Director of Indigenous Student Recruitment & Community Relations
The Indigenous Student Recruitment team is responsible for introducing prospective Indigenous students to the UM, as well as supporting First Nation, Métis and Inuit students transition into post-secondary education.
Director of Indigenous Student Recruitment & Community Relations
Desiree Morrisseau-Keesick (she/her) is an Anishinaabe woman and a member of Grassy Narrows First Nation in Treaty 3. She was born and raised in Winnipeg’s North End and has maternal ties to Crane River, MB. Desiree has been with the University of Manitoba for seven years, previously as Lead for the Indigenous Student Recruitment team and then as a Student Advisor with the Indigenous Student Centre. Desiree has always had a love for being a community helper. Her passion for cultural and community based programming was intensified after running the Indigenous Post-Secondary Club for six years. Desiree looks forward to expanding the work of ISRCR and ensuring Indigenous students and their families feel supported as they navigate their journey through post-secondary.
Indigenous Student Recruitment Officer
Taylor is of mixed ancestry, her paternal family’s Métis roots in Deerhorn, St Laurent and Lundar while her maternal grandparents immigrated from former Yugoslavia. Taylor was born and raised in North Winnipeg on Treaty 1 territory. She graduated with her Bachelor of Kinesiology in 2022 and is passionate about her work supporting Indigenous students find success at the UM.
Indigenous Student Recruitment Officer
Tanisha Clarke is a member of the Norway House Cree Nation in Treaty 5 territory. She spent most of her life living in Norway House and relocated to Winnipeg in 2017 to attend school at the UM. Tanisha is a UM alumni, graduating in 2020 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Native Studies. Having experienced the transition of moving from a reserve to the city to attend university, Tanisha is passionate about helping students make the same transition. She looks forward to working with all Indigenous students coming to UM and ensuring that Indigenous students who are relocating from their home communities are supported as they begin their journey in post-secondary.
The Indigenous Student Centre is responsible for welcoming and supporting Indigenous students, as well as providing opportunities for students to learn about First Nations, Inuit and Métis culture.
Carla is a proud member of the Mathias Colomb Cree Nation and an alumna of the UM [BEd/01, BA/03, MEd/16]. Her master’s degree was in adult & post-secondary education with a thesis project about student retention and student development theory in relation to peer mentoring for Indigenous students and its connection to first-year student success. She has been working at the UM since 2005, first as an academic advisor with the University 1 First Year Centre and then the Indigenous Student Centre to be one of the student advising team and oversee the Qualico Bridge to Success program. Passionate about the power of peer mentoring, Carla believes that students who feel they are part of the Indigenous campus community and get involved on campus is key to having a rewarding university experience and her goal is to encourage students to do what they need to do have the university experience they want. Carla has made many connections with students, faculty and staff through programming. She is considered a formidable leader and a trusted colleague who works with integrity and humility.
Student advisors at the Indigenous Student Centre are here to help you achieve your academic goals. We can help you create an academic plan, clarify university policies and we can connect you with important services, resources and programming.
Indigenous Student Centre advisors are available:
Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Please call (204) 474-8850 or send an email to email@example.com to make an appointment today.
Drop-ins are also welcome but are available on a first-come, first-served basis and are dependent on the availability of the student advisor. These hours may be affected by COVID-19. Please contact us for more information.
Our mission as Indigenous student advisors is to provide holistic and culturally-grounded advising services for Indigenous students, where we consider mental, emotional, physical, spiritual and cultural well-being.
We are guided by the Seven Sacred Teachings in everything we do:
Obaadendiziwin (Humility) - Mai'iingan (Wolf)
Zaagidiwin (Love) - Migizii (Eagle)
Gwekwaadziwin (Honesty) - Sa'be
Nbwaakawin (Wisdom) - Amik (Beaver)
Aakwaakade'ewin (Courage) - Makwa (Bear)
Debwewin (Truth) - Mikinaak (Turtle)
Mnaadendimowin (Respect) - Mashkodebizhike (Buffalo)
Indigenous student advisors strive to achieve this mission by:
Denise Proulx is Métis from Winnipeg and is a proud first-generation alumna of the University of Manitoba, earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology and Psychology. Denise is responsible for the development and implementation of the Blankstein Momentum Program and has successfully completed the Letter of Accomplishment in Academic Advising. She is a graduate of the University of Manitoba Leaders Learning Program, has completed the Prosper Canada Financial Literacy Facilitator Training and is certified by SEED Winnipeg Inc. as a Money Management Trainer. Denise is passionate about providing opportunities that aim to support Indigenous student success and is an advocate for celebrating achievements.
Justin Rasmussen (he/him/his) is Métis from Ile Des Chênes, Manitoba. Justin is a graduate of the University of Winnipeg (B.Sc.), University of Manitoba (B.Sc. 4-year Major; M.Sc.), and the University of Canterbury (New Zealand; Ph.D.) in the field of Biological Sciences. Justin is the recipient of the University of Manitoba Leadership Award, the Migizii Award, and is an alumnus of the University of Manitoba Leaders Learning Program and the Governor General’s Canadian Leadership Conference (2017). Justin is currently serving as the Chair of the Indigenous Student Affairs Network (ISAN) with ACPA College Student Educators International. Justin serves students at the University of Manitoba as a student advisor and by creating outstanding opportunities for leadership development as the coordinator of the Indigenous Circle of Empowerment (ICE) student leadership development program.
