Staff Bios

Executive Staff

Karen Baker-Anderson

Executive Director
Phone: 613-744-3133, ext 215
Email: kbaker@ottawainuitchildrens.com
Karen has been involved with the Ottawa Inuit community for twenty years. As the founder Executive Director for the Ottawa Inuit Children’s Centre she oversees all programs and services offered by the centre. Karen is a member of many child and community focused groups such as: The Ottawa Urban Aboriginal Coalition, The City of Ottawa Childcare Stakeholders Committee, The City of Ottawa Aboriginal Working Group The Ottawa Children’s Aid Aboriginal Service Providers Table, The Ministry of Children and Youths Provincial Technical Table, The Aboriginal Health Circle, Project North and The Aboriginal Education Committee. Karen is the recipient of the Children’s Aid Society of Ottawa‘s Service Providers Award, the Success by 6 Family Friendly Workplace Award, and a 2015 Community Builder Award. Under her leadership, the OICC was awarded the United Way Community Builder Award for the category – “Growing up Great”. She is often asked to speak at events about the work done at the OICC and the agency is often sited at a place that demonstrates best practices in the area of program development and delivery. She enjoys time with family and friends, reading and her garden. She is passionate about her work with the community and strives every day to make the OICC a place where people want to work and where parents want to send their children.



Bronwyn Rees

Director of Finance and Administration
Phone: 613-744-3133, ext 210
Email: brees@ottawainuitchildrens.com
Bronwyn came to OICC in June 2011 after many years of working in the volunteer/non-profit sector. Her interest in working in the Inuit community began with “on-the-job” bookkeeping training at Inuit Broadcasting Corporation and from there, developing her financial and administrative skills at Atii Training and Pauktuutit Inuit Women of Canada. Bronwyn has been Manager and now Director of Finance and Administration at OICC and loves the creative energy, the diversity of programs and activities and working with such a great team at the centre. In her spare time Bronwyn enjoys playing music, singing and attending concerts, cycling, skiing, gardening and reading and spending time with friends and her 3 beautiful daughters.


Ulrike Komaksiutiksak

Director of Programs
Phone: 613-744-3133, ext 222
Email: programdirector@ottawainuitchildrens.com


Carmen Barrieau

Executive Assistant
Phone: 613-744-3133, ext 215
Email: cbarrieau@ottawainuitchildrens.com
When Carmen was growing up, she loved to play outside and hang out with friends. Growing up in Iqaluit, she felt lucky because she didn’t have to go far to enjoy nature. Playing on computers and tablets was never a norm for her and she hopes to give that to her children one day. Carmen has experience working the First Steps Daycare in Iqaluit. She then moved on to work for the Government of Nunavut’s health department and the Nunavut Court of Justice. When she is not working, Carmen likes to enjoy the outdoors and to travel and see new places. She is currently working as an Executive Assistant for the Executive Director Karen Baker-Anderson.

Jennifer Kudluk

Administrative Assistant
Phone: 613-744-3133, ext 213
Email: info@ottawainuitchildrens.com
Jennifer is originally from Cornwall, Ontario. She grew up attending the Family Resource Centre until her family moved to Orleans. In the past few years she has returned to the community, volunteering time towards the needs of the Ottawa Inuit Children’s Centre. She now works as one of the Youth Worker Assistants in the Afterschool program. She enjoys being back in the Inuit community and meeting all the new faces. Her favourite part of the program is being able to reach the children about their culture, the world we live in, and he chance to learn from the children themselves. When Jennifer was a child, attending the programs, she loved learning the Inuit language and songs in Inuktitut. Now she is honoured to pass on Inuit traditions to the next generation.

