Learn about the contributors of this edition.
Jes Croucher is a Cree-Dene woman from Fort McMurray 468 First Nation. She is a descendant of Paul Cree Clearwater River Band and Willow Lake Band, with Irish-Scottish ancestry on her mother’s side. She is a helper and is honoured to be raising two beautiful children with her partner on ancestral territory.
As the okanawêyihcihkêw (the one who takes care of things), at Pawâmiw Creative, Jes facilitates culturally enriching events. Her work is a direct response to community asks which includes cultural reclamation programs, reconciliation programs and advising on projects to support Indigenous worldview. Jes also participates on local boards, committees & circles to bring Indigenous voices forward and promote new ways of thinking.
As Director of the Indigenous and Rural Relations (IRR) Department with the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo, Dennis Fraser brings with him a varied background in public Service. Having spent 28 years with the RCMP on a Provincial, National and International level, Dennis gained a deep understanding of the importance of developing and nurturing positive relationships to empower change. He was deployed for a year on a peacekeeping mission with the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) to Afghanistan. This deployment exposed Dennis to a much broader view of Reconciliation and collaboration. It is the goal of the IRR Department, under the leadership and guidance of Director, Dennis Fraser, to drive initiatives that lead to meaningful Indigenous engagement and support Reconciliation in the region.
Allison Flett is a member of Mikisew Cree First Nation and was raised on ancestral lands in Fort Chipewyan. She advocates for space for Indigenous peoples of this region to be heard and valued. Currently residing in nistawayaw-Fort McMurray, Allison is raising her family with the same cultural values that were passed on to her – sharing, kindness, and community responsibility.
Allison currently works with the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo as an advisor and shares her wisdom with many local organizations to advocate for her community.
Lauren Golosky is a Métis iskwew (woman) from Nistawâyâw and a member of McMurray Métis. Born and raised in Fort McMurray, she received a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from the University of Regina. Lauren worked as a reporter and producer for CTV Regina, CBC Saskatchewan and Rawlco Radio before transitioning to a career in communications. She returned home to Fort McMurray in 2019 and now works as an advisor for the RMWB’s Indigenous and Rural Relations department. She loves sharing her beautiful home with her husband, Kevin Meacher, and daughter, Cecelia.
Tatiana Lepine was born and raised in Fort McMurray and is a member of the Mikisew Cree First Nation. She is currently studying Communications at the University of Calgary, focusing on social media, graphic art, and multiplatform journalism. She is passionate in all forms of Arts and Design, from art history to digital illustration.
Dene Plews is an Indigenous Storyteller and part-time Traditional Parenting Facilitator from the Fort McMurray #468 First Nation. Though she currently resides in Janvier, AB, with her husband and their two boys. Dene’s passion for writing began as a child, but she only started sharing her work recently. She draws inspiration from life experience, her studies at the University of Alberta, and teachings bestowed. Dene writes everything from contemporary romance to YA fantasy, screenplays for short films, songs and poems, but her heart belongs to the short stories she crafts after dark in the comfort of her kitchen. Dene has a passion for folklore specific to her Cree roots and tells tales of ravenous monsters that stalk the forests of the Treaty 8 territory.
Megan Shott was born and raised on Treaty 8 Territory. The community of Janvier and Fort McKay came together to create this natural leader. She spent many years navigating post-secondary attaining a Business Administration Diploma in 2015 before eventually venturing off again to further her education within the helping profession. She officially returned to the Wood Buffalo Region “for good this time” in 2019 and finished up the rest of her Bachelor of Social Work studies last year, marking her as a first-generation University graduate.
As of late, she has been enjoying a break from academia by co-facilitating land-based cultural workshops with her Mom and writing for creative expression. Her social work practice is currently shifting to a macro level scope where she expects to develop more of her policy and advocacy work through opportunities from her consulting business, Taghe-Ch’adhel Resources. Megan plans to celebrate National Indigenous History Month by slowing down the pace of her life to enjoy reading in the hammock, golfing with her partner, beading small keychain projects, and watching her nephew receive a RARA Award!
Kiran Khan is a national award-winning communications specialist, freelance journalist, and social media consultant. She loves telling community stories, and is a strong advocate for inclusion, diversity, women’s rights, and multiculturalism.
Sahar Saifee is a freelance writer and communications professional who is compelled to grasp the world around her and put it into writing and photography. She has worked and volunteered as a communications advisor, social media coordinator and as a writer for local newspapers and organizations in Edmonton and Fort McMurray. An avid reader, news junkie and passionate writer, she always admired the path of storytelling. Sahar enjoys the world of arts, fashion and culture. Saharsaifee.ca
Carol Christian loves to write and tell people’s stories. She is a former journalist with a few awards, but no Pulitzer…yet…and loves being behind the camera catching awesome smiles and beautiful landscapes.
She is a strong believer in teamwork and helping others, and lives by the Golden Rule. Always engaged with her community, Carol is a long-time volunteer who always gives back. She thoroughly enjoys the outdoors, and all the pursuits that go with it … hiking, camping, and kayaking, and so on.
Carol is a human slave to two furry felines, believes music and books are amazing.
With a love of exploring, travelling is a big part of her life… and why her credit cards are always maxed out..