Our Team | Overview

The San’yas team is a multi-racial team comprised of Elders, facilitators, registrars, curriculum developers, evaluation/researchers, and supported by Animikii an Indigenous technology company. We are a virtual team with team members located across the country from Nova Scotia to BC, continuing the mission of our program founder, Dr. Cheryl Ward.


Our program’s home office is in Vancouver and we have team office space in Victoria and Toronto to support team members to connect and work from a shared space to support connection and community in the work.

Our Team | Leadership team

  • Gerry Oleman, Program Elder, is a member of the St’at’imc Nation from Tsal’alh
  • Kahontakwas Diane Longboat, Program Elder, is from the Mohawk Nation, Turtle Clan, a traditional teacher from Six Nations Grand River Territory
  • Jane Collins (White settler of Irish and Italian ancestry), Senior Director, Indigenous Learning Programs
  • Diane Smylie (Métis-Cree), Senior Director, Indigenous Learning Programs
  • Richard Bull (Anishinaabe and Oji-Cree), Program Manager
  • Kelly Pollock (White settler of Scottish ancestry), Lead Facilitator
  • Rochelle Johnson, (Anishinaabe, Saulteaux, Cree, Jewish and Swedish ancestry), Lead Facilitator
  • Angela Allen (Black settler, with Jamaican and Irish ancestry), Lead Facilitator
  • Manjit Chand (Racialized settler of South Asian ancestry), Lead Facilitator
  • Jennifer Storey (White settler of Scottish and Irish ancestry), Lead Facilitator

Our Team | Curriculum team

  • Maria Gomes (White settler of Portuguese ancestry)
  • Elaine Jones (White settler of English ancestry)
  • Sheelah McLean (White settler with Scottish, Swedish and Norwegian ancestry)
  • Robby Smoker-Peters ( Indigenous with Nlaka'pamux and Czech ancestry)
  • Corvin Russell (White settler of German, Scottish, Anishinaabe, French ancestry)
  • Suzanne Niervaart (White settler of Dutch and French ancestry)
  • Cammy Coughlin (Mohawk Nation, Six Nations Grand River Territory)

Our Team | Registration and Tech Support team

  • Amanda Willis (Indigenous of Coast Salish, Filipina, and European ancestry), Program Manager
  • Carla Fabris (Piikani, Innu, Italian and Norwegian ancestry), BC Registrar
  • Leresha Lickers (Seneca Nation) Ontario Health Registrar
  • Corinne Newell (White settler of Scottish ancestry), National registrar
  • Winona Stevens (Anishinaabe), Program Adminstrator

Our Team | Facilitation Team 

San’yas is supported by a team of 40+ highly trained facilitators. Our multi-racial facilitators are located all across Canada