INCA Summer institute Class of 2022
AMBER BEAR (she/her) was born in Lethbridge, Alberta and raised in the Saskatchewan communities of Stanley Mission, La Ronge, and Prince Albert. She is of settler and Woodland Cree descent. She returned to school and is a student at First Nations University of Canada. Her aspirations include achieving a degree in business administration and a certificate in Indigenous journalism and communications arts. Her interests are in business and entrepreneurship. Specifically, she is on a mission to learn as much as she can about online media, and other forms of storytelling that happen digitally. She believes the sky’s the limit and if we can dream it we can do it. She is excited for the future and possible careers or her own start-ups. Amber has an 11-year-old son and a five-year-old shaggy mutt. She enjoys riding her bike daily with her son in their neighborhood in Prince Albert. Her son keeps her busy and on her toes. She has a part-time job as a gallery associate and does the occasional consulting jobs in conjunction with her schooling. She plans on getting back to nature this summer. She wants to teach her son how to hunt and trap ⸺so it is now her mission to learn how to hunt and trap herself. She is going to renovate/rebuild her family cabin at Mountain Lake, Sask. and start her reintroduction to the wild. The cabin was a place that made her happy when she was younger.
BEE BIRD is from Montreal Lake Cree Nation on Treaty 6 territory and is a student at the First Nations University of Canada, taking his undergraduate diploma in Indigenous Communication Arts. He graduated in 2008 from Carlton Comprehensive High School in Prince Albert Saskatchewan. In 2015, he studied Media Arts Production at Saskatchewan Polytechnic in Prince Albert in 2016. He continues to work on his skills as a video producer, audio recorder and photographer. He hopes to keep learning all areas of media in order to make his own feature film one day. The skills he acquired during college is helping him to train other students he works with. In addition to his studies, Bee is a podcast producer/trainer for the pîkiskwêwan project and manages his own company, Bee Productions. He is currently and INCA employee as well as a student, and has and helped produce many projects including ‘Maw Maw Sachwezin,’a cooking show where it’s spoken entirely in the Michif language in hopes to revitalize the endangered languages. He is a full supporter Indigenous artists and businesses as a way to promote Indigeneity in Saskatchewan. Bee hopes to help his community by getting everyone involved in media production.
Facebook: Michaela Crook
MICHAELA CROOK (she/her) is an Indigenous storyteller from Hay River, Northwest Territories. She is passionate about filmmaking and fashion, and enjoys creating beautiful visual pieces in a variety of mediums. Michaela completed the Indigenous Filmmaking program at Capilano University in 2020. She also spent time working as a journalist for CBC North in between her studies in 2019, and afterward in 2020. Michaela has written and directed her own films. She’s also taken classes at Anthony Meindl’s Actor Workshop in Vancouver, BC, and gone on to act as the lead role in two short films. In 2019 Michaela worked as associate producer and assistant director on the CBC Gem documentary, KaYaMenTa: Sharing Truths About Menopause directed by Jules Koostachin. She worked as assistant director for a second time on MisTik, a post-apocalyptic narrative film directed by Koostachin 2021. Michaela’s most recent project has been at the Soaring Eagle Friendship Centre in her home community, Hay River, NT. She was hired to design a layout and renovate an office into a place for the B.E.A.R Store, the town’s new gift and craft supply shop. She spent five months completing renovations as well as sourcing inventory for the project. Michaela’s next goal is to create a Northern Indigenous Fashion and Lifestyle magazine. She’s taking the Indigenous Communication Arts program at the First Nations University of Canada to further expand her media knowledge and hopes to have the first issue of her magazine ready for print by the summer of 2023. Michaela wants to make a name for herself as a writer, director and actor. She also wants to be known for her work in fashion by designing wardrobe for her own films and releasing an annual fashion and lifestyle magazine.
RYEA DANIELS (she/her) is a proud member of Hatchet Lake First Nation (Wollaston Lake) located on Treaty 10 land, Denesuline and Cree. In her free time she enjoys travelling to see family and good friends. She was born and raised in Prince Albert, and partially Wollaston. She’s in her third year of Indigenous social work, and in the works of minoring in Indigenous art. She uses writing and art as an outlet to express herself, to navigate her emotions in a good way. She started journaling in middle school when a guidance counsellor suggested it, and because her late grandma told her that she should learn to take care of herself. She is now 10 years into it. She finds writing and art to be something she’s most passionate about, as it allowed her to get to know herself and her journey so far. Writing has helped her navigate through intergenerational trauma and on to breaking cycles and back to healing. Through INCA she hopes to share stories of the land, and urban areas to highlight things that aren’t said for representation and familiarity for the communities to thrive. Her future goals consist of making art, writing a book, and becoming an art therapist down the road.