Sherry Metcalfe is on Leave of Absence

Youth Programs:

Lynda Brown

Manager
Phone: 613-746-5400, ext 223
Email: lbrown@ottawainuitchildrens.com
Lynda Brown was born in Nunavut, her mother’s family originates from Pangnirtung, and her father is of Scottish descent. Upon graduating from Trent University with an Honours Bachelor of Arts degree in Native Studies and Psychology, she moved to the nation’s capital. In Ottawa, home to the largest southern Inuit community, Lynda and her husband Rob Nicholson, raise their three children. Lynda loves her work with the Ottawa Inuit Children’s Centre and is very involved with her community. She volunteers her time, primarily focussing on Inuit women and children and affordable housing. She is the President of Inuit Non-Profit Housing Incorporation, and has been serving on this board for many years. Lynda participated in the 2008 Governor General Leadership Conference, and was chosen based on her commitment to her community. Lynda is a traditional throat singer and drummer, and shares her cultural knowledge through demonstrations, information sessions and workshops. She performs locally, nationally and internationally.

Tukimut

Larysa Voss

Coordinator
Phone: 613-220-6114
Email: tukimut@ottawainuitchildrens.com


Jasmine Doig

Youth Worker, We Belong, Elders’ Programs
Phone: 613-746-5400, ext 228
Email: youth@ottawainuitchildrens.com
Jasmine is the youngest of five girls and is of Inuit and Jamaican descent. “I have volunteered at soup kitchens, T.I and Inuit transit houses. I have worked with OICC as a summer student through the focus of youth. I am now a youth worker at the Tukimut Afterschool program. In my spare time I like to write, read and workout. Most of my time spent is with my family and friends. Since my experience with OICC, I have realized my true passion is to help children and youth develop into confident and successful adults who will be leading the next generation. Being able to work with my Inuit culture, learning my language, expanding my beliefs, and helping the Inuit youth stay connected with their culture is a blessing. I now plan to enroll in Algonquin College to become a Child & Youth Worker in 2016.”

Brandon Chin

Youth Worker Assistant
Phone: 613-746-5400, ext 228
Brandon Chin is the eldest of three brothers and three sisters. He was born in Ottawa, Canada. His mothers’ family originates from Pangnirtung, and his father is of Chinese and Norwegian decent. Throughout his life growing up in Ottawa, he has had the most influential people impact his life through OICC’s programs and volunteering; for ex: Head Start and The Youth Steering Committee. In Brandon’s free time, he enjoys playing sports, music, fishing, nature, and photography.

Simon Coady

Youth Worker Assistant
Phone: 613-746-5400, ext 228
Simon Coady is originally from Iqaluit, NU. He is a graduate of the Urban Aboriginal Alternate High School Program and began working at OICC as a summer student in 2016. He currently works as a Youth Worker Assistant in the Tukimut program as well as the Bridging the Gap Presenter. He is artistic, creative and loves beading, sewing, and Spicy Chicken Pad Thai! Simon thinks the best thing about working with kids is ‘Watching them learn and grow’.

Systems Navigator

Morgan Purdy

Coordinator
Phone: 613-746-5400, ext 222
Email: mpurdy@ottawainuitchildrens.com
Morgan Purdy has been working as the System Navigator with the Ottawa Inuit Children’s Centre since August 2016. Morgan began her educational journey at Algonquin College in the Community and Justice Services program. After she graduated with her diploma from Algonquin, she received a B.A. with a Major in Sociology at Carleton University. Morgan completed her BSW at Dalhousie University, where she had the opportunity to work at Dalhousie Legal Aid Service for her practicum. While Morgan was completing her post-secondary education, she also worked with children and youth with complex and developmental trauma in residential care. Morgan is passionate about gender equality, indigenous rights and child welfare. Morgan is also a part-time yoga teacher, and focuses her teaching on the therapeutic benefits that yoga has for mental and physical health.

Wasa-Nabin Urban Aboriginal Youth

Thomas Ill

Coordinator
Phone: 613-746-5400, ext 229
Email: till@ottawainuitchildrens.com
I was born in West Africa (Ghana), and as a child moved to Europe (Hungary). In my early teens I moved to Toronto, where I lived the rest of my life. I always knew I wanted to work with youth, so I graduated as a Child and Youth Worker from George Brown College. I have spent most of my career working with mental disorder youth and young offenders in secured treatment facilities. After working in that field for over 4 years, I have decided to move to Ottawa for something different. Moving to Ottawa has given the opportunity to work for OICC, and learn the great culture of the Inuit people. So far I have learned that there are lots of similarities between my African culture and the Inuit culture.

