Ashley is Haudenosaunee, wolf clan and traditionally from Tyendinaga, Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte on her mother’s side and Hungarian on her father’s side. Ashley moved to Peterborough six years ago and comes to the Friendship Centre from Fleming College. Ashley has experience working within a Friendship Centre setting and was a former staff and board of director with the Nogojiwanong Friendship Centre. She holds the Friendship Centre close to her heart, as it was the place where she had an opportunity to learn more about her own cultural identity.
Hi! My name is Morghann Frost, and I am a member of Curve Lake First Nation and am of Irish descent on my mother’s side. I am a graduate of Fleming College where I took the Office Administration program. I have worked various jobs over the years but came to the Friendship Centre from a healthcare office where I worked as clerical support for a cardiologist. I was born and raised in Peterborough which has given me the passion to see our Urban Indigenous community prosper and flourish. I am grateful for the opportunity to be a part of the Nogo team and am looking forward to learning more about our indigenous culture and community.
Samantha Wakeling, Community Wellness
Samantha is a mom of two young girls who keep her on her toes. Passionate about the importance of Housing First, Harm Reduction, and ending stigma on marginalized communities, Samantha has worked at various locations in and around Nogojiwanong/Peterborough and Durham in the Housing sector. She is passionate about meeting a person where they are and working with them to guarantee success in their goals. After working as a Personal Support Worker providing home care for 5+ years, kindness, patience, and understanding are her key personality traits.
Samantha graduated from Fleming College in 2020 with her Social Service Worker, Mental Health and Addiction Worker, and Indigenous Perspectives Designation. She recognizes the importance of family and culture throughout an individual’s life journey and is excited to provide a trauma-informed approach to assisting moms in achieving their personal and professional goals while promoting culture, family, and personal healing.
Kimberly Lamothe, Cultural Resource Coordinator
Kim is of mixed blood, Anishinaabe/Metis, from northwestern Ontario, Longlac #58. She is a proud mother and grandmother. She grew up with her grandparents and being raised by her grandmother, a residential school survivor, much healing has taken place to understand and overcome the intergenerational impacts of residential school.
She has been educated, formally and informally, and holds an Honours BA from Trent University, B.Ed from Nipissing University along with many other diplomas and certificates. Kim brings over 40 years of experience working with and for First Nation communities. She looks forward to this new journey within the Nogojiwanong Friendship Center.
Diane Sheridan, Aboriginal Prenatal Nutrition Worker
Diane is an Anishnawbe Kwe, mother of two and Nookamis to two beautiful grandchildren. She is a member of Hiawatha First Nation. Diane has had several roles over the course of her career but most were spent working with First Nation students, special needs students and student success programs in the Simcoe County Board of Education. She has also worked in the Aboriginal community as an Aboriginal Healthy Babies, Healthy Children Worker, Duty to Consult Consultation Worker and Acting Assistant Manager. Diane brings to our Centre great resources, networking connections and ongoing enrichment of her culture and traditions.
Helen Casmey, Aboriginal Family Support Worker
Helen graduated as a Child and Youth Worker from Humber College in 1979 and has dedicated her career to supporting the social, emotional and mental health needs of children and their families. She has worked for the past twenty-two years as Health Promotion Coordinator, Families First Worker and Preschool Consultant with Kinark Child and Family Services. This has provided her with a well-rounded understanding of needs and barriers to raising young children as well as a clear understanding of available community supports and resources. Helen is passionate about meeting the grassroots needs of families and firmly believes that “all children do well if they can”. She is excited about learning and incorporating spiritual and good life teachings into programs and workshops for young children and their families.
Cynthia Crowley, Program Manager
Cynthia is an Anishnaabe Kwe from Hiawatha First Nation. Through her experience, both professional and educational, she has gained valuable knowledge and experience working with the Aboriginal Community in the delivery of programs and services that enhance the overall well-being of individuals and families. She has experience in assessing client needs, supporting the achievement of their goals, and providing programs that support and enhance the holistic well-being of individuals. During her career, she has gained skills in case management, supportive counselling, and care plan development and she completed an Aboriginal Community Development Certificate with OFIFC.
Sarah Edwards, Wasa-Nabin Program Worker
Sarah is an Anishinaabe Kwe from Hiawatha First Nation and a proud mother of two wonderful girls. In April 2017, she graduated from the Social Service Worker program at Fleming College and accepted a short-term contract with the Centre, assisting both the Akwe:go and Wasa-Nabin programs. In October 2017, she was appointed full-time to the Wasa-Nabin program. Sarah has a passion for working with youth, supporting them to (re)connect with their culture and gain a better sense of self and belonging. Through her work with the Wasa-Nabin program, she strives to enhance the inherent gifts that all youth have, to guide them towards better decision-making and living a healthier lifestyle.
