Our Leadership Team
Dr. Shannan Grant (Principle Investigator) Shannan is a settler from Unama’ki, living in K’jipuktuk with her family, who are from a Cree First Nation in Northern Ontario called Moose Cree First Nation. She has ~20 years of experience working with, for and in Indigenous communities on community-led projects. One project, the Sandy Lake Health and Diabetes Project, is internationally known for its community leadership and sustainability. Shannan has been an active member of the CIHR- funded Atlantic Indigenous Mentorship Network since its inception and works daily to answer the various calls to action put forth by our Indiginous people(s). She is an Assistant Professor and Registered Dietitian in the Department of Human Nutrition, at Mount Saint Vincent University, Affiliate Clinical Scientist at the IWK Health Centre and Adjunct Professor in the Department of Pediatrics and Obestetics and Gynaegcology, Dalhousie University. On paper, she is the principal investigator for this work, but stresses that her leadership team and partnering communities are equal partners on all aspects of this work.
Ann Sylliboy (Co-founder) is the Post-Secondary Consultant with Mi’kmaw Kina’matnewey, a unified team of chiefs, staff, parents and educators who advocate on behalf of and represent the education interests of communities, while protecting the educational and Mi’kmaw language rights of the Mi’kmaq people.
Velvet Paul (Co-founder) is the Director of Education, Sipekne’katik First Nation, holding a Master’s of Education (Curriculum Development, 2019) from MSVU. She is a key contributor to curriculum development for the pilot project (2017-19) and is passionate to continue and expand the project in the coming years. Velvet is invaluable to this team, due to her experience, education and rich relationships within and beyond Sipekne’katik First Nation.
Dr. Shane Theunissen (Co-founder) is an Assistant Professor, Department of Child and Youth Study, MSVU, and a specialist in youth programming and experiential education, with experience working with Indigenous communities. He and his colleague Eamonn Doorly (Master Boat Builder, Maritime Museum of the Atlantic) have been key contributors to Teaching With Small Boats in Nova Scotia and have existing relationships with Pictou Landing First Nation.
Chelsey Purdy (Project Coordinator) is a recent graduate of MSVU’s Applied Human Nutrition Program (2020), member of Acadia First Nation, and a Masters of Science student in nutrition at MSVU. Chelsey has been involved with the project since 2017 as a student development team member, a camp counsellor, and a dietetic intern. Chelsey has also completed her honours work and a directed study with the project as stimulus. Chelsey hopes to continue her involvement in the project throughout her graduate degree.
Pictured left to right: Chelsey Purdy, Ann Sylliboy, Dr. Shannan Grant
Students and Interns
Casual Students and Interns
Each year we hire students to help develop and implement the camp. Florence Blackett has been working with us since 2017 and is an undergraduate Applied Human Nutrition student from Millbrook First Nation. Florence is a valuable team member who shares guidance with new students and interns who are becoming familiar with Mi’kmaq perspectives and communities through the project. Jaclyn MacNeil is a undergraduate Applied Human Nutrition student and settler who has maintained involvement with the project since she began in 2019. With support from her colleagues, Jaclyn offers her experience as a settler working on the team to other students and interns at MSVU. Kate Braddon is a settler from Ontario who has just completed her dietetic community internship placement; a requirement for becoming a registered dietitian in Canada. We’ve also had other students who have since graduated or wrapped up their work with us. These students include Shannon Ledger (Education Student, MSVU), Kwaku Agyare (Biology student, MSVU), Iain Caldwell (Education student MSVU), and Ashley Copage (Sipekne’katik First Nation, Nutrition student MSVU).
Pictured: 2019 students who worked as part of the development and implementation team. From left to right: Shannon Ledger, Kwaku Agyare, Shannan Grant, Jaclyn MacNeil, Florence Blackett, Chelsey Purdy.
Pictured: 2018 students who worked as part of the development team. From left to right: Chelsey Purdy, Ashley Copage, Florance Blackett, Iain Caldwell.