Akwe:go Urban Aboriginal Program


Chad Johnson

Coordinator
Phone: 613-746-5400, ext 222
Email: cjohnson@ottawainuitchildrens.com
Chad was born and raised in Happy Valley – Goose Bay, Labrador. While in high school Chad begun to work with youth of all ages as a Red Cross Swim Kids program instructor. After high school Chad went on to continue his education through the Moncton Flight College at which time he was an instructor in the Air Cadet program. Chad went on to teach kids between the ages of 16 – 18 to become pilots themselves during the summers and during the remainder of the year he would work at a local level to ensure that cadets who wanted to learn to fly had access to training materials. After graduation Chad moved to the Halifax area where he worked at the Halifax International airport and volunteered with Big Brothers Big Sisters for 3 years while there. Chad moved to Ottawa approximately 5 years ago where he could be found anywhere in Nunavut while working with First Air. Chad has mentioned that not only has working at the Ottawa Inuit Children’s Centre been rewarding in regards to getting to know the children, it provides him with a sense of community that he has not had since he has left Labrador. Chad is very thankful to the members of the community for welcoming him with open arms and he looks forward to getting to know as many people as possible!

Youth Moving Forward Program

Christine Kudluk

Coordinator
Phone: 613-746-5400, ext 226
Email: ckudluk@ottawainuitchildrens.com
Christine has been involved with the Ottawa Inuit Community ever since she can remember. She remembers going to community Christmas parties, attending the stay in school program and during her high school years she worked at the Family Resource Centre. One summer she was the Inuktitut teacher for the Inuit community centre. She later graduated from Algonquin College in the field of Corrections and is now back where she began; working with the Inuit community and she couldn’t be happier. She loves working with children and youth–something she has loved her entire life.

Sananguaq Inuit Youth in Small Business

TBD

Coordinator
Phone: 613-746-5400, ext 224
Email: youthbusiness@ottawainuitchildrens.com
Copy to come…

Bridging The Gap

Kayla Power

Student Support Coordinator
Phone: 613-744-3133, ext 218
Email: kpower@ottawainuitchildrens.com
Kayla Power is originally from Newfoundland and is a member of the Mi’kmaq First Nation. She received her bachelor of social work from Carleton university. Her past experience includes personal support work, creating educational resources based on the Canadian context, as well as advocacy to support the rights of Indigenous children. Some of her favourite pass-times include crocheting and hiking. Kayla has been working and volunteering with the Ottawa Inuit Children’s Centre since the beginning of September 2013. She feels this opportunity offers a chance to follow her passions of working with children and fostering aboriginal pride.

Dion Metcalfe

Bridging the Gap Presenter
Phone: 613-744-3133, ext 218
Email: dmetcalfe@ottawainuitchildrens.com
Dion was born in St. John’s, NL, but raised in Ottawa from 6 months of age. His mother is Dutch, and his father is from Hebron, Labrador. Dion has been a popular Cultural Speaker/Presenter and Games demonstrator since 2007. He was recognized by The United Way as a Community Builder in 2010. He also graduated High School through the ACE Program at Algonquin College in 2013. When not at work, Dion enjoys playing video games, carving, Inuit games, knitting (winter) and cycling (summer). Dion says that nothing beats a good BBQ with great food, and even better friends. He really enjoys walking through a school and having all the kids call him Stranger (his Inuk name). Whenever I am revisiting a school, all the students raise their hands anticipating a high five, because they know that’s my thing.

