Meet the Council

Troy Maracle – Instructional Coach/Board Contact Liaison

Kelly Crawford – First Nations Community Liaison

Maurice Switzer – Media Relations Liaison

Carol Windmill – Newsletter & Membership Coordinator

Carol is a special education teacher in Ottawa with the Ottawa-Carleton board and has been an FNMIEAO council member for several years.  She is a facilitator for the KAIROS Blanket Exercise and a drummer and beader.  She holds a Master’s degree in Education from the University of Ottawa and enjoys taking Anishinaabemowin (Ojibwe and Algonquin) classes.  When not attending as many Indigenous events as possible in and around Ottawa, Carol likes to spend time on the land.

Michelle R. Brown – Website and Listserve Moderator

Michelle has been a member of the FNMIEAO council  for about one year. She is currently the Grade 3/4 Teacher for Chippewa of the Thames Board of Education. Her teaching experience embraces an extensive array of ages including junior, intermediate, senior and adults. She has obtained three degrees: Master of Education: Leadership in Aboriginal Education, Bachelor of Education, and Honours Geography in Environmental Resource Management. Michelle has been involved in three writing projects resulting in publications, and was a reviewer for the OHASSTA/Ontario Ministry of Education’s resources to support the revised FNMI Ministry curriculum documents. On a more personal note, Michelle has three children, one grandchild, and another on the way. 

Colinda Clyne – Twitter and Facebook Moderator

Colinda is Anishinaabe kwe and proud mother of Max. She is the curriculum lead for First Nations, Métis and Inuit education and Equity at the Upper Grand District School Board. She has been a teacher for 24 years in various capacities, from Special Education head to teaching English, History, and First Nations, Métis & Inuit studies. Colinda has been leading and facilitating professional development for over 15 years. In her current role, Colinda creates the system wide action plan for First Nations, Métis and Inuit education in her board. She works to build capacity in K-12 teachers and administrators, connecting Elders and traditional practitioners with teachers and students. She works hard to create relationships within her local community, school communities and Indigenous groups. She seeks out traditional teachings for her personal growth and spiritual well being, and to keep her grounded in the work she does.

Wanda Botsford

Wanda Botsford is an Education Officer with the Métis Nation of Ontario, and a very proud Métis community member. She is a mother of four, and a grandmother of five. She has been deeply moved by historical stories of oppression of First Nation, Métis and Inuit people, and is a strong advocate for harmony and reconciliation. Wanda is a Métis Nation of Ontario representative on a variety of provincial and local committees, advisory groups, and task forces. She has an unwavering passion for telling stories about Métis people, history and culture; navigating Métis inclusion in the school curriculum and school board activities; reinvigorating and revaluing Métis culture; supporting students and educators; creating inclusive, positive school environments for all children; and building strong partnerships.
In her spare time, Wanda enjoys being with her family and friends, Métis dancing, fishing, reading, and enthusiastically participatiwanda picng in Métis community events and celebrations.
Wanda is an unrelenting optimist who says, “None of us are responsible for what has happened in the past. But, we are responsible to understand our past from First Nation, Métis and Inuit perspectives….not just a Eurocentric perspective….and to recognize the wreckage that colonialism has created. This will not be easy to accomplish, because most information in history books and on the internet is from a Eurocentric perspective. But, if we can build this understanding in all students, it will be a starting point in ridding ourselves of misinformed opinions, mending broken relationships and moving forward in a good way. ”

Gary Fenn – OSSTF/FEESO Representative 

Gary is an executive assistant at the Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation (OSSTF/FEESO) provincial office working in the Communications / Political Action Department. One of his roles is to act as the First Nations, Métis and Inuit education liaison for the Federation, and is the staff liaison to the OSSTF FNMI Advisory Work Group. Prior to joining the provincial office, Gary was a Canadian and World Studies, and Native Studies teacher in the Kawartha Pine Ridge District School Board, and was part of the Board’s FNMI Education Policy Framework implementation team. Gary is a graduate of Trent University and the University of New Brunswick.

Marie Marion 

Marie Marion is Anishinabekwe from Garden River First Nation. She has been teaching for 20 years and currently works as a Special Education Resource Teacher in the French school system. Always seeking to improve her teaching, she is working on her Master of Professional Education with a focus on Leadership in Aboriginal Education. Marie has lived and taught in the Northwest Territories and in Ontario, and is a staunch advocate of Aboriginal Education in the mainstream classroom.

Kathryn Konnerth

Joeleen MacDonald


4 thoughts on “Meet the Council

  1. Aanii: can you please send me the criteria you have used to select your community advisors? I note there is one individual who states that he is a Medicine Man. Do you have a policy (or a practice) that is used to confirm this claim?

    I am interested in this aspect as within our area, we are developing regional approaches that protect and support the integrity of traditional healing practices. Thank you for your time.
    Germaine Elliott

    1. We generally ask those that we have already worked with and have a relationship with. We currently do not have a policy or practice to confirm the “claim” as it is not for us to question the status that has already been given to an elder. Any title that an elder carries is not given by our council. These are elders who already have a credible reputation within their communities and do a lot of work for the people.

    1. This varies from different communities. Generally speaking though, it is someone who has worked for a long time with elders and those who live traditionally and attend ceremonies. It is very different then our euro-centric system of education. If you have a specific question perhaps I could help you further or connect you with someone who could give you more specific answers

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