mEET OUR TEAM!

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Kawennanoron Cynthia White

Board of Directors

In addition to holding a seat with the Earth Song Alliance, Kawennanoron also sits on the Governing Council of Soul of the Mother.  Cynthia was born into the Mohawk community of Akwesasne. Her lineage is Onondaga Snipe Clan. The Mohawk name given to her at birth is Kawennanoron. The translation is “Precious Words.” She currently lives at the Six Nations Grand River Territory in Southern Ontario, Canada, where she is a Spiritual and Ceremonial Leader and has been involved in spiritual training since 1994. She attended the State University of New York at Plattsburgh where she studied nursing and received a Bachelor of Science degree.  According to Kawennanoron, Spiritual Training requires that one is engaged in one’s own healing. It is this journey of healing that has led her to understand that prayer is a humble cry from the heart. She believes that a soul can be purified from pain and torment, thus producing change in a human being.

Through her own process of change, Kawenanoron shares what she has learned at the Sacred Fire of the Thunder as a means of giving back what she has received from the Creator.  In 2017, she began working at the Centre for Addictions and Mental Health with First Nations, Inuit and Metis people assisting individuals in developing their own connections to Spirit for transformation. 

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Sheila Robson

Board of Directors

Board of Directors

Boozhoo, Ahnee kinawaaya! Shkoodeh Kwe n’dizhnikaz!

Mkwa miinwaa Mzhiikenh Dodem, Neyaashiinigmiing miinwaa Moraviantown doonjibaa!
   

Hi everyone I’m Sheila. I’m the one who lights your Inner Fire. I’m Bear Clan on my Father’s side and Turtle Clan on my Mother’s Side. I was raised and currently live at Neyaashiinigmiing which translates to piece of land surrounded by three sides of Water. My Mother’s homeland is Moraviantown Reserve, near Chatham Ontario and that’s where I was born. I grew up in Ojibway Territory and I acknowledge my Lenape/ Delaware Lineage. I’m the oldest in my family, a proud Momma Bear to six beautiful children and two grandchildren, as well as an Auntie/Great Auntie to many beautiful nieces and handsome nephews.
 

I’m married through pipe ceremony to my husband Waasi (Kenneth Albert) who is from Deshkan Ziibing, Chippewas of the Thames First Nation. I have 3 Sisters and 1 brother and my Mother lives in Owen Sound and my dad lives in Toronto. At home we have two gentle loving four legged animals who watch over us and keep us posted when we have visitors.
 

I am a Ceremonial Ogitchitaa Kwe, Sundancer, Sweat Lodge Conductor, Many Bundle Caretaker, Medicine Gatherer and Maker of teas and minigan (salves). I provide teachings to whoever wants to learn, they just have to ask. I also teach Drumming and Singing, and assist in healings to anyone who wants to heal from their traumas using our culture as the main tool. I’m also a great listener! I have worked with people of all ages, facilitating workshops, going into schools and having been invited to participate and travel with my Nookmis to many gatherings.
 

My training began under the wings of many Grandmothers, Grandfathers and Healers over 20 years ago, beginning with my own. It was the ugliest yet most beautiful Life experience I’ve ever had to go through and continue to do so whenever the opportunity arises. It’s not easy to open your heart to heal the childhood and ancestral trauma we carry as Indigenous peoples, however it so definitely worth it! I’m so very grateful to the guidance of everyone who has crossed my path and taught me something about myself and for taking the time to help me on this amazing journey. This is when my life changed forever. I embraced it and never looked back!
 

I’m a helper to the Elders, a support to our youth as well as community as a whole with a 24-hour Community Fire Drop In called, “Love ️You No Matter What.” Here we offer up prayers, food, our kind presence and backpacks to our youth or anyone who may need a little help with supplies.
 

I am also very crafty! I love to sew, and create my dreams and visions to make them into a reality. Which is why I am honoured to be a part of Earth Song Alliance. I have a passion and love for the healing with our one true Mother and of all the medicine she grows and nourishes, including her children. The Waters that flow upon our Mother are like the Blood that flows within our Veins! I believe we all have a part in raising her vibration and helping each other to be those amazing human beings that our One Infinite Creator intended us to be! Together in Unity I believe we can achieve this and it’s with much gratitude that Franco invited me to be a part of his Dream and Vision️ I graciously accept and give thanks.


In love, light and peace ~ Ishkoodeh Kwe

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Red Iron (Luis Alegria)

Board of Directors

Ütz Awäch, Hola, Bienvenidos.

In k’aaba’e Luis Alegria my lineage comes from the Kaqchikel Mayan and

Afro-Guatemalan Peoples of Guatemala.

My Mother’s land comes from the original name Tz’olojya (Sololá), a predominantly Mayan Kaqchikel community and my Father’s land comes from Puerto Barrios, a predominantly Afro-Guatemalan community.

