Dr. Kathy Absolon is the Director for the Centre for Indigegogy: Indigenous Centred Wholistic Development and an Associate Professor, Master of Social Work: Indigenous Field of Study.
Her academic journey has been a pathway of unlearning, healing, re-learning and finding who she is as an Indigenous woman and what her place is in the academy.
I teach in the Indigenous Educators Certificate in Indigegogy, the Decolonizing Educators Certificate and the Wholistic Professional Development workshops.
Join Dr. Absolon in understanding how Indigenous re-searchers re-theorize and re-create Western methodologies in Kaandossiwin: How We Come to Know: Indigenous Re-Search Methodologies
Akiesha Absolon-Winchester is mixed settler and Anishinaabe from Flying Post First Nation. With a Master of Social Work degree from Wilfrid Laurier University specializing in Indigenous Field of Study, Akiesha is a Registered Social Worker in excellent standing. Akiesha centres Indigenous ways of knowing and being along with Western modalities in her practice. She successfully completed a Bachelor of Arts in Social Development Studies as well as a post-degree Honours Bachelor of Social Work both from the University of Waterloo.
Akiesha brings over a decade of experience in the field of social work and wellness, while also having published work related to reconciliation and inter-generational healing. Akiesha is also a certified yoga instructor which allows her to center wellness and somatic expressions of wellness in her clinical practice through an Indigenous perspective. Akiesha brings a wealth of cultural understanding and knowledge along with expertise in facilitation with a clinical and critical lens that is rooted in an antiracist and wholistic practice. Akiesha carries many gifts including being a drum-maker, an auntie, and maintains a respectful connection with the Land.
Mi'kmaq and Celtic Nations, originally from NB, is currently an associate professor in the School of Social Work at Toronto Metropolitan University. Her spirit name translates into English as something like, "The Woman Who Passes on the Teachings" and she is of the fish clan.
Cyndy is a prolific writer and experienced researcher with publications that include two novels, a text titled, The Value of Indigenous Knowledges in the Helping Professions, a co-edited book, Spirit in the Quest of an Equitable World: Spirituality, Social Justice, and Social Work and numerous journal articles and book chapters. Prior to joining academia, Cyndy was a social work practitioner, consultant and trainer for many years, the latter two of which she continues to do today.
Join Dr. Baskin's learning journey by checking out her publication library.
Ben Carniol is professor emeritus at Ryerson University, where he served as a professor in the School of Social Work for two decades and, more recently, as program coordinator to implement agreements between First Nations Technical Institute (FNTI) and Ryerson University that deliver off-campus Indigenous-based social work education to Indigenous students. He is the acclaimed author of the first six editions of Case Critical: Social Services and Social Justice in Canada. The 7th edition of the popular textbook Case Critical is an example of mutual respect in Indigenous - settler relationships.
Ben teaches in our Decolonizing Education Certificate workshops.
Giselle Dias is a queer, mixed race, Metis community organizer, activist, and scholar. She is in the third year of her PhD program at Laurier in the Faculty of Social Work, Indigenous Field of Study (IFS). Giselle has completed the Decolonizing Education Certificate and the Indigenous Peoples Certificate. She has been working in the field of prisoners’ rights, penal abolition, and transformative justice for 25 years.
From 2010-2018, Giselle had a psychotherapy practice where she provided wholistic counseling, support, advocacy, and long-term psychotherapy to victims of violence, perpetrators of violence, people with mental health issues and LGBTQ2SII communities.
Dr. Bonnie Freeman is Algonquin/Mohawk from the Six Nations of the Grand River. She brings many years of experience with connections to Indigenous communities throughout Canada and the United States. Bonnie has been involved with many Indigenous land-based journeys as a way of understanding Indigenous epistemology and Indigenous cultural activism.
Bonnie teaches in our Decolonizing Education Certificate workshops.
Dr. Ruth Green is an Associate Professor in the School of Social Work at York University. Ruth uses She/her pronouns. She is an activist turned
accidental academic. Green identifies as an urban Indigequeer woman. She is a citizen of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy. She is from the
Kanien’keha:ka Nation and is a member of the Turtle Clan. She was born a Canadian but was 1/2 disenfranchised when she was 10 years old. By the time she was 34.5 years old she was completely disenfranchised. She acknowledges the privileges she gets in a world of identity politics to be governed by legislation that is 100 years older than she is! She also acknowledges her paternal Celtic heritage. Green likes to think about Indigenous education and social issues that impact Indigenous communities. Ruth is currently the Undergraduate Program Director for the School of Social Work and Special Advisor to the Dean of Liberal Arts and Professional Studies on Indigenous Issues. She has a PhD from OISE in Adult Education and Community Development, an MSW and a BSW from X University now known as Toronto Metropolitan University.
