Mary-Kate, a passionate entrepreneur and community builder, focuses on climate change action and the shift to low-carbon living. Alongside her husband Mike, she's a driving force behind The Junction Village, an urban intentional community in downtown Guelph. As an independent consultant at Kaboom Consulting, a partner at Anwaatin Inc, and a current PhD student at the University of Guelph, Mary-Kate is deeply committed to creating sustainable, empowered neighbourhoods. Her transformative approach extends to supporting Indigenous-led solutions and initiating social enterprises like Junction Village Guelph, Backyard Bok Boks, Two Sisters River, Purple Cow hostel, Anwaatin, and Kaboom Consulting. With a strong understanding of project science and a knack for innovative problem-solving, Mary-Kate is dedicated to realizing a future she envisions through her impactful work.
Managing Director, Nature For Justice Canada
Steven Nitah's career has been dedicated to advancing Indigenous nations and revitalizing Indigenous knowledge and governance for ecological, cultural, and economic sustainability. Serving as Chief of the Lutsel K’e Dene First Nation, President/CEO of Densoline Corporation, and an MLA in the General Assembly of the North West Territories, Steven Nitah has played pivotal roles in shaping Indigenous leadership. Through his consultancy, he acted as the Chief Negotiator for LKDFN on the establishment of Thaidene Nene IPCA, protecting 26,380km2 of Lutsel K’e First Nations Territory. Holding various leadership roles, from an Associate Producer with CBC North Indigenous language TV to a Liaison Officer with Diavik Diamond Mines, Steven Nitah has contributed significantly to both media and industry. Recently, he served as a core member of the Indigenous Circle of Experts supporting Pathway to Canada Target 1. Currently, Steven Nitah's primary contract involves leading Nature 4 Justice initiatives in Canada, a Social Justice NGO supporting Indigenous Nations advancing Indigenous Protected and Conserved Areas through the carbon market and other Nature-Based Climate Solutions financing.
Randi Russel is a dedicated professional with a substantial career in Indigenous conservation. Throughout her journey, she has played pivotal roles, notably with the Coastal First Nations' Great Bear Initiative and Indigenous Clean Energy. Currently associated with OneFeather, an Indigenous technology company focused on redefining the Indigenous experience through a blend of innovation and tradition, Randi is at the forefront of planting seeds of sovereignty in the digital era. Her commitment extends beyond technology, as she actively participates in the RAD Network, showcasing her passion for community engagement and Indigenous empowerment. With a wealth of experience and a focus on harmonizing tradition with modern advancements, Randi continues to contribute significantly to the intersection of indigenous values and conservation.
Indigenous Relations, Ducks Unlimited Canada
Chelsea Martin, a proud member of the Chippewas of Nawash, emerges as a dedicated advocate for change and empowerment within Indigenous communities. Functioning as a cultural liaison, Chelsea passionately champions the transformative power of education, emphasizing its potential to uplift and inspire Indigenous peoples. Recognizing the importance of Indigenous representation, she strives to amplify the voices and perspectives of her community in broader conversations. Chelsea firmly believes in the pivotal role that Indigenous knowledge plays in shaping and enriching modern society, advocating for its integration into various facets of contemporary life. With an unwavering commitment to fostering positive change, Chelsea endeavors to contribute to a future where Indigenous voices are heard, valued, and respected.
Erin Dixon, a dedicated community builder, is passionate about indigenous education and healing. Erin fosters open dialogues, addressing the profound impacts of colonization and promoting Wise Practices. Her efforts, initiated in 2019, have gained momentum, adapting to the challenges posed by COVID-19 and reaching a broader audience through virtual platforms. Erin, who identifies as Otipemisiwak and is a Métis Nation of Ontario member, emphasizes the critical role of truth in achieving reconciliation, particularly in acknowledging the painful history. Her vision extends to revitalizing language, driven by youth engagement, and creating meaningful, lasting change within the community. Erin welcomes all to participate, highlighting the significance of education and deep conversation in this transformative journey. As a pivotal force in local Truth and Reconciliation efforts, Erin Dixon continues to make a profound impact, bridging the past and present for a better future.