Experiences Canada Forums
Youth Leaders are inspiring and supportive group of Indigenous and non-Indigenous young adults that will help guide and mentor participants throughout the week-long Virtual Forum on Reconciliation.
Aarisha has a background in Political Science from the University of British Columbia. All throughout her studies in university, she felt there was a disconnect between academia and collective action until she found herself participating in a global seminar in Peru that introduced her to the concept of Rights of Nature– a concept which would later shape her passion for social and climate justice. Living and learning from the Indigenous Kichwa-Lamista community, that experience not only left an imprint moving forward with her activism, but also her way of life on how to hold space. Besides her place-based learning experience, Aarisha has surrounded herself within many grassroots organizing and youth mobilizing–two dearest to her, are the Longhouse Dialogues project and Eco Camp at Stanley Park Ecology Society, in which both experiences played an integral role in her understanding of community building, and its importance in the climate justice movement. With an interest in decolonizing policies, Aarisha intends to bridge knowledge gaps with on-going education by collectively learning, story-telling and inter-cultural dialogue. In her free time, Aarisha loves to play her guitar under the sun, chess and practice some Movement Flow/Acro!
Bilal Timani is a proud Franco-Ontarien of Lebanese descent who was born and raised in Toronto, Ontario. He graduated from the University of Toronto, where he completed an Honours Bachelor of Science degree in Neuroscience, with a minor in French studies. He recently served as an anti-racism ambassador for Experiences Canada, helping organize and host the “Black Lives Matter & Anti Racism Conversations” webinar series. He now works behind the scenes of virtual events as a web conferencing technician for a Toronto tech startup.
When he’s not working, Bilal enjoys travelling, spending time with his friends and family, and staying active through recreational sports, particularly volleyball. However, during the pandemic, he loves tackling new arts crafts, finding binge-worthy series on Netflix and sharpening his newfound chess skills.
With his previous experience as an academic peer coach, a mental health group facilitator and a children’s camp advisor, he’s excited to apply his facilitation and coaching skills to engage and mentor the future leaders, policymakers and social advocates of Canada in this year’s unprecedented Youth Leadership Forum.
Danielle Pelletier (She/Her) is a proud Metis woman residing in Treaty 4 territory. She holds a Bachelors of Education from the University of Regina, SUNTEP. Danielle is currently a teacher in Regina and specializes in behaviour. Prior to attending the University of Regina, Danielle played College volleyball at Minot State University in Minot, North Dakota. She is still involved in the volleyball community through coaching youth. Danielle is very passionate about her Metis culture and identity and enjoys beading and attending community events in her spare time.
Hannah Geauvreau-Turner is Ojibway from Onigaming First Nation. She was raised in Canada and moved to Peru at age 12 where she lived for 10 years of her life. She taught English as a second language to children at Immersion English School in Lima, Peru. She is an Ambassador of Hope for We Matter that focuses on indigenous youth life promotion and mental health. She also is involved within policy, harm reduction, and education with the Get Sensible campaign. She is a full-time student at Conestoga College and also is involved within the fashion industry. In her free time, she likes to go on walks and enjoys cooking Peruvian food.
Joy Rogers currently works as a Policy Advisor with the Ministry of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade within the Ontario government. Additionally, she is part of the second cohort of the Indigenous Youth Policy Program, where she is further developing her policy tools and knowledge with a decolonized lens. Previously, she worked as a Case Management Officer with the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada. Joy is passionate about social policy and working towards more equitable policy at multiple levels of government. She graduated with a Master of Global Affairs degree from the University of Toronto in 2016 where she focused primarily on domestic and international social policy issues, as well as immigration policy and refugee rights.
My name is Katherine Koskie, and I am currently pursuing my PhD at the University of Alberta for Secondary Education. I have been working as a secondary teacher in my community on Treaty 4 in Yorkton, Saskatchewan for the last 8 years. In my downtime, I like walking my dog, binging Netflix series, and beading. I also have an addiction to purchasing beadwork from Indigenous artists across Canada.
This is my second time returning as a Reconciliation Ambassador, and I am excited to collaborate and learn from each other during this experience. I am interested in Indigenous and anti-racist education and am looking forward to developing resources that other people can access to learn about reconciliation in Canada.
