Anna-Marie Abitong, Chairperson, Sagamok Anishinabek First Nation
Anna Marie currently serves as the Director of Education for the Sagamok Anishinabek community and has been in this role for 24+ years. She graduated from Ryerson University's Public Administration and Governance program and is actively involved in the field of Indigenous education for both Kenjgewin Teg and other First Nation communities. Anna Marie is fluent in Ojibwe language and is an asset to the Kenjgewin Teg Board. Anna Marie has been on the Board for over 20 years and has contributed her leadership to the organization’s growth and progress. Anna is married and has two children and one granddaughter.
Carlene Assinewai, Aundeck Omni Kaning First Nation
Carlene currently serves in the position of Education Counsellor for the community of Aundeck Omni Kaning, with over 20+ years of experience in this role. She completed her counsellors training with the Ontario Native Education Counselling Association (ONECA). She has served on the Kenjgewin Teg Board of Directors for 15+ years and was first appointed in 1992. Carlene has contributed to the organizational growth of Kenjgewin Teg over the past two decades, to where it has grown to today. Carlene is also a member of the First Nation Advisory Committee (FNAC) with the Rainbow District School Board. Carlene is very active in her First Nation community and serves on the Education Committee, Housing Committee, and Daycare Committee. Carlene's experience is an asset to the Kenjgewin Teg Board of Directors.
Jacinta Shawanda, Whitefish River First Nation Representative
Jacinta is the education coordinator for her community; Whitefish River First Nation. She is a strong supporter of education and training. Jacinta has a background in teacher education. Jacinta has been on the Kenjgewin Teg Board of Directors for two years and believes strongly in supporting students and lifelong learning opportunities. Jacinta’s background includes being an Instructor of the Anishinabek Educational Institute (AEI), which is another Indigenous Institute in Ontario, and she has worked in the construction industry with her husband.
Albert Beaudin, M'Chigeeng First Nation Representative
Albert Beaudin was appointed to the Board of Directors in 2019. In the term 2018-2020, Albert served on M’Chigeeng First Nation Chief and Council as Deputy Chief. Albert is supportive of community-based education models and service delivery for all people, from Youth to Elders – he is a believer in lifelong learning. In today’s busy world, Albert believes that personal confidence and self-esteem are foundational keys in supporting successful participation in training opportunities. Albert has served in many volunteer capacities including being a member of the community’s minor hockey group, volunteer fire department, and fundraising. Albert has a keen interest in the skilled trades and is excited with the opportunities presented as a result of Kenjgewin Teg’s new Anishinabek Skills, Innovation and Research Centre. Albert supports and wants to ensure training opportunities for youth continue such as welding, heavy equipment, construction and plumbing. Albert is enjoying his retirement since 2010 after 35 years in First Nation policing as the Chief of Police of the United Chiefs and Councils of Manitoulin (UCCM) Anishinaabe Police Service.
Bill Antoine, Zhiibaahaasing First Nation
William (Bill) Antoine has been involved in First Nation governance and politics for many years and is a former Chief who served in this political role for approximately 10 years. Bill is a proud speaker of Anishinabemowin and has certifications the following areas: early childhood education; national native alcohol and drug abuse program (NNADAP) counsellor; and the Anishinabemowin immersion certificate program. Bill is keenly interested and advocates for lifelong learning opportunities in education and training. Bill believes that Indigenous knowledge must be a part of our learning curriculum and all new program development processes. Bill encourages youth to stay in school and never give up! Bill has been married for 56 years, has three children, 4 grandchildren and 6 great-grandchildren.
Janice Cada, Sheshegwaning First Nation
Janice Cada, Waabaabenesig-kwe, currently serves as Education Director/Principal for St. Joseph's Anishinabek School in Sheshegwaning First Nation. She graduated from Queen's University with a Diploma in Education and has been in the Indigenous education sector for the past 15 years in both administration and teaching roles; Janice taught multi grades levels (1-4) for seven years and Kindergarten for 7 years and she is currently serves in education administration for the past 4 years. Janice currently serves on the First Nation Advisory Committee (FNAC) with the Rainbow District School Board and has been newly elected as a Board of Director for the Kinoomaadziwin Education Body of the Anishinabek Education System. Janice is very active in her community of Sheshegwaning First Nation and has served on the following committees: Health, Housing, and Economic Development. Janice has a passion for Anishinaabe education and wants to ensure all students succeed. Janice believes that Anishinabemowin and culture are a huge part of Anishinabek identity, and that such learning belongs in education. Janice shares and believes that we all be soon carrying our sacred bundles with pride. Janice has been married for 20 years and is mother of 7 children and 8 grandchildren.
Ken Neegan, Constance Lake First Nation
Ken has been serving as a Board member of Kenjgewin Teg since 2008. Ken Neegan has vast experience working in the First Nations education sector since 1973. Ken’s professional experience includes working as a Social Counsellor, Alternative Education Manager, and now as Education Administrator since 2005 with Constance Lake First Nation. Ken completed grade 13 and went on to Teachers College in North Bay. He also has social counsellor certification from Western University. Ken is a strong community advocate for education solutions and best practices and has served in his community as an elected councilor of the First Nation. Ken has also served on several boards including the Child and Family Services Board as well a board member at the Legal Clinic in Constance Lake First Nation. Ken is married with 4 children and 7 grandchildren.
Pearl Waindubence, Sheguiandah First Nation
Pearl Waindubence was appointed in 2019 to the Board of Directors by her community of Sheguiandah First Nation. Pearl has been an Anishinabemowin (Ojibwe language) teacher for over 30 years. Pearl has a passion for teaching and sharing her gift of Anishinabemowin and has taught in early learning environments, elementary schools and in adult education places of learning. Pearl is the proud grandmother of many grandchildren. Pearl has served as councilor in her community of Sheguiandah for several terms. Pearl continues to work as an elementary teacher of Anishinabemowin.