The NAN Hope team is made up of more than 20 Wellness Navigators and On-Call Counsellors. Wellness Navigators are the primary contact for NAN members who reach out by phone, text, live chat, or Facebook. Wellness Navigators provide navigation to existing community-based and regional support services and connect members to confidential counselling support. On-Call Counsellors are available to provide rapid-access counselling support. Counselling is available for anyone in the NAN region experiencing a wide range of mental health challenges.

Bob S is a Traditional Cree Counsellor with a lifetime of work across Canada in Indigenous Mental Health, Wellness and Healing. He has an in-depth understanding and use of traditional methodologies to promote healing and wellness, and he is very knowledgeable in the importance and function of Elders, Medicines, Teachings and Ceremonies in his work and life. His experience is extensive, including contractual employment with various NAN communities, Cultural Camp Coordinator in Canada and Alaska, Elders Services and Traditional Healing programs. Bob has earned Facilitator Certificates in “I’m a Kind Man” and Fatherhood/Motherhood, Substance Abuse Counselling Certificate, Ontario Teacher’s Certificate and Indian Teacher Education Diploma. He is a valuable member of the NAN Hope team offering counselling services and support in Cree and English. 

My name is Ron Ojibway and Cree roots and is from the Bear Clan. I am a band member of the Red Rock Indian Band (Lake Helen 1st Nation) with my grandmother’s roots from the Moose Cree Nation. As a family man, married for 24 years and with my wife’s support and dedication have assisted in raising 25 children in addition to my own. I have been drug and alcohol free for 31 years which I feel has grounded me to be a better version of myself.

  • Confederation College Graduate: Native Child & Family Worker 1991
  • President’s Medal Recipient

I am an energetic social worker, cultural teacher, group facilitator, college instructor, comedian, promoter, and musician who is a long-term resident of the Ogden East End community in Thunder Bay ON.  As the sole proprietor of With Care Consulting and Ron Kanutski Comedy I work diligently throughout Canada and the USA to wherever I am called which is currently NAN HOPE.

Cecile is from Attawapiskat First Nation and is a very proud Mushkegowuk Cree Kwe.  Cecile attended the St. Anne’s Residential School located in Fort Albany, Ontario. She does not call herself a “survivor” because her belief is that her healing journey has brought her to be more than a survivor. Resilient.  She is a proud mother of 7 children and grandmother of 2 grandsons who are her world. She is a keeper of her traditional Cree language and uses this knowledge to teach others.

Cecile has an extensive history working with Indigenous people and organizations.  Some of her notable experiences include working at the Assembly of First Nations, attending Nipissing University Social Welfare and Social Development, work with Anishinabek Nation including roles as the Child Well Being Coordinator, Family Well-Being Coordinator, and lastly, work at Mushkegowuk Council as the Jordan’s Principle Coordinator.  She currently sits on MMIW National Advisory Council and works full time as a Wellness Navigator and Traditional Counsellor with NAN Hope.

Cecile’s mentor is Social Worker and advocate Dr. Cindy Blackstock.  This is demonstrated by her passion in helping her people, especially children and youth. Currently, she is being certified in Indigenous based Complex Trauma.  She feels a strong connection and desire to help her people and is proud to be working with NAN Hope.

Cecile believes in laughter is the best medicine and her favourite quote is “Keep Smiling”.

Deva is honoured in be a helper with NAN Hope Mental Health and Addiction program. She recently moved back to Treat 7 Territory, in Southern Alberta, the home of her Niitsitapi ( BlackFoot Confederacy) people. For her two children, Namayo and Siibii, to be closer to her family, Ceremony and to know the lands of their Piikani relatives.  

Before this move, she lived in her partner’s home of Moose Factory, Ontario, since 2013, to immerse her children in their Moose Cree culture and tradition to begin their journey as successful James Bay harvesters.

Deva is a proud Hungarian/Blackfoot woman Aakii from Piikani First Nation in Southern Alberta, and her beliefs of wellness are guided through the Blackfoot saying “lyiikakimaat”, which tells us to try hard and encourages inner strength.

Deva holds a Master’s of Education degree in Counselling Psychology (UVIC’11) and is both a Registered Psychotherapist (RP) with the College of Registered Psychotherapist of Ontario.

For many years she worked as a Child Wellness Clinician at Ministik Elementary school in Moose Factory, where she viewed her work with families and students as sacred work, in this work she created a counselling space that reflected the culture landscape of her Kin/Clients. Deva sees herself as a ‘creative helper’, as her Indigenous communities have always expressed themselves in Art; she has created many resources, where community can see themselves and their culture represented in.

Deva had the opportunity of being Indigenous Circle Chapter President (’19), which works to ensure Indigenous voices and world views are heard within the Canadian landscape of the counselling profession. In her work with children & youth she draws on play therapy, expressive therapies, and yoga practices as a vehicle through which children can freely explore their feelings all while feeling safe, respected and empowered. Deva has completed Indigenous Focusing Oriented Therapy certificate (JIBC ’17) and a Yoga Exercise Specialist certification (YES-90) training and started a sharing “Mindfulness Moose Yoga” programming at Ministik Elementary school in Moose Factory, Ontario. 

