Christina Fox, Iixsisaanoowa, is a proud Grandmother and GreatGrandmother from the Blood Tribe. Christina is also a self taught singer, writer and musician, and will share from her newly written book. Christina brings many gifts.
Crystal Manyfingers is a Teaching and Learning Consultant – Curriculum, Indigenization and Decolonization with Bow Valley College. She is a Blackfoot member of the Kainai First Nation of Treaty 7. She grew up on the Blood Reserve and as a child roamed the halls of the University of Lethbridge where her mother Dr. Helen Manyfingers was studying to earn her Bachelor of Education degree. This inspired Crystal to go ahead and enroll at the University of Calgary where she chose to major in English Literature. After completing her B.A., she decided to pursue a career in teaching (to follow in the footsteps of three of her siblings). She then went on to complete her Master of Education degree with a specialty in Adult and Workplace Environmental Learning. Prior to joining the Bow Valley College, Crystal was the Principal of the Bullhead Adult Education Center on the Tsuu T’ina First Nation for over a decade. Throughout her educational career, she has worked with many groups and agencies at all community levels including Federal Government of Indigenous and Northern Affairs, Alberta Education, City of Calgary’s Aboriginal Education Domain, Treaty 7 Principal’s Association, numerous Boards of Education and parent advisory committees. Crystal has been the Lead Instructor of Literacy and Essential Skills with the School of Foundational Learning since August, 2015. One contribution worth noting is her involvement and design of the Aboriginal Upgrading Program’s Elders in the Classroom and Elders on the Land. Presently, Crystal has been seconded to the Academic Innovation and Applied Research Division as Indigenization and Decolonization curriculum consultant for our School of Health and Wellness and School of Community Studies.
Patricia Pryce is the Program Coordinator for Literacy and Essential Skills, and Aboriginal Upgrading in the School of Foundational Learning at Bow Valley College. She has worked in Adult education for over 13 years. Most of this time was spent working with adults in rural Alberta and in Indigenous communities. She has a keen interest in the role of literacy in social justice and poverty reduction. This interest drives much of her work in the School of Foundational Learning. She has worked over the past three years in her current role to improve the Aboriginal Upgrading program with the help of an Advisory Circle and College supports. Part of the redesign was the incorporation of the Elders on the Land and Elders in the Classroom Program.
Russelle Burns is a member of the James Smith Cree Nation, and works as an Intensive Case Management Worker with the Awo Taan Healing Lodge Society. She has extensive experience working with youth and children. Russelle’s wealth of experience includes working as a school administrative assistant, substitute teacher, youth worker and social worker. Immediately completing her diploma in Social Work, Russelle secured employment working directly with youth and families. Russelle’s life is based on Indigenous values, knowledge and philosophy. She was raised in the community of Maskwacis, Alberta formerly Hobbema. She resides in Calgary on Treaty Seven Territory. She has two children, Jacob and Jenny whom she affectionately refers to as her ‘Js’.
is Woodland Cree from Northern Saskatchewan and is a member of the Lac La Ronge First Nation in Treaty 6 territory. He is the Indigenous Learner Liaison Officer at the Iniikokaan Centre with Bow Valley College. Gerald is Two-spirit and his traditional Blackfoot name is Ai’ssoo which translates to “Warrior” which was gifted to him by Blackfoot Elder Keith Chiefmoon of the Kainai Nation .Gerald is a child of a survivor and grew up in a dysfunctional home, his mother is a residential school survivor with a grade 3 education. Gerald completed grade 12 on reserve than left for university at the age of 18. It was in Saskatoon Gerald found connection with Indigenous ways. Gerald holds a 4 year B.A. (2005) from the University of Saskatchewan and was the first in his family to hold a degree. His three younger siblings now hold University degrees. Gerald has 10 years’ experience working in the areas of Justice, Child & Youth Care, Cultural Exchange, and Youth Leadership. Gerald has a nomadic spirit and has travelled to 10 countries. He has lived and worked in Mexico, Ukraine, and Peru. Gerald’s future goals are to complete a Master’s degree in Educational Leadership, travel the world and continue to support and advocate for Indigenous youth & community
Michelle (Michano) Richmond-Saravia/Makadaegobewiik, is from Biigtigong Anishinabek/Pic River First Nation from the Michano family and is also has Newfoundlander ancestry. She was born in Toronto and is from the Anishnabek nation and the granddaughter of entrepreneurs on both sides of her male lineages, one of her grandfathers worked in the cod fish industry and her other grandfather was a store owner which he had built into his home in Pic River, and trapper. She is the proud mom to three sons. She currently accepted a position with Bow Valley College in the Child and Youth Care Program and moved from Thunder Bay to Calgary. She has worked in the field of education since 2000, and built her consulting business beSuperior Consulting in 2015 which incorporates Indigenous Knowledge into curriculum or programs, and advises on how, and design. She has worked in Ontario with many organizations, and with political territorial organizations, as a consultant. Her great Auntie attended Residential School in Thunder Bay, and her uncle and aunt attended in Spanish Ontario. The name beSuperior came from the Lake I grew up on. “I wanted to capture the essence of where I was from, those strong ties to the Land, & Water, to family and place, and beauty.”