Board of Directors

Board of Directors


Glen Coulthard, Chair of the Board of Directors, 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.

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.

Cheryl Mandeville is a Dechinta alumni living in Somba k’e, in Chief Drygeese Territory, Denendeh. She is Dene/Cree originally from Deninu kue and currently attending the Business Administration Program at Aurora College.

Tyler Smith- Tsetta is a young, carefree, self determined individual with deep roots in the N.W.T. Currently residing in his home community of Dettah, he soft spoken while keeping an open heart and mind to his surroundings. Tyler has a deep understanding of social dynamics, often sitting patiently among his peers before speaking to enrich there experience. He attended Kaw Tay Whee school in Dettah before attending Weledeh Catholic school and graduating from St Patrick’s High School in 2014.  He also attended a business course for Aurora College in Yellowknife learning the fundamentals of marketing, market competition, and consumer demand before completing the course the following year. Often volunteering in his spare time, Tyler has volunteered for the city of Yellowknife at such events as the Long John Jamboree, fundraisers, Sidedoor and the youth skateboard ministry. Tyler went to Dechinta Bush University as a student for the spring semester graduating 2017, went back for the summer short course as an Alumni writing a newsletter for UBC and returning for the Dechinta Rivers semester as a participant. He was nominated as one of the Board of Directors for Dechinta by his fellow peers, he just wants to strive for the future of Dechinta and their values.

“Dechinta has been a life changing experience and I want others like myself to have a better understanding of who they are and a renewed love of the land and its potential”.

Leanne Betasamosake Simpson 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.


 Lois Edge 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.