Mairi Anderson is currently completing her undergraduate degree in English at the University of Saskatchewan, with a focus on Indigenous writing. She is learning what it means to be a settler on this land, what decolonization looks like, and how she can be a better ally. Mairi grew up in Red Deer, Alberta, and has maintained strong ties there, returning for the summers between academic years. She has been active with Bus Riders of Saskatoon and the Socialist Students’ Association. She is inspired by expressions of community, time spent outside, poetry, and folksy art. She is keenly interested in working creatively with young people in a way that fosters respect for land, self, and other people, and will be applying to study Education in the future. She is striving to bike more, waste less, and eat her vegetables, and she knows there is always lots to learn.
Having already walked this earth for 16 years, Emma was born in 2009 when she accidentally enrolled in the Outdoor School program. After throwing her teammate and canoe on shore to win the skills competition, she had solidified her passion for the outdoors and knew she needed to tackle tougher challenges. A seven-month trip to New Zealand and Australia following high school then turned into a travel addiction that she has fed by going to Nicaragua, Honduras, Denmark, and Israel/Palestine. This travel addiction inspired her decision to work towards a bachelor’s degree in International Studies as well as fuelled her passion for social and environmental justice. She has since attended Generating Momentum and IMPACT Sustainability Training and worked as a Recycling Ambassador for the Saskatchewan Waste Reduction Council. She is thrilled to be a part of Next Up and have the chance to be part of such an inspiring and mutually supportive community.
Aditi teaches high school math in French immersion and is passionate about youth engagement with nature in any subject. She is involved with the City of Saskatoon’s Environmental Advisory Committee and is a strong supporter of maintaining Saskatoon’s river valley as an ecological wonder. She believes that technology can enhance citizens’ experiences with nature and that this engagement will lend a powerful voice in new policies for the environment. She can be found on twitter @mmegarg – come say hi! Saskatoon, 2016.
Abby Morning Bull – BA
Natoyi Apohsoy Piikunakiik
From the Piikani Nation, member of the Blackfoot Confederacy.
Hello, I am a settler from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan and Treaty 6. I like biking, reading, cooking new things, and activism. The activism that I am interested in is environmental, municipal, community support and electoral politics. I have worked as a staffer on elections and I really enjoy foot canvassing. I hope in the future to continue to develop my skills and be able to facilitate and coordinate community action. If you are interested in getting involved in electoral politics in Saskatoon give me shout.
Xochitl means flower in Nawualt, a language from the country where I was born, Nicaragua. Growing up Nicaraguan-Canadian, in one of Saskatoon’s core neighbourhoods, has given me a global perspective on social and environmental justice, and motivated me to pursue volunteer, activist, and community organizing work most of my life. My sincere care for our Earth and compassion towards people motivates me to add my optimistic, enthusiastic personality to efforts towards social change. Initiatives I’m especially passionate about are poverty reduction, actions against violence against women, and building a more equitable and healthier society. I studied biology, social justice, and medicine at the University of Saskatchewan and I hope to pursue a career in public health and preventative medicine. Currently, I’m balancing teaching medical students and studying public health approaches to addictions, with my love of volunteering for non-profits, spending time with my friends and family, and practicing meditation and yoga. I’m honoured to be a part of Next Up Saskatoon, and I look forward to learning, applying leadership skills, and building new relationships and community.
Jessica Valois, native to Saskatchewan, is an inspired and compassionate Fransaskois. She is passionate about human and environmental justice issues, sustainability and the arts. Jessica graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Ottawa in 2010, in Environmental Studies. She has travelled, worked, and volunteered widely across Canada, namely in areas of food security, permaculture, natural resource management, and holistic health practices. Her current pursuits in Saskatoon aim to help others learn to grow their own food, farm to table, and lead healthier lifestyles for themselves and the planet. She values cross-cultural competency, reconciliation of injustice, being an ally for others, and being a part of projects that change your way of being. She finds belonging in community, nature, hula hooping, yoga, and is proud to be a part of this year’s Saskatoon Next Up cohort, 2016-2017.
Craig Friesen is a pop music enthusiast that recently graduated from the University of Saskatchewan with a degree in Women’s and Gender Studies. The intersection of Craig’s faith and sexuality has inspired him to do research and activism in his home community, the Mennonite Church. He is passionate about discovering and creating spaces for gender and sexual minority people in the Mennonite Church. He also enjoys baking, as it is a great way to keep people around him happy.
Erin is an avid traveler, board game junkie and history fanatic. She is a graduate of the University of Saskatchewan with a Master’s degree in History. With a passion for education, she is continuing to push herself and is currently working on a Teaching English as a Foreign Language Certificate. The dream is to discover even more of this precious planet and to network with people who are often left out of the conversation.
Erin believes in the power of storytelling and the value of heart listening. Her work in historical research and teaching allows her to bridge her interests in sexual health, feminism, access to health care, and anti-oppression. Currently she is a mentor through the Open Door Society. In reality, she is mentored by a refugee family, who have graciously opened their home and patiently shown her that she does not know how to cook.
Molly Patterson is a trained wildlife biologist, and current Doctor of Veterinary Medicine student who is passionate about wildlife conservation and welfare.
Molly believes in the inherent value of wildlife species, both big and small, and the value of the natural landscape. She has contributed to these causes through research with organizations such as the Alberta Conservation Association and Natural Resources Canada. She is also interested in anthropogenic impacts on wildlife and explored this interest through employment at Orcalab in British Columbia and the Wildlife Rehabilitation Society of Edmonton. While focusing on veterinary school, Molly’s current projects are geared towards improving student life, and she recently helped plan and facilitate the first annual wellness weekend for veterinary students at the University of Calgary. Molly graduated from the University of Alberta with a B.Sc. in Ecology in 2010, gained a Masters of Science from the University of Saskatchewan in 2014 and will graduate from the University of Calgary in 2018.
In her free time, Molly spends time trying out new vegetarian recipes, skiing, watching superhero TV shows, and cuddling with her rescue cat Bramble.