsibilities regarding freight: groceries, materials, mail, etc. and sometimes passenger charters or side trips. His interest in this career began early in his life when a pilot of a Caravan showed him the controls of the aircraft. Going to college and becoming qualified was the most difficult thing he went through on a mentality level, but he kept going and succeeded. He hopes to inspire others to be what they want to be and not give up.
Brent is an Indigenous portrait photographer based in Sioux Lookout, Ontario and working in the vast region of northwestern Ontario. Originally from Thunder Bay, Ontario, Brent is Mushkego Inninew (Cree). His grandparents originally hail from the James Bay coast. He specializes in portraiture, editorial, headshots, and commercial work. While he works with clients from diverse backgrounds, Brent is proud his work reflects Indigenous peoples and culture.
Police Officer | Sergeant
Jackie George is a member of Kettle & Stony Point First Nation and grew up in London, Ontario. She is a Sergeant with Nishnawbe Aski Police Service (NAPS) in the Thunder Bay headquarters. As a youth, she dropped out of high school but realized it was a mistake and went back to complete her education. Following high school, Jackie attended Fanshawe College in London where she finished one year in General Arts & Sciences and one year in Legal Administration. She was working as a Civilian employee at the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Detachment in London when she learned about NAPS. Having knowledge of First Nation Policing and following careful consideration about being away from loved ones, she applied to NAPS and was subsequently hired. She has enjoyed policing with a variety of responsibilities, in various communities, and in partnership with other police services and community members. Currently, Jackie George is the Recruitment and Media Relations Officer.
Adrienne Fox is from Michikan Lake First Nation (Bearskin Lake). Her early interest in stories and photography blossomed into a lifelong passion as a Storyteller. Her journey began when she attended the Photojournalism program at Loyalist College in Belleville, Ont. Since then she’s followed opportunities to tell stories. Adrienne has worked for Wawatay News, CBC News, Tikinagan Child and Family Services, and NAN Legal Services. Adrienne continues to explore different realms of storytelling through writing, photography, and multimedia production. She is a conduit for Indigenous People through storytelling, a path she says she will pursue until she is physically unable to.
Riley Yesno was raised in both Thunder Bay, Ontario and Eabametoong First Nation. She has already received numerous awards, recognitions, and valuable experiences in volunteer and employment. At 18 years old, Riley is a member of the Prime Minister’s Youth Council working alongside 25 exceptional young Canadians to advise the federal government on issues that matter to youth, and draft Canada’s first National Youth Policy. Riley is passionate about Indigenous equity, gender equity, sexual understanding and rights, education, mental wellness, and the importance of art programming for youth. She is currently attending The University of Toronto to study Political Science and Indigenous Studies while tackling projects to address the issues happening in Indigenous isolated communities.
Trapping Instructor Kaaren Dannenmann is a NamekisipiiwAnishinaapeKwe, a woman from Trout Lake, Ontario. Though she does not have a background in “conventional” education, she is highly educated by the Land, Lake, NamekosipiiwAnishinaapek (people from Trout Lake). Her interest in trapping began with her brother. Together, along with other trappers, they set out to bring the administrative work of trapping back to the people of Treaty #3. She is now an instructor for a five-day trapping course made available to the people for past. She has been doing this for about two decades and hopes to create a school in the bush for young children to reconnect with the Land.
Willow Fiddler is an Oji-Cree Anishinabekwe from Sandy Lake First Nation. She works as a Video Journalist for Aboriginal Peoples Television Network (APTN) National News show in Thunder Bay. Willow discovered her love for the creative process of writing and photography when she was working back home in Sandy Lake as a Communications Coordinator. There she explored different avenues of media such as photography, journalism and web design to write community news stories and capture community events and celebrations. Willow wanted to develop her skills further so she took the 3-year advanced Interactive Media Development program at Confederation College. During that time, Willow completed First Nations multimedia training with the Thomson Reuters Foundation in Toronto and an internship at Global BC in Vancouver where she was approached by an APTN Video Journalist to apply for a position in Thunder Bay. Willow is passionate about covering stories from the perspectives of the Anishinabeg in northwestern Ontario, particularly in the remote north. Though her original plan was to go back to Sandy Lake, she remains connected to her community and is a proud member.