On Friday, October 11th, Secondary 4 English students had the privilege of participating in a question and answer session with three speakers from Kahnawake who shared their vast expertise on topics pertaining to past and present issues facing Indigenous people in Canada. Their credentials are as follows:
Iehente Foote is an Indigenous Full Spectrum Doula. She is also a part of the Native Youth Sexual Health Network (Culture, Art & Land Based Research, Learning & Teaching), the Canadian Aboriginal AIDS Network (Chair, National Indigenous Youth Council on Sexual Health and HIV/AIDS) and she also is involved with the performing arts as a Stage Manager, Costumier & Actor (Theatre, Film & TV; Kahnawake, Montreal, Toronto, New York).
Taylor Goodleaf (Mohawk, Kahnawake) is a Queen of Angels Academy 09 Alumni. Taylor has D.E.C. in Youth & Adult Correctional Intervention from John Abbott College, a B.A. in Human Relations, Applied Human Sciences from Concordia University and has recently completed her Master of Social Work degree in Indigenous Trauma & Resiliency from the University of Toronto. She has worked as a frontline intervention worker in shelters in Montreal specifically for First Nations, Inuit and Metis men, women and children. She has also worked as a Case Aide within the foster care system and as an Intake worker at Kahnawake Shakotiia’takehnhas Community Services where she will soon be transitioning into the role of a Youth Protection Social Worker.
Tom Dearhouse (Mohawk & Ojibway) Tom was born in Detroit, Michigan to a Mohawk father, and an Ojibway mother. Tom left the city for the reservation life at the age of 21. Tom has a background in Aboriginal Social Work from Carleton University and has diverse work experience working as a journalist, firefighter, ambulance technician, and band council chief. Since 2001, Tom has been an employee at Kahnawake Shakotiia’takehnhas Community Services as a Youth Protection Case Worker and a Support Counselor. Since 2017, Tom has taken on the role as a Traditional Support Counselor with a focus on supporting former Federal Indian Residential School survivors and their families get through the claims process based on the Truth & Reconciliation Commission’s recommendations. The community members he works with in Kahnawake includes those with mental health issues and developmental delays, besides those wanting to access Traditional Support Services.