Board of Directors
Margaret is a co-founder of Màmawi Together. She has extensive experience with Indigenous and northern affairs, having held senior positions with the Government of Nunavut, the Office of the Premier of the Northwest Territories, and with a former Indigenous member of the Senate of Canada and House of Commons and Federal Cabinet, the late Honourable Len Marchand and the Honourable Ethel Blondin-Andrew respectively. Margaret is currently an independent consultant, working mainly with Indigenous organizations. She is also a mother of two Dene children and has been an active community volunteer for many years, especially in the field of education. In 2016, she received the ‘Excellence in Equity ISIS Officer Community Award’ from the Ottawa Carleton District Board of Education for her work in schools and the ‘Màmawi Together Art Mural’. Margaret is passionate about raising awareness of Indigenous peoples, their history, traditions and cultures in schools and with youth and the broader community.
Tim O’Loan is a co-founder of Màmawi Together. He is a proud member of the Dene Nation and veteran, having served for 10 years in the Canadian military. Tim has worked for the Government of the Northwest Territories as an Intergovernmental Relations Advisor and Land Claim Negotiator. In 2006, he moved to Ottawa to pursue further studies as a mature student and obtained a Master of Arts degree in Canadian Studies in 2008. After graduating, Tim worked for the Federal Department of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development and was asked to join the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada in 2010, as the Intergovernmental Advisor to the Chief Commissioner, the Honourable Justice Murray Sinclair, now a Senator. Tim has returned to working with the Government of Canada and is regularly invited to speak about the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and its Calls to Action to professionals in government, other work places and in schools and the community across Canada. Tim is passionate about encouraging Canadians to walk with Indigenous Peoples on the journey of reconciliation.
Geordie is an educator with extensive experience in school administration. He has been a School Principal for 15 years, most recently at Hillcrest High School. At his previous high school, Geordie worked with the Indigenous community to establish an Aboriginal healing and sharing lodge in the school. Manido Onji (Place of the Spirit) was the first of its kind in Ottawa, and offered First Nations, Métis, and Inuit students and all students a safe place to gather and support one another. In 2017, Geordie received The Learning Partnership’s Award for Canada’s Outstanding Principal for his outstanding work in creating safe, caring and inclusive schools. Geordie is passionate about putting into practice his belief that all students want to succeed, and will, if they are supported. Geordie is from a settler background, a parent to two young adults, and had a Metis brother, who was part of the 60’s scoop generation. In his professional and volunteer work with Màmawi Together over the past 4 years, Geordie is committed to encouraging schools and the community to respond to Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action.
Carolyn has been a volunteer and supporter with Màmawi Together since its inception and continues to devote much time and energy to making its activities and events a success. She is a mother to 4 children and currently works for an Ottawa area Member of Provincial Parliament. She has a B.A. in Political Science and Canadian History and a Masters in Public Administration (M.P.A.). She has worked in several Federal Government Departments, as well as worked many years in the private sector. She has been Treasurer and President of several volunteer community organizations over the past 14 years and is currently the Co-Chair of Pleasant Park Public School’s Parent Council in Ottawa. As a non-Indigenous Canadian, she firmly believes in the need for reconciliation with Indigenous peoples in Canada as well as a continual focus in our education curriculum about the history, past treatment of, and ongoing challenges facing of Indigenous peoples in Canada.
Anita Olsen Harper Phd (appointed 2019)
A member of the Lac Seul First Nation in Northwestern ON, Anita Olsen Harper was born and raised on the traditional territories of the Anishinaawpe people. She earned a PhD in Education at the University of Ottawa in 2011. Anita was a school board trustee for the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board (OCDSB) from 2014-2018. Anita’s stance is that a student-centred self-directed approach to learning is essential for the success of all Indigenous students. She is on the Indigenous Health Advisory Committee (IHAC) for the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (RCPSC) where she works at addressing the health disparities that exist among Indigenous populations in the country. She is presently the lead researcher of projects for women who access on-reserve crisis shelters. She has developed a “Financial Skills and Literacy” tool-kit for shelter directors and staff for in-shelter delivery as well as a handbook to facilitate abused women’s understanding of the legal system and its complexities as it affects them, their children, partner and places within the community. Anita continues to work at enhancing the standing and status of Indigenous people in all aspects of life in Canada.
Suzanne Keeptwo (appointed 2019)
Suzanne Keeptwo is a Métis (Algonkin) artist who applies traditional Anishinaabeg Teachings and artistic expression as a means of educating others about Indigenous historical and contemporary realities. She has worked across the nation state of Canada as a professional facilitator with host clients including the Museum of Human Rights (Winnipeg), McGill University (Montreal) and the Talking Stick Festival (Vancouver). Suzanne is also a freelance writer, editor, and Indigenous content consultant for clients including Pearson Education (Toronto), Brush Press (Edmonton), Theytus Publishing (Penticton, BC) and Kegedonce Press (Wiarton, ON). Her area of expertise is in bridging cultural gaps of understanding between Indigenous and non-indigenous audiences.
Keri Cheechoo (appointed 2019)
Keri Cheechoo is a Cree Iskwew from the community of Long Lake #58 First Nation. She is a mom, kookum (grandmother), and part-time professor who resists daily the systemic and institutional racism that is deeply embedded within society and higher education. She is also a Doctoral Candidate in the Faculty of Education at the University of Ottawa, and is in the very exciting space of completing and defending her dissertation. A published poet, Keri uses poetic inquiry (an arts-based methodology) in a good way that connects her spiritual aptitude for writing with educational research. Keri seeks to share the missing histories, and the intergenerational and contemporary impacts of colonial violence on Indigenous women’s bodies, as a part of her commitment to the educational and reconciliation process toward Indigenizing school curricula.
Honourable Senator Murray Sinclair
Honourable Senator Murray Sinclair was appointed to the Senate on April 2nd 2016. Senator Sinclair served the justice system in Manitoba for over 25 years. He was the first Aboriginal Judge appointed in Manitoba and Canada’s second.
He has finished his term as Chief Commissioner of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC). As head of the TRC, he participated in hundreds of hearings across Canada, culminating in the issuance of the TRC’s Final Report in December 2015.
Senator Sinclair has been invited to speak throughout Canada, the United States and internationally, including the Cambridge Lectures for members of the Judiciary of various Commonwealth Courts in England.
He has served as an adjunct professor of law at the University of Manitoba. He is very active within his profession and his community and has won numerous awards, including the National Aboriginal Achievement Award, the Manitoba Bar Association’s Equality Award (2001) and its Distinguished Service Award (2016) and has received Honorary Doctorates from 8 Canadian universities.
Màmawi Together would have never become a reality without the support of some very special individuals and organizations who believed in us and played a pivotal role in helping us get off the ground. From the first Indigenous Awareness Activity, first Speaker Night, the Art Mural and all the way through to our current annual activities, and not-for-profit status, there are too many to list but you know who you are. Without all of you, Màmawi Together would have never happened. Thank you!