Board of Directors
Meet Charlene Liske, our Director of Traditional Knowledge and Cultural Resources at Dechinta! Charlene is a Yellowknives Dene First Nation member from Te?ehdaa, NT. She has 4 children that actively participate in all Dechinta Programming. Charlene graduated high school in Yellowknife and furthered her education in Early Learning and Child care at the Grande Prairie Regional College. She previously has worked with the Yellowknives Dene First Nation as the Community Wellness Programmer, where she is known to coordinate all the special & culture events in the communities of Dettah/Ndilo. Where she was dedicated to working with the youth in her communities. She now sits on the Dettah District Education Authority as the vice-chair person. At her current position with Dechinta she works closely with the elders in her region and coordinates all on the land programming and semesters. She is also in a language revitalization program to strengthen her skills. At Dechinta she loves the environment she works in, everyone feels like family and our kids are involved in all camps. Dechinta Seot’ii (Dechinta Family). Mahsi
Glen Coulthard is the founder of Dechinta Centre for research and Learning and has been a faculty and board member for 13 years! Glen is Yellowknives Dene and an associate professor in the First Nations and Indigenous Studies Program and the Departments of Political Science at the University of British Columbia. He is the author of Red Skin, White Masks: Rejecting the Colonial Politics of Recognition (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2014), winner of the 2016 Caribbean Philosophical Association’s Frantz Fanon Award for Outstanding Book, the Canadian Political Science Association’s CB Macpherson Award for Best Book in Political Theory in 2014/2015, and the Rik Davidson Studies in Political Economy Award for Best Book in 2016. He is a board member and instructor at the Dechinta Centre for Research and Learning.
Leanne Betasamosake Simpson
Leanne is a Michi Saagiig Nishnaabe academic, writer and musician who is a member of Alderville First Nation in Ontario. Leanne is a board member at Dechinta and has taught land based education in her own territory for over two decades, and for the last 9 years at Dechinta. Working for two decades as an independent scholar using Nishnaabeg intellectual practices, Leanne has lectured and taught extensively at universities across Canada and the United States and has twenty years experience with Indigenous land based education. She holds a PhD from the University of Manitoba. Leanne is the author of eight books, including A Short History of the Blockade and the novel Noopiming: The Cure for White Ladies which was short listed for the Governor General’s Literary Award for fiction and the Dublin Literary Prize. This Accident of Being Lost was a finalist for the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize and the Trillium Book Award. Her new project, a collaboration with Robyn Maynard, Rehearsals for Living is a National Best Seller and was short listed for the Governor General’s Literary Award for non-fiction. Leanne is also a musician. Her latest release Theory of Ice was named to the Polaris Prize short list, and she is the 2021 winner of the Prism Prize’s Willie Dunn Award.
Lianne Marie Leda Charlie
Lianne is one of our full-time faculty members at Dechinta Centre! Lianne has been working as a land-based professor at Dechinta since 2021. Lianne Marie Leda Charlie is Wolf Clan and Tagé Cho Hudän | Big River People (Northern Tutchone speaking people of the Yukon). Her maternal grandparents are Donna Olsen (first generation Canadian of Danish ancestry) and Benedict Larusson (second generation Canadian of Icelandic ancestry), and her paternal grandparents are Leda Jimmy of Tánintsę Chú Dachäk | Little Salmon River and Big Salmon Charlie of Gyò Cho Chú | Big Salmon River. She was born in Whitehorse to her mother, Luanna Larusson, and late father, Peter Andrew Charlie. Lianne grew-up and went to school on unceded Lekwungen territories in what is commonly referred to as Victoria, BC. She has a PhD in Political Science from the University of Hawai`i at Mānoa (UHM). Her research focuses on modern treaty politics in the Yukon, where she now lives. Lianne is multimedia artist and mom to Luka Gyo. She has created community murals in Whitehorse, Łu Ghą, Somba K’e, and Mayo; and co-created four pieces for To Talk With Others (Valerie Salez, 2018), including a life-size hot pink papîer maché bull moose made out of the Umbrella Final Agreement. Lianne says: “Dä́ninchi’i. Dechinta has made my journey back to the land possible. I'm so grateful to be part of this team and to learn from and alongside my colleagues, students, Elders, and the land. I am most grateful for the opportunities Dechinta has provided for my son, Luka. I get so much joy from watching him fall in love with the land”
Heidi Kiiwetinepinesiik Stark
Heidi Kiiwetinepinesiik Stark (Turtle Mountain Ojibwe) received her Ph.D. in American Studies from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, in 2008. Her doctoral research focused on Anishinaabe treaty-making with the United States and Canada and serves as the foundation for her manuscript - Unsettled: Anishinaabe Treaty-Relations and U.S./Canada State-Formation (In progress, University of Minnesota Press, First Peoples Series). Her primary area of research and teaching is in the field of Indigenous Comparative Politics, Native Diplomacy & Treaty and Aboriginal Rights. She is the co-editor of Centering Anishinaabeg Studies: Understanding the World Through Stories with Jill Doerfler and Niigaanwewidam Sinclair (Michigan State University Press, 2013) and is the co-author of the third edition of American Indian Politics and the American Political System (2010) with Dr. David E. Wilkins.