CHANCELIER EILIGH VITAEL DENEYOU
CHANCELIER EILIGH VITAEL DENEYOU was born and raised in Regina and had lived there most of his life, with a few times outside of Regina to places like Calgary and Banff. His father is Eli Deneyou and his mother is Kerry Benjoe. He grew up with five sisters and one adoptive brother. Growing up, Chance’s interests often switched around, but he always comes back to writing. “I can’t seem to escape it, as hard as I try ⸺I have a love-hate relationship with it,” he says. While in college he made great memories and friendships. Chance’s goal is to pass college and make his family proud.
REBECCA FAJT (she/her) is of Métis descent, growing up in small town Saskatchewan and having spent most of her adult life in Saskatoon. She comes from a varied background and has been interested in taking the INCA program since 2018, aiming to improve communication skills for investigative reporting and producing documentaries. Journalism appealed to her through the diversity of people and subject matter you come into contact with through telling stories. She has done training in healthcare and education and has interests in politics, economics, environment and the arts.
Nicole Garn on Facebook
@NicoleGarn on Instagram
@Nickygarn on Twitter
NICOLE GARN (she/her) is a 23-year-old fourth-year student at the University of Regina. She is currently enrolled in the Indigenous Communication Arts (INCA) Summer Institute at the First Nations University of Canada. She was recently accepted into the School of Journalism at the University of Regina for the fall 2022 semester. She is from Foam Lake, Saskatchewan and moved to Regina in August of 2017. Her love of journalism came from living with her grandparents where the news and radio was always on. Being surrounded by journalism inspired her to join an E-journalism team in high school that reported on various panels in Saskatoon. She currently has two jobs, one as a house cleaner and another as a street team member for Harvard Media (Play 92.1, CKRM, and The Wolf). She is a big fan of music and pop culture and hopes to do something related to music in her future endeavours. In her spare time, Nicole likes to listen to music, dance, sing at karaoke, watch Netflix, hang out with friends, and play with her dogs. Nicole hopes that the INCA program will provide her with important building blocks to help her in the journalism school. She looks forward to learning from an Indigenous perspective and believes it is important for everyone to take an interest in Indigenous teachings.
Christina Rose Gervais
CHRISTINA ROSE GERVAIS (she/her) is a Lakota Sioux from Wood Mountain Lakota First Nation. She is in her second-year university studying at the First Nations University of Canada in Regina, Sask. toward an Indigenous Journalism and Communications certificate as well as a business degree. She has three beautiful children, two boys, Bentley (8), Lincoln (2), and one girl, Bella, who is only 6 months old. Recently she moved to her homeland on reserve to raise her children within the Indigenous community. When the children are not occupying her time, she’s involved in multiple side projects, one of which earned first place in the Regina 48-Hour Anti-Racism film challenge for the Canadian Cultural Mosaic Foundation. She is also doing language podcasts in the Lakota language, one being a morning prayer that will be on the pikiskwewin.ca website. She just finished an entrepreneurship program with the International Indigenous Speakers Bureau, where she sorted content and helped produce knowledge nuggets for Orange Shirt Day. She started a fellowship with the Climate Disasters Project interviewing people who have been through a natural disaster and want to tell their stories. She participates in regular climate discussions with Indigenous Climate Action because she cares about the land. She wants to make our environmental footprint as small as possible. She cares about the youth and what will be left for the next seven generations so she wants to do as much as she can today, to make a better tomorrow.
