Gordie Liske

Gordie Liske is Weledeh Yellowknives Dene from the Yellowknives Dene First Nation.  He is a band councilor in Dettah and works closely with local Elders on the land. Gordie lives in Somba’ke and is an instructor at Dechinta.


Lois Edge

Lois is an instructor of Indigenous Studies with the Bachelor of Education program at Aurora College Thebacha Campus at Fort Smith, Northwest Territories. Her educational background includes a Ph.D. in Educational Policy Studies with a specialization in Indigenous Peoples Education, and Master and Bachelor of Arts degrees in Anthropology from the University of Alberta. Indigenous to the north, of French Cree Metis and Chipewyan maternal ancestry and Tet’lit Gwichin, Scottish and English paternal ancestry, her interests include Indigenous philosophy, pedagogy, research, health and well-being, Indigenous women, traditional art forms and ancestral knowledges and celebrating Indigeneity.

Glen Coulthard

Glen is Yellowknives Dene and an associate professor in First Nations and Indigenous Studies and the Department 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, published in English or French, in 2014/2015, and the Rik Davidson Studies in Political Economy Award for Best Book in 2016.


Leanne Betasamosake Simpson

Leanne is a Michi Saagiig Nishnaabeg scholar, writer, and artist with a Ph.D. from the University of Manitoba. She is on the faculty at the Dechinta Centre for Research and Learning and a distinguished visiting professor at Ryerson University in Toronto. She is the author of Dancing on Our Turtle’s Back, The Gift Is in the Making, Islands of Decolonial Love, and This Accident of Being Lost, and editor of Lighting the Eighth Fire, This Is an Honour Song (with Kiera Ladner), and The Winter We Danced (Kino-nda-niimi Collective). Leanne is a member of Alderville First Nation, in Ontario, Canada, and has been engaged in Indigenous land based education for twenty years.

Erin Freeland Ballantyne

Erin is the Co-founder of Dechinta and was born and raised in Sǫ̀mba K’è / Yellowknife on Akaitcho territory and was the first Rhodes Scholar from the Canadian North. A political ecologist and proud mom of 3, Erin holds a PhD from Oxford University. Her research, Sustainability’s Paradox: Community Health, Climate Change and Petrocapitalism develops an understanding of climate change as a force of violence directly linked to petrocapitalism and colonization, and details the importance of Indigenous laws and governance steering us towards a sustainable future. Erin is a hunter, berry picker and participatory video researcher. Committed to land-based education as a space for creating and imaging healthy futures that are intergenerational and accessible to all, Erin is proud to work with incredible faculty, students and elders at Dechinta. Erin will be on research leave from October 1st to February 1 2019.


Berna Martin

Berna Martin is an Elder who often supports students during our on the land programs at Dechinta sharing her language and dry fish making skills with the students. She is a member of the Yellowknives Dene First Nation and is a translator who often shares her Wiiliideh language with the students.

Paul Mackenzie

Paul Mackenzie is an Elder and on the land Instructor at Dechinta. Paul is a member of the Yellowknives Dene First Nation. He is veryknowledgeable of Dene protocols and traditional bush medicine.

Celine Marlowe

Celine Marlowe is an Elder from Lutsel K’e and she is Dechinta’s expert hide tanning instructor.

Samual Gargan 

Samual Gargan is an Elder born and raised in Redknife. Sam shares his vast knowledge of Dene politics as well as his bush skills with students.


Lianne Charlie

Lianne Marie Charlie is a descendent of the Tage Cho Hudan (Big River People), Northern Tutchone-speaking people of the Yukon. Lianne is a political science instructor at Yukon College in Whitehorse, and she is pursuing a PhD in Indigenous Politics at the University of Hawai’i at Manoa.

Michelle Daigle

Michelle Daigle is Mushkegowuk (Swampy Cree) and a member of Constance Lake First Nation, located in the Treaty 9 territory. Her doctoral work examined how indigenous land nased food practices, such as hunting and trapping, challenge colonial territorial boundaries while cultivating a multi-scalar decolonial politics that reclaims Indigenous political and legal authorities, and governance practices.

Heidi 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 is focused on Anishinaabe treaty-making with the United States and Canada. Her primary area of research and teaching is in the field of Indigenous Comparative Politics, Native Diplomacy & Treaty and Aboriginal Rights. She has previously taught at land-based Indigenous Law schools as well as at the University of Victoria.