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. 

Claudia Castro (Castellanos)

Claudia Castro was raised in Southwest Detroit. She is the oldest of three. Claudia helped to raise her sister's children as well as her own. She is a dedicated mother of seven lovely children 4 girls and 3 boys. She is completing her education so that she can go into the nursing field. Her desire to join Meesingw's Board is rooted in helping the next generation of children coming up!

Cecillia Coutre 

Cecillia Coutre is a full time student at Trios College studying Police Foundations. Cece (nickname) is the third youngest of eight siblings.  She has previously volunteered with Meesingw on the 2018 Canoe Trip as well as many other programs with Meesingw. She will be working on youth initiatives and planning starting July 2020.  

John Jacobs

John Jacobs is a healer, flag staff carrier and he enjoys spending time with his big house family.  He is the youngest of seven children. He became a healer at the ripe age of 24 years. John has had 6 different healers that were his teachers.

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. 

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 7 children - Five sons Jesse, Eli, Barry, Ismaeel and Yehudah 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.