Melinda Taylor, Life Long Care Worker
Melinda is an Anishnaabe Kwe from Curve Lake First Nation. She came to the Friendship Centre from Curve Lake First Nation where she enjoyed working as the Community Health Representative. She has more than 17 years of experience and has obtained a Native Community Care Diploma offered by Mohawk College. She has a very keen passion for healthy living and has personally taken steps in her life to create healthy personal change. She enjoys sharing her knowledge through workshop presentations and skills training and her passion and dedication towards clients and the community shine through in her work.
Ron Zinck, Addictions and Mental Health Program Worker
Ron is a Life Style Counsellor and mental health professional with a resume that attests to long employment and volunteer career in the mental health field providing direct services to individuals and families. He is also experienced and passionate about addressing addictions and anti-poverty issues. He has worked across Canada, with diverse communities, including Aboriginal people and their communities. His certificate in Life Style Counseling and his thesis project was focused on Life Style Counseling as a treatment for those in recovery from addictions. Ron states that although he is not of Aboriginal ancestry, he has a deep respect for Aboriginal culture and has an understanding of the historical trauma that Aboriginal people have endured. He looks forward to working within our community and supporting our members to achieve their healthy lifestyle goals.
Nikita Corbiere, Mental Health and Well-Being Worker
Nikita Corbiere is a graduate of Fleming College in the dual pathway program of mental health and addictions as well as a social service worker. Her studies at Fleming educated her in the areas of addiction and trauma. She also obtained the Indigenous Perspective
Designation Certificate. Nikita believes that addiction and trauma almost always go hand in hand, having an impact on an individual’s mental well-being. She has a strong passion for supporting individuals along their healing journey, walking beside them on their paths to recovery.
Nikita was raised by her Grandmother in M’Chigeeng First Nation on Manitoulin Island, in a combined traditional and Christian household. She was raised with strong family values, living off the land, and taught the importance of self-perseverance. These lessons have enabled her to be supportive as well as an understanding of people’s decisions and life choices. This ties into her firm belief and approach to working with people where they are at, and not dictating to them where they should be. She is excited to be a part of the Friendship Centre team.
Dawson Leblanc-Peltier, Healthy Kids Worker
Dawson is Anishinaabe from Sagamok and Wikwemikong First Nations. He comes here with a background in Pre-health sciences and Fitness and health promotion. Previously Dawson was working with youth at a wildlife rescue and rehabilitation Centre creating indigenous programming. He is excited to bring his education and past work experience to the healthy living program along with many years of highly skilled sports experience. He enjoys biking, playing hockey, and any socially active activities
My name is MaryJane, my Indigenous name is N’gaamaa Migizi Kwe (Singing Eagle Woman). I am from the Marten Clan with roots to the Bear Clan. My (Step)father was a member of Alderville FN. I am a MA of Sustainability candidate at Trent University where my research is centered around exploring the relationship between participating in Ceremony and criminalized behaviours among Indigenous youth aged 15-25 years, I have a degree in Criminology, Psychology, and Indigenous Environmental Sciences & Studies. I also earned a diploma in Police Foundations and have previously been a civilian volunteer for several police services. I understand that to know a community is to work within that community, I look forward to taking on the role of Indigenous Court Worker and working with Nogojiwanong and surrounding Indigenous community members.
Em Feltham Day, Gender Diverse Indigenous Mentor
Em is Two-Spirit, of mixed Anishinaabe and European ancestry. They are of the bear clan with ties to Serpent River First Nation. They grew up and lived in Toronto until relocating to Peterborough two years ago. Em has a background in the arts as well as customer service and peer support work. Em is passionate about supporting Two-Spirit and LGBTQ+ youth through developing and sustaining safe and supportive spaces. They believe that connection to culture can (and should) be an affirming experience regardless of gender and/or sexuality. In their spare time, Em likes to bead, paint, and take their dog on walks by the river.
Nancy Andrus, Early Years Cultural Resource Coordinator
My name is Nancy Andrus. I am a Registered Early Childhood Educator. I am a member of Alderville First Nation. I reside in Port Hope with my husband, I am a mom to 3 children and a grandmother.
