The In Their Moccasins project is led by Sarena Johnson (she/they), member of Caldwell First Nation with Anishnaabe, Nehiyaw Michif, Lenni Lenape and Celtic ancestry. She has worked in front line roles in Tkaronto Indigenous organizations since 2004, is a current PhD student at OISE, University of Toronto and works as a liaison bridging mainstream and Indigenous Student Services at X University.
Montana Paypompee (she/her) Anishinaabe from Shoal Lake #40 First Nation, located on Treaty 3 Territory. Montana is a student at Fleming College, studying social service work.
Tanya Pobuda (she/they), PhD candidate at X University, specializing in research on equity, diversity and inclusion initiatives in games, and gaming spaces. She is a games designer, and Project Management Institute (PMI) Certified Project Management Professional (PMP) License 1503596 with extensive experience in higher education, life sciences and research and development projects.
Kelsey Whissel (she/they) is a mixed Métis womxn. Kelsey is in her third year of the Bachelors of Social Work program at X University, she is the lead group mentor for Indigenous students at X University. In addition, she is working towards obtaining the Indigenous Knowledges and Experiences Certificate at X University. Over the years, they have worked alongside various Indigenous-led organizations that advocate for Indigenous communities, amplify Indigenous voices and empower Indigenous peoples to find pride and power within their Indigenous identity.
Miranda Black (she/her) Miranda Black is an MASc Candidate, Environmental Applied Science and Management and Onkwehonewe student whose lineage stems from the Mohawk of the Bay of Quinte. She is dedicated to expanding Indigenous-led environmental stewardship and protecting land and water resources.
Jeremie Caribou (he/him) Jeremie Caribou is a half Cree and Mohawk student in the Public Administration and Governance Program at X University (renaming in process) in partnership with First Nations Institute. He is from a Nehithew (Cree TH Dialect) speaking community called Pukatawagan situated on the Missinippi (now Churchill River) in northwestern Manitoba. He worked in the trades for 20 years before he decided to come back to school in 2017. Since then, he has participated in various initiatives at the institution that enabled him to research and expand his knowledge related to colonialism, Indigenous identity, culture, history, knowledge, and placemaking. He has worked as a Research Assistant in the Immigration and Settlement Graduate Program in the Department of Geography and Environmental Studies, Facilities Management Development in the Project Management Office, and the Office of Social Innovation. Currently, he works in the Library as the Indigenous Initiatives Liaison Lead that includes advancing Indigenous ways of knowing, perspectives, and placemaking – including leading Indigenous land-based educational walking tours and presentations that have delivered locally and internationally. The tours and presentations facilitate in the understanding that national and international political affiliations were established (treaties), encourages participants to challenge anti-Indigenous racism, and creates awareness that Indigenous peoples had and still have highly developed, rich, and vibrant societies.
Kyle Desjarlais (he/him) is a member of Wasauksing First Nation, recent high school graduate, indie game maker and traditional firekeeper.
Samantha ‘Sam’ Mandamin(she/her) is an Anishnaabe woman and mother from Wiikwemkoong Unceded First Nation. Sam worked as the Aboriginal Academic Support Advisor for Indigenous students at X-University before leaving that position to take one another role to go work with Community to promote Mental Health and Wellness for Indigenous children across Canada as Knowledge Translator/Research Assistant for ACHWM.ca Sam is also a comedy writer and is a member of the all Indigenous Female Comedy collective, Manifest Destiny’s Child and will occasionally perform.
AKME (she/her): Aka “Amy” Johnson (Lenape, Nehiyaw Michif, Pottawatomi, Irish and Scottish) is a member of Caldwell First Nation located in Essex County in southern Ontario, with ancestral ties to the geographically unique Carolinian forests of Pelee Island. An Indepegenous Tkaronto-based designer and entrepreneur, Amy has actively volunteered and worked in the local Indigenous community for the past decade and enjoys participating in the city’s many rich traditional arts and cultural events. Amy is interested in uncovering Tkaronto’s secret history through her involvement with First Story walking tours and is interested in furthering her studies, specifically in Indigenous language. Amy enjoys spending time outdoors and playing with her beloved dog SheRa.
Mkons Stone-Debassige (he/him) is a member of Aamjinaang First Nation and student at Trent University in Peterborough.
Kaya Joan (they/them) is a multi-disciplinary Afro-Indigenous (Vincentian, Kanien’kehá:ka with relations from Kahnawá:ke, Irish, Jamaican) artist born, raised and living in T’karonto, Dish with One Spoon treaty territory. Kaya’s work focuses on placemaking, non-linear notions of time and blood memory. Afro and Indigenous futurity and pedagogy are also centred in Kaya’s practice-working through buried truths to explore how creation can heal 7 generations into the past and future. Kaya has been working in community arts for 6 years as a facilitator and artist. To view more of Kaya’s work: kayajoan.com @kayajoan on instagram
Michelle Schwartz (she/her), Educational Developer at the Centre for Excellence in Learning and Teaching at X University, where she is the liaison for the Faculty of Communication & Design. She holds a Masters in Library and Information Science from Long Island University and is the co-director of the Lesbian and Gay Liberation in Canada project (lglc.ca).
Namir Ahmed (he/him), Digital Media Experience Coordinator, X University Library and Archives, is a veteran Technologist who specializes in Experiential Learning and Digital Archaeology. He now enjoys a role at the X University Library as the Coordinator for the Isaac Olowolafe Jr. Digital Media Experience Lab.