Governing Circle Directors

Alis Kennedy, Secretary
Dr. Alis Kennedy is a multi lingual woman born in Montréal.  Alis is a volunteer Senator with the Métis Nation of Ontario; she is an advisor, consultant, educator, facilitator, presenter, veteran (CD) and an active member of the National Aboriginal Veteran Association. She is a founding member of the Aboriginal Students Advisory Council at a Toronto Community College and a member of the Aboriginal Education Advisory Council at a Toronto University. She is the recipient of the Ontario Medal for Good Citizenship (OMC) for her outstanding contributions to her community and to this province. Alis has been volunteering for over 35 years in three continents.  She will be retiring from the OPS at the end of 2012 and hopes to resumes her international volunteer work with wild animals and/or their natural environment.

Bruce W. J. Miller, Director
Bruce is recently responsible for the Aboriginal Relations Strategy at United Way of Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, Bruce is Cree and a member of Matachewan First Nation, a former Faculty/Staff member of the University of Manitoba (U of M), former Senate member and is one of the past President and CEO of the U of M Alumni Association.  Bruce was the past Chair of U of M’s Faculty of Kinesiology and Recreation Management advisory board.  Past Chair of U of M’s 6.7 million dollar capital campaign to build an Aboriginal Centre that opened in the fall of 2008.  As the former Co-Chair of the Sport and Competition Division of the 2002 North American Indigenous Games, he was instrumental in the developmental of a 1.25 million dollar legacy fund held in trust with the Winnipeg Foundation.  As a student, Bruce was an energetic two-sport athlete who won numerous awards at the division one level.  Bruce has sat on numerous boards and councils.  Bruce was involved with the Urban Aboriginal Strategy a five year 64.5 million dollar strategy that worked across 14 urban cities in Canada.  Canada’s federal budget in 2012 announced a 27.5 million dollar two-year extension of the National Urban Aboriginal Strategy.  Bruce is inspired to promote the values of sharing, caring and giving and making a creative difference in the community. 

Ginger Gosnell-Myers, Chair of Governance Committee
Ginger Gosnell-Myers – of Nisga’a and Kwakwak’awakw heritage is passionate about advancing Aboriginal rights and knowledge, while breaking down barriers between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people. 

Throughout 2008-2011 Ginger worked on the Environics Urban Aboriginal Peoples Study as both Project Manager and Public Engagement Director. The UAPS is Canada’s largest research study on Aboriginal people living in urban environments, and has become the leading research on urban Aboriginal people’s values, aspirations, experiences, and identity. In 2010 the UAPS received the Public Policy Impact Award by the Marketing Research and Intelligence Association, and the IPAC/Deloitte Public Sector Leadership Award for not for profit organizations.

Ginger is an Action Canada 2004 Fellow, former Commissioner to the Assembly of First Nations Renewal Commission, sits on the Editorial Board for the First Peoples Child and Family Review Journal, and is an Associate of the Centre for Dialogue with Simon Fraser University.  She also worked as the Western Assistant to former Minister of Indian and Northern Affairs Development Andy Scott, advising the Minister on issues pertaining to BC and Alberta. She has facilitated and spoken at several provincial, national and international events, including the International Indigenous Women & Wellness Conference, the Senate Standing Committee on Aboriginal Peoples, and the United Nations Permanent Forum of Indigenous Peoples.  Ginger is featured in the inspirational book: Notes from Canada’s Young Activists: A Generation Stands up for Change (2007). In 2012 as part of the CBC documentary series “8th Fire”, Ginger was highlighted and profiled for her views on Aboriginal issues and relations in Canada. 

Currently Ginger is a Director of the Government Non Profit Initiative with the Vancouver Foundation where she facilitates the relationship between the provincial government and nonprofit sector through a collaborative approach that ensures both sectors can meet the needs of people and communities in B.C. She is completing her Masters degree in Public Policy at Simon Fraser University, and continues to be active within Vancouver’s Aboriginal community.

Harry Willmot, Treasurer
Harry Willmot has worked in the financial industry for close to forty years and over those years he has managed a number of dynamic initiatives for RBC Royal Bank. Harry is currently responsible for leading the Bank’s Ontario Aboriginal market strategy and is Sr. Manager of Aboriginal Market Development.

He is a founding Director of Miziwe Biik Aboriginal Employment and Training, and Miziwe Biik Development Corporation Toronto; Harry is also founding Director of the National Aboriginal Literacy Foundation. Over the years he has, and continues to serve on numerous regional and national advisory councils. Past community council advisor to the Metro Toronto Police Aboriginal peace keeping unit and the Toronto police services board, and the Assembly of First Nations and Chief’s of Ontario on housing and infrastructure to name a few.

