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The 2023 Indigenous Summer Scholars

Meet the 2023 Indigenous Summer Scholars!

These undergraduates and recent graduates are spending summer 2023 alongside UWinnipeg staff and faculty on a variety of research projects.

Learn more about each scholar below!

Meet the Scholars

Tiara Anderson

ISSP scholar Tiara AndersonBoozoo Aniin! Tiara ndizhinikaaz. migizi ndoodem. Gagiishkikamigaak ndoonji. Hello! My name is Tiara. I am from the Eagle clan. I am a band member of Little Saskatchewan First Nation with family ties to the Metis community of Duck Bay. I grew up and continue to live in Winnipeg. I am a recent graduate. I graduated with a four-year BA with a major in Indigenous studies. I am passionate about culture and language. In my free time, I enjoy making ribbon skirts. I will work with Dr. Doris Wolf this summer on The Six Seasons of the Asiniskaw Īthiniwak project. So far, I have had the opportunity to participate in a conference that occurred at the end of May. For three days, I and others involved in the project had the opportunity to travel to Thompson, Manitoba and meet the several Rocky Cree community the Six Seasons Project works with. I am deeply honoured to have had the opportunity to visit the north, where I co-facilitated a workshop about the PISIM app. I am also honoured to have met with community members and learned more about Rocky Cree culture and language. miigwech.

Tiara is being mentored by Dr. Doris Wolf on a project titled The Six Seasons of the Asiniskaw Īthiniwak.

Logan Asham

My name is Logan Asham, and I am a student at the University of Winnipeg. I am currently working towards a Bachelor of Business Administration with a focus on finance and economics. In the past, I participated in the Certified Aboriginal Financial Manager Program (CAFM) offered through the University of Winnipeg and AFOA, where I studied organizational, community, and economic development in Indigenous communities.

I am a member of The Canadian Indigenous Science and Engineering Society (CAISES), an organization that connects like-minded Indigenous students in science with opportunities in networking, mentorship, and research. Through my membership in CAISES, I learned about the Pathway to Graduate Studies (P2GS) and the Indigenous Summer Scholars (ISSP) Programs.

Along with my research on boreal climate cycling, I participated in the P2GS Program as an instructor. We looked at a variety of topics, but perhaps most importantly, we focused on how environmental issues are viewed through the lens of an economist, and how the economic understanding of negative externalities can be utilized to help control the climatic impacts of human activity on the environment.

I am grateful to be participating in the ISSP Program this year. With the support of fellow scholars, allies, and elders, the ISSP program has helped to foster a strong sense of community while allowing students like myself to explore opportunities in graduate studies and pathways to future leadership.

Logan is being mentored by Dr. Nora Casson on a project titled The Impacts of Climate Change on Boreal Climate Cycling.

Chelsea Bannatyne

ISSP scholar Chelsea BannatyneHello! Boozhoo!

My name is Chelsea Bannatyne. I was born and raised in the core of Winnipeg. I use she/her pronouns. I identify as Afro-Indigenous, I am of Ojibwe and Bajan (Barbados) descent. I graduated last year, April 2022 from the University of Winnipeg with a 4-Year BA in Human Rights and Urban & Inner-City Studies. I will begin my graduate studies at the University of Winnipeg in the Masters in Development Practice this fall! My research interests have largely been informed by my own lived experience, and the reality of intersecting identities. I have spent a considerable amount of my undergrad studying Indigenous socio-economic and health disparities in Canada. I ultimately want to serve and give back to my Indigenous community, through human rights literacy, food security and holistic healing.

Currently, I am researching Two-Spirit identities, history and contemporary issues. I feel a great sense of responsibility and privilege to be working on this project and it is especially meaningful to meet with the Two-Spirit Archives Advisory Council for continued direction. I will say that learning about Two-Spirit history and Two-Spirit activism has further certified my beliefs that Indigenous people have always had the knowledge and tools to heal our traumas, and conflicts in our communities. There have been so many great Indigenous leaders, scholars, activists and relatives before our time advancing social work and awareness, they ultimately paved the way for us – it is great to be surrounded by like-minded peers & mentors that are committed to decolonization, reconciliation and the calls to action.

