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Indigenous Student Affairs Staff and Services

Dedicated to promoting full access, participation and success for First Nations, Métis, and Inuit students.

Indigenous Student Affairs Team

What We Can Offer You

“The Indigenous Student Affairs office, located in the Indigenous Sharing and Learning Centre (ISLC), is home to a friendly, accessible and knowledgeable team that offers academic support, counselling, cultural and social programming, cultural support, and Elder/traditional resource programming. Take a look below at each of our roles for more details on how we each support Indigenous students and the Laurentian community!”

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Our Team

Mary Laur
As Director of the Indigenous Sharing and Learning Centre, I oversee Indigenous student recruitment and retention initiatives. I provide advocacy, policy and political support. I manage the development, preparation and editing of communication products. I also align Indigenous Student Affairs programming and planning with both the LUNEC and Laurentian University Strategic Plans.

I can be reached by telephone at 705-675-1151 ext. 4050 or by email at ml_laur@laurentian.ca!

Cynthia Belfitt

As the Indigenous Counsellor, I work closely with Indigenous students to provide personal counselling, educational advocacy, and career support. I organize events and workshops throughout the year that are geared towards health and wellness which foster cultural awareness, growth, and safety. Events and workshops include ASIST and Mental Health First Aid First Nations, and The Inquiring Mind training, as well as KAIROS Blanket exercises, the ISLC Half-Nighter, self-care, bursaries, budgeting, stress management, vision boards, healthy relationships, and many more!

I can be reached by phone at 705-675-1151 ext. 1048 or by email at cx_belfitt@laurentian.ca!

Rena Daviau

As the Indigenous Learning Strategist, I provide students with academic writing supports, time management, and organizational strategies that are delivered through various workshops, one-on-one meetings, student writing and assignment check-ins that can be on-campus or online throughout the academic year. I also liaise with faculty, staff and other campus supports. In addition to this, I organize and deliver S.T.E.M. (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) academic workshops and the Indigenous Student Celebrations in the Spring and Fall.

I can be reached by phone at 705-675-1151 ext. 3057 or by email at rdaviau@laurentian.ca!

Natalie Lacasse

As the Indigenous Community Outreach and Liaison Coordinator, I recruit Indigenous students and I guide them on their transition and orientation to Laurentian University. I liaise with various schoolboards, tour with APSIP, and participate in community events. I'd love to meet with you and discuss how Laurentian is the best fit for you - contact me for more information or to book a tour at the ISLC!

I can be reached by phone at 705-929-9160 or by email at nj_lacasse@laurentian.ca!

Amy Commanda

Aanii! Gchi-waasa-nangoons-kwe ndi-zhnikaas, ngik ndoodem. Niip'sing ndoo-njibaa.

As the Events and Media Coordinator for the Indigenous Sharing and Learning Centre, my role is to develop and maintain a strong media presence for Indigenous Student Affairs through their website as well as social media platforms and other advertising mediums. My focus is to support Laurentian Indigenous students, staff, and faculty through activities that encourage success and foster a culturally safe and thriving campus. I am responsible for organizing events and workshops throughout the year as well as booking the Indigenous Sharing and Learning Centre ISLC Round Room, Seminar Room, and wiigwaam.

I can be reached by phone at 705-675-1151 ext. 4051 or by email at ax_commanda@laurentian.ca!

Émilie Bourgeault-Tassé

As the Indigenous Special Projects Officer with the Academic and Indigenous Programs office, I coordinate special events and initiatives including the RBC Gkendassawin Trail Speaker Series, Indigenous Education Week, Gwiijaabwitaadmi Newsletter, SAGE (Supporting Aboriginal Graduate Enhancement), as well as provide cultural competency training to the Laurentian University community.

I can be reached by phone at 705-675-1151 ext. 3062 or by email at ex_bourgeaulttasse@laurentian.ca!

The Niikaansidook - All My Relations program offers teachings, workshops, and ceremonies with traditional Anishinaabe Elders and Knowledge Carriers. We seek to support students in understanding Anishinaabe identity and worldview. This is done through various workshops, teachings, and ceremonies. In the spirit of the teaching of "All My Relations", Elders and Knowledge Carriers from other territories are invited to share their wisdom.

An Anishinaabe Waadiziwin (protocol for working with traditional Anishinaabe Elders and Knowledge Carriers) is also forthcoming. It will contain information on how to approach traditional Anishinaabe Elders and Knowledge Carriers and how to work with them when they come to help in our Laurentian community.

Indigenous Student Affairs

Indigenous Sharing and Learning Centre, first floor of the R.D. Parker building