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Highlighting Indigenous Leadership

Lane Bourbonnière

Lane Bourbonnière is a Métis woman whose ancestry originates from Camperville, Manitoba. She has a BA in Human Rights and Social Justice with a minor in Indigenous Studies & History from Carleton University. In the Fall of 2020, she will be attending Queen's University for a Masters of Political Studies in Gender and Politics, where she is hoping to analyze the gaps of Métis women, trans women, and women living with disabilities within Canada.


Lane has been working for the Métis Nation of Ontario in the Education and Training Branch for the past three years, and she also sits on the Board of Directors at Minwaashin Lodge as a Youth Representative. She is extremely passionate about advocating for safe spaces, regardless of race, gender, culture, identity, age, and abilities.

Click here to read our interview with Lane.

Theland Kicknosway

Theland Kicknosway is Wolf Clan, he is Potawatami/ Cree Nation, a member of Walpole Island -Bkejwanong Territory in Southern Ontario. He is a singer, a grass & hoop dancer, and helps in ceremonies in many places. He is in High School in the Ottawa Region where he is a part of many sports teams. He is known as the Cree Drummer, & he sang and hand drummed an honor song for the incoming Prime Minister of Canada and his new cabinet members swearing in ceremony in Nov 2015. He helped drum in the Indian Residential School Survivors in 2008 and in the closing of the TRC in 2015.


In 2019, he completed his 6th annual run in partnership with Families of Sisters in Spirit. Theland has been a Blanket Exercise Facilitator for the past 8 yrs. In 2018 at the age of 14, he was awarded Indspire Award Recipient under Culture, Heritage & Spirituality.

Click here to watch our interview with Theland

Senator Parm Burgie
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Metis Senator Parm Burgie originally born in Toronto, a citizen of the Metis Nation of Ontario. She has been Metis Senator for the Ottawa Regional Metis Council, and serving the council for over seven years. In her role as senator she helps foster bonds between community members at events and meetings, as well as helps to keep Métis culture alive by sharing Métis traditions and ways of life. In addition, Parm actively volunteers in many other organizations within Ottawa.

Click here to watch our interview with Parm

Irene Compton

Irene Compton is a co-founder of Minwaashin Lodge and in 2019 celebrated 25 years of work at the Lodge. She is an inter-generational survivor of the residential school system. Her work at the lodge supporting other women with similar journeys has provided her with an opportunity to turn traumatic life experiences into something positive.



Ms. Compton is Manager of the Employment Unit which delivers three programs to address economic advancement for Aboriginal women. She also manages the Culture Program which teaches First Nations, & Metis people about their identity and culture and ways of healing and celebrating life. Irene continues to grow and develop in her own healing journey and considers the women that come to the lodge to be her greatest teachers.

Click here to watch our interview with Irene

Senator Reta Gordon

Senator Reta Gordon is a founding member of the MNO and has been actively sharing Métis culture since 1993. She became the Senator for the MNO Ottawa Métis Council in 1999 and was elected PCMNO Executive Senator in 2002. In addition to her work as a liaison for MNO Senators, Senator Gordon has, over the past 20+ years, represented the MNO at hundreds of gatherings from small intimate workshops to large conferences and similar events.

Click here to read the interview with Reta

RJ Jones

RJ Jones is Saulteaux–Cree, originally from Treaty 4 territory and is
currently living on Algonquin Territory in Ottawa. They are a Two
Spirit, Non-Binary and Queer multimedia artist, educator and full
spectrum doula in decolonizing our approach to gender, sexuality and
sexual health.

Click here to watch our interview with RJ

Mikka Komaksiutiksak

My name is Mikka Komaksiutiksak I am the Youth Life Promotion Coordinator at Tungasuvvingat Inuit. My role is to create safer spaces for Inuit youth, to celebrate who they are, and to create spaces that reflect their own realities. I coordinate a council called the Tarralikita Council, that is directed by Inuit Youth Member's in Ottawa, as well as assisting the National Urban Inuit Youth Council. I encourage sharing our stories through different art forms. My goal is to engage Inuit Youth in their communities, and to strengthen their sense of identity.

Click here to watch our interview with Mikka

Sally Webster
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Sally Kate Webster was born in a land near Baker Lake, Nunavut. In 1956, the federal government started a school in Baker Lake and at the age of 11, Sally started school. At age 16, Sally started her career as a classroom assistant in Baker Lake. Sally later worked as the ladies’ group coordinator for Arctic College, Baker Lake campus and at Pauktuutit Inuit Women’s Association in Ottawa. Sally is also an entrepreneur, having operated the Baker Lake Fine Arts and Crafts where she coordinated and promoted the fine art of the women of Baker Lake. As an elder, she is often consulted for her expertise in Inuit art and culture.

Click here to read our interview with Sally

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