Chelsea is being mentored by Brett Laugheed on a project titled Creating Context for the Two-Spirit Archives.

Alysa Baraniuk

ISSP scholar Alysa BaraniukI am a 4th year psychology student at the University of Winnipeg and my hope is to be able to help people tackle struggles they face in life by becoming a counsellor or therapist. I have faced many demons that I used to let stop me from seeking out paths, such as education, to enhance my mind and spirit. Time has shown me that I can achieve anything when I put my heart into it. As the next phase in my life approaches, I have felt anxiety about what research really looks like. The ISSP program has given me the opportunity to work in research with truly patient scholars and mentors. Working with Alex Tepperman has put my mind at ease as he has talked about what the future looks like with the pursuit of further educational studies and how anything is possible. He has shown me the confidence I need to pursue my dreams and enter into a master's program. He has shared his stories with me on the struggles and successes he has made in his own educational career and has offered me any guidance I may need when transferring into a master's program. I feel blessed to have had the opportunity to be here so far and I look forward to what our research will tell us in the end.

Alysa is being mentored by Dr. Alex Tepperman on a project titled Constructing Stories of Health and Homicide in Manitoba, 1900-2007.


Charley Church

Charley is a Metis woman who grew up in the rural community of Bowsman, Manitoba, where she had the opportunity to learn about gardening and farming, as well as harvesting from the family trapline. Her keen interest in science and the workings of the natural world led her to strive for a degree in environmental science. Following graduation this summer she intends to pursue a career that supports people to become better caretakers of the land. Her research in the Desforges Toxicology Lab as part of ISSP is helping her achieve these goals as it focuses on Arctic marine mammals and their habitat. By measuring the annual growth layers of cementum in ringed seal and polar bear teeth, an index can be created to relate cementum growth to environmental conditions. A better understanding of how these marine mammals respond to their environment will provide insight into the implications of climate change on these species.

So far in the program, Charley has helped organize and facilitate an environmental workshop for youth during STEM Outreach Days, been able to connect with and learn from experienced professionals who work with Arctic marine mammals, as well as showcase her research at the CSEE (Canadian Society for Ecology and Evolution) and CBA (Canadian Botanical Association) Conference in Winnipeg.

Charley is being mentored by Dr. Jean-Pierre Desforges on a project titled Morphometric Analysis of Teeth as an Indicator of Environmental Stress.

Rachelle Dunsford

ISSP scholar Rachelle DunsfordStarting University, I had an interest in how people worked, an insight into their mind and behavior. Connecting that to Indigenous culture and the ways of knowing and being, it only amplified my interest into the self. Through my undergrad, I learned more about my culture and what it meant to be an Indigenous person which was very important for me, not only for my sense of identity but for my purpose as well. Specifically, learning more of the history and epistemology, feeling that connection and appreciation was different to what I understood before.

Not only have I developed a stronger interest into psychology, but became interested in Sociology, Conflict Resolution and of course Indigenous Studies. For my future goals, I hope to find something I love and to work with Indigenous People or go into Indigenous Governance to help make a change. I believe when given the opportunity and support, a person can go a long way, as I was lucky enough to receive in my childhood. This program has been another opportunity I am grateful for and working with my mentor is something I have been enjoying a lot. While working on my project I have met some new people and has been enjoyable building new experiences.

Rachelle is being mentored by Di Brandt on a project titled Winnipeg Heart of the City Summer Creative Arts Performance Series 2023.