Gus resides with his family in the Waterloo Region, and has been a Laurier community member since 2000. He completed his MSW and PhD at Laurier in Social Work. Gus was part of the development of the IFS program and a member of the IFS Team during its inaugural delivery in 2006. He lives by, and embodies, the principles of Indigegogy, and was present when Dr. Stan Wilson gifted the word “Indigegogy” to the IFS Program.
Join Dr. Hill in his efforts to share Traditional healing knowledge in a good way and bridge the gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people in Indigenous Healing: Voices of Elders and Healers.
Lori Hill is an assistant professor at Wilfrid Laurier University in the Master of Social Work program (Indigenous Field of Study). She is a Mohawk woman, turtle clan, from the Six Nations of Grand River territory. Along with teaching, she provides counselling in her Six Nations community. She centres her helping in an Indigenous wholistic worldview.
Jessica Hutchison is a white settler activist-scholar pursuing her PhD in social work at Wilfrid Laurier University. Her research explores how strip searching in women’s prisons is a form of sexist, misogynoir, and colonial genocidal sexual violence. She has been a prisoners’ rights advocate for nearly 15 years and teaches in social work and critical criminology. Jessica is also a Research Assistant with the Centre for Indigegogy at Laurier and is deeply committed to dismantling colonial and racist systems that perpetuate harm and violence.
Mkomose (Dr. Andrew Judge) is Assistant Professor of Anishinaabe Studies at Algoma University and Shingwauk Kinoomaage Gamig. He has lectured at Sir Wilfrid Laurier University, The University of Waterloo, and Coordinated Indigenous studies at Conestoga College where he established a network of Indigenous leaders to restore land. Mkomose specializes in Anishinaabe cultural knowledge, ethno-medicine, and land-based learning.
Banakonda Kennedy-Kish (Bell) is the Elder-in-Residence with the Lyle S. Hallman Faculty of Social Work, Indigenous Field of Study at Wilfrid Laurier University. She is an Indigenous cultural advisor, teacher, and Traditional Practitioner, and has served Indigenous communities for over forty years.
Banakonda teaches in our Indigenous Educators Certificate in Indigegogy and our Wholistic Professional Development Workshops.
Timothy Leduc has for over two decades been re-learning with Indigenous knowledge holders about his responsibilities as a settler whose mother is French Canadien and father carries French Canadien relations to Haudenosaunee and Wendat mission communities along the St. Lawrence River. He is an associate professor in land-based social work at Wilfrid Laurier University, not far from his home in Toronto (Tarontho, “meeting place”), Canada (Kanatha, “village”) that he shares with his partner and two children. He is the Editor of the book by Cayuga Elder Norma Jacobs Gaehowako entitled Ǫ da gaho dḛ:s: Reflecting on our Journeys (McGill-Queens University Press, 2022), and author of three books including A Canadian Climate of Mind: Passages from Fur to Energy and Beyond (McGill-Queens University Press, 2016) and Climate, Culture, Change: Inuit and Western Dialogues with a Warming North (University of Ottawa Press, 2010)
To learn more about Dr. Leduc and access links to publications and community work, please go to his website.
Laura Mastronardi is a settler Canadian of Italian and Dutch ancestry. She joined the Wilfrid Laurier Faculty of Social Work in 2006, currently teaches and coordinates field education in MSW Indigenous Field of Study, and is looking forward to teaching in the Indigenous PhD program in fall 2018. Laura brings to her educational practice a social work background in child welfare, mental health and community development.
She has had the honour of working and learning in relationship with First Nations, Metis and Inuit peoples over the past forty years in communities throughout northwestern, central and southern Ontario, and in Nunavik, the arctic region of Quebec. She strives to be a strong ally of Indigenous peoples and is dedicated to decolonizing Indigenous-settler relations through her social work practice, research and teaching.
Dr. Raven Sinclair is a member of Gordon First Nation of the Treaty #4 area of southern Saskatchewan. Raven's academic and research interests include Indigenous knowledge and research methodologies, the synthesis of traditional and contemporary healing theories and modalities, aboriginal cultural identity issues, adoption, colonial and decolonization theories, and mental health and wellness.
Raven teaches in our Decolonizing Education Certificate.
Carrie Tabobondung is a helper with well over 30 years in the child welfare sector. She has worked on the frontline to leadership in administrative roles over the years. She comes from a close-knit family where her grandmother was the matriarch of the family and Chief of the community for 28 years. Carrie draws much of her strength from her mentors: grandmother and parents, aunties and uncles. Carrie is a mother to two boys, Myles and Skye.
Carrie has been committed to rebuilding our families and communities and repairing the damaging colonial experience of Indigenous people.
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