Research Team Members

More than 90 individuals from communities, organizations, Brandon University and the University College of the North are now involved in VOICE Research Project activities.

 

Brandee Albert

Brandee Albert

Brandee Albert is a young Cree woman from Norway House Cree Nation. She is currently employed as an Education Advisor at Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimanak and completing a degree in Social Work through UCN. Her passion lies with helping Aboriginal youth attain their goals and dreams. She continues to be grounded in life through her culture and traditions. Brandee is the VOICE Community and Youth Coordinator for Thompson and area.  She is also helping to lead the VOICE Youth Community Circle email: balbert@mkonoth.com

Dave Anderson

Dave Anderson

Mr. Dave Anderson (his name in English) came to the University College of the North from Ontario. During Dave’s career he has been involved with Aboriginal / Anishinabe Education for over 25 years. He has been a classroom teacher, a teacher educator and an Anishinabe Researcher. Dave is walking toward the Second Degree Doorway of the Midewewin Lodge.  Ma-see-chõk.  Dave works closely with the UCN Council of Elders. email: dbanderson@ucn.ca

Chris Brown

Chris Brown

Dr. Chris Brown is a faculty member in the Faculty of Education at Brandon University where he teaches courses in Educational Psychology, Counselling and Special Education. Chris has experience as a teacher, principal, resource teacher, and guidance counsellor in provincial and First Nation education systems in Manitoba. Chris is deeply invested in supporting community growth and his research interests involve studying and promoting anti-oppressive education,transformative learning, cultural proficiency and youth engagement.  Chris has been involved with the Thompson Community Circle and the Youth Community Circle. email: brownc@brandonu.ca

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Jennifer Davis

Dr. Jennifer Davis has focused on the importance of learning from the land, storytelling and the impact of traditional teachings on current character education curricula. Jennifer enjoys and encourages the blending of traditional teaching methods with 21st century learning skills. An increased understanding of cultural proficiency and the richness of land-based education excite Jennifer with the possibilities they offer to her 11 grandchildren who are currently involved with the public education system, and to those who are yet to come. Jennifer believes this is a wonderful time to be involved in education in Canada! She is working as part of the Thompson Community Circle email: jdavis@ucn.ca

Robin Enns

Robin J. Enns

Dr. Robin Enns has taught in Canadian universities from the Atlantic to the Pacific. In both English and French languages, his career research interests span curriculum policy-making, and evaluation, aesthetic knowing, effects of reduced resources on curriculum, Aboriginal education, journalling, higher education administration, distance education, and spirituality and education.  Robin’s interest on the VOICE Project is Elder knowledge. email: ennsrj@brandonu.ca

Brenda Firman

Brenda Firman

Dr. Brenda Firman is faculty member in the Kenanow Bachelor of Education program at University College of the North.  Brenda travelled from England to Canada as a young child and then to the Aboriginal communities in remote, northwestern Ontario as an educator.  Living in community, and in relationship with people, she had the opportunity to re-educate herself. Her education continues under the guidance of Elders and in relationship with the communities of northern Manitoba.  She hopes to support communities in whatever processes and actions they choose as VOICE participants. Brenda is working with Bunibonibee Cree Nation Community Circle and with the Elders Community Circle. email: bfirman@ucn.ca

Donna Forsyth

Donna Forsyth

Ms. Donna Forsyth is in the Faculty of Education at Brandon University, where she has worked closely with Brandon School Division to initiate the Professional Development Schools (PDS) model.  Before coming to BU, Donna served in the public school system for 30 years, holding positions as a classroom teacher, resource teacher, and special education teacher. She also served as a curriculum consultant with Manitoba Education, and a Staff Development Consultant with Brandon School Division. Donna‘s current research agenda focuses on oral language development, reading comprehension, Aboriginal literature, and school-university partnerships.  Donna is connected to professional development and research activities connected to the Aboriginal Literature collections at Opaskwayak Cree Nation, UCN and the Faculty of Education at Brandon University. email: forsythd@brandonu.ca

Ken Friesen

Ken R. Friesen

Dr. Ken Friesen is the Director of the Program for the Education of Native Teachers (PENT) at Brandon University. Ken is a Movement and Wellness Specialist who has an interest in Educational Pedagogy.  Ken’s personal and professional desire to participate within the VOICE Project is to further develop lifelong success through education of youth in Northern communities. “With Education Comes Power.”  Ken’s future plans include a study based upon the influences of physical activity on populations with Type II Diabetes.  email: friesenk@brandonu.ca