Emily Fedora

ISSP scholar Emily FedoraMy name is Emily Fedora and I am a fourth-year undergraduate student at the University of Winnipeg. I chose to major in Bioanthropology because of my interest in human evolution and forensic anthropology. Taking classes that relate to these special interests has inspired me to work towards graduate studies once I have completed my first degree. I contribute to my school’s community as the president of the University of Winnipeg Anthropology Student Association, where I provide research, scholarship, and volunteer opportunities to other students. I have gained experience within the Bioanthropology field in the past few years of my academic journey, including volunteer work in scoring the presence of skeletal elements found in individuals of Mesolithic populations in Portugal, as well as working under Professor Mirjana Roksandic as a research assistant studying the origins and movements of migrating populations of the Balkan Peninsula in Late Antiquity. This year, I am continuing to research the origins and movements of Late Antiquity Balkan populations at the Center of Bone Biology in Belgrade. As a young, Métis woman, I am determined to make an impact in the scientific field. I would love to connect deeper with my Métis heritage and be a representation of what other students can do throughout their studies, which is what becoming an ISSP scholar will allow me to do.

Emily is being mentored by Dr. Mirjana Roksandic on a project titled Movement Interaction Resilience and Adaptation in the Late Antiquity of the Balkan Peninsula.

Jenny Foidart

ISSP scholar Jenny FoidartTaanishi kiyawow, my name is Jenny Foidart, née Bihun, from Winnipeg. I have Métis and settler ancestry, and my Métis family originated from St. Boniface and St. Anne, Manitoba family names Huppé, Harrison, Ducharme, Lagimodière, and Flammand. I am currently study in the areas of Indigenous Studies and History of Art, though I have also spent some time in the Rhetoric and Communications and Urban and Inner-city Studies departments. I began my undergraduate journey in January 2021. I was 33, had two kids at home, and it was COVID. Prior to starting university I worked many service industry jobs and ended up as the Office Manager and then Business Development Manager at my parent’s business, Western Safety Sign Co. I am also a singer and I have been performing my whole adult life around Winnipeg and other small towns in the prairies. I would love to eventually find a job that combined my love for art and entertainment with writing and research. I have learnt so much about myself through attending University in my 30s. I am passionate about Winnipeg and actioning to push for social justice and equity right here at home. I participate in community organizing with the collective Red River Echoes and I currently work with the Indigenous Relations and Healing Department at Siloam Mission. I spent time as an interviewer for the Two-Spirit Oral History Project at the Oral History Centre in U of W in 2022 and I am currently working on an oral history story map with the Manitoba Food History Project.

Jenny is being mentored by Dr. Janis Thiessen on The Manitoba Food History Project.

Cassidy Lamirande

ISSP scholar Cassidy LamirandeHello, my name is Cassidy Lamirande and Im a Metis and Ojibway women born and raised in winnipeg. I'm currently pusuing an Bachelor of Science honors degree majoring in Neuroscience. My goal after University is to attend medical school but I also have aspirations of attending grad school to complete more research. My research with ISSP is going great so far, I cant wait to get out into the field and do more research.

Cassidy is being mentored by Dr. Stephanie Bugden on a project titled The Neural Correlates of Number Word Knowledge in Preschool Children.

Dyana Lavallee

ISSP scholar Diana LavalleeMy name is Dyana Lavallee, I was born and live in the community of Selkirk, Manitoba. I'm proud to be a Red River Métis citizen. I currently have completed my third year at University of Winnipeg working towards graduation in the spring of 2024 with a double major in Anthropology and Indigenous Studies with a minor in Linguistics. My research goal is learning about my Métis family history, completing an oral history project in ISSP called the Oral History of a Métis Auntie with the help of my supervisor Dr. Tulloch. My aspirations is to apply to graduate studies after I complete my undergraduate degree in the subject area of archival research, oral history, cultural studies or the MDP program. The help of the coordinators, my supervisor Dr. Tulloch, the presenters and fellow ISSP students has been instrumental in my success so far. Hearing from other Indigenous academics about their experiences and answering questions, other Indigenous students sharing experiences and offering support, the amazing support from my supervisor has made this process an amazing learning experience and has been inspiring to continue to work hard and complete my studies towards a better future.

Dyana is being mentored by Dr. Shelley Tulloch on a project titled Language Learning and Language Practices in the Lives of Inuit Leaders.

