Director of Indigenous Student Recruitment & Community Relations
The University of Manitoba campuses are located on original lands of Anishinaabeg, Cree, Oji-Cree, Dakota, and Dene peoples, and on the homeland of the Métis Nation. More
University of Manitoba
Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada, R3T 2N2
The Indigenous Student Recruitment team is responsible for introducing prospective Indigenous students to the UM, as well as supporting First Nation, Métis and Inuit students transition into post-secondary education.
Director of Indigenous Student Recruitment & Community Relations
Desiree Morrisseau-Keesick (she/her) is an Anishinaabe woman and a member of Grassy Narrows First Nation in Treaty 3. She was born and raised in Winnipeg’s North End and has maternal ties to Crane River, MB. Desiree has been with the University of Manitoba for seven years, previously as Lead for the Indigenous Student Recruitment team and then as a Student Advisor with the Indigenous Student Centre. Desiree has always had a love for being a community helper. Her passion for cultural and community based programming was intensified after running the Indigenous Post-Secondary Club for six years. Desiree looks forward to expanding the work of ISRCR and ensuring Indigenous students and their families feel supported as they navigate their journey through post-secondary.
Indigenous Student Recruitment Officer
Taylor is of mixed ancestry, her paternal family’s Métis roots in Deerhorn, St Laurent and Lundar while her maternal grandparents immigrated from former Yugoslavia. Taylor was born and raised in North Winnipeg on Treaty 1 territory. She graduated with her Bachelor of Kinesiology in 2022 and is passionate about her work supporting Indigenous students find success at the UM.
Indigenous Student Recruitment Officer
Tanisha Clarke is a member of the Norway House Cree Nation in Treaty 5 territory. She spent most of her life living in Norway House and relocated to Winnipeg in 2017 to attend school at the UM. Tanisha is a UM alumni, graduating in 2020 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Native Studies. Having experienced the transition of moving from a reserve to the city to attend university, Tanisha is passionate about helping students make the same transition. She looks forward to working with all Indigenous students coming to UM and ensuring that Indigenous students who are relocating from their home communities are supported as they begin their journey in post-secondary.
Indigenous Student Recruitment Officer and Program Coordinator
Contact Jesse for:
Jesse McGregor (he/him) is a member of the Misipawistik Cree Nation (Grand Rapids, Manitoba), with close ties to the Kinisao Sipi Cree Nation (Norway House, Manitoba), located in Treaty 5 territory. In 2022, Jesse graduated with a Bachelor of Health Sciences from UM. Through his experiences of living both on-reserve and in urban settings, Jesse developed a passion for helping Indigenous youth and communities. In his role as program coordinator at the UM, Jesse hopes to work with and learn from Indigenous youth – walking together as aspiring students transition from high school to post-secondary.
The Indigenous Student Centre is responsible for welcoming and supporting Indigenous students, as well as providing opportunities for students to learn about First Nations, Inuit and Métis culture.
Carla is a proud member of the Mathias Colomb Cree Nation and an alumna of the UM [BEd/01, BA/03, MEd/16]. Her master’s degree was in adult & post-secondary education with a thesis project about student retention and student development theory in relation to peer mentoring for Indigenous students and its connection to first-year student success. She has been working at the UM since 2005, first as an academic advisor with the University 1 First Year Centre and then the Indigenous Student Centre to be one of the student advising team and oversee the Qualico Bridge to Success program. Passionate about the power of peer mentoring, Carla believes that students who feel they are part of the Indigenous campus community and get involved on campus is key to having a rewarding university experience and her goal is to encourage students to do what they need to do have the university experience they want. Carla has made many connections with students, faculty and staff through programming. She is considered a formidable leader and a trusted colleague who works with integrity and humility.
Doris Quill (She/Her) is a Cree woman and a member of the Sapotawayek Cree Nation in Treaty 4 with maternal ties to Mosakahiken Cree Nation (Moose Lake, Manitoba in Treaty 5). She grew up in The Pas Manitoba before moving to Winnipeg to complete a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Native Studies at the University of Manitoba. After graduation she enrolled in the Administrative Assistant program from Red River Polytech. Doris spent most of her summers in Sapotawayek at their annual culture camp, where she learned traditional teachings and stories from her community Elders. As an adult, she is learning to get back in touch with her traditional roots and figuring out her role as aunty and role model for her nieces and nephews. She is honoured to have joined the team at the ISC!
