Indigenous Advisory Circle

Indigenous Advisory Circle Members Standing in Front of A Building

The University of Waterloo Office of Indigenous Relations Indigenous Advisory Circle (OIR IAC) was established to provide support and feedback on the work of the Office of Indigenous Relations.  Advisory Circle members, when in agreement, may also be called upon as a resource for the Office of Indigenous Relations.  

The Indigenous Advisory Circle is not an Ontario Ministry of Colleges and Universities mandated Indigenous Education Council (IEC).    

The Indigenous Advisory Circle was voluntarily established to ensure inclusion of voices and perspectives of Indigenous people who support and hold a relationship with the University of Waterloo.  Circle member participation will help shape and strengthen the development of short and long-term Indigenization strategies for the University of Waterloo.   

2023-2024 Indigenous Advisory Circle Members

Savanah Seaton 

Savanah’s matrilineal lineage is of the Anishinaabeg (Plains Ojibway) Peoples of the Waywayseecappo (Treaty 4) First Nation community through her late grandfather Chesley Seaton, and the Keeseeekoowenin (Treaty 2) First Nation community through her late grandmother Myrna Seaton (Bone). Her patrilineal lineage continues to be a lifelong re-search. She is a 1st and 2nd generation 60’s scoop survivor and a 3rd generation residential school survivor. While pursuing an MA degree in Industrial Organizational Psychology at UWaterloo, she lived in United College’s graduate residence. Savanah has over ten years of experience in both public, private, and non-profit sectors with a strong dedication and passion towards empowering Indigenous people through higher education, capacity development, partnerships and entrepreneurship. Some of her main areas of specialty include Truth and Reconciliation, Indigenous engagement and empowerment, organizational change, and transformational leadership. 

Myeengun Henry 

Myeengun is Anishinaabe, Wolf Clan from Deshkan Ziibi First Nation.

As Indigenous Knowledge Keeper, Elder Henry provides strategic leadership to the Faculty of Health and our response to the Truth and Reconciliation Calls to Action. He collaborates with the Office of Indigenous Relations and with the Faculty of Health community, and identifies and contributes to building reciprocal and respectful relationships with Indigenous individuals and communities. 

Elder Henry comes to University of Waterloo from Conestoga College where he was the Manager of Indigenous Services and a Professor of Indigenous Studies. He has also held the position of Elected Chief and the Director of Employment Services for the Chippewas of the Thames First Nation.  In addition to these leadership roles, he currently is an elected band councillor,  Indigenous Ceremony conductor (e.g., weddings, funerals, healing, naming), traditional medicine practitioner, environmental protectionist, Indigenous counsellor, Pow Wow coordinator, and OPP Indigenous advisor. 

Logan MacDonald 

Logan is of mixed-European, and Mi’kmaw ancestry, who identifies with both his Indigenous and settler roots. Born in Summerside, Prince Edward Island, his Mi’kmaw ancestry is connected to Elmastukwek, Ktaqamkuk.

Logan MacDonald is an artist, curator, writer, educator and activist who focuses on identity and belonging through queer, disability, and decolonial perspectives. His artwork has exhibited across North America, notably with exhibitions at L.A.C.E. (Los Angeles), John Connelly Presents (New York), Ace Art Inc. (Winnipeg), The Rooms (St. John’s), and BACA (Montréal), in addition to being published by Goose Lane, Canadian Art, C Magazine, UN Projects, and more.  

In 2019, MacDonald was longlisted for the Sobey Art Award and was honoured with a six-month residency at the Künstlerhaus Bethanien in Berlin.  He holds a BFA in Interdisciplinary Studies from Concordia University,  and a MFA in Studio Arts from York University.  

In 2019 he was the lead Accessibility Consultant for the Toronto Waterfront Sidewalk Labs project. In 2021, he was a keynote speaker for the Canadian Public Arts Funders (CPAF), and in 2022 he was a respondent for the Ontario Arts Councils 2022-2027 Strategic Plan.  He served as Vice-Chair of the Indigenous Curatorial Collective (ICCA) from 2019-2022.  Currently, MacDonald is a Canada Research Chair and Assistant Professor in Studio Arts at University of Waterloo. 

John Lewis 

John Lewis is a citizen of the Métis Nation of Ontario. He has over twenty years of practice and research experience in environmental and community planning and has published academic research that focuses on the visualization of landscape change based on his doctoral research at the University of British Columbia. Through his research, he has documented the history of landscape change both prior to and during British Columbia’s colonization and explored the cultural significance of landscape change among Indigenous and settler communities in northwestern British Columbia. He is currently an associate professor in the School of Planning at the University of Waterloo where he teaches courses in visual communication and community design. He spends much of his free time away from teaching and research in his family’s ancestral territories in northern Ontario fishing or hunting with his wife and two young adult children. 

