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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, academic, and career counselling. There are also several events and workshops that I organize throughout the year that are geared towards not only the academic success of Indigenous students at Laurentian but also cultural awareness, growth, and safety. These include ASIST and Mental Health First Aid First Nations training, KAIROS Blanket exercises, the ISLC Half-Nighter, as well as workshops focusing on 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 and strategies that are delivered through various workshops, one-on-one meetings, student writing and assignment check-ins throughout the academic year, as well as time management and organizational strategies. I also liaise with faculty, staff and other campus supports as well as online support for distance education students. 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, it's my job to recruit our Indigenous students from all over and to guide them on their transition to Laurentian University. You may also see me liaising with different schools, touring with APSIP, and participating at various events in the community. 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 705-675-1151 ext. 3413 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 through social media platforms and other advertising mediums. I also assist in organizing most of their events and workshops throughout the year in addition to being responsible for booking their cultural and academic spaces on campus such as the ISLC Round Room. My focus is on continuing to support Indigenous students at Laurentian and the Laurentian community at large through activities that both encourage academic success and foster a culturally safe and thriving campus.

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, it's my job to coordinate special events and initiatives such as the RBC Gkendassawin Trail Speaker Series, Indigenous Education Week, Gwiijaabwitaadmi Newsletter, SAGE (Supporting Aboriginal Graduate Enhancement), and provide cultural competency training in various areas of campus. 

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 understanding Anishinaabe worldview. This is done through various workshops, teachings, and ceremonies such as moccasin-making, beading, drumming, sharing the Creation Story, nibi (water) and shkode (fire) teachings, sweatlodges, and full moon ceremonies.

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