2013 N2N Team Members
|Team members are volunteers aged 18 and up, and come to the tour from a variety of cultural backgrounds - Mohawk, Oji-Cree and non-Indigenous Canadians with family roots in the Middle East, Asia and Europe. Together with our hosts, we are exploring the Nation to Nation relationship in all its complexity.|
Kwey! She:kon! My name is Wabigonikwe Tenasco or Wabi for short. I’m part Algonquin and Mohawk, I grew up mostly in Kitigan Zibi, QC, moved to Ottawa for college, then to New Brunswick for another course and have returned to Akwesasne where I work for the Department of Health Administration. In my spare time you can find me devouring different video games, Vampire Diaries and books in mass quantities. Though a self-proclaimed nerd, I love being outside, especially in the sun and heat. I run daily and have plans of running in the Boston and New York Marathons next year as well as an Ironmanwithin the next 5 years WHOOT!!! I own two adorable hedgehogs (Koko and Ally aka TheKokos) one psycho cat (Miley Smallish Bear), and when not hiking in the Adirondacks I’m at my aunt’s house helping her can, craft, garden or catching up on Phineas and Ferb and getting my dose of sports, GO PACKERS!!! I love to travel and I’ve had the opportunity to participate in exchange programs and various youth groups and am very excited to be part of the N2N Bike Tour this year!! Can’t wait to meet everyone and to get going!
Michelane Gliddy is from Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug First Nation, Ontario. In the past two years she has been employed as an education assistant. She is a gamer girl, but she also likes to seek real-life adventures as well. She will be participating in her very first bike tour with OTESHA and KAIROS. During this project she hopes to have a better understanding of the land by travelling between other reserves in Canada and help develop a much stronger friendship between native and non-native people for the sake of the land we share. As an aspiring teacher she hopes to bring her knowledge back to the reserve and she also hopes her fellow community members will take this journey themselves one day.
My name is Carly Benedict and I hail from Akwesasne, land of the Mohawks. I graduated from St.Lawrence College with an Environmental Technician diploma. I live in Akwesasne and have been all my life and I have 2 awesome lovable dogs; Wynn and Darth Vader, my BIG baby. I recently went to Italy with my parents and relatives and friends to see Kateri Tekahkwitha become a saint. It was a great experience and I met a lot of people and made new friends. I plan to attend Trent University-Peterborough in the Winter and take Indigenous Studies. This is my first time going on a biking tour and I hope to “survive the journey”.
David Shy-u, born in Deep River, Ontario and moved to Bruce County for a couple years before landing in Toronto, establishing roots in the artist, music, and dance community as child. In past year I have been attending: school for Sustainable Agriculture, community garden projects by volunteer with TheStop organization. From my travels on a cruise ship as an Acupuncturist, I was be coming more conscious of the waste, CO2 emissions, and peak oil that affected the local sustainable tribes I would venture out to speak to. From that moment on I chose to support (in my personal opinion) "Earth and Nature's greatest cause". My parents encouraged the experiences with First Nations culture throughout my childhood. My enthusiasm to enrich my life with Traditional Medicines grew, and has led to a career to which I share my gift of healing with simplicity to the world. And simplicity in my modalities of practice involve touch, music, and smiles:)
Hello! I'm Chantelle Chan, from Vancouver BC and stoked about going on tour with Otesha! Most of the time, I'm a student in Natural Resources Conservation at UBC; and all of the time, a cyclist, skier, climber, knitter, baker and a laughing face. I enjoy fixing and building things and am alright at it. My experiences are mostly in outdoor education, environmental stewardship and working with youth! Early on this summer, I'll be in Oregon WWOOF'ing it up at two farms, learning about animal husbandry, self-sufficient farms, alternative energy systems and helping to build an outdoor shower! Neeeigh!
Hi, I'm Leigh Herbert. I like being on my bike and have done longer trips before. I've been involved in a variety of activist movements and community-based cooperative projects. I'm both anxious and excited to be part of the first Nation to Nation Tour, and hope to make it a positive experience for both native and non-native people. Peace out!
Hello! I’m Nawaaz Makhani! I spent my early life growing up in the suburbs of Toronto. I’ve had the good fortune to experience life and culture in other countries, and I’m currently living and loving Ottawa. I’m passionate about science, teaching, and youth empowerment! I’m currently an Islamic Studies educator for high school students. In my spare time you’ll find me playing sports, reading, spending time with friends and family or being a complete goof. My first camping experience with Outward Bound last summer inspired me to challenge myself to become more aware about the environment, which is why I’m volunteering with Otesha! :)
Arestia Dehmassi grew up in Toronto after her family came to Canada from Iran as political refugees. Activism and social justice has always been discussed and explored in her home. Arestia has a huge imagination and believes the most valuable things we have as human beans are the stories we experience and share with one another. Arestia has a BA in Radio and Television arts and is currently working with some amazing grassroots organizations in Toronto focusing on the issues of education (Free’Scool), economics (COMER - Committee On Monetary and Economic Reform who are suing the Bank of Canada) , food security (Occupy Gardens), and communications-media (Activist Television). Arestia is growing her courage so that she can encourage others to believe that another world is possible, a sustainable healthy and happy world with beautiful strong communities! She is super stoked to be part of the Nation to Nation team!
Hi! I foremost define myself as an earthling, understanding my fundamental connection to all life and non-life on and beyond this planet, all of which is sacred and doesn't make sense to commodify, so I look for ways instead to practice what some people call sacred economics, or the gift economy. I'm also an activist, bicycle-rider, gardener, meditation- and yoga-practitioner, a holistic health learner, and someone who loves to cook, share food, dance, and create art. I'm about halfway through my coursework for my environmental studies masters program before delving into my final research project, which I haven't narrowed down yet because everything seems to matter to me, a lot! Native-settler reconciliation and decolonization also matter to me a lot and I look forward to humbly learning and sharing with all of you on this tour!
Harry Benedict is an aspiring musician and artist from Akwesasne. From classical to metal, Harry finds the joy in a diverse range of music, with an aim to bring them together in a way that captures the essence of enlightenment. He first picked up a guitar at age 17 after the passing of an old friend. He is a writer at heart and has written many poems, stories, and songs that touch on a profound sense of things, and he does his best to transpose that over into his music.
"When I awaken to the day, I rise in hopes to see the sun shine upon my face and capture the beautiful moments that'll last a lifetime. I often like to sit in silence and think about the possibilities of life and what I can do to bring something greater to this world," says Harry. "Spirituality holds the highest importance in my life - not in a religious sense, but in the sense to keep an open mind and heart to those whom I care for. My heart reflects compassion towards people, and I know I've lived solidly towards being that person." Harry hopes to release his first music single in the fall and is currently writing a book, to be released next spring.
Hello, I'm Katy Quinn, KAIROS Tour Coordinator. I grew up on an organic farm in Elgin, Quebec, Mohawk Territory. I now live in Ottawa and coordinate KAIROS' Indigenous Rights Program. When I'm not working (which isn't very often!) I play piano and reconnect with my rural roots by planting vegetables, canoeing and smoking my clothes around a camp fire. I really look forward to working with all of you on this challenging and exciting project!
Matt Schaaf, Otesha Tour Coordinator, encountered The Otesha Project in 2010 when his family moved to Ottawa (unceded Algonquin territory) from the Prairies. Since then, he has been elbow deep in bike grease coordinating Otesha's bike tours programs. He brings his background in travel education, human rights and building partnerships with indigenous communities to the Nation to Nation Tour. In his off-hours, he can be found with his semi-homeschooled kids, baking bread and re-wiring electric guitars and amps. Zap!