About Kina8at and OUR team
The word Kina8at (pronounced "Kinawat") means "together" in the Algonquin language. This word sums up the mission of our non-profit organization:
Allow cultural reconnection among First Nations
Foster the sharing of Indigenous cultures with everyone
In the spirit of Reconciliation and with respect for Mother Earth
THE PERMANENT TEAM OF KINA8AT
THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Our board of directors is formed by 7 administrators. More than half of them are members of the First Nations. In order to create a structure respecting our ancestors' traditions, we added the role of an elder within the board. The elder has no right of vote. He only acts as a ressource for the board both on the cultural and spiritual levels.
Chairman: Dominique (T8aminik) Rankin
Vice President: Serge Aubin
Secretary: Nathalie Lessard
-Treasurer: Mathieu Desjardins
Administrator: Anne-Marie Lyrette
Administrator: Johnny Wilde
Administrator: Audrey Girard
Elder: Marie-Josée Tardif
T8aminik (Dominique) Rankin, C.M., C.Q.
Grandfather T8aminik (this is how Dominique is written in Algonquin) was born on James Bay Territory (north-west of Quebec), in a family that had succeeded in preserving their ancestors nomadic way of life. At the age of 7, T8aminik was designated to take over from his father as hereditary chief.
Traditionally, the role of a leader must necessarily be accompanied by that of a medicine man. Therefore, since childhood, he followed a long path of teachings and initiations from elders from his own community, and from various guides recognized over Canada, including William Commanda, to whom he was closest student for years. In 2006, Grandfather T8aminik became fully recognized elder by his peers. His true birth name is Kapiteotak (which means "Whose crying is heard from afar"), and he now dedicates himself to the role to which he has been chosen: teacher and spiritual leader.
Survivor of the terrible era of the Indian Residential Schools, he gives a vibrant testimony about forgiveness and reconciliation in the book On nous appelait les Sauvages, written by former journalist Marie-Josée Tardif. (This book will be published in English in the Fall of 2020 under the title They called us Savages.)
Member of the Order of Canada, Knight of the Ordre National du Québec, he is also recipient of the medals of the Lieutenant-Gouverneur du Quebec, the National Assembly and the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee medals. T8aminik is recognized for his commitment to raise awareness of Native culture and philosophy, both in Canada and around the world.
After being grand chief of the Algonquin Nation, he co-founded the Kina8at organization with Marie-Josée Tardif, and more recently the Dominique Rankin Foundation. He sits on various national and international boards and committees, including the Religions for Peace World Council and the Ethics in Action committee created by the Vatican.
For the first 15 years of her professional life, Marie-Josée was known as a journalist and news anchor in major TV and radio channels in Quebec (Radio-Canada, RDI, LCN, Radio Rock Détente), but also in Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Great-Britain. Since 2005, she focused her entire work on issues related to self-awareness and interpersonal communication.
In 2007, her life took a complete turn when the Algonquin elders offered her a Sacred Pipe. (She will receive a second one in 2015). This is a great mark of respect and recognition, involving however a long journey of learning the language, philosophy and traditional medicine of this thousand-year-old people. That is why Marie-Josée - now called Kokom (grandmother) - teaches and travels regularly with Grandfather T8aminik as his female counterpart.
In 2013, she co-founded Kina8at with Elder T8aminik. Like T8aminik, she is also a counselor and trainer at the Canadian School of Public Service and a consultant and lecturer at Notre-Dame University (Indiana, USA). She sits on various national and international committees, including the Religions for Peace Women of Faith Network council and the Ethics in Action committee set up by the Vatican.
Marie-Josée is the author of On nous appelait les Sauvages (Editions Le Jour, 2011 - Soon to be published in English) and La Leçon de Sitar ou l'Art de vibrer de toutes ses cordes (Éditions du Roseau, 2007).
Marie-Joelle joined our team in 2019. During the previous years, she has been the Executive Director of the Champboisé Retreat Center in Outaouais. Previously, for nearly a decade, she was a team supervisor and life and business insurance specialist for The Co-operators group. The management skills she developed there are extremely useful today for Kina8at, both for managing our operations and developing new projects, as well as for the supervision of our teams.
Marie-Joelle is also passionate about human beings and their health. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Anatomy and Cell Biology from McGill University and has completed a naturopathic training, as well as psychology studies. Marie-Joelle considers that we are all called to walk on a path of healing and reconciliation; a path that can be done with pleasure and joy. That's why she feels so close to our mission.
Finances and Projets Manager
For nearly 30 years, Jocelyne has worked in the information technology field. She held high responsibility functions in major companies both in Canada and United States.
More than ten years ago, however, life challenged her : she had to become a caregiver to her husband who had lost the use of his kidneys. Thanks to technology and science, he received a kidney transplant, but this long hardship marked a turning point in her life at all levels.
Living with disease every day sparked in Jocelyne a growing interest in holistic health approaches and art therapy. Her artistic talents (oil, acrylic, watercolor, as well as beading, moccasins-making and other Indigenous Arts) are also part of the workshops she offers.
In 2012, Jocelyne met with Chomis T8aminik. Since then she followed his teachings and to her surprise, she was chosen as one of his students to represent our traditions. In 2015, she received a sacred Pipe from the Elders as a token of her commitment to Algonquin Traditional Medicine.
Annik has 17 years of experience in administrative support and 10 years in wellness care.
This mother of a beautiful little boy is active in several fields. What she undertakes is always done with love, pleasure and passion. In addition to supporting Kina8at in its many administrative tasks, Annik uses her talents to serve her community, seniors and youth.
Of German, French and Indigenous ancestry, Annik is close to her roots and history. She is proud to live on the family farm in Denholm, Outaouais, for a 5th generation.
JULIO VEGA OROZCO
Caretaker of the Kina8at Centre
Julio grew up in Mexico and has been living in Quebec for the past ten years. After completing his university studies in physical culture and sports, as well as in pedagogy, he worked for a long time as a sports or children's animator and coach. If he also offered his services in the restaurant business, it was often for social organizations, where his kindness and open-mindedness are recognized.
For him, work well done, nature, sharing and hospitality are important values. With his recently completed training in adventure tourism, we understood that Julio had all the assets to join our team and take good care of our visitors and our place in the forest.