Bailey (she/her/hers) is Métis/Scottish and was born and raised in rural Treaty 1 territory. She is a first-generation UM alum [BHEcol/20] and enjoys spending her off time bird watching and beading. As someone with experience in mental health and peer-to-peer programming, Bailey is passionate about supporting, uplifting and empowering students to reach their goals and aspirations using a holistic and strengths-based lens. She believes in the importance of belonging and how a sense of relation to one’s community can improve well-being. Driven by this in her work, she hopes to provide a space and the opportunity for Indigenous students to feel welcome and connected to the UM Indigenous community through her role as an advisor and the coordinator for the Qualico Bridge to Success Program and the Neechiwaken Indigenous Peer Mentor Program.
We work to attract and retain more Indigenous students, faculty and staff, to incorporate Indigenous perspectives and knowledge within UM's program offerings and to honour First Nations, Métis and Inuit traditions and cultures on our campuses.
Ruth Shead is a member of Peguis First Nation and is honoured to be named after her grandma Ruth, a Residential School Survivor who, despite not receiving an education herself, instilled the value of lifelong learning into her family. Ruth began working as the coordinator of Indigenous Achievement at UM in 2014. She is passionate about advancing the university’s commitments to Indigenous students and communities, sharing Indigenous knowledge(s) and research and celebrating First Nations, Métis and Inuit successes.
Grace Redhead is registered with Shamattawa First Nation in northern Manitoba, raised in Alberta and BC. Grace graduated from the University of Winnipeg where her studies focused on residential school history. Prior to joining Indigenous Engagement, Grace worked at the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation. Grace lives in Winnipeg with her partner and their two children, Tecumseh and Kateri.
Jenny Trenchard is a settler born in Robinson-Superior Treaty territory, now living on Treaty 1 land. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre Education from the University of Winnipeg, and has committed her career to making healthier learning spaces for students. She is a supporter of BIPOC and LGBTQIA2S+ activism. Currently, she is focused on increasing her knowledge of ongoing processes of settler colonialism and anti-racist informed approaches within universities. She is honoured to have joined the Office of Indigenous Engagement and Communications in 2021.
Sarah Olson was born in Treaty 1 territory and is a member of Norway House Cree Nation. She started her role at the Office of Indigenous Achievement in 2018 as the project assistant on the Manitoba Collaborative Indigenous Education Blueprint. Sarah completed her Bachelor of Arts (Adv.) in Psychology and Native Studies in 2016 and is pursuing a Master of Arts in the Department of Native Studies. Her research focuses on the ongoing misrepresentation of Indigenous women in Canadian society as a contributing factor of MMIWG2S and systemic oppression, and on the collective reclamation of narrative and voice.
Meaghen Fillion is Métis from St. Jean Baptiste, Manitoba. She is an alum of the UM having earned a Bachelor of Recreation Management & Community Development in 2015. Meaghen has a passion for creating and loves being able to use that creativity in her role. She is passionate about empowering Indigenous students and communities by sharing stories and celebrating their achievements.
Denise is a Franco-Métis woman from the Red River Valley who is deeply invested in education being the key to opening doorways. A UM alum, she is committed to promoting inclusivity, diversity and cross-cultural understanding. She has worked collaboratively across Manitoba’s Post-Secondary Institutions to form partnerships with external stakeholders, industry sectors, employers, governments, organizations, and councils on behalf of Manitoba’s Indigenous students to create substantive equality and build a vibrant, prosperous Manitoban landscape for all.
Tamara Cardinal is a 2Spirit, Cree Métis from Peace River/Fort Vermilion area of Alberta (Treaty 6). Tamara is a graduate of the University of Winnipeg (B.A. and Human Resource Management). She has worked extensively in HR management with a focus on supporting Indigenous leadership, employees, organizations and communities. In addition, she brings years of experience in event planning, workshop development & facilitation, mediation, coaching and mentoring. She is passionate about education and considers herself a life-long learner. As the Learning Hubs Manager, Tamara works in partnership with Indigenous communities to co-design and establish Learning Hub locations throughout the province. She also plays a leadership role in bringing together community partners to share promising practices and develop in-community student-focused programs and supports.
Christine was born on Treaty 1 territory. She is a UM alum, earning a B.Comm (Hons) and later attaining a CPA, CGA. She started at UM at Extended Education in 2016. Before that, she worked in First Nations Inuit Health at Health Canada and at the WRHA she worked with Indigenous community health centres. She also travelled and worked in many First Nations communities. Christine is honoured to be part of the department as Financial Officer.
Assistant, Manitoba Collaborative Indigenous Education Blueprint
Cindy Oliveira (she/her) is an Asini Iskak Iskwew (Rocky Cree Woman) from O-Pipon-Na-Piwin Cree Nation (South Indian Lake). She grew up in Thompson, Manitoba and eventually moved to the Winnipeg. Cindy currently graduated with an BA(Adv) in Native Studies at the University of Manitoba. Prior to her position with Indigenous Engagement and Communications, she has worked as Events coordinator assistant with Indigenous Engagement and the Indigenous Student Centre. Cindy is very passionate about health and fitness and loves running and going to the gym. Her passion in life is to empower Indigenous peoples in any way she can from her experiences in life.
Schuyler Hunt is Métis and English settler born on Treaty 1 territory (Winnipeg). He is a graduate of Red River College Polytechnic’s Creative Communications program. Schuyler has focused his work on using communications strategies and emerging technologies to work towards substantive equality for First Nations, Métis, and Inuit students in Canada.