Tegan Ledoux

Hello, my name is Tegan Ledoux, and I am a Red River Métis Student. I just completed my third year in the Bachelor of Science program at the University of Winnipeg. I am very enthusiastic about participating in the ISSP as it will be a great experience supporting my post-graduate studies. I look forward to learning from the mentors and gaining valuable experience that may help me with my career goals in the future. I am ecstatic about training with Dr. Ed Cloutis and his research team to analyze data from Moon and Mars missions to help understand the geology of their surfaces. And I am equally excited for the opportunity to participate in planned week-long field campaigns as part of a larger research team at places in Canada that have relevant geology to the Moon and Mars.

Tegan is being mentored by Dr. Ed Cloutis on a project titled Exploring Mars and the Moon.

Eucharia Ogoms

ISSP scholar Eucharia OgomsHello, my name is Eucharia Ogoms. I am a proud member of Poplar River First Nation, located within Treaty 5 Territory in Manitoba. I graduated from the University of Winnipeg with a 4-year Bachelor of Business and Administration, specializing in Human Resource Management and Marketing. Outside of work and school, you will find me cooking, exercising, listening to podcasts on health and wellness, exploring new destinations, and spending time with family and friends. I will be pursuing a Masters in Human Resource Management in September 2023. My decision to study HR in graduate school has been driven by my desire to develop employment programs and initiatives that create pathways to successful futures for Indigenous youth and communities. As a continuous learner and first-generation graduate, I am very grateful to be a part of the Indigenous Summer Scholars Program and it's supportive communty. I look forward to connecting with and learning from students and mentors throughout the summer.

Eucharia is being mentored by Dr. Laura Forsythe on a project titled Bison on the Red: Meeting the Call to Action?

Sarah Piche

ISSP Scholar Sarah PicheBorn and raised in Winnipeg and a member of Fox Lake Cree Nation. After completing the Disability and Community Support Program at Red River College she worked in the field while raising three beautiful children with her husband and their cat Mooncake. She is currently a psychology student at the University of Winnipeg with her main focus on pursuing graduate studies in developmental psychology. She aims to analyze the relationship between the science of research and innate ways of knowing and how it relates to developmental psychology. She is set to graduate with an Undergraduate degree in the Spring. Her goal is to open a business that serves society by engaging both preschool children and the elders of our community under one roof. She believes that children are our greatest teachers and we can achieve great long-term success by tying in the wisdom of our elders. Through her experience and research, she hopes to write a book for families and young children.

Having mentors in the Indigenous Summer Scholars Program (ISSP) is eye-opening — to see how research plays out in real life is something a student can’t get from a textbook or from a classroom lecture. She feels honoured to be part of this academic experience under the guidance of Mavis Reimer. The knowledge gathered through the ISSP will be carried forward and shaped in her future studies.

Sarah is being mentored by Dr. Mavis Reimer on a project titled The Six Seasons of the Asiniskaw Īthiniwak.

Amy Pitzel

ISSP scholar Amy PitzelFrom UWinnipeg News: Amy Pitzel, a third-year biology student and ISSP scholar, is conducting genetic research on the invasive sea lamprey, under the guidance of her faculty mentor Dr. Sara Good, Professor in the Department of Biology. The project will contribute to a body of research on how genetic modifications can be used to reduce invasive species populations in the Great Lakes.

“Being able to work through lab procedures from start to finish is something that I have not done too many times, as a vast amount of the background work in an undergrad lab is already done before you begin the procedure,” Pitzel said. “Working in Dr. Good’s lab will help me strengthen my laboratory skills and grow in an academic manner.”

Amy is being mentored by Dr. Sara Good on a project titled The Role of Epigenetic Control of Germline Specific Genes in the Sea Lamprey Genome in Sex Determination and Differentiation.

Shannon Robson

ISSP scholar Shannon RobsonThrough the help of the ISSP I hope to improve my skills as a researcher and expand by knowledge in the field of Bioanthropology. I have always loved science and was drawn instantly to studying anthropology through my courses at the University of Winnipeg. This summer, I am fortunate to be working alongside my supervisor and mentor Dr. Mirjana Roksandic and our research cohort in analyzing burial populations from the Balkans around the Great Migration in the late classical and early medieval periods. As a Métis student with ancestral ties to Japanese migrants and European settlers, I am excited to apply what I learn about transitional populations in Europe to a North American perspective so to better understand the impacts of colonialism and non-specific stress on Indigenous and other groups. The knowledge and relationships I am building this summer will undoubtedly pave my way as I begin my graduate studies in Anthropology at the University of Manitoba this fall, and I could not be more grateful for the opportunity.