I have a love for learning. In 2004, I graduated from Fleming College where I took the Educational Assistant Program. In 2012, I graduated from Durham College where I took the Business – Operations Program. In 2019, I graduated from St. Clair College from the Binoojiinyag Kinoomaadwin Native Early Childhood Education Program.
I have a passion for working with young children. I have worked in the field of Early Childhood Education for 15+ years. Previously, I was working with Alderville First Nation at the childcare center. I have worked with infants, toddlers, preschoolers and school-age children. My biggest joy is watching the children grow and flourish! I am extremely happy to be part of the Nogojiwanong team and working with the children and families of Northumberland County.
Christine Avery, Indigenous Early Years Coordinator
Hi, my name is Christine Avery. My family is originally from North Bay Ontario which is Nipissing First Nation. I have lived all over Ontario in Cold Lake Alberta and Virginia USA. We moved around because we were a military family. I started my career in Early Childhood Education back in Virginia where I worked in a preschool for 3 years, moving back to Canada and landed in Brighton Ontario where I got my diploma in Early Childhood Education at Loyalist College and shortly after began a 10-year career with the Kawartha School Board. In the Kindergarten program.
My passion is education and learning. I am so grateful and excited to be working at the Friendship Centre. It allows me to learn with the children and explore my culture on a deeper level. Getting to visit different childcare and Early On centres allows me to share our beautiful culture with others.
Darion Godfrey, Wasa-Nabin Program Worker
Aniin, my name is Darion Godfrey I am proud to be Ojibwe and a member of Hiawatha First Nation. I am the Wasa Nabin worker here at Nogojiwanong. I have experience working in Life Services in Hiawatha helping to plan, organize and attend a variety of programs for indigenous youth in the community. I have also worked in multiple group home settings working with high-risk youth from the ages of 8-18. I have an interest in Social Work and Psychology and have taken courses at both Fleming College and Trent University. I am excited to bring my knowledge and work experience to this program. I look forward to meeting and getting to you all of you!
Ashley Wynne, Akwe:go
My Name is Ashley Wynne. I am an Anishinaabe Kwe and belong to the Turtle Clan. I was born in Sault Ste Marie, ON. My Anishinaabe roots are in Brunswick House First Nations. My family
currently calls Nogojiwanong/Peterborough home. Being so far from our home community, the Friendship Centre has been a valuable support for our family. We have had the opportunity to connect with the community and form our cultural identities through the various programs and services provided. I previously served on the Nogojiwanong Friendship Centre Board of Directors in the secretary position. I am an Early Childhood Educator and Recreation and Leisure Services graduate from Fleming College.
I have built strong relationships with children and youth, their families, and support circles over the past 20 years in my various roles working in this community. I am on a journey of lifelong learning and have a passion for keeping Indigenous languages and cultures alive. Discovering and sharing with youth in engaging meaningful ways fills my heart right up! I am honoured to be able to give back to this amazing community as your Akwego Worker. Gichi-Miigwech!
Matthew Olsen, Apatisiwin Employment and Training Counsellor
My name is Matthew Olsen and I am of Polish, Irish and Norwegian descent. I have worked for the urban Indigenous community of Nogojiwanong since 2013 through positions held at our Friendship Centre and at Nijjkiwendidaa Anishnaabekwewag Services Circle. Both are wonderful organizations that strive to provide services for the community and opportunities for positive change, personal growth, and aim to enhance the mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual well-being of individuals and families. It is a pleasure and a privilege to be a helper for the community and I am grateful for the opportunity to continue to do so as the Apatisiwin Employment and Training Counsellor. I look forward to meeting you, working with you, and helping you to achieve your goals!
Wendell Froman, Kizhaay Anishnaabe Niin
Wendell Froman, born at Six Nations of Grand River is Oneida (Brown Bear Clan). Wendell danced, competed, and traveled throughout North America on the powwow trail as a Northern Traditional dancer, and with numerous cultural caravans and dance troupes showcasing Iroquois social dances, regalia, languages, history, and traditions.
A stone-carver, craftsman/artisan, woodsman, cook, herbalist, farmer, ritualist/ceremonialist- among other things, Wendell is a proud single father of two and now, Grandfather to five. He has a deep and well-rooted respect for women, the elderly, treaties, truth, and spirituality. He has been a member of the Nogojiwanong community for 25 years, is a former Native Studies Instructor at Trent U, and is also a Masters’ Degree Candidate in Environmental Studies (York U).
