Facilitator, Indigenous Leadership Initiative
Linda Dwyer is a member of Algonquin of Kitigàn Zìbì Anishinàbeg, situated in southwestern Quebec. A forester with a bachelors in Natural Resource Management-Forestry and a Masters degree in Forest Conservation, over the past 19 years, Linda has gained experience developing and managing federal/provincial projects and contracts such as species at risk projects, commercial and non-commercial silviculture activities, harvesting, commercial sugar bush operation and more recently the establishment of a Guardian Program.
Linda also holds a certificate in Occupational Safety and Health and has experience in managing and ensuring compliance with Health and safety certification for non-commercial silviculture contracts.
Before joining ILI, Linda managed the Natural Resource and Wildlife office in her community of Kitigàn Zìbì Anishinàbeg.
Timiskaming First Nation Land Guardian/ Environmental monitor
Meet Serena McLaren, an Anishnabe Kwe, mother, and Land Guardian of Timiskaming First Nation. Serena's dedication to safeguarding the land and revitalizing cultural practices is paramount to Ni Dakinan, the Lands and Resources Department. As a Land Guardian, she actively collaborates with government representatives, including the Impact Assessment Agency of Canada (IAAC), Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC), Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) and various industrial proponents. Serena works tirelessly with youth, elders, and community members to ensure that the community's voice is heard.
Serena is passionate about education and conducting workshops with community members. Committed to bridging generational gaps between Elders and Youth, she organizes events such as Youth Nature Week and a Makwa/Bear harvest, fostering a connection to cultural traditions and the environment.
Working on moose management, Serena authored a moose guidebook, a valuable resource for the community, showcasing her dedication to sharing knowledge and promoting sustainable practices.
As a loving mother to Henry, her 2-year-old son. Serena envisions a future where her family and community thrive. She passionately works towards leaving a legacy of environmental sustainability and cultural richness.
Chapleau Cree First Nation
Lauryn graduated from Sault College as a Natural Environment Technician in 2020. During the summers from 2016-2021, she worked various student positions for Ontario Parks along Lake Superior. In the summer of 2021, she worked as a Compliance Assessor Intern for Wahkohtowin Development Inc. based out of Chapleau, ON. Since, she has worked for her home Community, Chapleau Cree First Nation as a Lands and Resources Technician.
Magnetawan First Nation
As a research technician affiliated with Magnetawan First Nation, Terry Jones plays a pivotal role providing valuable assistance to MSc candidate Brooke Carroll in tracking turtles across the Magnetawan region. Known for his positive attitude and distinctive goose-call laugh, Terry has become a cherished member of the Community. His commitment, dedication and enthusiasm in supporting research initiatives and fostering collaborative relationships with Magnetawan First Nation has fuelled Terry's growth as a Guardian.
Misipawistik Cree Nation
Neepin Cook is an 18-year-old Indigenous woman from Misipawistik Cree Nation in Northern Manitoba (Grand Rapids) and a proud Misipawistik band member who has lived in her community ever since she was born to her wonderfully supportive parents. Neepin enjoys living on her traditional lands as it is the place she feels most connected to her culture and family. She recently graduated with honors, as the valedictorian and received the Governor General Award from the Grand Rapids High School for her outstanding achievements. Neepin is studying the Environmental Science Program focusing on Forestry Policy Management at the University of Winnipeg. She hopes to complete a masters in Hydrology afterwards. Neepin is an advocate for sustainable wildlife management, clean drinking water and climate change activism. She hopes to use her experience living in the north to advance her education and make meaningful change to support First Nations to become active leaders in the forest sector.
Misipawistik Cree Nation
Kenton Sangster, a dedicated individual with a rich background, initially engaged in a Guardian program in Manitoba, showcasing his commitment to environmental stewardship. Currently serving as the Lands Administrative Assistant for Misipawistik Cree Nation, Kenton brings valuable experience and a deep understanding of the connection between Indigenous communities and their lands. His journey reflects a passion for safeguarding natural resources and supporting community well-being, making him an integral part of the Misipawistik Cree Nation team.