Shannon Gadbois

Shannon Gadbois

Dr. Shannon Gadbois teaches in the Psychology Department at Brandon University. Shannon teaches sport psychology, human learning, memory, and sex and gender courses.  She has conducted research on youth experiences in extracurricular activities, university students’ learning, teachers/students experiences using Interactive Whiteboard technology, and gender issues in academia. Shannon is particularly interested in working with communities to consider extracurricular and community based activities that fit their needs and interests and enhance youth development in the VOICE project. email:gadboiss@brandonu.ca

Al Gardiner

Al Gardiner was the former Dean of Education at University College of the North and is now a faculty member in the Kenanow Bachelor of Education program.  Al is currently a doctoral candidate with Taos Institute and Tilburg University, The Netherlands.  Al’s research activities focus on teacher education, school leadership and cultural proficiency. He has over thirty years of experience in education as a classroom teacher, school counselor, school administrator and a superintendent of schools.  Al has also held leadership positions in the Manitoba Teachers’ Society, Manitoba Association of School Superintendents, and the Rotary Club of The Pas.  He is currently working closely with both The Pas and Thompson Community Circles. email: agardiner@ucn.ca

Sheila Giesbrecht

Sheila Giesbrecht

Dr. Sheila Giesbrecht is a student success consultant with Manitoba Education.  Her primary responsibilities focus on providing supports to children and youth living in low socioeconomic contexts.  Sheila is working with the Manitoba First Nations Education Resource Centre Community Circle on student transitions and the Lakeshore Community Circle on systems design aimed at transformative education practices. email: sheila.giesbrecht@gov.mb.ca

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Savanna Henderson

Ms. Savanna Henderson is graduating from the University College of the North Kenanow Bachelor of Education Program in June 2014.  She was elected as Jr. Chief in her community at Opaskwayak Cree Nation.  Savanna likes to stay active and volunteer in her community.  Savanna was raised by her grandparents and she has four beautiful children. Savanna’s philosophy is to educate, empower, and educate our Aboriginal children as they are our future leaders for a better tomorrow.  Savanna is the VOICE Community and Youth Coordinator for The Pas and area. email: savanna.henderson@opaskwayak.ca

Carmen Kazakoff-Lane

Carmen Kazakoff-Lane

Ms. Carmen Kazakoff-Lane is an Associate Librarian at Brandon University. Her research interests include Open Content and the impact of Web 2.0 Technologies on Scholarly Communication, Information Literacy and Community Building.  Carmen serves as online editor for the Canadian Journal of Native Studies and as Project Coordinator for the ANimated Tutorial Sharing Project. email: kazakoff@brandonu.ca

Jackie Kirk

Jacqueline Kirk

Dr. Jackie Kirk is an Associate Professor at Brandon University. She is also Chair of the Department of Leadership and Educational Administration and is taking the leadership role to integrate graduate students in the research activities of the VOICE Research Project.  She is passionate about teaching and about her research in the areas of educational leadership, change, teacher transformation, and educational technology. In the VOICE project, Jackie will be working with Flin Flon and Lakeshore Community Circles.  Her research interests are teacher transformation and in-school administration.  email: kirkj@brandonu.ca

Amjad Malik

Amjad Malik

Dr. Amjad Malik joined the Faculty of Education with the Brandon University Northern Teachers Education Program (BUNTEP) in 2004.  He held a B.Sc (Hons.), M.Sc (Hons.) and Ph.D. in Biology from his home country of Pakistan when he joined the Faculty of Education. Since then he has completed Bachelor of General Studies, Bachelor of Education, and Master of Education in Curriculum Studies at Brandon University and is currently working towards a Ph.D. in Math & Science Education at the University of Manitoba.  Amjad is now a faculty member of UCN.  email: amalik@ucn.ca

Kathryn McNaughton

Kathryn McNaughton

Dr. Kathryn McNaughton’s varied career has given her opportunity to work in educational settings from early years to post-secondary.  Kathryn helped prepare the original proposal for the VOICE Research Project.  She is currently the Dean of the Centre for Teaching Excellence, Innovation and Research at Red River Community College in Winnipeg. email: kmcnaughton@rrc.ca

 

