Team

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Nathalie Vander Zaag

Haitian-born, Nathalie VanderZaag was adopted as an infant and moved to Canada in 1997, eventually settling in Winnipeg. She believes that listening with the intent to understand, not respond, is a key to good human interactions. Nathalie has made inter-racial adoption identity formation her focus in her work as Children and Families programming coordinator here at IFC. She received her BA Honours in Psychology from Canadian Mennonite University.

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Connie Budd

Connie Budd is from Norway House Cree nation, and is the Elder at the Indigenous Family Centre.

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Alex Sannie
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Janessa Giesbrecht

Janessa’s role as Handcraft Coordinator allows her to bring together two great passions in her life: social justice and craft. Much of her joy is composed by sitting in a circle of women and men, creating, listening and sharing. Sewing ever since her Grandmother put a needle and thread in her hands, if she isn’t to be found in front of textiles, looms, beads or leather, she will be out for a hike or paddling a canoe.

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Feathers

Feathers' ancestors came from the arid forests of Australia, but he has made Winnipeg his home since he was an egg. He became part of the IFC team in 2011 and loves Ritz crackers, bannock, and celery along with his usual bird seed. Stop by to meet him in his usual place by the window where he keeps watch on Selkirk Avenue.

Michele Visser-Wikkerink
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Michele Visser-Wikkerink is the co-director of Indigenous Family Centre. She grew up in Southern Ontario and is a graduate of Kuiper College. She began working as a youth pastor in Winnipeg in 1989 and has made Winnipeg her home since that time. She is married to Robert Visser and has two grown sons and a five year old daughter. 

 

Her work has always centered on her interests in food security, social justice, and matters pertaining to marginalized people. She is the author of several textbooks including People and Stories of Canada to 1867 and The World Today, its People and Places. She has also written articles for The Globe and Mail and The Winnipeg Free Press and contributed to educational materials for the Canadian Foodgrains Bank.  

 

Shannon Perez
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Shannon Perez is Sayisi Dene First Nation and is from Winnipeg.  She currently works as the co-director at Indigenous Family Centre and as the Justice and Reconciliation Mobilizer for the Christian Reformed Church in NA.  Shannon has a degree in Native Studies and has experience with Boards, Trusts and committees.  Her time outside of work is spent with her three children and husband, helping out family and friends, reading and most recently gardening.

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Blair Jonasson