Indigenous ServicesStudent Experience

Staff Profiles

Mandy Bragg

Mandy Bragg

Academic Advisor

abragg22@uwo.ca 519-661-2111 x84033 

Koola Maalsi! My name is Mandy and I am the Access Transition Opportunities (ATO) Counsellor. I am from the Munsee Delaware Nation, and I have been at Western for many years, now. I am dedicated to creating a supportive and healthy learning environment for you and your peers. In my spare time, I enjoy spending time with my grandchildren and keeping in touch with nature. Please feel free to drop by, and say hi!


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April Jones

Cultural Counsellor

ajone242@uwo.ca 519-661-2111 x84442 

Way-Weni-Boo-Zhoo! Greetings to you and Welcome! I am Ojibway Annishinabe from Neeyashingniming (Cape Croker First Nation.) My family belongs to Nigig (Otter Clan.) My spirit name is Zhowshko Bineshee Qway or (Bluebird Woman.)

I love working at Indigenous Services because it feels like coming home. A number of years ago I moved to London from my small community to start my Western journey as a mature student. I felt lost and out of place! But I meet the challenges and managed to finish a degree in Social Work. What helped me most during that time was the loving and supportive Indigenous Presence here at Western. It is wonderful to return and to be a part of the growth, development and strength of this beautiful Indigenous Center.  

I have worked in many Indigenous Communities through South Western Ontario over the last 20 years in many different ways: Namely in some type of helper or teaching role. Somewhere along the way I went to graduate school and completed a Masters in Indigenous Social Work. Somewhere along the way I have continued to learn our traditional stories, songs and ceremonies of strength and wellness. This is what has helped me most in life, and what I am excited to share with others.

I also have experience of new and exciting practices and knowledge in the area of Quantum Science. Finally, western science and health are “catching up” to what Indigenous People have always known: That we can transform ourselves; that we are amazing brilliant spirits with purpose and knowledge! I would say that I am open to learning, and excited to share in any way that I can. Most of all, I am excited to support you so that you can recognize your full potential

Meegwetch


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Ashley Kewayosh Samuel

Program Coordinator

akewayos@uwo.ca 519-661-2111 x85731

Waywayni-Boozhoo, Wahbinayshe N’dizinikawz, Chi-Mikinuk N’dodem, Anishinabe miinawah Lenape kwe N’dow, Bkejiwanong N’doonjibaw. I am Great Turtle clan and grew up on Walpole Island First Nation, Bkejwanong Unceded Territory with a large extended family.

I attended Brescia and Western for my Bachelor of Arts, Certificate of Community Development and Bachelor of Education programs. I am a member of the Ontario College of Teachers. In the past I have taught at the secondary school level. Over the past 18 years I have been working both professionally and on a volunteer basis with various Indigenous organizations, Indigenous youth, as well as with women and children in crisis and in the field of international education.

I have a passion for helping students and put my heart into supporting them in their university journey. I also support efforts toward making Western an inclusive, welcoming community.

As a student at Western I experienced a lot of personal growth. I struggled academically and feel for all those who are doing their best to get through university, one step at a time. During those years I found a home when attending traditional ceremonies and am thankful for the family that I have adopted there. The connection I found guides my everyday life and work at Western and in the world. I look forward to working with you!

Erik Mandawe

Zeeta Lazore Cayuga

Indigenous Liaison Admissions Coordinator

zlazorec@uwo.ca 519-661-2111 x88567

My name is Zeeta, I’m Bear clan Onondaga from Six Nations and Akwesasne. I graduated from Western University with a Honours Specialization in First Nations Studies. During my time on campus, I was involved with the Mini-University Outreach Program, Indigenous Student Association, Social Science Student Council and so many other great extracurricular activities. All of these opportunities and the amazing Onkwehonwe community at Western helped shape who I am today, which is why I am so excited to be able to assist prospective students on their academic journey with Western University.  Interested in applying to Western? Please don't hesitate to reach out to me to chat! 


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Amanda Myers

Community Enhancement Coordinator

amanda.myers@uwo.ca  519-661-2111 x86423

Waynaboozhoo Kitaay Bizhikikwe ndizhinikaaz, waabizheshi ndodem. Anishinaabe, Bodewadomi miinwa Métis ndow, bezho Mide kwe ndow. Amanda Myers is my English name and I am a graduate of Western University with a Bachelor of Arts in First Nations Studies and Visual Art as well as a Bachelor of Education. Prior to attending university, I graduated from the Jewellery Arts program at George Brown College and operated my own business as a full-time goldsmith for 5 years. As a professional artist, I work with acrylic paint, stained glass, beads and leather. I have always loved to share my skills with others which led me to a path in education. Through workshop facilitation in southern Ontario schools and in working with the Centre for Addictions and Mental Health in the Fourth R program here in the Thames Valley District School Board, I have come to realize that my place is in helping our youth to feel confident in their identity and move forward in a positive direction.