Student advisors at the Indigenous Student Centre are here to help you achieve your academic goals. We can help you create an academic plan, clarify university policies and we can connect you with important services, resources and programming.
Indigenous Student Centre advisors are available:
Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Please call (204) 474-8850 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to make an appointment today.
Drop-ins are also welcome but are available on a first-come, first-served basis and are dependent on the availability of the student advisor. These hours may be affected by COVID-19. Please contact us for more information.
Our mission as Indigenous student advisors is to provide holistic and culturally-grounded advising services for Indigenous students, where we consider mental, emotional, physical, spiritual and cultural well-being.
We are guided by the Seven Sacred Teachings in everything we do:
Obaadendiziwin (Humility) - Mai'iingan (Wolf)
Zaagidiwin (Love) - Migizii (Eagle)
Gwekwaadziwin (Honesty) - Sa'be
Nbwaakawin (Wisdom) - Amik (Beaver)
Aakwaakade'ewin (Courage) - Makwa (Bear)
Debwewin (Truth) - Mikinaak (Turtle)
Mnaadendimowin (Respect) - Mashkodebizhike (Buffalo)
Indigenous student advisors strive to achieve this mission by:
Contact Denise for:
Denise Proulx is Métis from Winnipeg and is a proud first-generation alumna of the University of Manitoba, earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology and Psychology. Denise is responsible for the development and implementation of the Blankstein Momentum Program and has successfully completed the Letter of Accomplishment in Academic Advising. She is a graduate of the University of Manitoba Leaders Learning Program, has completed the Prosper Canada Financial Literacy Facilitator Training and is certified by SEED Winnipeg Inc. as a Money Management Trainer. Denise is passionate about providing opportunities that aim to support Indigenous student success and is an advocate for celebrating achievements.
Contact Justin for:
Indigenous Circle of Empowerment (ICE) Student Leadership Development Program
Justin Rasmussen (he/him/his) is Métis from Ile Des Chênes, Manitoba. Justin is a graduate of the University of Winnipeg (B.Sc.), University of Manitoba (B.Sc. 4-year Major; M.Sc.), and the University of Canterbury (New Zealand; Ph.D.) in the field of Biological Sciences. Justin is the recipient of the University of Manitoba Leadership Award, the Migizii Award, and is an alumnus of the University of Manitoba Leaders Learning Program and the Governor General’s Canadian Leadership Conference (2017). Justin is currently serving as the Chair of the Indigenous Student Affairs Network (ISAN) with ACPA College Student Educators International. Justin serves students at the University of Manitoba as a student advisor and by creating outstanding opportunities for leadership development as the coordinator of the Indigenous Circle of Empowerment (ICE) student leadership development program.
Contact Bailey for:
Qualico Bridge to Success Program
Neechiwaken Indigenous Peer Mentor Program
Bailey (she/her/hers) is Métis/Scottish and was born and raised in rural Treaty 1 territory. She is a first-generation UM alum [BHEcol/20] and enjoys spending her off time bird watching and beading. As someone with experience in mental health and peer-to-peer programming, Bailey is passionate about supporting, uplifting and empowering students to reach their goals and aspirations using a holistic and strengths-based lens. She believes in the importance of belonging and how a sense of relation to one’s community can improve well-being. Driven by this in her work, she hopes to provide a space and the opportunity for Indigenous students to feel welcome and connected to the UM Indigenous community through her role as an advisor and the coordinator for the Qualico Bridge to Success Program and the Neechiwaken Indigenous Peer Mentor Program.
Contact Aiden for:
EmpoweringU Financial Wellness Program
Aiden Todd (she/her) is a Cree woman and a member of Norway House Cree Nation in Treaty 5. She was born and raised in Winnipeg, MB. Aiden is a graduate of the University of Winnipeg (B.A.) and the University of Manitoba (B.S.W.). She is a student advisor at the Indigenous Student Centre (ISC). She will be working with students and will be coordinating the EmpoweringU Financial Wellness Program. Aiden participates and attends ceremonies with her daughter, Ryleigh. Aiden is looking forward to working with students and helping them achieve their aspirations and to find their successes along the way. Ekosi!
