A.Brenda Anderson is an associate professor in the department of Gender, Religion and Critical Studies at Luther College at The University of Regina. Her work focuses largely on the intersections of racism and sexism in colonialism both past and present, specifically Muslim women and Indigenous women globally. The work of resistance and advocacy amongst and between groups of women, and the role that spirituality/religions play in these responses, is of particular interest to her research. Brenda was co-editor of the first edition of this book, Torn from our Midst: Voices of Grief, Healing and Action from the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women Conference, 2008.
Barbara Tomporowski is the Director of Restorative & Indigenous Justice with Saskatchewan Integrated Justice Services, serving the Ministry of Justice and Attorney General and the Ministry of Corrections, Policing and Public Safety. She is passionate about communities and the possibility of change. She co-chairs the Federal-Provincial-Territorial Working Group on Restorative Justice, and previously taught classes for the University of Regina Department of Justice Studies. She has volunteered with local, provincial, and national organizations, and is honoured to have received the John Howard Society of Canada Award for Community Service in 2013, and the National Ron Wiebe Restorative Justice Award in 2018.
Betty McKenna, our guiding Elder for the 2008 conference, the 2010 book and for this book, is Anishnabae from the Shoal River Band #366 who, with her husband Ken, has had three children. She is an Elder for First Nations and Metis education at the Regina Public School Board, a lecturer of Indigenous Health Studies in social work and biology, and guiding elder for many research projects, including Elder for IAPH and Research and Education for Solutions to violence and abuse. She has co-authored several peer-reviewed publications and is an editor of the book, Listening To The Beat Of Our Drum. She has served on the College of Physicians and Surgeons and National Elders Advisory Corrections Canada. Elder Betty was the recipient of the Queen’s Gold and Diamond Jubilee medals and Excellence in Health award.
Carrie Bourassa, B.A., M.A., PhD is the Scientific Director of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research – Institute of Indigenous Peoples’ Health (CIHR-IIPH) and a Professor, Community Health & Epidemiology, University of Saskatchewan. She is the Principal Investigator for the Canada Foundation for Innovation funded Morning Star Lodge as well as the Cultural Safety, Evaluation, Training and Research lab. Dr. Bourassa has nearly 20 years’ experience as a professor in the field of Indigenous health studies. Through her role as Scientific Director of IIPH, she leads the advancement of a national health research agenda to improve and promote the health of First Nations, Inuit and Métis Peoples in Canada.
Crystal J. Giesbrecht is a volunteer fieldworker with Amnesty International Canada and members of Regina’s Amnesty International Community Group (Group 91).
Cynthia Berajano, a native of the southern New Mexico border, received her BA and MA from New Mexico State University and her Ph.D. from Arizona State University in 2001. She joined the Department of Criminal Justice at New Mexico State University, where she was a professor until 2014, and then joined the Interdisciplinary Studies and Gender and Sexuality Studies Department as a Regents Professor. She is the Stan Fulton College of Arts and Sciences Endowed Chair since 2010 and the 2021-2022 College of Arts and Sciences Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Fellow. Cynthia’s research focuses on border violence, youth cultures, immigration and migration issues, and gender-based violence at the U.S.-Mexico border. She is the author of the book “Qué Onda?” Urban Youth Cultures and Border Identity, published by the University of Arizona Press (2005) and the co-editor of an interdisciplinary anthology with Rosa-Linda Fregoso titled, Terrorizing Women: A Cartography of Feminicide in the Américas published by Duke University Press (2010), and in Spanish by the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Mexico. She has numerous single and co-authored articles, essays, and chapters in journals and books like Aztlan, Race and Ethnic Studies, and recently in the Handbook on Human Security, Borders, and Migration. She was the co-founder of Amigos de las Mujeres de Juárez, an organization that worked to end violence against women in Chihuahua, Mexico, and the borderlands. In 2014, she served as one of five tribunal judges specializing in international human rights and gender-based violence for the Tribunal Permanente de los Pueblos in Chihuahua City, Chihuahua, Mexico. Her current research projects include two co-edited books tentatively titled, “Mothering while Brown: The Everyday Challenges of Child-Rearing in Militarized Spaces” with Cristina Morales, and GATHERING TOGETHER, WE DECIDE: Dene Nde’, Dispossession Memories, and Resistance Methodologies, 2007-2017 with Margo Tamez and Jeffrey Shepherd.
