Who We Are
We are a First Nation-led think tank rooted in community networks and committed to Indigenous self-determination.
Dr. Hayden King
Hayden is Anishinaabe from Beausoleil First Nation on Gchi’mnissing in Huronia, Ontario. He is the Executive Director of the Yellowhead Institute and Advisor to the Dean of Arts on Indigenous Education at Ryerson University. King has been teaching Indigenous politics and policy since 2007 at McMaster, Carleton and Ryerson Universities. Hayden’s analysis and commentary on Indigenous nationhood and settler colonialism in Canada is published widely. He is a prolific thinker and contributor to the national conversation on Indigenous issues.
Dr. Eva Jewell
Dr. Damien Lee
Dr. Damien Lee is a cis-gendered racially-white man who belongs with Anishinaabeg of the northern shore of Lake Superior. He was adopted as an infant into Fort William First Nation in accordance with Anishinaabe law, and raised as Anishinaabe by his family. Dr. Lee’s research focuses primarily on the resurgence of Indigenous legal and governance systems; he is also considered an expert on First Nations band membership issues. Mentored by Anishinaabe knowledge holders Doug Williams and Marlene Pierre, Dr. Lee is an Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Arts, Department of Sociology at Ryerson University and holds the Canada Research Chair in Biskaabiiyang and Indigenous Political Resurgence.
Dr. Megan Scribe
Jas M. Morgan
Dr. Shiri Pasternak
Research Director (2018-July 2021)
Shiri is an Assistant Professor in Criminology at Ryerson University in Toronto. She is the author of the award-winning book Grounded Authority: the Algonquins of Barriere Lake Against the State, published by the University of Minnesota Press in 2017. Her current research involves studying the risk of Indigenous rights in the natural resource extraction economy. She is a Principal Investigator with scholars at York University and Carleton University, as well as community partners MiningWatch and the Indigenous Network in Economies and Trade, in a SSHRC Partnership Development Grant called, “Reconciling Sovereignties: New Techniques for ‘Authorizing’ Extraction on Indigenous Territories.”
Operations and Communications Manager
Yumi is a Japanese-Chinese Canadian. She believes that how we work and the processes we use to engage each other are integral aspects of building a sustainable future. Equity, storytelling and capacity building are three areas of focus that have, and continue to inform her work. Yumi is especially interested in facilitating impact through strategic communications expertise that is grounded in empathy and intentional process development. She completed an undergraduate degree at the University of Toronto in Equity Studies and a Master’s degree at New York University in Media, Culture and Communications.
Communications & Research Assistant
Kelsi is of mixed Métis and settler (primarily Ukrainian) ancestry from Treaty Six territory. Her family is from wâwâskesiwisâkahikan (Lac La Biche) and she grew up in Vegreville near amiskwacîwâskahikan (Edmonton). Kelsi is passionate about Indigenous governance revitalization efforts and has been involved in youth organizing in amiskwacîwâskahikan for interconnected issues of climate justice, houselessness and poverty, as well as active in harm reduction initiatives. Kelsi has a BA in Psychology and Native Studies and certificate in Indigenous Governance and Partnership from the University of Alberta. Currently she is completing her masters in Political Science at the University of Toronto.