Kimberley was born and raised in Saskatchewan, growing up in Regina and now living in Saskatoon. She holds undergraduate degrees in English and French from the University of Saskatchewan and a masters degree in Migration and Intercultural Relations from the University of Oldenburg, Germany. A former writer and sports editor at the University of Saskatchewan’s student newspaper the Sheaf, she now works for Journalists for Human Rights in the Solutions Journalism Program, helping to reframe news coverage from problem-based to solutions-oriented. She previously worked in JHR’s Indigenous Reporters Program, which aims to increase and amplify the presence of Indigenous journalists in the Canadian media landscape. She strongly believes in the power of storytelling and in bringing diverse voices into the fold.
Maria Park (She/Her) was born and raised in Corner Brook, Newfoundland and Labrador with a passion for science and the performing arts. She has been fortunate enough to live out her dreams of pursuing both of her passions through her various endeavours. Maria completed a Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Science at the University of Ottawa in 2020, where she did research in cancer immunology and worked as a student mentor for the Faculty of Science. She is currently attending medical school at the University of Ottawa. Maria has also been working as a dance instructor for almost ten years, in which she has choreographed pieces for Lock and Keynote Productions, Dance Studio West, Theatre Newfoundland and Labrador Youth Theatre, and the uOttawa Dance Club. In her downtime, she enjoys reading, rollerblading, and watching rom-coms. She is looking forward to the opportunity to engage with so many wonderful people during the Youth Leadership Forum!
Tansi, My name is Nicole Tornquist, I am a 25 year old Indigenous woman from Opaskwayak Cree Nation. I graduated high school from Margaret Barbour Collegiate. I then continued my education at University College of the North and completed my Business Administration majoring in Management. I am a National Ambassador of Hope for We Matter, Manitoba 150 Youth Ambassador, Indigenous 150+ Youth Ambassador and I am also a Facilitator for Awaken the Spirit. In 2019 the youth nominated me to run for Junior Onekanew (Chief), where I accepted the challenge and started my campaign journey. I was then the successful candidate for Junior Onekanew (Chief). With that being said I have the great honors to proudly represent my community of Opaskwayak Cree Nation. My passion is working with the youth of my community and helping our youth become the best people they can be, watching them bloom and overcome obstacles is the greatest feeling in the world. I believe I was meant to mentor the youth, to help them succeed and making connections with them, our youth are the reason I am always pushing myself to become a better person.
Summer is Anishinaabe from Whitefish River First Nation. She was born and raised in Toronto and currently resides in Thunder Bay, ON. She is a first generation 60’s scoop survivor and second generation residential school survivor. Summer graduated in Social Service Work – Native Specialization from Oshki-Wenjack and as valedictorian of her program. It was important for her to attend an Indigenous post-secondary and secondary institution that value Indigenous teaching, culture and traditions as much as western academics. Summer works as a Youth Navigator for the Youth Inclusion Program. She also sits on the executive committee for Diversity Thunder Bay as their Youth Ambassador. Summer is interested in decolonization and revitalization of Indigenous knowledge and approaches. She is also passionate about environmental issues and enjoys spending time outdoors in her free time. Summer is an advocate for Indigenous rights and issues. Her life-long goal is to support her community and community members in Mino-Bimaadiziwin (the way of a good life).
Thawany Monteiro (she/her) is a proud mother, social worker and youth facilitator. Thawany holds a Masters and Bachelor of Social Work degree from York University, in addition to a Bachelor of Criminal Justice degree from Ryerson University. She has 10 years of experience volunteering and working in the non profit sector providing mental health counselling, crisis intervention and safety planning to diverse communities in the city of Toronto and Durham region from a trauma informed, anti-oppressive and anti-racist lens.
Her lived experience as Brazilian immigrant woman with mixed ancestries fuelled her passion on engaging diverse youth on topics centring identity, reconciliation, decolonization, and Canadian & Latin American history. Thawany previously held roles as a reconciliation ambassador and anti-racism ambassador with Experiences Canada. She is excited to return as a Youth Leader, to continue learning, working and engaging in meaningful conversations on reconciliation with diverse youth.
Thawany currently lives and works in Toronto, which is part of the Dish with One Spoon Wampum Belt Covenant and also covered by Treaty 13. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with family & friends, hiking, playing soccer and reading.