Danielle Jeancart is originally from northern Saskatchewan, Treaty 6 Territory, and is of French-Métis, nehiyaw, and Ukrainian ancestry. She holds a BA in English Literature from the University of Regina and an MA in Indigenous Studies and Canadian Studies from Trent University. Her graduate work focused on Indigenous history and conceptions of Indigenous masculinity in Canada. Passionate about Indigenous education, Danielle has worked as an Instructor, curriculum developer, and program coordinator for over a decade. Since January 2019, she has been working in Education and Training with the Ontario Federation of Indigenous Friendship Centres – a non-profit organization based in Toronto that advocates for urban Indigenous peoples across Ontario.
Darlene M. Juschka is an associate professor in the Department of Gender, Religious and Critical studies. Her areas of interest are semiotics, critical theory, feminisms, and posthumanism. Some of her more recent work includes: The Construction of Gendered Identities in Myth and Ritual. In Companion to Global Gender History (2nd edition). 2020; Feminisms and the study of religion in the 21st century. Berlin Journal of Critical Theory. Vol. 3, No. 2 (April, 2019); Faller, Y. N., Wuerch, M. A., Hampton, M. R., Barton, S., Fraehlich, C., Hungler, K., Juschka, D., Moffitt, P., Zederayko, A. (2018). A web of disheartenment with hope on the horizon: Intimate partner violence in rural and northern communities. Journal of Interpersonal Violence; Feminist approaches to the study of religion. In Richard King, (ed.), Religion, Theory, Critique: Classic and Contemporary Approaches, 2017; Indigenous women and reproductive justice – A narrative. In Carrie Bourassa, Betty McKenna and Darlene Juschka (eds.) Listening to the beat of our drum, 2017; “Feminism and Gender”. In Steven Engler and Michael Stausberg (eds.), The (Oxford) handbook of the study of religion, 2016. She has also published four books, Contours of the Flesh: The Semiotics of Pain (2021); with Carrie Bourassa, Betty McKenna (eds.) (2017). Listening to the beat of our drum: Stories in Indigenous parenting in contemporary society, Political Bodies, Body Politic: The Semiotics of Gender (2009) (Translated and published in Chinese in 2015) and Feminism in the study of religion: A reader (2001).
Gordon Barnes is a volunteer fieldworker with Amnesty International Canada and members of Regina’s Amnesty International Community Group (Group 91).
Jennifer Brant (She/Her) Kanien’keh:ka (Mohawk Nation) is a mother-scholar and assistant professor in the Department of Curriculum, Teaching, and Learning at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto. Jennifer writes and teaches about Indigenous maternal pedagogies and Indigenous literatures as liberatory praxis. Jennifer is the co-editor of “Forever Loved: Exposing the Hidden Crisis of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls in Canada.” Jennifer positions Indigenous literatures as educational tools to foster sociopolitical action and calls for immediate responses to racialized, sexualized, and gender-based violences.
Boozhoo,Aniin Keesis Sagay Egette Kwe nindiznikaaz (greetings,my name is First Shining Rays of Sunlight Woman). Dr. Jennifer Leason is a member of Pine Creek Indian Band, Manitoba, and the proud mother of Lucas and Lucy. Dr. Leason is a Canadian Institute of Health Research(CIHR), Canada Research Chair, Tier II, Indigenous Maternal Child Wellness, and an Associate Professor at the University of Calgary. Dr. Leason is an Associate Member of the CIHR College of Reviewers and Associate Editor of the Canadian Journal of Public Health. She is the recipient of a CIHR New Investigator Award (2017–2020); New Frontiers in Research Fund Award (2019–2021); and CIHR Operating Grant (2020–2023), among other Patient-Oriented Research grants and partnerships. Her research aims to address perinatal and maternal–child health disparities and inequities by examining maternity experiences, healthcare utilization, and social–cultural contexts of Indigenous maternal-child wellness. Jennifer is the artist for our Ancestors book cover.
