Our Team

Esperanza Gailliard 
Volunteer Director of Operations 
Meesingw, Inc.

Nii nduzhiinzi Nahkeewsuwaákan 
My name is Esperanza (Hope)

Nii ndulaangoomaawak puleew 

I am from the ‘Wild’ turkey clan
Raised in Southwest Detroit/Windsor.

The birthright of being an urban Indian raised in Detroit, brought me to the frontlines of environmental racism. Realizing that almost all of our breathing area was within the sacrifice zone. That awful fact, helped to open  my eyes to the reality that,  all of us are at risk. Our generation has much work to accomplish, together. With a reminder that echoes, when we leave, the next generations will deal with WHAT we leave behind for them. 

I have seven lovely children. Two girls and five boys. As well as four grandchildren. 
I am a homeschool/unschooling mother that is dedicated to keeping our children, in our circles. 

I am looking forward to contributing my heart and soul to  all of our Big House confederacy families and organizations, including Meesingw, Inc. I am excited and eagerly awaiting to seeing more youth and families take part in our events, gatherings, ceremonies and new friendships. 

Creator has brought me to where I am today. 
I am thankful. 

Chris Cakebread

Chris began his career in Ontario Parks and has been employed with the Ontario Public Service for over 14 years. He is an active outdoorsman and is passionate about the environment. He has been a friend of the community for over 10 years.

Lindsay Bennett
Lindsay has over 10 years of experience within the environmental sector, focusing on stewardship, wetland restoration and species at risk mitigation. She is a long-time friend of the community and is honoured to be a part of Meesingw as the Oxkweew (Female) Board Member.

Darren Jacobs
Darren Jacobs is currently a project coordinator for AFSAR. He has previously worked in cooperation with AFSAR in other First Nations environmental restoration projects. He has also worked on wetlands restoration with MNR. Not only that, but he has done controlled burns for the land as well as worked in advocacy for Native rights issues. 

Samantha Whiteye 

Nii Nduzhiinzi Xúwii Shoopéekal
Nii Noongiiyayii Eelünaapéewi Lakéewiit
Nii Ndulaangomaawak Takwax

Hello, my name is Samantha Whiteye. I am from Eelünaapéewi Lakéewiit (Delaware Nation). I am Turtle clan of the Lunaapeew

I was nominated as the Wulusoxkweew which means, "Young Lady" and my role on the Board will be the Female Youth Member. 

My passion centres around the environment and the health of our rivers and clean water for all First Nations. As a spiritual person who practices the culture, our Big House which is the Lunaape ceremonial lodge, holds a special meaning where the teachings  centre around all of creation and the relationship the Lunaapeew or 'he/she who came from thought' have. I am an avid advocate for awareness on issues such #MMIW and sobriety within our community. Other passions include writing in my spare time and most recently learning the Lunaapeew language of my ancestors.

Randall Van Wagner

Bachelor of Science - major in Natural Resource Management
4 years of Forest Consulting in British Columbia
2 years of Wildlife Rehabilitation-Essex County, Ontario
2 years of Tall Grass Prairie Restoration at MNRF
12 years of Natural Restoration at Lower Thames Conservation Authority, in Chatham, Ontario

Hobby Farmer: chickens, Berkshire pigs, growing own veggies, heat home with corn

Father to 2 great kids

Liilunow Stonefish (Bruce)

Nii nduzhiinzi Liilunow Nii noongiiyeayi Eelunaapeewi Lakeewiit. Nii ndulaangoomaawak tukwax Lunaapeew waak Myles doodeem Anishnaabe.  

My name is Bruce Stonefish. I am from Eelunaapeewi Lakeewiit (Delaware Nation). I am Turtle clan of the Lunaapeew and Bear clan of the Anishinaabe.  

I Have 5 children - two sons Jesse, Eli and Barry and 2 daughters Kyla and Jo Lynn.
I also have 4 grandchildren. 
My educational background includes a Native Studies Ba at Trent University up to a Doctoral studies specialty in First Nations Education at Harvard University Graduate Studies for Education.  In addition to my education, my work experience has taken me to many places in the First Nations education field including Executive Director of a national non-profit.  

My passion is found here learning and teaching the ancestral culture language and worldview of my people the Lunaapeew. 

Jamie Burleigh

Jamie has studied, practiced and taught the fundamentals of living with nature in nature and utilizing all it may provide. From living history demonstrations, lithic technologies, hunting, gathering, wild medicine, survival priorities, food preservation, tracking and much more he has dedicated his past and future endeavors to sharing what he has learned to anyone who wishes to share a campfire.