Board of Directors
Jason Thompson is a proud member of the Red Rock Indian Band. He was born and raised in Lake Helen Reserve community until he moved away for work, in Ear Falls and Thunder Bay. Jason is a graduate of Confederation College in Thunder Bay, with a degree in Human Resource Management, and a founding board member of the Anishnawbe Business Professional Association. Jason currently works at Superior Strategies Supply and Service, a locally owned business founded and operated by himself. Jason has a passion for health and safety, and has taken part in various health and safety courses over the years.
Diane Walker is the CEO of Children’s Centre Thunder Bay (CCTB). She has worked for CCTB in a variety of management roles since 1989. Diane is a non-Indigenous person who grew up in a small community outside of Hamilton, Ontario. She moved to Thunder Bay in 1979 to attend Lakehead University and chose to remain after she finished her education. Diane has many years of experience working in children’s services, education and leadership. Her current interests include social justice, governance structures and continuous quality improvement. Diane is most content when she is learning, contributing to positive change, enjoying nature and spending time with family and her two poodles – Cambria and Oliver. In response to Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) recommendations and in the spirit of reconciliation, Shkoday changed our bylaws in 2019 to include a limited number of non-Indigenous people as Directors. Shkoday is happy to welcome Diane to our Board of Directors for 2020 and beyond.
Sarah Nelson's main focus in her career has been enhancing the lives of Youth and encouraging them to speak out. As the Youth Social Infrastructure (YSI) northwest lead, Sarah provided the opportunity for youth to enhance their skills through training, coaching and practice opportunities. Sarah’s other past community work has the common thread of uplifting the voices of Indigenous youth and whole communities, including with the Feathers of Hope as a Youth Amplifier and with the Thunder Bay Urban Aboriginal Strategy organizing community engagements and interviews which informed the 2012-2017 Urban Aboriginal Strategy, as well as working for Nishnawbe Aski Development Fund, to determine best practices to engage with community about their programs and services. She has also volunteered with the Canadian Roots Exchange as a Reconciliation Leader providing the opportunity for Indigenous and non-Indigenous youth to come together and learn about decolonization by facilitating the Blanket Exercise and organizing and leading trips to visit Indigenous communities.
Lana Ray, PhD is an Anishinaabe scholar and from Opwaaganasiniing (Red Rock Indian Band). Her Anishinaabe name is Waaskone Giizhigook and she is a member of the Muskellunge Clan. Lana is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Indigenous Learning at Lakehead University and Lakehead University’s inaugural Indigenous Research Chair in Decolonial Futures. She has over a decade of experience working in the public and not-for profit sectors, including as the Director of Policy and Research at a provincial Indigenous organization. She recently received the emerging Indigenous scholar award at the International Conference on Qualitative Inquiry and is a past recipient of Lakehead University’s teaching innovation award for land-based learning.
Elizabeth (Betty) Kennedy
Betty is of Ojibway and Irish descent and is a member of the Anishinabek Nation. Her home community is Lake Helen First Nation. She was given her Spirit Name in ceremony “Minoweginiwaa” which, when translated means “Good Sounding Woman”. Betty is a graduate of Confederation College and Lakehead University and holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree and an Honours Bachelor of Social Work Degree. Her forty-year career began with service to Canada in the Canadian Armed Forces. Over the years she was employed in numerous leadership and governance roles for a variety of Federal, Provincial and Community organizations. Betty also served as a member of Thunder Bay City Council for 21 years (1982-2003) and only recently retired with the closure of the Ontario Child Advocates Office. She is a passionate advocate and has dedicated her life and work in service to others.