Kim Erno is an ordained Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) pastor and is director of the Franklin Alliance for Rural Ministries (FARM) in northern Vermont that serves the migrant farm worker community. He also is a member of the CREAR collective based in Cuernavaca, México, which fosters global solidarity through experiential education with student delegations from Canada and the U.S. For years he has been an international human rights activist.
Leonzo Barreno, PhD, an Indigenous K’iche-Mayan from Guatemala, is a Sociology Assistant Professor at Mount Royal University, Calgary, AB. He came to Canada in 1989. His research and teaching experience focuses on Mayan Studies, Indigenous Sociology, International Indigenous Studies, Justice, Genocide, Colonization and Decolonization Studies. Leonzo’s work experience include coordinating and directing international Indigenous programs and an International Indigenous Center (1994-2005). In 1999, with the guidance of an Indigenous Elders Council, he developed the concept, goal and activities of the Aboriginal Youth Leadership Development Program (AYLDP). Leonzo taught the Course “International Indigenous Issues” from 1997 to 2004 at the SIFC Regina and Prince Albert campuses and two First Nations communities. From 2003 to 2019, he served on various terms (part-time) as the “CanGlobal Television Chair” (now the Asper Chair in Journalism) for the School of Journalism, University of Regina. Leonzo has given presentations about Indigenous related topics in Chile, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Peru, Ecuador, Brazil, and Mexico and to the Inter American Development Bank in Washington. He authored Higher Education for Indigenous people in Latin America (2003) used as a working document by IESALC-UNESCO/Latin America during the gathering of experts in Guatemala in April 2002. In May 2016 he moderated the workshop “Global Citizens as Stewards of the Planet: Energy, Environment and Climate Change,” during the Sixty-sixth United Nations/Non-Governmental Organizations Conference, United Nations Department of Public Information (DPI)/Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO) in Gyeongju, Republic of South Korea.
Melissa Anne Wuerch, PhD, is a clinical psychologist (supervised practice) in Ontario, Canada. Her clinical focus includes working with children, adolescents, and adults coping with mental health concerns. She graduated from the clinical psychology doctoral program at the University of Regina in Saskatchewan, Canada in October 2020 and continues to focus on research examining intimate partner violence in rural and northern communities.
Shauneen Pete served as the Executive Lead of Indigenization at the University of Regina for three years. In January 2017, Shauneen returned to her faculty responsibilities in the Faculty of Education (University of Regina) where she earned a Full Professorship. Shauneen began working as the Indigenous Resurgence Coordinator in the Indigenous Education Department, Faculty of Education at the University of Victoria in 2018.
Tracey George Heese (B. Ed.) is a First Nations designer, artist, and entrepreneur of Timeless Shadows from Ochapowace First Nation in Saskatchewan. As an artist and volunteer, Tracey submitted fully-beaded moccasin vamps in a national art exhibit honouring the murdered and missing women of Canada to Christi Belcourt in honour of her late murdered mother Winnifred George. Her personal family experience of missing and murdered women was featured in an interview with Sheila Coles of CBC Radio Saskatchewan’s The Morning Edition that aired on November 26, 2013. Also, as one of the contributors to the pre-inquiry phase of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, George was invited to speak to Ralph Goodale, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, her local MP, and Jody Wilson-Raybould, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada. As an accomplished designer, Tracey has focused on the plight of Indigenous women and girls. She explains, “I do this fundraiser and that demonstration and I wonder if any of it will make a difference.” Tracey is also a mother to three sons and a daughter. She is also an elementary school teacher, adult facilitator, and cultural consultant. Tracey is the founder of “A Proud Generation,” an Aboriginal youth calendar project. Most recently, she has served as an artist and co-lead of the Balfour Ribbon Campaign, an artistic ribbon promise to commemorate residential school survivors that is based on the Truth & Reconciliation Commission’s calls to action.
Wendee Kubik is a retired professor of Women’s and Gender Studies. She is an Adjunct Professor at the University of Regina and Brock University and The Environmental Sustainability Research Centre at Brock University