Indige-Spheres to Empowerment

28 February 2023

You are invited to join Indigenous Youth Researchers from Northern Ontario for a workshop and panel on gambling and videogaming in everyday life.

When: March 29, 2023
Time: 4:00 - 7:00 pm
Location: Aurora Room, Lister Conference Center
Cost: Free

Register to Attend

Sponsored by:

Workshop & Panel

  • When Stone Stories Speak Through Water - Re-visioning Languages to Understand (workshop with Sheila Wahsquonaikezhik, director of Indige-Spheres to Empowerment)
  • Giwii-nisidotanmin odaminowin: A panel on gambling and videogaming in everyday life in Northwestern Ontario (lndige-Spheres to Empowerment youth research group)

Researchers Involed:

Sheila Wahsquonaikezhik is the Director of Indige-Spheres to Empowerment, Her home community is Batchewana First Nation in northern Ontario. She hold a Master's in Environmental Studies from York University in Toronto and – in addition to participating in this youth led and youth driven project – runs workshops for survivors of human trafficking and those affected by harms caused by addiction to gambling and videogaming.

Zhaawan Aanakwad (Matthew Bombardier) is a Wiisaakodewinini person from Waawiiye'adinong-Ziibing and currently resides in Thunder Bay.  He is a student in the Faculty of Education with teachables in History and Native Studies.  He is a Director of We Matter an organization dedicated to inspiring hope, support and life promotion for Indigenous youth. He is also a youth leader and researcher for the Indige-Spheres Youth Group.

Boozhoo, my name is Meschaquin Neekan and I am 25 years old and come from Mishkeegogamang First Nation in Northwestern Ontario. I sit on the Indige-Spheres Youth Research Steering Committee as a Youth Leader and have been actively involved with Indige-Spheres since 2016.  I am a gamer and I consider myself a gaming addict. Some of my accomplishments include contributing a testimony of how gaming has affected my life which resulted in a short video that was presented at the GREO annual general meeting a few years ago when I was a teenager. Most recently I was a presenter at the WIPCE Conference in Australia and I was a member of a panel presentation with my colleagues and it was very well received by the audience. I am here to share about my life as a gamer. Miigwech.

Jessica Meekis is from Sandy Lake First Nation in northwestern Ontario which is in the Treaty 9 territories.  She is 24 years old and lives in the city of Thunder Bay.  She is a youth leader and youth researcher for the Indige-Spheres Youth Group.  She currently works on the WISER Project (Human Trafficking) as a Mino-Bimaadiziwin Anokii-Kwe peer support champion, working on street outreach and organizing Indigenous women's retreats.

Cait Salmon has mixed Indigenous/Jamaican roots and is a traditional artist and digital artist, specializing in 3D modeling, animation, and illustration. She currently resides in Toronto, Ontario. Cait holds a Bachelor of Arts degree (English Major) from York University, and a post grad certificate for Video Game Art and Animation from Seneca College. She has worked on multiple mainstream films for Disney, Sony, and IMAX, specializing in post- production and VFX. Cait also works as a freelance artist and serves as a mentor and gaming facilitator with Indige-Spheres to empowerment.