James Stauch, Chair of the Governing Circle
James recently founded 8th Rung, a consultancy focused on leadership and network development, policy scoping and analysis, and citizen-driven strategic planning and evaluation. He previously served as Vice President, Programs and Operations, at the Walter and Duncan Gordon Foundation, where he also managed its public policy programming related to the Arctic and far north. Prior to joining the Gordon Foundation as a Program Manager, James managed the Community Grants Program at The Calgary Foundation. Previously he worked in the field of community and regional planning in the private and non-profit sectors, working in both the urban and rural contexts, including with the Praxis Group and Yamozha Kue (formerly Dene Cultural Institute). James is also the President of the Board of International Funders for Indigenous Peoples, past Chair of the Canadian Environmental Grantmakers Network Board of Directors, and a founding member of the Arctic Funders Group.

 

Marilyn Struthers, Director
Marilyn has worked in community and organizational development, and research for forty years in fields ranging from: the arts, violence against woman, mental health service development and planning, children’s, environmental and First Nation’s issues. She has facilitated for First Nations on service and community development, and First Nations fisheries development. She has worked for the Ontario Trillium Foundation since 1999 where she is currently a Program Manager in the province-wide program. Marilyn has contributed to her organization’s development of grant-making approaches to First Nations, Inuit and Metis communities in Ontario and is a founding member of the Circle on Philanthropy and Aboriginal Peoples in Canada. Marilyn also uses her experience in the “crow’s nest” over-looking the sector; to pursue independent research writing on non-profit and philanthropic issues and is currently completing a project with the Metcalfe Fellowship on the Canadian non-profit sector and the funding economy. She lives in Owen Sound, Ontario on the shores of Georgian Bay.

Mario R. Gravelle, Vice-Chair of the Governing Circle
Mario R. Gravelle is the Learning and Innovation Analyst at The Counselling Foundation of Canada. His responsibilities include developing and overseeing knowledge capture and knowledge transfer mechanisms that allow the Foundation to inform the greater community about what it does and the impact of the projects it supports. Prior to this role, Mario was Chronic Disease Surveillance Coordinator at the Métis Nation of Ontario where he collaborated on designing and carrying-out several research initiatives about chronic diseases, intergenerational gambling attitudes, and childhood obesity. He is completing his Ph.D. in history at York University (B.A. from Concordia University and M.A. from the University of Ottawa)

Sara Lyons, Director
Sara Lyons is Program Director for Community Foundations of Canada (CFC). Saraʼs main focus is the national Vital Signs program. Her work helps Canadian community foundations to work together on shared projects and to expand their leadership on key issues.

Prior to joining Community Foundations of Canada in the winter of 2007, Sara worked for the Toronto Community Foundation (TCF) as a program officer, managing their granting programs and working closely with community organizations and granting committees. Prior to joining the philanthropic sector, Sara worked as managing coordinator for the Toronto City Summit Alliance, a coalition of community and business leaders committed to advancing the prosperity and livability of the Toronto region, as a policy analyst for a student advocacy group and as an intern at the Ontario Legislature.

She is on the Board of her local community Health Centre and also volunteers in the area of food security in Ottawa

Stephen Couchman, Chair of Programming and Communications Committee
Stephen has been actively involved with the Circle on Philanthropy and Aboriginal Peoples in Canada since it’s inception in 2007. Professionally, Stephen has been engaged in the social, arts, business and philanthropic sectors for over 20 years. During this time he has worked with several private and community foundations including Social Capital Partners and Toronto Community Foundation – Vital Signs. For the past 12 years Stephen has been actively involved in supporting arts, education and entrepreneurship programs for youth from low-income urban communities across Canada.  During this time he helped to establish and sustain several programs and organizations including Global Entrepreneurship Week (Canada) and Measuredoutcome.org a collaborative outcome evaluation tool. Previously, Stephen was a Program Director with Outward Bound Canada and helped to found Summit Training & Development. He holds a BA in International Development, a Masters in Environmental Studies and executive development certificates with the Ivey School of Business. Stephen lives in Clarksburg, Ontario with his wife Cathy and sons Matthew and Samuel.

Victoria Grant, Chair of Membership and Development Committee
Victoria Grant is the President and owner of Moving Red Canoe, a unique professional services firm focused on Aboriginal affairs consulting. Victoria is of the Loon Clan, Teme-Augama Anishnabai, and a member of the Temagami First Nation. With over 20 years of experience working within Aboriginal Communities, she is a founding member of the Temagami Community Foundation, and after 5 years has returned to the organization to serve as Chair. Victoria has served on not-for-profit boards locally and provincially, and is also currently a Director serving Community Foundations of Canada. Victoria and her husband, divide their time between Island 762 in the South Arm of Lake Temagami and their home in Stouffville.

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