Meet the Team at First Peoples' House

The team at First Peoples' House is here to support you throughout your academic journey. Connect with us for any questions at

Suzanne Butler

Associate Director, TYP

About Suzanne

My name is Suzanne Butler and I am the Transition Year Program Associate Director at First Peoples' House. I am from just west of Edmonton and grew up very close to the Enoch Cree Nation. I attended school on reserve for a significant portion of my education, and really wanted to be able to do more to bridge both western and Indigenous learning because I felt that the current education system was not inclusive enough of First Nations, Métis and Inuit history and culture. I decided to pursue a teaching degree, and completed my BEd (Secondary) and later my MEd at the University of Alberta.

I really believe that students will be more successful in post-secondary if they are open to engaging with the campus community and willing to explore the support and services available to them. I am proud of the work we do at FPH and encourage all First Nations, Métis and Inuit students to proudly self-declare their status when they apply.

I think that the Decima Robinson Support Centre for Mathematical and Statistical Sciences, and the Resource Librarians have a huge impact on reducing frustration and confusion when it comes to problem-solving and research….they are really under-utilised supports that can have a really positive impact on academic success.

My favourite thing about living in Edmonton is you really get to experience all four seasons each year, and the campus has a mood that reflects each season. My favourite is spring because students know they will be done studying soon, and the river valley magically turns green in the course of only a few days…it's truly beautiful to witness!

Lisa Ladouceur

Transition Year Program Administrator

About Lisa

Hi, My name is Lisa Ladouceur, I'm a Métis woman whose family ties are deeply rooted in the Lac La Biche area of Alberta. I have two amazing sons, who are First Nations from Mistawasis. We are a proud First Nation Métis family.

As the Transition Year Program Administrator, at First Peoples' House, I love advising prospective First Nation, Métis, and Inuit students and seeing them light up when they realize that they can come to the UofA and obtain their dreams is the best part of my job.

Come on by First Peoples' House and say hi. You are always welcome at our table.

Let's all live the good life. Miyo-pimâtisiwin!


Chelsea Behn

Engagement Coordinator

About Chelsea

tân’si! Hello! My name is Chelsea Behn and I am a nehiyaw (Cree) and Dene woman. My belly button connections are nehiyaw from Saddle Lake Cree Nation which is about 2 hours north-east of Edmonton. This is the community where my mom and kokom (grandma) are from. I remember spending summers there berry picking, going to powwows and just running around my late kokoms house. My Dene roots are from my dad. I grew up in a Dene community called Fort Nelson First Nation which is in the far north-east of BC. When I was about 9 yrs old I moved to Edmonton with my mom and sister and ever since I have made treaty 6 my home.

I am also a recent alumni from the University of Alberta. I completed my final semester during the highs and lows of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2021 and graduated with a bachelor's degree in Native Studies. I truly would have not graduated without the endless support and kindness from First Peoples’ House. They provided me with community and a place to go when I felt like university was becoming too much. I am thankful for their help and the obstacles I faced during this journey because it has shaped who I am as a nehiyaw iskwew.

I feel so honoured to be working with FPH and working with our Indigenous community of students on campus. It feels like I have come full circle from being a student myself to someone who is now going to be supporting students. I plan on working very hard to do my best to support you all in any way I can. I also look forward to creating connections with all existing and new students.
hiy hiy, ninanâskomitin

Kayla Dion

Executive Assistant 

About Kayla

Hi, my name is Kayla Dion. I am proudly from Kehewin Cree Nation. I grew up in Laurel, Maryland USA for most of my life. I have one beautiful daughter, her name is Luna Skye!

I am currently the Executive Assistant at the First Peoples' House. I will be able to help you with any scanning, faxing and printing needs or if you just want to stop in and chat! Anything you need just come in to see me and I will guide you to the person you need to see! You will always be treated like family here in First Peoples' House so don't be shy!

I love getting to meet new people. Helping others is my passion and I can't wait to help you all succeed in any way I can!

Shana Dion

Assistant Dean, First Nation, Métis, and Inuit Students

About Shana

I would like to acknowledge the Traditional Territory on which we are gathered, a welcoming place for peoples from around the world. I would like to acknowledge the First Peoples whose footsteps have marked this territory for centuries the: Cree, Saulteaux, Blackfoot, Métis, Nakota Sioux. In the spirit of my ancestors, "kinanâskomitin" (thank you - I am grateful to you) I believe in the recognition of the First Peoples and the gathering of all peoples, is how we can truly uplift the whole people.

Atamiskâtowin (Greetings)

Shana Dion is nehiyaw iskwew (Cree woman) from Kehewin Cree Nation. It is important that she introduces herself in Cree because it grounds her in who she is, where she comes from and who she is accountable to. It is also vitally important that she thanks her ancestors, kinanâskomitin (thank you) for keeping this land for centuries which is now where the University of Alberta/City of Edmonton resides; a place where we can learn, laugh, play and grow together in harmony. Shana is an Alumni from the University of Alberta, graduating with a Bachelor of Native Studies degree and completed the Indigenous Sport and Recreation Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in 2019. Her career has always been centred in a place of service in particular on mental health and wellness in First Nations communities. Shana feels it is important to be an advocate and role model for Nehiyaw Iskwewak youth. It is essential for her to send the message to Nehiyaw youth that they can be anyone they want to be. She holds the motto that anything is possible and nothing just happens. What she knows for certain is that our Nehiyaw ancestors dreamed a dream bigger than we ever had for ourselves. She now holds a dream for the next seven generations that is bigger than they ever could imagine for themselves.

Her responsibilities as the Assistant Dean, First Nation, Metis and Inuit students are deeply rooted in a holistic way of being balanced in all things. Balance in all aspects of life is essential to our well-being so her message is for you to GET ACTIVE in every aspect of being a student. We are still here for you, just in a different way.  

Elders and Traditional Knowledge Keepers

The First Peoples' House would like to acknowledge our beautiful Elders and incredible traditional knowledge keepers that we are so honoured to have in our circle that support not only the staff but more importantly to our students.

Meet the Elders of First Peoples' House