Staff List and Contact Information

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Meet the Team!

The Office of Indigenous Relations staff welcomes you to connect with us! This diverse group of Indigenous professionals consists of folks from many different nations and clans, backgrounds, and experiences. We are honoured to be doing this work for the people, and grateful for the opportunity to share our gifts in this good way.

Photo of Jean Becker

Jean Becker

Associate Vice-President, Indigenous Relations

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.

Contact: / 519-888-4567 x40246

Photo of Robin Stadelbauer

Robin Stadelbauer

Associate Director, Indigenous Relations

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, represents the AVP, takes leadership on key projects, and is responsible for the daily operations of the Indigenous Relations Office.  

Contact: / 519-888-4567 x40354

Dr. Kayla Murphy

Dr. Kayla Murphy

Indigenous Relations Coordinator

Kayla is Anishinaabe, Turtle Clan, from Bkejwanong First Nation. Responsible for the day-to-day activities with respect to program delivery, Kayla assists with the planning and implementation of the campus wide Indigenization plan, and implements the engagement and outreach strategy for the Indigenous Relations Office. Kayla researches and implements best practices to support learning and development to meet the needs of all campus community members. ​ 

Contact: /  519-888-4567 ext. 40706       

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Laura Belben

Indigenous Student Support Counsellor

Laura is an Indigenous Woman of mixed ancestry with paternal Innu lineage. She is a member of the NunatuKavut Territory of Labrador. She offers support to Indigenous students who are experiencing challenges, whether it be related to studies, family/relationship issues or on-going mental health concerns. She offers support from her office space, virtually by phone or video and in outdoor spaces on campus.  Laura’s office is located in the Office of Indigenous Relations (OIR) at EC5 4201.

Contact: /519-888-4096 (Counselling Services)

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Kevin George

Indigenous Special Projects Coordinator

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. 

Contact: / 519-888-4567 ext. 41027

photo of Melissa Ireland

Melissa Ireland

Director, Indigenous Relations

Melissa is a Michi Saagiig Nishnaabeg kwe, Waabizheshi Dodem (Marten Clan), and a member of Curve Lake First Nation. As Director, Indigenous Relations, Melissa is primarily responsible for strategic leadership in the Indigenous Relations Office and will work with the entire university community to lead, articulate, and effect change in support of Indigenous success through the development of guidelines, programs, and practices. 

Contact: / 519-888-4567 x40203

Jennifer Smerdon

Jen Smerdon

Indigenous Relations Administrative Manager

Jen is of mixed ancestry with maternal Anishinaabe lineage from Matachewan First Nation in Ontario. Jen is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the Indigenous Relations Office (OIR) providing all administrative and financial management functions, and contributes a wealth of knowledge of university systems to the OIR team

Contact: / 519-888-4567 x40207

Phot of Bryanne Smart

Bryanne Smart

Associate Director, Indigenous Relations Co-operative and Experiential Education 

Bryanne is Turtle Clan, Seneca from Six Nations. As part of the Co-operative and Experiential Education (CEE) senior leadership team, Bryanne provides strategic leadership with regard to Indigenous initiatives within CEE, identifies systematic and systemic changes, and builds internal/external relationships and partnerships that strengthen Indigenous student experiences.

Contact: / 519-888-4567 ext. 41393

photo of Emily Brant

Emily Brant

Inclusive Communications Manager, Indigenous Relations

Emily is Kanyen’kehà:ka, Turtle Clan from Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory. She works closely with the OIR team, spending time both in the Office of Indigenous Relations and the University Relations space. Emily is responsible for writing and developing a wide range of communication products in support of the University’s strategic objectives, specifically supporting the Office of Indigenous Relations and Indigenous focused communications across the University.