Reconciliation Ambassadors

Reconciliation Ambassadors are a group of dedicated young people who have been selected to act as hosts, mediators, videographers and social-media managers for Reconciliation Conversations. By offering their experience, knowledge, and support skills to this webinar series, the Reconciliation Ambassadors are ensuring that youth are engaged, informed, and protected as they participate in meaningful conversations on Reconciliation.

Cassandra De Freitas

Hi everyone! My name is Cassandra De Freitas and I am very excited to be working alongside all of you these next few months. I was born and raised in Aurora, Ontario on the traditional territories of the Anishinaabe Peoples, in the Williams Treaties and Treaty 13 area. However, I have lived in Toronto, Ontario for the past 4 years to work towards my degree in Social Work and Human Rights and Equity Studies at York University.

I am 22 years old, and am very passionate about gender equality, sexual and reproductive health rights, and indigenous and land rights. I am involved with organizations like Amnesty International, Plan International Canada, and the Centre for Global Health Security and Diplomacy.

Outside of activism, I love nature and going on hikes. I am a passionate baker (and eater!), reader, and runner. I cherish time with my friends and family and look forward to seeing them again after COVID.

William Fayant

Tansi! My name is William Fayant. I am of nêhiyaw-Michif origin from Treaty 4 Territory. While I currently live in Regina, SK, I am a proud member of both the Peepeekisis Cree Nation, and the Lebret Métis community. I identify as Queer Indigenous, and use masculine pronouns (he/him). In 2016, I completed my education at the University of Regina (BA History, International), and hold a general proficiency in Mandarin Chinese. Much of my experience with being a Youth Leader and facilitator is thanks to my participation in a National Experience program called Katimavik, which since its relaunch in 2018, has made tremendous steps with incorperating Active Reconciliation into their main agenda.

While the age of social distancing has unfortunately taken away my love for travel, I find comfort in reading all genres of literature, playing video games, and listening to 1970s goth rock.

I have recently begun to seek answers on what it is to be wetikoken (a contrary), and how their gifts contribute to their people. My search has found me connecting to many knowledge keepers in my community, and for that, I’m thankful. hiy hiy

Nicole Tornquist

Tansi, My name is Nicole Tornquist, I am a 25 year old Indigenous woman from Opaskwayak Cree Nation. I graduated high school from Margaret Barbour Collegiate. I then continued my education at University College of the North and completed my Business Administration majoring in Management. I am a National Ambassador of Hope for We Matter, Manitoba 150 Youth Ambassador, Indigenous 150+ Youth Ambassador and I am also a Facilitator for Awaken the Spirit. In 2019 the youth nominated me to run for Junior Onekanew (Chief), where I accepted the challenge and started my campaign journey. I was then the successful candidate for Junior Onekanew (Chief). With that being said I have the great honors to proudly represent my community of Opaskwayak Cree Nation. My passion is working with the youth of my community and helping our youth become the best people they can be, watching them bloom and overcome obstacles is the greatest feeling in the world. I believe I was meant to mentor the youth, to help them succeed and making connections with them, our youth are the reason I am always pushing myself to become a better person.

Katherine Koskie

My name is Katherine Koskie, and I’m situated on Treaty 4 territory. I am currently teaching at my old high school, at the Yorkton Regional in Saskatchewan. I received my Bachelor of Education and Masters of Curriculum & Instruction at the University of Regina, taking many classes through the First Nations University of Canada. I am interested in all things education: Treaty ed., technology, engagement in literacy, anti-oppressive ed., and, of course, reconciliation! I also am slightly obsessed with Harry Potter. My hobbies include hanging with my dog, Bogie, and taking the odd class to create stained glass pieces of furniture. One cool fact about me is that I just received news I have been accepted to the University of Alberta to pursue my Doctorate of Education! I am very excited for this reconciliation forum, and I can’t wait to learn alongside everyone.

Thawany Monteiro

Thawany Monteiro is a proud mother and recent York University Master of Social Work graduate. Thawany’s work as a Youth Reconciliation Initiative Facilitator with Canadian Roots Exchange, fuelled her passion on educating and working with immigrant, racialized, African disporia and Indigenous youth on topics centring identity, reconciliation and decolonization from an indigenous worldview. Thawany centres her life experience as a Brazilian immigrant woman with mixed ancestry and Indigenous roots in her work. Thawany currently lives and works in Treaty 13 territory. In her free time, she loves to spend time with her family and friends, read, hike, bead and play soccer.

Jonathan Plank

I’m Jonathan Plank an Education student at the University of Regina focusing on Social studies with an interest in inclusive education.  I grew up in the town of Fort Qu’Appelle Saskatchewan at the heart of Treaty 4. Growing up in Fort Qu’Appelle has given me ample opportunity to explore the history and the relationship between settlers and indigenous people, Fort Qu’Appelle prior to settlement was a location of great importance for the people of the great plains and Metis Nation. As well as the location of the first Hudson’s Bay store. This historical narrative is one that has shaped my community and my own experiences. It was the historic nature of my community which given me the opportunity to work at the Motherwell National Historic site. Allowing me to better explore the settling of the plains and the relationship between indigenous people and early settlers. Understanding the experiences of my community and the impact of a place has on truth and reconciliation. The opportunities around me have given me a great ability to explore and better understand the world around me and grow as person entrenched in the spirit of truth and reconciliation

Paige Kasokeo

Tansi, my name is Paige Kasokeo. I am a proud neheyaw iskwew from Poundmakers First Nations, SK born and raised in Edmonton, AB. I am a Youth and Family Support worker at Ben Calf Robe Society and was just named the new head of the Youth Advisory Committee for the youth within my community. I have 10 years experience working in the field of child and youth as well as providing resources for those who are homeless and or considered low income. I’ve grown a huge passion for youth as I want to be able to show them opportunity and allow them to have a voice not only for themselves but also their communities. Being able to connect with youth from all over and traveling has been something I have always wanted to do, and being able to be apart of Experiences Canada’s Team is going to be such a great experience and opportunity to learn and grow and is super exciting and I look forward to this amazing journey.

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