Team LeaderUniversity-Based TeamCommunity-Based TeamCommunity Partners

Project Team Members: Community-Based


Christine Leo

Indigenous CHILD Project
Lil'wat Nation

Christine is a member of Lil’wat Nation, where she is the Director for Community Advancement. She has worked in Band Administration for many years and has realized many successes in mounting new employment and training programs that have enabled community-driven service development.



Leroy Joe

Indigenous Fathers Project
Lil'wat Nation

Leroy is a Community-based Research Assistant on the Indigenous Fathers project. He is a member of Lil’wat Nation. He has five daughters, three of whom live with him. He is a computer technician and owns his own business: Ama7tech Computer Services. Leroy hopes to become a Microsoft systems engineer.



Sharla Peltier
(B.Sc. Speech and Audiology, U Alberta; M.Ed. Nipissing U)

Sharla is an Aboriginal speech and language pathologist. She is from the Chippewas of Rama First Nation, Ontario and is a member of the Loon Clan. Sharla completed an M.Ed. at Nipissing University and currently works for the Rainbow District School Board in the First Nation Métis and Inuit Program. She lives in Sudbury, Ontario with her husband, Stanley, and son, Vincent. Sharla has worked exclusively with First Nations for many years and enjoys the challenge of making speech and language services and education relevant to the Aboriginal population. Her work is guided by her belief that Aboriginal people have a sacred voice and language from Creator and she promotes empowerment by working with the individual, family, and community to celebrate and enhance these gifts. She is an advocate for broad recognition of First Nations cultural and linguistic differences and for understanding home and community factors in evaluation and intervention aspects of professional practice. In particular, Sharla's work addresses issues related to First Nation English dialects that impact many First Nations students' language and literacy learning. She provides educator consultation and training to facilitate use of appropriate teaching strategies and educational tools in the classroom. Recently Sharla's program of research investigates First Nations oral tradition through an exploration of Anishinaabe children's and Elders' storytelling and understanding of what makes a good story. Her publications capture her understandings gained from research and years of professional experience. Sharla has presented at national and international conferences and delivered numerous workshops for professionals and community practitioners working with Aboriginal children, families and communities.

Visit the Reports page to access some of Sharla's publications and presentations.



Marlene Lewis
(B.A. Psychology; M.A. Communication Disorders)

Marlene is Co-Investigator on the project: Supporting Language Development of First Nations children. Marlene is of German Mennonite ancestry. She is a registered and certified speech-language therapist. She has worked in schools, hospitals, and public health settings. She has experience in a provincial leadership role developing policies and other tools for provincial program support in the areas of speech and language, early intervention, and children and youth with special needs. Her interest is in supporting Indigenous communities, through collaborative research, policy, and practice, in their development of models of comprehensive community-based early childhood development systems.



Rose Sones LeMay
(B.A. Psychology)

Rose is Tlingit from British Columbia. With an educational background in psychology and community development, Rose has worked in six federal departments and provincial ministries and the Assembly of First Nations. She has over fifteen years experience in Aboriginal health across early childhood development, mental health and addictions, and health systems. She authored Building Community, co-authored The Wharerata Declaration and was a member of the committee which authored the Psychiatry Cultural Competence Curriculum for the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons Canada. She leads Community Development at the First Nations and Inuit Health Branch of Health Canada. Rose is honoured to be the International Coordinator of the Wharerata Group, a network of Indigenous leaders in mental health.



Candice Manahan
(M.Sc., University of Northern British Columbia)

Candice works with Northern Health, BC Cancer Agency and the University of Northern British Columbia promoting health services research and evidence based practice specific to the needs of rural, northern populations. Candice was born in Prince George B.C. where she now raises her family with her husband Norm. Candice and Norm are both of mixed descent, learning about their heritage and family ties together. Candice completed her MSc. in Community Health, with a focus on rural, northern and Aboriginal health. Candice joined the ECDIP team in 2004 as part of the Indigenous Fathers Project and continues to be thankful for all that she has learned as part of the program.



Corine Sagmeister
(B.A. CYC; M.Ed. Cand)

I am a member of Quatsino First Nation and currently reside in Victoria, B.C. My passion is creating a circle of unity to nurture the spirit of society's most sacred gifts, our children. It is an honor to be working with the Victoria Native Friendship Centre as the Director of the Aboriginal Infant Development Program. Previous experiences include Regional Coordinator of Aboriginal Success By 6, Coordinator of Early Childhood Development and Head Start Programs. My education includes a B.A. in Child and Youth Care from the University of Victoria. I am near completion of a MEd in Early Childhood Education through the University of Hawaii where I was awarded the Stephanie Feeney Scholarship and three Mary Tenney Castle Memorial Graduate Fellowships. My focus is exploring Indigenous knowledge and practice of supporting young children and their families and applying this knowledge to strengthen cultural competency in early year's programming.



Stanley T. Peltier
(B.A.; B.Ed.; M.Ed. Cand.)

Stanley Peltier is a Native Language Teacher and Elder with the Rainbow District School Board in Sudbury, Ontario. Accredited by the College of Teachers of Ontario, he has worked for over twenty years as a classroom teacher in Aboriginal communities. He has travelled nationally and internationally advocating for understanding and retention of the Anishinaabe culture and Language. He presented at the World Indigenous Peoples Conference on Education on three occasions: New Zealand 2005, Australia in 2008, and Hawaii 2014. He participated in the World HIV/AIDS Conference in 2010 and 2012. He is involved in the Ontario Ministry of Education Revision process for the Ontario Curriculum in Native Studies and Native Languages. Stanley is a candidate for a M.Ed. at Nipissing University in Ontario. He is proficient in Ojibway and he is currently applying Anishinaabe epistemology and methodology to enhance Anishinaabemowin teaching methods. He is a trained facilitator and Elder in the Aboriginal community. Stanley and his family practice a traditional ecological lifestyle.