As the Kizhaay Anishnaabe Niin Program coordinator, Wendell works within the Nogojiwanong community to promote an end to violence within families by showing a better way through Indigenous knowledge, culture, and traditional teachings.
Janice McCue, Wiisinadaa
Janice is an Anishinaabe Kwe from Curve Lake First Nation and is a proud mother and Gran.
Janice holds a diploma in Diabetes Prevention, as well as a certified Community Food Educator, and has also catered many events. Her work experience includes Curve Lake First Nation as a Community Health Representative, Peterborough Public Health as a Community Worker, and at Nourish as the Community Engagement Facilitator.
Janice has many years teaching food skills to youth and adults of all ages and looks forward to cooking with the Nogojiwanong community as the Wiisinadaa Program Worker.
Amber Rose, HR/Operations Manager
Amber graduated from the Protection, Security, and Investigation program at Durham College in 2017 but after graduation decided she wanted to change her career path. In 2018 she went back to school and completed the Mental Health and Addictions Program at Canadore College in 2020. She came to us from Georgian Bay Native Friendship Centre giving her a large understanding and appreciation for the Indigenous culture.
Jeremy Brink, Reaching Home Coordinator
Jeremy Brink brings multiple years of experience working with individuals and groups from marginalized communities stretching across Ontario. Jeremy is a graduate with honors, of the Social Service Worker Program with an Indigenous Perspective from Fleming College in 2018. Jeremy has called Peterborough home, for the last 19yrs, helping raise a teenage daughter and a teenage son. Social Justice is very important to Jeremy, so in 2020, he spent time as the co-chair of the Community Race Relations of Peterborough (CRRC).
In Jeremy’s free time, he volunteers as an assistant coach for the Peterborough Wolverines Football Program and has spent over a decade singing baritone for the Peterborough Singers. Jeremy brings passion and lived experience to his new role, and is looking forward to the journey ahead.
Adrienne Robertson, Youth Cultural Resource Coordinator
Aaniin, Adrienne n’dishnicaas, Wshkiigaamong n’donjiba. Wabizeshii n’dodem. Anishinaabe kwe n’dow. Greetings, my name is Adrienne, and I am a proud Anishnaabe kwe and a member of Curve Lake First Nation. I am from the Marten Clan. I was raised in my community and was taught early in my life the importance of family, community, and the traditional/cultural ways of being and doing. Culture and the traditional ways of my people have always been an important aspect of my life. I was taught that there are many teachings and there is no wrong or right way in those teachings. I taught that we are waking up those ways of being by relearning and incorporating it in all aspects of my life. My teachings come from listening to the stories of the Elder Knowledge Keepers from my community and our responsibilities of looking after each other. A teaching that I received is that learning is not a one-time journey, and we are always on that path of learning. I have three diplomas in Art and Design, Personal Support Worker, and Mental Health and Addictions with Indigenous Perspectives Designation. My learning journey will also encompass learning from you as well which to this I look forward to.
Meghan Nash, Urban Indigenous Homeward Bound Coordinator
Meghan Nash (nee Pickard) was born and raised in the Peterborough area. Working with children has been a passion of hers for as long as she can remember- even when she was a child herself. Meghan completed her Honors Bachelor of Child and Youth Care at Humber Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning in 2016. After graduating, she began working for the Peel District School Board. In 2021 she and her husband and moved back to the Peterborough area where she opened a private practice, counseling children, youth & families. While doing that part-time, she is also currently completing her Masters of Science in Child and Youth Care through the University of Strathclyde in Scotland.
She has over 10 years of experience working with children, youth, and their families and is a certified member of the Ontario Association of Child and Youth Care and a passionate Indigenous ally.
Kanda Rodgers, Gladue Aftercare Worker
She:kon sewakwe:kon, Kanda yonkyats. I am Wolf Clan, a Kanyenkehaka member of the Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte. I have mixed Mohawk and European ancestry. I am a sister and aunty. I grew up on the reserve and was raised by my grandmother who continues to gift me teachings.
I have a degree in Political Science from York University and a Social Service Worker diploma from Fleming College. In the past, I have worked with Indigenous healing lodges, and shelters and even completed a placement through Indigenous Peoples Court. I hope to continue to use the gifts that were gifted to me through my lived experience to support the community.
Kay Bergeron, BookKeeper
Kay graduated from the Law Clerk program at Fleming College in 2011 but decided she wanted a different career path. In 2015 she went back to school and graduated with a diploma in Accounting from Fleming College in 2018. She comes to the Friendship Centre from Business Management Services where she was a bookkeeper.