Alyssa Lindsay, Executive Director
As Executive Director with Canada Bridges, Alyssa draws on her experience in systems thinking and collaborative facilitation to support change leaders in the communities of Calgary, Morley, Siksika and Tsuu T’ina. Alyssa was born and raised in Toronto, Ontario where, from a young age, she was actively involved in serving her community through various organizations, including leadership positions in the Girl Guides of Canada and St. James United Church. Alyssa graduated from the University of Guelph with a B.Sc. in Engineering and continued on with several programs including a Certificate in Communication Processes focusing on intercultural and interpersonal communication, human development, adult education, organizational development and leadership. Prior to joining Canada Bridges, she spent four years working with Engineers Without Borders Canada (EWB) in Malawi, where she supported the coordination, learning and leadership role of district government offices providing water and sanitation to rural communities. Her work involved the co-development of management tools and learning resources to strengthen connections between government staff and civil society organizations and improve the collaborative planning and efficiency of long term, sustainable service delivery. Alyssa has also helped to build local chapters of EWB in three different communities across the country, including leading the development of Member Learning, Public Outreach, and High School Outreach programs.
Kalista Sherbaniuk, Mentorship Program Coordinator
Kalista is one of two coordinators with the Mentorship Program. Growing up near the rural community of Round Hill, Alberta, the importance of community was instilled in Kalista at an early age. Kalista decided to pursue a Bachelor of Science in Archaeology at the University of Calgary but along the way, Kalista spent a lot of time volunteering and realized she liked working with living people more than digging up the stuff of past people. So after she completed her honours thesis entitled Niitsitapi Perspectives on Repatriation, she moved on from school to pursue youth work full time. This saw Kalista work with youth in Fishing Lake Métis Settlement and with youth experiencing homelessness here in Calgary. She then went on to take a Master of Social Work degree specializing in International and Community Development because of her strong belief in the strength and power of communities. She is passionate about collaboratively working to dismantle societal barriers, facilitating human-to-human connections and enjoys hiking, hockey, baseball and creative endeavours like writing weird poetry.
Shalome Hope,(Thunderchild First Nation), Mentorship Program Coordinator
Shalome Hope, (Thunderchild First Nation), is an activist, advocate and community partner in indigenization/decolonizing actions. Shalome aids various committees, institutions and projects in the Calgary area in community engagement, cultural awareness and networking. Shalome’s endeavor for 2018/19 is to focus these skills into the Mentorship initiative through Canada Bridges, continue to uncover and sometimes rediscover the truly beautiful art of relationship, and remain in service to our community effectively and meaningfully.
Omar Lewis, Operations Manager
Omar was born and raised on the beautiful island of Jamaica. He moved to Canada in December 2017. He joined the Canada Bridges team as the Operations Manager a little over two months later. He brings experience in the field of community development, research, relationship building, analysis and advocacy. He also brings approximately eight years experience working in various roles within the Jamaican public sector and seven years working in the not for profit sector. Omar has obtained a Bachelor and Masters degree in the field of Politics, International Relations and Government from the University of the West Indies Mona campus in Jamaica. He draws inspiration from his parents whom he credits with providing him with more love and support than any one human could ever need. His lifelong personal mission is to offer a similar reality for his own children. When not working Omar enjoys spending time at home with his family, he is an avid sports fan especially soccer and likes travelling and listening to some good Jamaican reggae music.