Contact Isca for:
Cultural Events (Tea With Auntie/Full Moon Ceremonies)
Isca Spillett (She/Her/Iskwew) is mixed heritage of Inninewak (Cree), Metis and Trinidadian bloodlines and was born and raised in Winnipeg. Isca is a UM alumnus, graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Nutrition and has a continuing interest in promoting Indigenous Wellness including plant medicine.
Trained by Knowledge Keeper, Josephine Big George to conduct Cedar Bath Ceremonies, Isca weaves this ceremony along with Focusing Orientation Therapy and Harm Reduction approaches when supporting folks.
Isca participates in ceremony at both the Sprucewoods Sundance and Gathering of Sacred Pipes Sundance (Pipestone, MN). She is a mother to her 4-year-old daughter, Northstar, and enjoys spending her free time harvesting medicines from the land and passing teachings down to her daughter.
Isca is dedicated to supporting students using the Medicine Wheel teachings (intellectual, emotional, physical, spiritual) to ensure that students achieve academic success while being a part of a community on campus.
We work to attract and retain more Indigenous students, faculty and staff, to incorporate Indigenous perspectives and knowledge within UM's program offerings and to honour First Nations, Métis and Inuit traditions and cultures on our campuses.
Ruth Shead is a member of Peguis First Nation and is honoured to be named after her grandma Ruth, a Residential School Survivor who, despite not receiving an education herself, instilled the value of lifelong learning into her family. Ruth began working as the coordinator of Indigenous Achievement at UM in 2014. She is passionate about advancing the university’s commitments to Indigenous students and communities, sharing Indigenous knowledge(s) and research and celebrating First Nations, Métis and Inuit successes.
Conference and events manager
Grace Redhead is registered with Shamattawa First Nation in northern Manitoba, raised in Alberta and BC. Grace graduated from the University of Winnipeg where her studies focused on residential school history. Prior to joining Indigenous Engagement, Grace worked at the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation. Grace lives in Winnipeg with her partner and their two children, Tecumseh and Kateri.
Assistant to the director and events manager
Jenny Trenchard is a settler born in Robinson-Superior Treaty territory, now living on Treaty 1 land. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre Education from the University of Winnipeg, and has committed her career to making healthier learning spaces for students. She is a supporter of BIPOC and LGBTQIA2S+ activism. Currently, she is focused on increasing her knowledge of ongoing processes of settler colonialism and anti-racist informed approaches within universities. She is honoured to have joined the Office of Indigenous Engagement and Communications in 2021.
Kayla Lariviere was born and raised on Treaty 1 territory. She is of mixed Métis and Filipino ancestry, with membership to the Manitoba Métis Federation. Kayla is a proud University of Manitoba alumna, who graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Indigenous Studies and Criminology. During her time as a student, she was active within the Indigenous community on campus, and was a recipient of an Indigenous Award of Excellence in the Trailblazer category. Prior to joining the Indigenous Engagement and Communications team, she worked for the Government of Manitoba’s Natural Resources and Northern Development Department, in the Consultation and Reconciliation Unit. Kayla hopes to share her knowledge, skills and experiences with the team, and is passionate about creating a safe and inclusive environment dedicated to Indigenous values and learning.
Jenna Khan is a settler of East Indian (Guyanese) and Mennonite descent, raised and living on Treaty 1 land.
A graduate of the Creative Communications program at Red River College, Jenna has 15 years of communications experience and is passionate about people, their stories, and the importance of striving to find the right words.
Jenna began her communications career as a journalist and broadcaster. She continues to listen, learn, ask questions, and tell the stories of both people and organizations through her work.
Chelsey Hill grew up in Winnipeg, MB with treaty ties to Peguis First Nation, MB and on her paternal side affiliated with a reserve in B.C. called Lil' Wat First Nation. Chelsey graduated with her Bachelor of Arts degree in Oct '22 with a major in Indigenous Studies and minor in Family Social Sciences from UM. She is thrilled to be starting out a new career in helping promote Indigenous events and Indigenous supports to students just as she utilized these supports when she was a student.
Denise is a Franco-Métis woman from the Red River Valley who is deeply invested in education being the key to opening doorways. A UM alum, she is committed to promoting inclusivity, diversity and cross-cultural understanding. She has worked collaboratively across Manitoba’s Post-Secondary Institutions to form partnerships with external stakeholders, industry sectors, employers, governments, organizations, and councils on behalf of Manitoba’s Indigenous students to create substantive equality and build a vibrant, prosperous Manitoban landscape for all.