Alex Michalos

Alex Michalos

Dr. Alex Michalos is a professor emeritus in Political Science from the University of Northern British Columbia, a member of the Order of Canada, and a winner of the SSHRC Gold Medal for excellence in research on social indicators and quality of life.  Alex believes that different communities need somewhat different measures of their success. Concerning the VOICE project, he is interested in the success of children and young people. He feels this project allows us to find new ways to help communities craft indicators that address things that are vitally important to them. email: michalos@brandonu.ca

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Michael Nantais

Dr. Mike Nantais is an Associate Professor and chair of the Department of Curriculum and Pedagogy in the Faculty of Education at Brandon University. He has over 35 years experience as a teacher, including 30 years as a rural public school teacher, including several years as a school based “ICT leader” and four years in administration. At Brandon University, Mike teaches Math Methods, Science Methods, and educational technology courses. Mike has obtained 3 degrees from BU, including a Masters of Education in Curriculum Studies. Mike also holds a Ph.D. in Education from the University of Manitoba. Mike is passionate about teaching and learning, especially in the area of educational technology. Mike is also interested in the effect educational technology has on teacher transformation. His work as a part of VOICE is with the Lakeshore Community Circle. email: nantaism@brandonu.ca twitter: @MikeN_bu

Ruth Norton

Ruth Norton

Elder Ruth Norton has 43 years experience in Indian education as a teacher, guidance counselor, high school principal, Assembly of First Nations National Education Director and founding director of The Manitoba Association of Native Languages, Inc.  Ruth has seven children, 16 grandchildren, 9 great-grandchildren. Ruth’s parents were John C. Courchene and Josie/Bella Courchene.  She is an Anishanabeg linguist and keeper of traditional knowledge.

Arnie Novak

Arnold Novak

Dr. Arnie Novak’s professional interests are in the area of educational technology, international development, and administration.  He is the former Chair of the Department of Graduate Studies & Field Research in the Faculty of Education at Brandon University. Arnie helps to integrate graduate students in the research activities of the SSHRC-CURA program. email: novak@brandonu.ca

Alexa Okrainec

Alexa Okrainec

Dr. Alexa Okrainec brings to the project her background in speech-language pathology and her experience helping children with special needs.  Alexa’s primary interests include language development and improving outcomes for people living with disabilities. email: okraineca@brandonu.ca

Sherry Peden

Sherry Peden

Dr. Sherry Peden, a member of the Tootinaowaziibeeng Treaty Reserve, has spent the past 30 odd years in education, primarily serving the northern and Aboriginal communities.  Sherry was a middle, early years and high school teacher,  an administrator, a guidance counselor and then, community-based and on-campus teacher educator. Currently she is the Vice President Academic and Research at the University College of the North (UCN) in The Pas, Manitoba. Sherry’s interest in the VOICE research project relates to animating Indigenous worldviews and ways of knowing into school systems.  This starts with developing respectful and authentic relationships and pathways to build upon the knowledge carried by the Elders to K-12 and post-secondary school systems.  Land-based and experiential education is an integral part of Sherry’s research and life interest. email: speden@ucn.ca

Karen Rempel

Karen Rempel

Dr. Karen Rempel is the Director of the Centre for Aboriginal and Rural Education Studies in the Faculty of Education at Brandon University and the Director of the VOICE Research Project.  Karen’s research interests are youth-at-risk, education program for mobile children and youth, and the connection between educational achievement of individuals and rural and northern community economic development.  email: rempelk@brandonu.ca

Marion Terry

Marion Terry

Dr. Marion Terry has been teaching for over 35 years, in elementary school, high school, and university.  As a full professor at Brandon University, Marion teaches graduate level writing and research courses. Her M.Ed. research was with adult upgrading students in northern Saskatchewan and her Ph.D. research was with adult and youth-at-risk literacy students in rural Manitoba.  Marion is especially pleased to be part of the VOICE project because of its positive focus on success indicators for youth in Aboriginal communities.  She is closely connected to The Pas Community Circle. email: terry@brandonu.ca

Lynn Whidden

Lynn Whidden

Dr. Lynn Whidden obtained her doctorate in ethnomusicology and is a professor emerita at Brandon University.  Lynn has taught and researched Aboriginal music from around the world. She produced a cross-Canada series of Native music videos and published numerous articles and books especially about Cree and Métis song.  Recently she has created historical documents with sound such as A History in Sound of Gabriel Dumont’s Life, 1837-1906.  She has enjoyed her work in rural communities over several decades and looks forward to continuing her work through the VOICE project.  Lynn is currently working with Opaskwayak Cree Nation Community Circle on their fine arts success pathway. email: whidden@brandonu.ca