Charlotte Qamaniq

Bridging the Gap Presenter
Phone: 613-744-3133, ext 218
Charlotte Qamaniq joined the Bridging the Gap team in November 2016 as the BTG Presenter. Originally from Igloolik, NU, a graduate of Nunavut Sivuniksavut, a cultural performer and from her previous work experience as a Cultural Program Coordinator, she came to OICC with plenty of knowledge and skills to share with the students and teachers. While growing up, she loved going out on the land, and playing soccer, and now her loves include her kids, bacon cheeseburgers and poutine. Charlotte says the best thing about working with kids is that ‘They are SO funny!’

Zoe Brow

French Bridging the Gap Presenter
Phone: 613-744-3133, ext 218
Zoe Brow has been a part of the OICC family since 2001, when her eldest son attended the Head Start program. She was also previously on the Board of Directors. She studied at Arctic College, worked at Pauktuutit, and is currently studying at Carleton in Social Work and Sociology. She is raising 3 Inuit children, lived in Iqaluit for several years, and has a passion for Inuit culture and community. Her knowledge of French, her passion for the community, and her love for theatre, creativity, are a great fit for the Bridging the Gap team.

Seeing the Light and Special Events

Rachel Quinn

Manager
Phone: 613-744-3133, ext 215
Email: seeingthelight@ottawainuitchildrens.com
Rachel has been working with the Aboriginal and Inuit community for over ten years, and has fallen in love with the work she gets to do and the people she gets to work with at the Ottawa Inuit Children’s Centre. She has a Social Service Worker diploma, completed her Teacher’s College and has also worked as a Supply Teacher within the Ottawa area. This is why the Manager position is the perfect fit with her education and experience. Rachel looks forward to continuing her work with the Inuit community, and raising her son Joshua to understand and have pride in his beautiful culture.

Uqausivut Inuktitut Language Program

TBD

Coordinator
Phone: 613-744-3133, ext 222
Email: uqausivut@ottawainuitchildrens.com

Family Well-Being Program

Janice Messam

Manager
Phone: 613-744-3133, ext 211
Email: jmessam@ottawaInuitchildrens.com
Born in Victoria, BC, Janice spent her days as a child living on a farm and dancing. She enjoyed many wonderful years in Winnipeg MB dancing and teaching professionally with Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet, often traveling to far off places around the world. Janice moved to Ottawa in 2004 to get married and now lives with her husband Troy, and daughters, Vivian and Amelia Grace. Janice spent 6 weeks with the OICC as an ECE student and knew it was a special place. In 2007, she felt privileged to be given the opportunity to work with the families she has grown to think of as her community too. Previously, Janice has worked as the Family Literacy Coordinator, ECE Preschool Teacher, and Manager of Early Years.

Family Support Coordinator

Reepa Evic-Carleton

Coordinator
Phone: 613-744-3133, ext 247
Email: recarleton@ottawaInuitchildrens.com
Reepa Evic-Carleton was born in the Cumberland Sound, Nunavut. She lived on the land until her family was relocated into the community of Pangnirtung when she was 5-years-old. Her work experiences includes ten years as a Housing Manager in Pangnirtung, as well as a community social worker in child protection. As a volunteer she sat on Pangnirtung’s Mental Health Committee and Inter-Agency Committee. She moved to southern Canada in 1989. In Ottawa, Reepa gained extensive skills working as a family supporter at TI. Working closely with women’s shelters, as a trauma and addiction therapist, and leading healing circles. She has coordinated national activities in the area of substance abuse, and fetal alcohol syndrome and effect.

Parenting Program

Trudy Metcalfe-Coe

Coordinator
Phone: 613-744-3133, ext 219
Email: tmetcalfe@ottawainuitchildrens.com
Originally from Nain, Nunatsiavut, Trudy moved to Ottawa in 1988. Trudy comes with years of experience working with/or for the Inuit community in Ottawa. Outside of work experience, Trudy also studied Aboriginal Studies at Algonquin College where she made the Dean’s Honor Roll. She also studied Restaurant and Hotel Management at Algonquin originally focusing on providing catering services only to events promoting Inuit Culture. Trudy has been a part of the OICC family since it started, as one of her two daughters, Arianna, was one of the first Head Start students almost 20 years ago! She also has a granddaughter. A part from cooking, Trudy enjoys spending time at her sewing machine creating quilts for family and friends, but hopes to learn how to make clothing too.
Trudy is excited to be a part of OICC and looks forward to spending time with the children and youth connected to OICC. “I love seeing the world I thought I knew, through the eyes of a child. It gives a whole new perspective on what I am seeing.”