Katie Currie is the administrative assistant to Denise Tardiff, Manager of the Manitoba Collaborative Indigenous Education Blueprint (MCIEB) and to Heather McRae, Learning Hubs and Community Partnerships Manager. She is delighted and grateful to be here. Katie is a settler living and working on Treaty 1 Territory, descended mostly from Irish and Scottish ancestry. She came to MCIEB from Manitoba Industry-Academia Partnership (MI-AP) where she worked as the Indigenous Pillar Project Assistant for the last year. That journey started with her coming on casually to work on the Horizon Ecosystem Map in November of 2021. The Horizon website is her heart project, and she is happy to keep working on it here at MCIEB.
Manager of Community Partnerships
To be announced
Community Partnerships Coordinator
Emily was born and raised in Winnipeg on Treaty 1 territory and is of mixed Red River Métis-European ancestry. Her paternal Métis family comes from Meadow Lake, Saskatchewan and has ties to St. Francois Xavier in the Red River settlement. Since graduating with her Bachelor of Education from UM in 2018, Emily has instructed and coordinated community-based educational programming at an Indigenous nonprofit and post-secondary level. Emily accredits these experiences for teaching her the values of generosity, reciprocity, and meaningful engagement with community. Now pursuing her Master of Education, Emily carries these values into her academics and career to advance education for surrounding Indigenous communities.
Kristen was born on Treaty 2 territory and is of mixed settler decent. She graduated from the University of Regina with a Bachelor of Business Administration (Great Distinction) majoring in accounting, and later went on to obtain her CPA designation. Kristen has experience working with many First Nations communities in a financial role and is excited to be joining the Indigenous Engagement and Communications team as the Financial Administrator.
Research and Special Projects Support
Sarah Deckert is a settler who was born in California but who has spent most of her life on Treaty 1 land. As a high school teacher she saw both the systemic inequities facing Indigenous students and the healing that came when they learned from elders, participated in ceremony, and connected with Indigenous mentors. This taught her that she could not heal her students but that she could use her skills and passion to support Indigenous-led initiatives that bring substantive equality to Indigenous students in Manitoba. She is honoured to support the work of the Manitoba Collaborative Indigenous Education Blueprint as an administrative assistant.
Manager of Learning for the EleV Partnership
Jerilyn is a member of the Métis Nation in Manitoba with roots embedded in the Red River region. Family, community and ceremony is where she finds her strength and inspiration. Jerilyn was raised in a small, rural community southwest of Winnipeg and has lived in Edmonton, Winnipeg, and at present she resides outside of Winnipeg with her family. Living rurally with open spaces is important to Jerilyn and her family as they enjoy spending time outdoors with their pets, gardening and connecting with nature.
In 2010, Jerilyn graduated from the University of Manitoba ACCESS Programs with her B.A., B.Ed., where she began working for the following ten years in the field of Adult Education at the Centre for Aboriginal Human Resource Development (CAHRD). Jerilyn began her teaching career at CAHRD where she moved into an administrative role as the Assistant Director of Education. She accredits many of her skills, knowledge and connections in various Indigenous communities to the experience she gained from working within CAHRD. At present, Jerilyn is completing her Masters from Brandon University in the Educational Administration program.
Jerilyn began working at The University of Manitoba at The Centre for the Advancement of Teaching and Learning in 2020 as an Indigenous Initiatives Educator where she worked alongside Leah Fontaine in providing consultations, research, resources and workshops related to Indigenous education, methodologies, pedagogies, epistemologies and support in approaching reconciliation in teaching and learning for faculty and graduate students at the UM.
Indigenous education and initiatives have long been a passion for Jerilyn, and she is excited to work and collaborate with colleagues, communities and partnerships to create equitable and inclusive learning opportunities for Indigenous students.
Jenelle Manitowabi (she/her) is an Anishinaabe woman, and a member of Lac Seul First Nation located in treaty 3 territory. She has paternal ties to Wiikwemkoong and M’Chigeeng First Nation on Manitoulin Island. Leaving her community to attend Sault College allowed Jenelle to see the importance of community support and involvement for Indigenous students and she is happy to continue this work as a project coordinator with the university.
Migizii Agamik – Bald Eagle Lodge
114 Sidney Smith St.
University of Manitoba (Fort Garry campus)
Winnipeg, MB R3T 2N2 Canada