M’Chigeeng First Nation is continually adding team members to the team, whether it’s creating new roles or expanding to existing teams to team members moving on. For opportunities that may be of interest to you, you can search on the M’Chigeeng First Nation social media platforms such as the MFN APP, MFN website and the MFN Facebook page. You can also find these opportunities posted at the local outlets, such as the post office and the administration office.
For now, please help us welcome the following new employees to the M’Chigeeng First Nation team in the last five months:
LAKEVIEW SCHOOL TEAM
Sujatha Chintakunta, Grade 8 Teacher
Ms. Sujatha Chintakunta has 15 years of teaching experience. She also has her Bachelor of Education in Junior, Primary and Intermediate Divisions, a Master’s in Psychology and Special Education Part 1. Ms. Su believes in enabling the students she teaches to strive for and attain notable levels of achievement and well-being as contributing members of society. She is confident that her educational and experiential background, her passion for lifelong learning, and her commitment to transforming student learning in diverse social, cultural, linguistic, and academic communities will be an asset to Lakeview School.
As a woman of color, she strives to understand the culture and experiences present in diverse classrooms. She is committed to achieving an equitable and inclusive classroom and school climate that serves to ensure all members of the school community are valued, accepted, and given opportunities to access learning. Sujatha also believes that a child’s culture, race, ethnicity, and home experiences should be celebrated and reflected in the practices of the classroom and integrated into the living curriculum.
Catherine Fox, Special Education Resource Teacher
Ms. Catherine Fox is a member of M’Chigeeng First Nation, has been a special education teacher for 6 years and has been a teacher since 1992. Catherine believes that all students can succeed, and it is possible to respond to strengths and needs of every exceptional student. She has worked with exceptional learners, from primary to high school. Her years of experience has taught her the value of patience, understanding and encouragement. She also accomplishes this by working closely with each student, providing individualized support, and praising them. She herself has developed learning activities based on student abilities and interests.
Travis Corbiere, Vice-Principal
Mr. Travis Corbiere is a proud member of M’Chigeeng First Nation and has spent most of his 16 years of teaching experience with the M’Chigeeng First Nation. He served his community in the capacity of an educational assistant, classroom teacher, as well as the Acting Vice Principal. His current position is the Vice-Principal for Indigenous Education at the Manitoulin Secondary School. Travis also describes himself as a lifelong learner, of not only his education pursuits, but expanding his knowledge in the Anishinaabe language and culture of our people.
Travis continues to develop and nurture positive working relationships with students. It is evident that his time on leave expanded his knowledge and furthered his growth, which will enable him to perform all aspects of this role with a high degree of confidence and effectiveness. We cannot wait for his return in September 2023!
BINOOJIINH GAMGOONHS CHILDCARE CENTRE
Kaelynn Moor, Childcare Resource Teacher
Ms. Kaelynn Moor hails from nearby Mindemoya, however she has connections to M’Chigeeng First Nation through her partner. Kaelynn has been working in the childcare field for five (5) years, and she recently completed her Developmental Service Worker Program with Cambrian College. In addition, she has prior summer and on-call – casual work experience with the Binoojiinh Gamgoonhs as an ECE Assistant.
During her education she learned to complete profiles on each child that required support. Shen also learned more about Individual Student Plan’s (ISP), Individual Education Plan’s (IEP’s), Behaviour Plans and how they support children in their learning. Kaelyn feels that this position will work collaboratively with the Special Education Resource Teachers to transition students from daycare to Lakeview School, along with the Binoojiinh Gamgoonhs staff overall.
Perry Bebamash, Language and Cultural Facilitator
Mr. Perry Bebamash is a M’Chigeeng First Nation band member and is a knowledge keeper of the language, along with a traditional singing, drumming, and storytelling. Perry has is undergraduate degree in Anishinaabemowin from the Algoma University along with his Indigenous Language Instructors’ Teaching Certificate from Lakehead University. He also has prior working experience working with students as a language specialist, where the school was full immersion. He brings a wealth of traditional knowledge to the position at the Binoojiinh Gamgoonhs. He will use his connections to engage with local elders and knowledge keepers to bring in important Anishinaabe teachings and for culturally enriched learning for the young children of Binoojiinh Gamgoonhs. Perry is excited at the opportunity to bring in his ideas of programming, teachings and activities that relate to the language and culture for our young learners.
FAMILY RESOURCE TEAM
Edward Paibomsai, Band Representative
Mr. Edward Paibomsai is scheduled to complete his Social Work Program in August 2023, however, has diplomas in Fitness, Health and Promotion, and Recreation and Therapy, which will assist him in this new position as Band Rep. During 2020 he was working full time while going to school, he believes this shows his commitment to the field. Edward is excited to learn more about Child Welfare by assisting families and meeting the needs of the children in care.
Josh Linklater Wong, Band Representative
Joshua Linklater Wong is a former Child Well-Being Worker with KGCFS. He was also a case manager for the child protection team as well as was also care team. Maintaining contact with the Band representatives in each of the seven first Nations on Manitoulin Island was a standard practice for child welfare investigations and providing updates for children in care. As a former Child Welfare Worker with Nogdawindamin, he was an Alternative Care Recruiter and Child in Care Worker. As a case manager in these capacities, he worked with youth, children with specialized needs, and alternative caregivers to meet the needs of children in care. As an Indigenous person from a remote northern community, he understands some of the challenges with child welfare and the importance of maintaining Indigenous family structures and kinship ties as an integral part of nation building.
