Ashley Safar, Executive Director

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. 

Morghann Frost, Administrative Assistant

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 Gray, 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. 

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.

MaryJane Boyle, to E Naakniind Anishinaabe – Indigenous Peoples Court – Coordinator

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

Nancy Andrus

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

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! 



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.  

Reaching Home Coordinator


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.

Urban Indigenous Homeward Bound Coordinator


Gladue Aftercare Worker


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.

Samantha Clark-Alldread – Indigenous Court Worker

Samantha Clark-Alldread

Samantha Clark-Alldread, B.A. (Hons)., M.A. grew up in Pontypool, which is part of the amalgamated city of Kawartha Lakes. She has gained critical knowledge through her educational background and volunteer participation, both of which have inspired her to help advocate for Indigenous People’s rights across Canada and appreciate their traditional practices and culture.

Her M.A. is in Socio-Legal Studies and her B.A. is in Criminology and Justice. Samantha has previous work experience working with Jordan’s Principle as Service Coordinator where she strived to implement more equitable, accessible, and essential services for First Nation children with the aim to make a meaningful impact in their lives. As the Indigenous Court Worker with Nogojiwanong Friendship Centre, she is committed to working with surrounding Indigenous community members and support them on their journey with the Canadian criminal justice system. She places an emphasis on implementing and encouraging healing plans, providing support as well as connecting service users to accessible programs and resources.

Kirstin Maracle, Administrative Assistant

Kirstin Maracle

Kirstin is Haudenosaunee from the Tyendinaga. Born and raised in the Peterborough area, Kirstin developed a strong passion for the community and has always found ways to have a positive impact through years of volunteer work.

With her experience being raised off the reservation, Kirstin brings firsthand knowledge of the difficulties Indigenous youth and individuals face trying to stay connected to their culture. As an Administrative assistant, Kirstin is able to aid other indigenous people in staying connected to their heritage by facilitating connection between the Nogojiwanong Community and the services provided by the Friendship Centre.

She spends a lot of her downtime with her dog, and cat and surrounds herself with family and friends whenever she can. Kirstin’s favourite hobbies include partaking in many forms of arts and crafts; specifically painting and drawing though she is always willing to try something new.

Kirstin is excited to be one of the first smiling faces you see when you visit our Ford St location while bringing her passion for community and culture to the Nogojiwanong Friendship Centre.

Ivana Taylor, Secondary School Program Coordinator

Ivana Taylor, an Anishinaabe Kwe from Curve Lake First Nation, calls Peterborough home. As the Alternative Secondary School Coordinator at Nogojiwanong Friendship Centre, she blends her Bachelor of Science Degree in Psychology from Trent University with teaching and academic coaching experience to support Indigenous students in achieving their high school diplomas. With a passion for empowerment, Ivana guides each student on a journey of self-discovery, turning education into a lifelong adventure of fulfillment and possibility.

Katie Beaver, Urban Aboriginal Healthy Living Program Worker

Katie is an Anishinaabe Kwe (Ojibwe) and Irish descendant. She grew up in Alderville First Nation. After high school, Katie took a social work diploma on Vancouver Island. She then went on to take a joint degree in communication and community studies on Cape Breton Island. She has travelled and lived in many places around the country and the globe. Part-time, she coordinates communications for the Aron Indigenous Circle (a co-op movie theatre). Katie loves the friendship centre and her role in helping the community. She also enjoys backcountry camping, biking, hiking and potlucks with friends.

Laycia Jackson, HR/Operations Manager

Laycia Jackson (She/They) is a first-generation change-maker, community worker, and HR/Operations specialist with expertise in project development, personal wellness, community empowerment, and cross-cultural communication.

She is a passionate ally to Indigenous peoples and takes pride in bridge-building work aimed at improving service delivery for BIPOC and 2SLGBTQ+ youth living in urban communities, as well as future generations.

With ancestral roots in Jamaica, Laycia brings a unique and valuable perspective to her work which she carries out with an anti-oppressive and decolonizing approach. When she’s not working, Laycia enjoys nature walks, growing her own food, and spending time with her family and friends.

Nogojiwanong Friendship Centre

580 Cameron Street
Peterborough, Ontario
K9J 3Z5
(705) 775-0387
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Secondary Location

884 Ford St
Peterborough, Ontario
K9J 5V3
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