 

My first nine years, I lived in Guatemala City. Our home was near a small jungle, there, my older brother and I would put on masks and become our favourite wrestling heroes. After hours of playing, we would get hungry so we would climb one of the mango or guava trees that was near by and ate as much as we could.

 

I am the youngest in my family. I am a younger brother, a cousin, a nephew a proud uncle and a lucky Son-In-Law. In 2016, I married my beautiful and long time friend of over 20 years. Her lineage is Jamaican. We live with our two four legged babies in Oshawa Originally called Skae's Corners, its present name is an Ojibwa term meaning “that point at the crossing of the stream where the canoe was exchanged for the trail”.

 

In 2005, I was introduced to Ceremony and my first Sacred Fire. During the next two years, I dedicated my life to ceremony there, my healing began and slowly I began to learn and feel Our Creators true Love. Through my healing and ceremonial work, I continue to learn about gifts with the Spirit World. In 2007, during a Purification Ceremony, I was given my Spirit name Red Iron from my first Spiritual teacher, the late Vern “Asin” Harper, a Canadian First Nations Cree Elder, medicine man, and Aboriginal rights activist and Northern Lakota Chief.

 

In 2013, I was introduced to Mohawk, Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) Elder Kahontakwas, Diane Longboat and her Spiritual workers Cindy, Frank, Vivian and Jackie of Soul of the Mother where I continue my healing journey. I am a ceremonial Fire Keeper, one who is constantly learning how to work and listen to our Sacred Fire. I am a natural leader, my passion is working with our youth, our future. In 2016, I was honoured by receiving my first Sacred Pipe. I am a Pipe carrier in training and continue to build my relationship with my Pipe.

 

Outside of Ceremony, I have my own business as a Residential Exterior & Interior Painter. In my spare time, I enjoy walking in the forest and seating by the river the runs near our home. I love being surrounded by Mother Earth and seeing her endless beauty. 

 

For my love for Mother Earth, I am honoured that Franco has asked me to be a part of the Earth Song Alliance, a circle of devoted individuals who have a greater love for Mother Earth and all of her children.

 

I believe that if we all unite, and work together, we can help restore and heal our Mother Earth and all of Creation.

 

Mitakuye Oyasin

We Are All Related

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Sharan Dadhwal

Board of Directors

Hello and Namaste everyone.

My name is Sharan.

 

My parents immigrated to Turtle Island from India in the 90s. Our ancestral home is in Northern India, in the state of Himachal Pradesh, and in the state of Punjab where my dad’s family have been farmers for many generations. Although I was born in Toronto, I did get to spend a lot of my childhood in Himachal and Punjab.  My family and I have lived in Brampton, Ontario for many years but we now live in Guelph where I am also a student.  

 

I am currently doing an MSc with the department of Geography. My thesis work explores the environmental impacts of bioplastics in the packaging industry. I also have a Bachelor of Arts and Science (BAS) from Guelph in Biology and French.  

I love to spend time doing art and cooking food with my mom, and my nani. I’ve spent almost 5 years working with children and teaching science classes at the Guelph-YMCA. 

 

I am grateful for the opportunity to work, create and live here on this beautiful land. As a member of ESA, I hope to support indigenous folk and indigenous knowledge in healing Mother Earth. 

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Micheline Jackson

Board of Directors

Greetings all! My name is Micheline Jackson and I was born on the beautiful twin islands of Trinidad and Tobago.

 

I was raised to publicly identify as Roman Catholic but grew up surrounded by traditional African Ceremony my Grandmother discretely practiced on her rural property. I am the third oldest of 8 children – a fact I learnt in my teenage years, and have spent my adult years getting to know and bonding with those 7 individuals who feel like different versions of me.

 

I immigrated to Turtle Island in 2001 and studied Nursing earning a Bachelor’s degree in 2008 and Masters in 2016. During my practice as a Nurse Practitioner on Manitoulin Island I was introduced to traditional Indigenous Ceremony and was comforted by all the parallels with Ceremony practiced by my Grandmother in Trinidad – especially as immigrating proved to disconnect me from those traditions. I am grateful for the healing those ceremonies continue to provide on my journey.

 

I currently live in Mississauga with a loving and protective 4 legged creature. My Nursing career has led me to a small not for profit providing Primary Care Outreach to the Homeless and those at risk of Homelessness in Brampton. I spend my spare hours walking in the bush surrounded by the Great Spirits of the trees and water and rocks and animals my Grandmother taught me to acknowledge.

 

I am humbled by the opportunity to be part of Earth Song Alliance and look forward to working these distant relatives giving back to this land that continues to hold me.

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Kassia Gooding

Board of Directors

Hi there, I am Kassia Gooding. 

I was born and raised in Halifax NS and have been living on Turtle Island my entire life without ever knowing it until a few years ago. I currently live in Quito, Ecuador and had been living in Toronto ON for almost 13 years prior to moving here. I moved to Toronto from San Francisco, CA  after spending several years there. I am of British, Sicilian and Irish descent. First generation Canadian on my Father's side and 4th (or 5th) on my Mother's. 