Candace Harrington 

Candace is the Director of Advancement for Math Advancement. Candace is the contact for Leadership for the Faculty of Mathematics’ development and alumni teams as well as industry collaborations and partnerships. She also leads alumni outreach in Asia, UK, California, and New York. 

Luane Roberts (WRCLS) 

Luane is Cree, Sturgeon Clan, and originally from Northern Ontario.  

She is the Indigenous Justice Coordinator at Waterloo Region Community Legal Services and assists Indigenous Identified individuals in navigating areas of law such as: Landlord-Tenant, Social Benefits (OW, ODSP, CPPd), Employment, Employment Insurance and Consumer Debt. Luane also provides support to Indigenous clients in the areas of poverty law, which includes social assistance and housing matters. 

Jennifer Parkinson 

Jennifer was born in Ottawa and raised in Ottawa, Toronto & Guelph. Her traditional homelands include Pembina, North Dakota and Red River, Manitoba.

Seeking to learn more about her Métis roots, Jennifer started attending Grand River Métis Council (GRMC) events with her husband and three children in 2010. In February 2012, GRMC welcomed Jennifer as their new Interim Chair. Jennifer was eager to learn Métis history, culture and the political environment of the Nation. She became very active in the community, in schools and the Nation. In October of 2014, Jennifer was elected as GRMC’s President. Since 2010, Jennifer has expanded and shared her knowledge with thousands of children each year by going into schools, colleges, and universities. Today, Jennifer is very active politically, meeting with various proponents, government officials and government ministries, all in the pursuit of solidifying Métis citizens’ rights in Canada. Jennifer continues to enjoy her journey and support the Métis Nation. 

Grad Student: Dawn V Lameman  

Dawn is a neurodivergent nehiyaw iskwew from amisk sakahikan (Beaver Lake Cree Nation) in Treaty 6 Territory.

Dawn is a Master of Environment & Business (MEB) Candidate. She is an intergenerational residential school survivor who continues to persevere through the genocidal trauma of colonization. Her Indigenous worldview provides her with the innate understanding that everything is connected and approaches her work as a systems thinker acknowledging that even the smallest effort today can have a far-reaching impact. She is passionate about justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion for historically excluded people and is committed to advancing the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's (TRC’s) Calls to Action by establishing accountable spaces to encourage dialogue in a respectful, inclusive, and empathetic matter. 

Undergrad student: Elianna Lee-Louise Ellis   

Elianna is Anishinaabe from Long Lake 58 First Nation in northwestern Ontario and a member of the loon clan.

She is currently in her third year of undergrad in psychology and plans to become a psychiatrist, delivering proper mental health services to indigenous people in rural northern Ontario. Her passions include indigenizing mental health and health practices, creating safe spaces for students with disabilities by being open about personal struggles, and making sure indigenous people have their voices heard. 

Jean Becker 

Jean is Inuk and a member of the Nunatsiavut Territory of Labrador. 

As the Associate Vice-President, Indigenous Relations Jean provides strategic leadership to articulate the University of Waterloo-specific response to the Truth and Reconciliation Calls to Action and identifies systemic and systematic changes that move beyond the Calls to Action by creating a long-term vision of decolonization and indigenization for the university. 

Robin Stadelbauer  

Robin is Anishinaabe from Neyaashiinigmiing (Chippewas of Nawash Unceded First Nation) and has a long history at Waterloo.  

As the Associate Director, Robin supports the AVP Indigenous Relations in their strategic vision and leadership, represent the AVP, take leadership on key projects, and is responsible for the daily operations of the Indigenous Relations Office.  

Kevin George 

Kevin is Cree/Potawotomi from Kettle and Stony Point First Nation. 

As the Indigenous Special Projects Coordinator, Kevin is responsible for advising and recommending solutions, implementing project and event plans, identifying and responding to the objectives and priorities of the University’s Indigenous Strategic Plan, the TRC recommendations, and contributing to the Indigenization and decolonization of the University. 

Jennifer Smerdon  

Jen is of mixed ancestry with maternal Anishinaabe lineage from Matachewan First Nation in Ontario.   

Jen is the Administrative Manager for the Office of Indigenous Relations. Jen brings a wealth of administrative experience, financial management skills and knowledge of university systems to the team gained from her work experience in the not-for-profit sector, and her previous role as Advancement Coordinator, Faculty of Science.