As a lawyer, Brock helps First Nation clients with their governance and economic development needs. He has acted for First Nations in a variety of industries related to commercial leasing, natural resource development (oilsands, mining, oil and gas, renewables), utilities, hotels and tourism, and fishing. Brock also helps First Nations deal with complex transactions and related land matters under the Indian Act, First Nations Land Management Act, and modern Treaties.
Brock was born and raised in Treaty No. 8 territory in Fort St. John, British Columbia, and is a member of the Bigstone Cree Nation. He enjoys science fiction, the outdoors, and amateur astronomy in his spare time.
Dorothy Christian Cucw-la7, PhD is of the Secwepemc and Syilx Nations from the interior of BC. Her home community of Splatsin, is one of 17 communities that comprise the Secwepemc Nation. She is the eldest of 10, has one daughter and over 60 nieces, nephews, great nieces and nephews.
Dr. Christian currently serves as the Associate Director, Indigenous Initiatives at the Teaching and Learning Centre at SFU. Her research in academia has consistently centralized Indigenous knowledge even before those terms were recognized in the academy. In her undergraduate studies at the University of Toronto, Dorothy did a double major in Political Science and Religious Studies where she started comparing Indigenous thought with Euro-Western thought. Indigenous cultural knowledge informed both her MA at SFU’s School of Communications and her PhD at the Department of Educational Studies at UBC, which focused on Indigenous visual storytelling/filmmaking practices.
In 2018 Dorothy guest curated the Voices From The Western Regions of Turtle Island program at the ImagineNative film festival in Toronto – the largest Indigenous film festival in the world.
Jean La Rose is a First Nations citizen from the Abenaki First Nation of Odanak in Québec. He spent his summers during his early years in Odanak with his grandparents. He grew up in Ottawa where he studied Journalism at Algonquin College and obtained his Bachelor of Arts in Social Communication at the University of Ottawa/Université St. Paul. He also undertook a Master’s in Public Administration but left after the second year due to family obligations. From 2002-2019, Jean La Rose was the Chief Executive Officer of APTN, the first national Indigenous broadcaster in the world, with programming by, for and about Indigenous Peoples. Since joining the network, he has established it in a strong financial position for long-term growth. The network has grown to four distinct channels including one high-definition channel and now owns and operates two radio stations. ELMNT-FM has HD stations in Ottawa and Toronto since October 2018. APTN’s workforce now totals 200 positions, including radio and provides production opportunities for over 100 Indigenous producers in Canada. The network has also launched a production company, AnimikiSee Digital Productions, as well as a distribution company, AnimikiSee Distribution. All these new ventures operate as arms-length corporations from APTN. Mr. La Rose sits on the Boards of Directors of Indspire, the National Screen Institute, Media Smarts, Mother Earth Recycling (a social enterprise located in Winnipeg). He completed his ICD course (Institute of Corporate Directors) and plans to get his designation in the spring of 2019. He received a National Aboriginal Achievement Award (now known as Indspire Awards) for Media and Communications in 2011, and the CEO HR Champion of the Year Award from the Human Resource Management Association of Manitoba in 2015. He was named “Alumni of the Year” in 2015 by St. Paul University and received an Honorary Diploma in Journalism from La Cité Collégiale in Ottawa in 2015. Mr. La Rose is also the Chair of the Heritage Canada Departmental Audit Committee and served on Minister Joly’s Panel of Experts examining the future of the digital economy as it pertains to the Arts and Culture industries.
Jesse Wente is an Ojibwe writer, broadcaster, producer and speaker. Born and raised in Toronto, his family hails from Chicago and the Serpent River First Nation. Jesse is best known for his 22 years as a columnist for CBC Radio’s Metro Morning, Jesse spent 11 years with the Toronto International Film Festival, the last seven as the director of film programmes at the TIFF Lightbox.. Jesse is currently co-producing his first film, a screen adaptation of Thomas King’s best-selling book, The Inconvenient Indian. An outspoken advocate for Indigenous rights and First Nations, Metis and Inuit art, he has spoken at the International Forum of Indigenous Peoples, Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian, the Canadian Arts Summit, the Cultural Summit of the Americas, and numerous Universities and Colleges. In November Jesse delivered the annual Eva Holtby Lecture on Contemporary Culture at the Royal Ontario Museum. Jesse currently serves on the board of directors for the Canada Council for the Arts and the Toronto Arts Council. In 2017 he was named the inaugural recipient of the Reelworld Film Festival’s Reel Activist Award and recently received the Association of Ontario Health Centres’ Media Award for 2018. Jesse is currently working on his first book for Penguin Random House Canada and in February, Jesse started a new role as the first Director of the Indigenous Screen Office in Canada.
Kerry Swanson has been leading initiatives in Indigenous arts for the last fifteen years at both the grassroots and institutional levels. She has a Masters in Communication and Culture from Ryerson University. She is Chair of the Board for imagineNATIVE, where she was previously Executive Director, and is a co-founder of Indigenous Fashion Week Toronto at Harbourfront Centre. As Associate Director of Granting at Ontario Arts Council, Kerry led the creation of the Indigenous Culture Fund, a $5 million annual program. She launched six new funding programs at Toronto Arts Council including the TAC Cultural Leaders Lab at Banff Centre and Indigenous Arts Projects. Kerry was born and raised in Chapleau, northern Ontario, in a family of Cree/Ojibwe, Irish and French heritage. She is a member of Michipicoten First Nation, with familial ties to Chapleau Cree First Nation.
Jamie Monastyrski is the new Manager of Communications and Research for the Indigenous Screen Office. He is a communications and media professional with more than 20 years’ experience in the political, media and arts sectors within Canada and the U.S. He is a citizen of Couchiching First Nation in Treaty #3. He has worked at the Assembly of First Nations, Chiefs of Ontario and Indspire and has also sat on various juries for the Ontario Arts Council and Canada Council for the Arts. Jamie has maintained numerous contacts, friends and colleagues and looks forward to contributing to the roots of this organization.
Meg MacKay is a writer and arts administrator of mixed Mi'kmaq and Scottish heritage, originally from Prince Edward Island. Most recently she worked with the Indigenous Culture Fund out of the Ontario Arts Council as a Program Administrator, supporting community, culture, and way of life projects for First Nations, Inuit, and Metis peoples in Ontario. Previously she has worked in event coordination for Inside Out LGBT Film Festival, Toronto International Film Festival, and Native Women in the Arts. She is currently based in Toronto.