James Mutyaba Asaph

Facilitator
Phone: 613-744-3133, ext 216
Email: parenting@ottawainuitchildrens.com
James Mutyaba has been a community developer with over ten years of experience working in non-governmental organizations in the areas of aid coordination, health promotion, education, social work, client service and staff management. He is an adaptable cross-cultural communicator with professional experience on three continents. He has a Social Services Worker Diploma from Algonquin College and he’s also internationally trained. James is committed to working to support social inclusion and improved outcomes for individuals, families and groups. James has worked with community-based service providers and vulnerable populations, including youth at risk, newcomers, i.e. immigrants and the elderly in Canada and Africa. He is fully fluent in English, Luganda, Swahili, Tai and Lao.

Women’s Services: Violence Prevention

Rebecca Jones

Coordinator
Phone: 613-744-3133, ext 219
Email: rjones@ottawainuitchildrens.com

Early Years Programs: Sivummut and Tumiralaat

Holly Vullings

Manager
Phone: 613-744-3133, ext 228
Email: earlyyearsmanager@ottawainuitchildrens.com

Early Years’ Teaching Team

Ina Zakal

Toddler and Preschool Teacher
Phone: 613-744-3133, ext 224
Email: izakal@ottawaInuitchildrens.com
Ina is the Cultural Teacher for the Sivummut Head Start Program. Ina originally from Pangnirtung, Nunavut, has been living in Ottawa for over 20 years. Ina has an E.C.E equivalency and is bilingual in Inuktitut and English. Ina has been teaching her culture to children for over 30 years. In 2004, she was the recipient of the Prime Minister’s Award for Excellence in Early Childhood Education. Her expertise in delivering Inuktitut programming within the Sivummut Head Start is recognized by other Inuit Early Learning and Child Care programs in Canada. Ina also helped to create the Uqausivut Language Resources, and gave her knowledge in the DVD created to share Inuit culture.



Natasha DaSilva

Toddler Teacher
Phone: 613-744-3133, ext 220
Email: ndasilva@ottawainuitchildrens.com
Natasha obtained her Early Childhood Education Diploma from Algonquin College in 2008. She started her journey with OICC in the Sivummut Head Start Program while on placement for her ECE diploma. Upon graduation, she was hired as a teacher for HS, and eventually took on administration duties as well as teaching. Natasha now works with the toddlers of Tumiralaat Inuit Child Care Centre. She believes the best thing about working with kids is seeing them grow throughout the year. She enjoys watching hockey, especially the Chicago Blackhawks, watching TV, reading books and shopping. Natasha has roots in Ottawa, Portugal and Italy.


Sarah Proctor

Toddler Teacher
Phone: 613-744-3133, ext 220
Email: sproctor@ottawainuitchildrens.com
Sarah was born in Iqaluit and moved to Ottawa in 2000. She graduated from Osgoode Township High School in 2006. Sarah began volunteering in the Head Start Program and was hired as a Teacher’s Assistant in 2007. Sarah is learning more about her Inuit culture and heritage through the Head Start program. She loves listening to music, quoting funny things said by the kids and eating muktuk.

