is a Maskîkow-iskwiw born on the western shore of the Hudson Bay in a small town called Churchill, Manitoba. She was raised amongst the polar bears and beluga whales until the tender age of ten years old when she moved to Somba K’e, Denendeh with her mother, Mabel McDonald, and younger brother, William McDonald. Mandee holds a B.A. Honours in Political Science with a Minor in Indigenous Studies from the University of Victoria, and an M.A. in Indigenous Governance at the University of Victoria. When she’s not busy with school or Dechinta work, she is learning to tan moose-hides, sewing, roller skating, reading, or playing the piano. Her future aspirations are to finish a moose hide, have a dog team, and continue to organize amazing Dechinta programs while building relationships with many inspirational Dechinta students and potential students across the North.
Erin Freeland Ballantyne
Erin 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.
Email: erin [at] dechinta.ca