Candace Brunette-Debassige

Kelly Nicholas

Administration Assistant

kjnichol@uwo.ca 519-661-2111 x85533

Tsyolut niyukits, Thayuni niwahkitalot^, Onyota'a:ka niwahkuhutsyot^,Kohslakanen wakaneklatu Shekoli/Greetings. My English name is Kelly Nicholas, I’m wolf clan of the Oneida Nation located southwest of London where I live with my family. I have worked at Western University since 1997 in various capacities within Indigenous Services. I enjoy working with the Indigenous Services Team to offer support and encouragement to all Indigenous Students who have chosen Western as their academic path to learning


Donna Noah

Donna Noah

ATO Assistant

dnoah@uwo.ca 519-661-2111 x86437

Koolamalsi, my name is Donna and I am bear clan, Lunaapeew from Munsee Delaware Nation. I graduated from Western University in 2018 with an Honors Specialization in First Nations Studies. Prior to attending Western I attended St. Clair College where I obtained a Native Community Worker diploma. During my five years at Western I became very involved in the Indigenous community from being a part of a women’s traditional singing group and a part of the Indigenous Student Association as Cultural Coordinator, along with many other fun and exciting opportunities that are available here at Western and in Indigenous Services.  My time at Western has been a great experience and has given me the tools, knowledge and confidence to pursue my passions and has opened doors to great opportunities. I am looking forward to meeting incoming students and I hope to be a support during your journey here at Western.


Erik Mandawe

Danielle Robinson

Financial Aid Advisor

drobin56@uwo.ca 519-661-2111 x89176

Boozhoo Waabigwan Giizis Kwe ndizhinikaaz, miskwaadesi ndodem, Biigtigong Nishnaabeg ndoonjiba. Hello, my name is Danielle Robinson. I am Turtle Clan from Biigtigong Nishnaabeg, a small first nation on the north shore of Lake Superior. I have been at Western University for a while now; I graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in First Nation Studies in 2016, a Masters of Public Health in 2017 and I am currently working on my Ph.D. in Health Professional Education. Throughout my educational journey at Western, Indigenous Services has been there every step of the way from amazing programs, supports, and events to truly being a community away from home. I am beyond thrilled to be a part of this amazing team and look forward to helping students through their own educational journeys.


Joy SpearChief-Morris

Joy SpearChief-Morris

Program Coordinator Assistant

jspearch@uwo.ca 519-661-2111 x87544

Oki, ni tah niko Soopa’ki nimp’oah toot do siikoh’ko toak. Hello, my name is Joy and I am a member of the Kainai Blood Tribe, in Southern Alberta, Canada. As a Blackfoot woman, I take pride in my strong cultural identity. Upon coming to Western University, it was through the First Nations Studies Department and Indigenous Services that I was able to find ways to connect with my community back home. Since then, I have had a passion to pursue Indigenous issues in Canada. I graduated with my Bachelor’s degree in History and First Nations Studies in June 2017. While at Western, I also competed on the Western Track and Field Team in the sprints and hurdles where I was a multiple-time national medalist and a national champion. My dream is to compete at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games in the 100m hurdles. I am excited to be a part of the community here in Indigenous Services and I look forward to helping make your experience as a student at Western as rewarding as mine.


Liz Akiwenzie

Liz Akiwenzie

Visiting Elder

I am both Ojibway and Oneida. My Ojibway name is “Nistangkwe” (understanding woman); and my Oneida name is “Teyeyato Lehte” (she who reason and sees both side). I am mother, grandmother and great-grandmother, I enjoy woman's traditional dancing, hand drum singing and sharing the beautiful teachings of the Original people of this land. 

I have been working in the helping field for over 30 years. I have a social work background which I have had the honour of working as an Addictions Healing and Wellness Instructor in an Aboriginal Social Services Worker Program, and within Correctional Services Canada, Probation Services, a Sexual Abuse Center, and as a Traditional/Cultural Educator. I am also a Ceremonial Conductor, and a Traditional Helper to the people.

I have gained many teachings over the years, along with doing my own healing work of my heart, mind, body and spirit. My passion is to empower people, so they may see, feel and understand their own natural gifts given by the Creator, and assist them in understanding their feelings, thoughts and how to use them to create a happier and healthier life style. 

It's been almost 40 years of learning our natural way of being in the world. Living in the NOW and enjoying life to the fullest being a Cultural teacher and Cultural facilitator. To assist in awakening all four Nations’ of people to understand our Natural world.


Myrna Kicknosway

Myrna Kicknosway

Visiting Elder

Boozhoo, Aanii, Shekon, Greetings,

My name is Myrna Kicknosway and I am from Walpole Island, Bkejwanong Territory. I have been invited to The University of Western Ontario to assist students and staff in the area of Cultural awareness, consultation and counseling. I will be available at the Indigenous Services offices on a regular basis for one on one, group sessions and/or Indigenous workshop sessions. You are more than welcome to drop by to talk, have tea or make an appointment to visit. My life journey and personal healing has provided me with an ever-expanding appreciation of the knowledge of Indigenous Cultures, Traditions, and our growth as Human Beings and unique members of our kind Creator’s family. Looking forward to meeting you…


Irene PetersIrene Peters

Visiting Elder

Greetings, my spirit name is kitagaghosekwe of the turtle clan. I am mother of 4 remaining children out of 5. I have 10 grandchildren & 11 great grandchildren. My membership is with Munsee Delaware Nation. Because my house burned down in Munsee, my residence is currently at Moravian Delaware Nation. My last institutional education was in human resources of social work at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario. After that my first place of employment was with the Association of Iroquois and Allied Indians as an AIDS Educator. Since retirement I have accepted positions on various Elders Advisory boards. I also work with youth and enjoy the work. I go wherever called to help with cultural activities (Full Moon ceremonies, Berry Fasts and Memorial feasts).