ERIC STANDING (he/him) is a Cree man from Mascwacis, Alberta. He currently lives in Moose Jaw Saskatchewan and is a communications student at First Nations University of Canada. His educational journey in Saskatchewan includes receiving a bachelor of Education from the Indian Teacher Education Program at the University of Saskatchewan and graduating high school in Weyburn. He is an aspiring journalist and film producer in the Indigenous Communication Arts program and has a ongoing humor column with the Crosby Journal in North Dakota. Writing is a passion for Eric and he hopes to make a career of it. He feels that the First Nations voice is important and needs to be heard and he hopes that he can honor his ancestors with his words.Eric is a self- ield of Awesomology with no sights set on finishing. He has lived and worked in the United States under the Jay Treaty for the past 5 years, returning to Canada to pursue a career in writing. He is currently enrolled in the Indigenous Communications Arts Summer Institute with hopes of getting into journalism. Northern lights and howling wolves are fond childhood memories for Eric growing up near Dawson Creek B.C. He is proud of his traditional off-grid upbringing and hopes to return to the North some day to create new memories. An avid outdoorsman, Eric can often be found canoeing, hunting, fishing or working on primitive technology skills.
MEMORY McLEOD-STEWART (she/her) is a Cree/Metis writer, visual artist and musician who has harnessed the wisdom gained through life experience, combined with knowledge and understanding to educate and inspire everyday people. With a background in print and broadcast media, Memory is driven by a curious nature and passion for building common ground among those she meets both professionally and personally. A curious nature has served her well as a journalist and helped to sharpen her interviewing and reporting skills.
DALLAS MONTPETIT (she/her) was born and raised in Treaty 4 territory; Regina, Sask. She has Métis and Ukrainian ancestry with Métis roots originating in Lebret, Sask. Dallas graduated with a Bachelor of Education degree through the Saskatchewan Urban Native Teacher Education Program (SUNTEP) in Spring of 2014. Through her studies, she learned more about Indigenous worldviews and gained a stronger sense of identity as a Métis person. She taught as an elementary school teacher for seven years, including one year spent teaching English to children in an after-school program in Yokohama, Japan. After returning from her overseas work experience, Dallas began a new career in Indigenous community-based research, and currently works as a researcher with All Nations Hope Network. Dallas has a passion for learning about arts and culture and is actively involved in a variety of local projects. In November 2021, Dallas joined the pîkiskwêwin team; a podcast project supporting the preservation and revitalization of Indigenous languages. In April 2022, Dallas joined a Métis dance project, led by New Dance Horizon’s artistic director Robin Poitras, and special guest/Métis choreographer Yvonne Chartrand, to perform the Rabbit Dance in commemoration of Jeanne Pelletier and her contributions to Métis dance. Dallas is currently working on completing the 2022 Indigenous Communications and Arts (INCA) Summer Institute at the First Nations University of Canada, to receive additional education in the areas of writing, communications, and public relations. She hopes this course will help her improve her skills and abilities in community-based research.
JOLENE KEQUAHTOOWAY (she/her) was born and raised in Wolseley, Saskatchewan. Her mother was Anishinaabe and Cree and her father was German. She is the second born of four children. She has two brothers and one sister. At the age of eight she lost her father to a heart attack. At age 11 her mother moved her and her siblings home to Zagime First Nation where at age 13 she then lost her mother to cancer. Her and her siblings were raised by a family from the community. As she continued on in life she graduated high school with honours. In 2000 Jolene started her post secondary education at Saskatchewan Indian Federated College (SIFC). She entered the science field with hopes of becoming a biologist. Her studies were incomplete as she was diagnosed with systemic lupus erythematosus. Although the disease debilitated her for several years she continued studying in the area of biotechnology. Once in full remission from lupus she went on to obtain a business management diploma. Jolene is a nature lover, she enjoys hiking, sightseeing and animal watching. She also loves cooking, baking and hosting dinner parties for friends and family. Among all her passions the one nearest and dearest to her heart is holistic healing of herself and others. She loves reading, writing, studying, researching and sharing the information she has found, which is mainly from self-help and psychology books. She has spent most of her life healing herself through introspection and reflection. Jolene has a goal of writing her biography to share the story of her healing journey in hopes of inspiring others.
EMILIE WREN (any pronouns) was born and raised in Regina, Saskatchewan. Currently, she is studying journalism and Indigenous Communication Arts through the University of Regina and First Nations University respectively. Fluent in both English and French, she hopes to pursue print journalism in either language once she has completed school. In addition to her studies, she also writes fiction novels that she plans to publish at some point in her life. She spends her free time reading, gaming, and being used as a scratching post for her cats.