My name is Marilyn S, (nee Moore), born in Hearst Ontario and belong to the Constance Lake First Nation. I was adopted and raised by my paternal grandparents, Abraham and Maggie Sutherland. My parents were Nancy (nee Betsy/Shakanaqueb) and James Moore. Cree is my first language and I learned as a young child the way of life on the land. 

All my life I learned the concept of “tea and bannock” as a way of using our ways to help and support one another. Many times I watched my grandmother and others in the community often sharing and giving to others in need and those same people were always there when needed, I became one of those “natural helpers”. Its a natural thing to want to help; to give others the space where safety and comfort will be provided. 

I went back to school at a later age and completed studies in social work, earning at last a Masters degree at Wilfrid Laurier University, Kitchener, Ontario where I currently reside. I am a registered social worker with the College of Social Workers and Express Scripts formerly Non-Insured Health Benefits Program (NIHB) with Health Canada.  

It has been very difficult in the last two years and the effects of current situations has impacted us all in many different ways. It is something that we can not conquer alone but it can be tolerated and managed with understanding and courage. There are many other social issues and concerns we experience as families and people. We can be able to organize ourselves and bring help to loved ones. 

Previous work I experienced has helped me tremendously and most importantly learn to exercise what I learned in social work was being a mediator with the London Family Court Clinic. I worked between families and child welfare agencies to work in getting their children home. 

All the work I did was with First Nations communities ranging from Fort Severn and Walpole Island, all in various capacities. 

I am a guide, helper, teacher and also an advocate for a better life. Our future is depending on us to help others understand a life we deserve. 

Laini has been working in the helper role with Indigenous people for the last 25 years.  She started with her Child & Youth Worker diploma and is now seeking her Masters of Social Work degree.  She is a Nokomis-Grandmother and her ancestry is Mohawk, Anishnawbe and Lenni Lenape.  Laini has a passion to help her people overcome obstacles and to find a way that supports positive living.  She is a knowledge keeper and shares her traditional teachings and values of the Seven Grandfather Teachings.  She is a conductor of the Sweat Lodge ceremony and Vision quest fasting ceremony.
Lindsay holds a Master of Social Work Degree and is a Registered Social Worker with diverse experience. She strives to support those who have experienced trauma, abuse and loss. Lindsay believes it is a privilege to listen and walk alongside her clients in their mental health journey. When working with Lindsay you can expect a genuine caring, accepting and compassionate approach.

Nikki is a registered social worker who grew up in Waterloo Ontario. She completed her undergraduate degree in Social Development Studies and Bachelor of Social Work degree at the University of Waterloo. She then completed her Master of Social Work degree at the University of Toronto and specialized in Gerontology. Working with older adults has always been a passion of hers. Since then, Nikki has worked in the Guelph and Rural Wellington area in field of mental health and addiction. This is another passion of hers. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with family and going on hikes with her dog Banks. Nikki works from an anti-oppressive, strengths based and holistic framework.  Nikki is excited to join the NAN hope team as a dual Wellness Navigator/ Therapist and work alongside people from the NAN communities.  

Zara has been working to support young people and their caregivers in clinical and advocacy contexts for over 5 years. She is a Registered Social Worker who lives and works in Tkaronto, the traditional territory of many nations including the Mississaugas of the Credit, the Anishnabeg, the Chippewa, the Haudenosaunee and the Wendat peoples. She holds a Master of Social Work degree from the University of Toronto with a specialization in Children and Families. Zara is interested in culturally relevant healing and wellness modalities, trauma-informed approaches and working within a framework of Indigenous Cultural Safety. She is honoured to walk alongside young people, individuals, clients and families in their healing journey in a non-judgemental and supportive way. 

At different times in our lives, we are handed challenges, and are faced with adversity. In these situations, we may feel like we need some support; someone wise and compassionate who can provide the opportunity to be heard, and the necessary guidance to move forward. You may be dealing with issues of depression, anxiety, problems in a relationship, grief/loss, trauma/post trauma, addiction, parenting, separation/divorce; or maybe you have just lost direction and feel like you need some realignment. Psychotherapy, coaching, or a combination of both can offer you the opportunity to explore difficult or confusing terrain, to understand what your struggle is trying to tell you, and to choose what directions in life you would like to take.

If you want to put your past in the past so it no longer controls your present or future well-being, and/or you realize you have visions and goals for your life but need some help to uncover the barriers or blocks and be respectfully prompted in the right direction, your sessions with Lillian will provide you with access to what you need to get the results you are looking for.

Deborah is a trauma informed Registered Social Worker,  who lives and works in Waterloo, on the Haldimand Tract, land that was promised to the Haudenosaunee of the Six Nations of the Grand River, and within the territory of the Anishinaabe, Haudenosaunee and Neutral peoples. Debbie has practiced in health and social service programs for over thirty years, supporting diverse individuals and families experiencing life transitions, loss, anxiety and depression. Debbie is committed to listening and supporting from a respectful understanding of cultural safety, as she joins the NAN Hope team.

pamela b

Pamela works with general mental health challenges, is trained in ASIST, Dialectic Behavioural Therapy (DBT), Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Motivational Interviewing, Triple P, working with LGBTQ2S+ clients, and Indigenous Cultural Safety (recently completing the San’yas: Indigenous Cultural Safety Health (ICS: Health) Online Training). Pamela is a certified Mood Disorder Therapist, a certified Addictions Counsellor, a Certified Traumatologist, and specializes in Adolescent behaviours.

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