Iris Corbiere, Office Assistant
Ms. Iris Corbiere is a M’Chigeeng First Nation band member and is happy to be working for her community again. She describes herself as welcoming, considerate with a professional demeanor. Iris believes that her role includes having excellent organizational skills and a good eye for detail. She also works well with others and welcomes members to visit the Family Resources office.
MENTAL HEALTH AND ADDICTIONS TEAM
Kachina Wicks, Mental Health Clinic Manager
Ms. Kachina Wicks has a Master’s in Social Work, Certificate in Restorative Justice, and a Bachelor of Arts in Criminology. Kachina is very interested in stepping into a community-centred role which will assist in supporting staff while they work to provide mental health supports for community members of M’Chigeeng First Nation. She has spent the entirety of her career working in and serving the Indigenous communities of Northern and Northwestern Ontario and believes she would be a great asset as a member of the Ka Naadimaadimi Wii Minamaadiziiying Team.
Kachina describes herself as dependable worker, who is dedicated to serving clients, and the community at large. She looks forward to the opportunity to bring her skills to this Management-level position, to provide greater support to the community, and advocate for staff and clients alike, as we all work to navigate the difficult times we are facing.
Megan Espaniel, Prevention Coordinator
Ms. Megan Espaniel is a member of Atikameksheng Anishinabek and has experience as a Family Well-Being Worker. She provided and designed Indigenous culturally relevant programming for youth, families, and the community. She attended home visits working with clients with various needs. She worked with service agencies like Nogdawindamin, health practitioners, community elders, and the Friendship Centre. Megan also completed case management for families, while connecting with their circle of care.
Megan holds a Diploma from the Social Service Worker program at Cambrian College and obtained her Master of Social Work – Indigenous field of study this past year. She strives to be an effective support worker/helper which has allowed her to grow in communication skills both verbal and non-verbal. Her inspiration and motivation in this field is ultimately to help in the healing of our communities. She feels this Prevention Coordinator position can help her provide adequate and life changing services utilizing skills learnt both from her formal education and frontline work experience. She works well under pressure, and she describes herself as a great team player.
Tania Jacko, Part Time Peer Support and Outreach Worker
Ms. Tania Jacko is a member of Whitefish River First Nation and moved back home about 10 years ago after finishing her education. Since then, she has worked in various fields. She was recently in construction but wants to get back to her roots, in particular culture and the social field. Her education ranges from a BA in History and Theory Architecture, Architectural technician, and carpentry renovation techniques. Ms. Jacko has been substance free for 10 years and is continually learning healthy coping skills. She feels she can contribute to this team because she is non-judgemental, kind, honest and is aware of boundaries and policies. She understands this team is to help others navigate services, but also provide company to those that are struggling.
Erica Hare, Part Time Peer Support and Outreach Worker
Ms. Erica Hare is an MFN band member and is looking for other part time work in the community. She currently works part time at Sweet Grass Pharmacy and is working toward her Mental Health and Addictions Diploma. Erica believes from what she has observed that people deserve better chance then what they are given. Erica has a valid First Aid & CPR; Mental Health First Aid and she also has lived experienced. From this, she has a lot of resources and is certain she can be an advocate for members requiring services in the community.
Carmen Debassige, Part Time Peer Support and Outreach Worker
Ms. Carmen Debassige is an MFN band member and has always been interested in this team. Her prior work experience at the health Centre and living in M’Chigeeng for most of her life, makes her an ideal candidate for this position. In addition, Carmen recently graduated from a 90-day treatment program, and she is actively attending after-care meetings. She is taking her recovery journey seriously and would love the opportunity to give back to her community by helping others struggling with mental health and addictions.
Andre Ashfield, Part Time Peer Support and Outreach Worker
Ms. Andre Ashfield is not from the M’Chigeeng, but he has been residing here with his partner for the past 10 years. He has previous work experience working with M’Chigeeng as a screener at Lakeview School during the pandemic. Andre describes himself as compassionate person, non-judgemental and he likes to help where needed. Andre has effective communication skills and can establish and maintain connections, which is vital to this team.
Michelle Mattatall, Part Time Peer Support and Outreach Worker
Michelle Mattatall is originally from the London area but recently moved to M’Chigeeng. She is currently working at Foodland in Mindemoya but is very interested in this opportunity to help others that are going through challenging times. Michelle has lived experience with mental health and additions and has experienced a lot of loss in her life. She has that personal experience that others can relate to and believes that she can be that person others would want to talk to.
Grace Debassige, Child and Youth Mental Health and Additions Counsellor
Ms. Grace Debassige is a M’Chigeeng First Nation band member and she recently graduated from the Social Service Worker Program. Throughout her studies at Canadore College, they focused on mental health and addictions, interviewing skills, and community development. She was able to create a fundraiser for the women’s shelter, a co-regulation pamphlet for parents and caregivers at her placement, she created a small workshop for children experiencing anxiety, two of her classmates and her created a room in the local elementary school for sensory overload and mindfulness. She would be honored to bring projects like these back to her home of M’Chigeeng First Nation. By using her strong interpersonal skills, she can connect with children and youth. She believes every child deserves to be seen and understood, and they can feel that value when interacting with her.
CAPITAL PROJECTS AND PUBLIC WORKS
Leland Migwans, Water Truck Operator
Leland Migwans is an MFN band member and holds his AZ license, along with his heavy equipment operator certification. He has experience with construction, along with truck driving, in the area of hauling materials. Leland is aware of all safety and maintenance when it comes to operating trucks by ensuring circle checks prior to operating. He is also aware of the importance of knowing the commitment to this job as clean water is important to all members of the community in their daily living.