Shannon is being mentored by Dr. Mirjana Roksandic on a project titled Movement Interaction Resilience and Adaptation in the Late Antiquity of the Balkan Peninsula.

Jacee Turner

ISSP scholar Jacee TurnerMy name is Jacee Turner, and I am a fourth-year undergraduate student from St Francois Xavier, MB studying Biology and Bioanthropology at The University of Winnipeg. I am grateful for the opportunity to be a part of the ISSP program as it will provide me with significant support to continue moving along my educational path. I began working in the Bioanthropology field with Professor Roksandic in 2021, through the Pathway to Graduate Studies program, and over the years I have developed an interest in studying ancient cultures. Our research this year is focused on migration patterns of Balkan populations during the Pleistocene, Ice Ages, and the Antiquity. We will be traveling to Serbia to collect dental samples as well as soil, plant, and faunal samples in order to analyze and compare strontium isotopes in the material. My plans for the future include pursuing graduate studies in a subject area specifically related to population genetics and ancient DNA. I believe that this field is on the cutting-edge of scientific research and that there are many new discoveries to be made and applications to be developed that will advance various areas of scientific research. As an Indigenous student, I am also interested in the application of genetics to support Indigenous knowledge and would love to one day explore and interpret the origins of my own Ojibway background.

Jacee is being mentored by Dr. Mirjana Roksandic on a project titled Movement Interaction Resilience and Adaptation in the Late Antiquity of the Balkan Peninsula.

Sheldon Valiquette

ISSP scholar Sheldon ValiquetteMy Name is Sheldon Valiquette, I am from Poplar River First Nation. I recently graduated from the University Of Winnipeg in June of 2023, with a Bachelor Of Arts, Majoring in Sociology and Urban Inner-City Studies. When it comes to research I am very much just beginning my journey. I have the honour of being paired with Dr Julie Chamberlain who I worked with previously doing a Social Return On Investment Analysis on small grants within Winnipeg's North End. I always have some experience cleaning up transcripts for another North End based project. Before taking part in these research projects and joining the ISSP I would have never seen myself as a researcher, but know it is very much a possibility!

Sheldon is being mentored by Dr. Julie Chamberlain on a project titled Indigenous Urban Planning, "Gifted" Historical Buildings, and the Settler Politics of Reconcilation.

Grace Wallace

ISSP scholar Grace WallaceGrace Wallace is a member of the Selkirk Red River Metis Community and lives in St. Andrews, Manitoba. In 2022, she began her research on the effects of elevated CO2 concentrations in medaka development with Dr. Caleb Hasler as part of an Honours thesis. Through her thesis she found a love of research and lab-based work and applied for the ISSP program. This program allowed Grace to continue her current research on CO2 exposure in medaka, while also allowing for expansion of the study. Grace's work involves exposing adult medaka to a long-term elevated CO2 concentration, sampling fish, and analyzing mRNA expressions from gill samples. This research will provide irreplaceable experience as she has gained knowledge in lab equipment use, animal ethics and care, data collection, performing behavioural tests, and lab work involving gene expression techniques. Grace plans to continue her education with a master's degree in biology and eventually hopes to pursue medicine and become a pediatric doctor. Grace wants to have her own practice. Her goal is to provide Northern Communities with better access to western health care and hopefully improve overall health outcomes in these communities. Grace also wants to learn about traditional medicines and how they can be accompanied by western medicine, and hopefully find a way to bridge the gap between the two which may create greater trust in Northern and Indigenous communities. Grace believes this opportunity will also provide her with a solid foundation for her future studies in biology.

Grace is being mentored by Dr. Caleb Hasler on a project titled CO2 Effects on Fishes.