Bea Alvarez

Preschool Teacher
Phone: 613-744-3133, ext 217
Email: balvarez@ottawainuitchildrens.com
Bea was born in Bogota, Colombia, South America. Her family immigrated to Ottawa when she was one-year-old. Bea has lived in Montreal and Toronto, but is very happy to be in Ottawa with her family. She studied for three years at Carleton University majoring in Art History. After a 25-year career in graphic arts, she completed her ECE at Algonquin, and BEd at Ottawa U. In 2008, Bea began working at OICC as the toddler teacher, was Early Years’ Manager of the Tumiralaat Child Care Centre, and is now a Preschool Teacher. Bea enjoys reading, swimming, knitting, drawing, painting and watching movies. She is a volunteer at Roger’s House at palliative home for children. She is a member and treasurer of the Ottawa Chapter, Orff Canada, Music for Children. She believes that her creativity has led her to this important role. Bea’s favourite thing about kids is that they keep her in the moment with surprise, laughter and curiosity.


Annie Ningeok

Preschool Cultural Teacher
Phone: 613-744-3133, ext 224
Email: aningeok@ottawainuitchildrens.com

Junior and Senior Kindergarten Program

Bruce Kigutaq

Kindergarten Cultural Teacher
Phone: 613-744-3133, ext 225
Email: bkigutaq@ottawainuitchildrens.com
Bruce a.k.a. Jane was born in Montreal but was raised in Arctic Bay and Nanisivik, Nunavut. Both of her parents are Inuk, and she has ten brothers and sisters and has been around children her whole life. Two of her children attend the Tukimut Afterschool Program. Bruce has been part of the OICC family in many different capacities for several years. She was the first Cultural Teacher in the Kindergarten program when it started in 2010 so she understands the expectations and knows many of the children very well. Bruce is passionate about passing on her culture and language, speaks Inuktitut fluently and ensures that the classroom represents culture and is rich in language. For the past several years Bruce has also been the lead teacher for the language classes offered through the Uqausivut program.




Lisa Richards, OCT

Kindergarten Teacher – Ottawa-Carleton District School Board
Phone: 613-744-3133, ext 225



Valerie Vallieres, RECE

Registered Early Childhood Educator – Ottawa-Carleton District School Board
Phone: 613-744-3133, ext 225

Support Staff

Barb Cayer

Cook
Phone: 613-744-3133, ext 221
Email: bcayer@ottawainuitchildrens.com
Barbara is First Nations, Algonquin descent, from Kitigan Zibi. Her work as a cook has been a rewarding experience and has given her a chance to expand her knowledge of Inuit culture and language. Two of her grandchildren attend OICC programming. In her spare time, she loves spending time with her grandchildren, researching her family history and drumming and singing.


Glen Boyer

Cook
Phone: 613-744-3133, ext 217
Email: gboyer@ottawainuitchildrens.com
Glen is the father of three beautiful children and his connection to the OICC began when his oldest, Jayden, started attending our programs when he was just 18 months. Nine years later, Glen is still involved as both a proud father and a valued member of the OICC staff. Since 2012, Glen has been working in our kitchen preparing delicious meals for the kids. Glen’s favorite meal is spaghetti and, after tasting his sauce, it easy to understand why! When Glen isn’t cooking for a small army, he stays busy by playing sports. He loves hockey and continues to play once a week. His love for hockey began when he was just a kid and he would spend his winters playing on the outdoor rinks. The only thing that would bring him home was supper. It was clear even then that he would either become a hockey star or a cook. From the smiles on the children’s faces after lunch, I’m sure the kids are glad he chose to become a cook.


Poasie Joamie

Maintenance
Originally from Iqaluit, Nunavut, Poasie started helping out with maintenance work at OICC on a part-time basis in the summer of 2016, and was officially hired into the position in January 2017. Poasie has experience in construction and broadcasting, having trained youth in TV during his years at IBC. As a child he played outdoors a lot and hunted and camped on the land – and his love of outdoors has translated into his enjoyment of being around children when he is working on the OICC property. Children often stop and watch and as him what he is doing, or “help out” with their child-sized shovels. He enjoys country food, watching hockey, soccer and baseball and loves to read and watch movies. For Poasie the best thing about being around the kids is seeing how genuinely smart and innocent they are beautiful little people.