Although I was raised Roman Catholic, I always questioned this and the way it was taught, I never felt connected or comfortable with it at least not in the atmosphere of the church. I do however have a deep love, a great sense of gratitude and a strong connection to Mother Earth. One of my life missions is to safeguard and protect Her and all living beings, to help heal our connection to Her. Every life is a life and none is more important than another. 

My passions and expertise lie in the health and wellness industry which I have been heavily involved in for over 2 decades now. I am a Reiki Master, Registered Holistic Nutritionist, Holistic Chef and Subtle Energy Worker. 

 

I am honoured and grateful to be part of Earth Song Alliance and am very excited for all that we will be sharing with you.

Thank you, holding the light,

Kassia

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Vicky Huang

Board of Directors

​Hi everyone! What an honour to be a part of the Earth Song Alliance community.

 

My name is Vicky Huang (she/her), and I am a joy-finding, purpose-seeking and adventure-loving human. I was born in Shenzhen, Guangdong, China and immigrated to Canada with my family when I was six years old.

 

Since my childhood, I have been very passionate about sustainability and spearheading  environmental and social change. During my undergraduate years at the University of Guelph majoring in Biomedical Sciences and minoring in Nutrition and Nutraceutical Sciences, I was deeply involved with on-campus environmental and social justice activities.

 

In February 2017, I participated on a Project Serve Reading Week experiential learning trip to the Chippewas of Nawash (Neyaashiinigmiing), forever one of the most impactful and insightful weeks of my life. I learned and unlearned a lot about indigenous communities, their histories, their current circumstances, and truly connected to the community on a personal level. I felt many emotions and my commitment to be a meaningful ally to indigenous communities grew and strengthened. 

 

Experiences like these leading and learning about sustainability at institutional and community levels sparked my love for it so much that I changed my life path from veterinary sciences to exactly that: meaningful, empowering and values-based education on sustainability and social justice. I have recently completed my Masters in the Management of Sustainable Development Goals (MSDG) at LUMSA University, and am excited for what lies ahead. Currently, I am the Entrepreneurship Coordinator at Centennial College and enjoy a large variety of creative endeavours such as music, art, writing, photography and videography on my website Adventures with Wildheart.

 

I believe that education is the ultimate catalyst for positive and necessary change in our society, to empower our community to tackle the root causes of our societal crises. Through Earth Song Alliance, I hope to foster awareness, knowledge, action and care between indigenous and non-indigenous communities, such that reconciliation is not simply an existence in speech, but one in reality.

 

With love, gratitude, hope and heart,

Vicky Huang

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Ralph Martin

Board of Directors

I am Ralph Martin and grew up on our family farm in a Mennonite community in Wallenstein, ON. Since then I've lived in Ottawa, Nova Scotia and most recently in Guelph. After doing 4-H projects on the home farm, my formal education includes, a B.A. and an M.Sc. in Biology from Carleton University and a Ph.D. in Plant Science from McGill University.  My love of teaching grew unexpectedly when I began teaching at the Nova Scotia Agricultural College, in 1990, and realized how students teach me too.

In 2001, I founded the Organic Agriculture Centre of Canada to coordinate university research and education pertaining to organic systems, across Canada . In 2011, I was appointed as Professor and the Loblaw Chair in Sustainable Food Production at the Ontario Agricultural College, University of Guelph. In 2019, I retired and my new book, Food Security: From Excess to Enough, was published. There is more info at www.ralphmartin.ca

My commitment to supporting Mother Earth has been conducted with good friends and colleagues at organizations such as the Living Earth Council, Ignatius Jesuit Centre, Ecological Farmers Association of Ontario, the Green Party of Canada and the Earth Song Alliance. I welcome the goodwill and collaboration of all who choose to work with the Earth Song Alliance.

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Franco Mannella

Board of Directors

Hi there, my name is Franco Mannella,

 

My birthplace is not from this land known as Turtle Island. The land of the Haudenosaunee. I was born in a small town known as Serra San Bruno, located in the southern region of Italy.

 

I’m proud to be part of the Earth Song Alliance (ESA)… I was brought to this land by my parents, along with seven of their siblings, to find a peaceful place away from the post-war trauma in order to raise their children in a good way, and indeed they did.

I’m a council member of Soul of the Mother serving under the sacred leadership of Kahontakwas Diane Longboat, since 1997. Through Kahontakwas I was introduced to the Sacred Fire, the centerpiece of all Indigenous ceremonies. My Ancestral faith is Roman Catholic, which I retained throughout the years searching for the original truth on this land.

To me, ESA represents a Mission of Hope that echoes the Creator’s mandate given to the original peoples of Turtle Island to be the Caretakers and Protectors of our Mother Earth.

Franco Mannella

(A more expanded Bio can be found on the Soul of the Mother Governing Council page)