Sarah Kinnie, Learning and Storytelling Manager
Born in raised in New Brunswick on Mi’kmaq territory, Sarah’s first teachings in aboriginal culture arrived at the age of 20 from members of the Paqtnkek First Nation community while she was an undergraduate student at St. Francis Xavier University in Antigonish, Nova Scotia. Sarah’s passionate exploration of the human role and responsibility to care for the environment led her to pursue a B.A. (with Honours) in Sociology with a major in Interdisciplinary Studies in Aquatic Resources. Upon graduation, she spent the next 13 years working across non-profit sectors, which included a pilot program for youth in the criminal justice system, the coordination of a national environmental internship program for university graduates with ECO Canada; the management of the volunteer department at the Mustard Seed in Calgary; and the coordination of youth biking expeditions across Canada and Argentina for Two Wheel View. She has also volunteered her time with the Human Venture Institute (formerly Leadership Calgary), the Alberta Network of Immigrant Women (ANIW), and Refreshed, and has travelled to more than 15 countries around the world.
Alison Stalker, Program Manager
Alison is part of Canada Bridges’ program team, with a specialized skillset in employment readiness and capacity building for the workplace setting. Alison’s background in the arts, formalized through her completion of a BFA with distinction, enables her to share her strengths in unique and creative ways, and empower creativity in others. Alison has pursued opportunities to engage her love for creative arts by: starting a small illustration business, writing and illustrating children’s books for her nieces, and volunteering in Cambodia to run art programs for local children. Alison believes strongly in the importance of youth to a community: a belief that was encouraged in her by her grandparents from the time she was young. She demonstrates this belief in her approach to Bridges’ work, whether through facilitation or engaging in relationships with the many youth and young adults we serve.
Ike Kenzo, Program Manager
Ike is a Program Manager with Canada Bridges, and is currently working in the community of Morley. Prior to working with Canada Bridges, Ike earned a BA in Political Science with a Minor in History, he is also pursuing a graduate degree in International and Intercultural Communication from Royal Roads University. Ike’s passion is in developing capacities within communities through fostering a sense of pride within the people. Having worked within Calgary’s Afro Caribbean community for the past ten years helped to nurture competencies related to relationship based development initiatives. Ike is very excited to now be working in Morley with Canada Bridges as the role really speaks to who he is. Aside from work, Ike enjoys drumming, playing sports and traveling.
Cory Beaver, Mentorship Program Assistant
Cory Beaver was born and raised on Treaty 7 territory. Cory is a dancer, advocate, and performing artist but wears many hats and is a proud member of the Stoney Nakoda First Nation in Morley, Alberta. He is currently studying at Mount Royal University with prospects of pursuing a degree in Business and Marketing. His many passions have led him to pursue his dreams and achieve and accomplish many goals as a professional dancer and one of them most recently was auditioning for Janet Jackson. Since March 2017, Cory has started doing work in raising awareness for Climate Change and is learning about sustainability and energy and the energy transition. He is currently the Chapter President at Mount Royal University of Student Energy a not for profit organization based in Vancouver British Colombia and is also co – chairing the first ever Indigenous Student Energy Summit with a team of first nations and non-indigenous students.
Cory has a strong passion to advocate for youth and Indigenous people and aspires to inspire, empower and engage more First Nations youth in opportunities that will enable them to think about a future in hopes of further pursuing education.
Alanna Onespot Bluebird, A Youth Explosion Coordinator
Alanna Onespot Bluebird is a Blackfoot Dene writer, poet, and a performing artist who uses her creativity to empower youth. She is from Tsuut’ina Nation and expresses herself through poetry, photography, film & Quillwork. In 2013 she attended to watch her sister Krystal sing in AYE ( A Youth Explosion). Then in 2015 she came back to participant in AYE and that was the first time she shared her spoken word to the public. Since then she has travelled to multiple countries and communities to share her spoken word poetry, and facilitate youth workshops.
Sandis Twoyoungmen, A Youth Explosion (AYE) Coordinator
Sandis Twoyoungmen is from the Nakoda Sioux Nation in Treaty 7. His hobbies are playing music and venturing out in the woods near the Rockies, He also enjoys spending time volunteering for any organization that is focused on community building. He believes that helping communities not only creates a supportive space but also contributes to your own well-being. His family and friends play a huge role in his life, he always enjoys spending time with family and friends who say helps him in ways that they do not even know about.