As a born and raised Calgarian, Lindsay has a profound appreciation for the natural surroundings that both our Province and country have to offer. In search of widening her perspective and experience, Lindsay attended Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario where she earned a degree in Political Studies. Her passion for politics and environmental issues led her to explore interests in writing and debating through her involvement in the University’s newspaper and other publications.
Shortly after completing her undergraduate degree, Lindsay moved to Ottawa to pursue an internship with Elizabeth May’s M.P. Office. Her experience working on Parliament Hill was valuable, as it introduced her to the inner-workings of Parliament and the decision-making process. Through this work experience, she decided to pursue a Master’s degree in Public Policy, which brought her back to Calgary. As a Master’s student, she focused on energy and environment issues affecting Canada and Alberta. Specifically, water management issues caught Lindsay’s attention, which is an area she continues to work in as a Research & Policy Analyst at Alberta WaterSMART Solutions.
Fuelling Lindsay’s interest in environmental issues and policy is her constant desire to be close to nature and to protect Canada’s natural surroundings. Lindsay can often be found in the Rocky Mountains hiking in the summer and cross-country skiing in the winter.
Growing up in the shadows of the Rocky Mountains, Simon had the opportunity to spend countless hours outdoors cultivating a strong relationship with the land. His relationship to land instilled in him a deep-rooted desire to leave the earth ecologically and socially improved for his grandchildren and their grandchildren after them. This, more than anything has been the guiding force throughout his life and informed and influenced Simon’s studies both as an undergraduate and graduate student.
Simon completed his Business Management degree at the University of Alberta – Augustana campus in 2013. Simon’s graduate studies then took him to Sweden where he completed his MSc. in Business and Economics from the University of Uppsala with a focus on intersectionality. He is happy to be home now and working in Albertas environmental sector.
Gary McLeod is a husband, father of four and a proud Métis. Gary is also an Advanced Remedial Massage Therapist, CrossFit Coach, Agatsu Kettlebell Instructor, Personal Trainer, Lifestyle consultant and an employee of Manitoba Justice. Gary grew up on a farm 15 kilometres east of The Pas, a Northern Manitoba community. When Gary wasn’t hauling hay, cutting grass or feeding animals, he was playing sports or enjoying Mother Nature. Gary has seen the almost magical effects of living a healthy lifestyle in his own family and the many clients he has reached during his 10 years in the health and wellness industry. Gary has a passion for teaching his fellow humans how to improve their microcosm. Gary is convinced that this is the key to creating a positive cascade effect toward improving the macrocosms we all share.
“Listen to brother beaver, he will teach you.”
Richard was born and raised in Winnipeg’s West End, a place that taught him the value of a strong and diverse community. Richard graduated from the University of Manitoba in May 2015 with a Bachelor of Arts Honours Degree in Political Studies and History. While at the U of M, he explored a range of topics, including global governance in the Arctic, international development, and Indigenous politics. He pursued these topics through research positions, volunteer work, and an international development internship in Malawi. Since graduating, Richard has worked as a management intern with the Government of Manitoba. He is passionate about the natural world and likes to spend his leisure time exploring Manitoba’s backcountry.
Reuben Van Gaalen
New to Winnipeg having moved from Iowa where he studied at Dordt College, a small liberal arts university. He graduated with a bachelors degree in political science and a minor in Spanish. Currently works at a restaurant as well as for a small wine agent. He has a desire to become more involved politically and communally in his new city and is looking for opportunities in public policy and elsewhere.
Although currently living and working in Winnipeg, Mitch’s roots come from rural Manitoba. He was fortunate enough to grow up on-site at a summer camp which his parents managed, near Riding Mountain National Park.
Living and working at the summer camp (Camp Wannakumbac) gave him a strong set of values rooted in education and opportunities for youth. However, his passion for design and communication led him to the Graphic Design program at Red River College. After three years of school, he was hired at a small design studio who works with clients in the Arts & Culture sector.
Mitch is always looking for new challenges. He is passionate about using his talent as a communicator to convey his core values. Dedicating three years towards coaching a youth basketball team for Spence Neighbourhood Association is one example of this. An active freelancer outside his full-time job, he’s done some work for clients such as his home municipality of Clanwilliam–Erickson, Manitoba Camping Association, Manitoba Cooperative Association, and so on. It was his work with one of these clients that lead him to Next Up.
Through Next Up, Mitch hopes to become connected with the national network of current participants and alumni. He would like to get involved with short and long term projects aimed at key issues such as climate change.
Katina Cochrane is from Peguis First Nation. In 2009, she graduated from the University of Winnipeg with a bachelors degree, in Political Science and Indigenous Governance.
"I think the most valuable tools I've gained has come from my parents, elders and community members, in understanding the importance in who I am, where I come from and where I need to go in life to ultimately contribute to the betterment of my community."
Katina has dedicated her career choices to working with people with harsh realities in the Justice system as a Community Justice worker, as well as a Program Family Enhancement Facilitator dedicated to strengthening First Nation families. Katina spends her time facilitating meaningful workshops and presentations to young people aspiring to make positive changes in their lives.
Katina has a strong connection to her community and culture; she is a Jingle Dress dancer, enjoys sewing, and spending time with her two daughters and husband.
Julia Lawler completed a B.ES at the University of Waterloo in Environment and Resource Studies, and is currently an M.Sc. candidate in the Bioscience, Technology, and Public Policy Program at The University of Winnipeg. Her research interests include community-based resource management, and social and environmental sustainability.
My name is Fabian Suárez-Amaya. I am Ontario-born, Winnipeg-raised with family roots in Medellín and Cali, Colombia. I work as a middle-years teacher in Seven Oaks School Division. I graduated from the University of Winnipeg in 2015 and spent the final year of my degree teaching kindergarten in Thailand. I have a variety of personal and political interests, and enjoy finding areas where those interests intersect.
Dana Connolly is a proud Anishinaabe women and mother of two. She is a member of Peguis First Nation and was raised in the inner-city of Winnipeg. Dana is currently employed as the Team Lead of the Employment and Training Programs at Ka Ni Kanichihk Inc. This is where she discovered her passion for social justice issues that affect the Indigenous community. It was her personal experiences growing up in the North End that fostered her desire for supporting and empowering Indigenous people to identify their gifts, achieve their goals and create a sustainable future for the community.