Who We Are

Board of Directors

The Brave Canoe is committed to being an Indigenous-led organization. As such, we are governed by a Board of Directors of which the majority self-identify as Indigenous.

Kristi Bhogal

Kristi, a member of the Six Nations of the Grand River, brings her diverse experiences to The Brave Canoe's board, committed to fostering well-being in Dufferin County. With a background in Business Administration and a passion for social services, Kristi emphasizes the importance of community engagement for holistic wellness.

Maryam Ismail

Maryam, a graduate of the Anishinaabemowin & Development program, brings a unique blend of Indigenous and Egyptian heritage to her role on The Brave Canoe's board. Registered at Akwesasne First Nation, she is committed to language revitalization and community engagement, advocating for holistic well-being and cultural preservation.


Monica, a resident of Dufferin County, is actively reconnecting with her Indigenous heritage as a dedicated member of The Brave Canoe's Youth Board. With a strong commitment to her cultural roots, Monica brings youthful energy and fresh perspectives to our community-focused initiatives.

Cultural Advisor

Elder Shelley Charles

Mandakwe indizhinikaaz. Muskellunge indodem. Azhunyung indonjiba meenawa Neyaashiinigmiing. Shelley has worked throughout Turtle Island in the areas of education, culture, arts and land-based knowledge with an Advance Diploma in Horticulture Science and Masters in Indigenous Philosophy from the Seven Generations Indigenous Institute in Fort Frances, Ontario. Her passion and interests are in creation having received her first teachings with her grandmother on the Bruce Peninsula in the community of Neyaashiinigmiing, Cape Croker. Shelley is an Anishinaabe Elder and member of the Chippewas of Georgina Island First Nation.

Co-Executive Directors

Sharon Rigby & Julie Elsdon-Height

Sharon Rigby, a respected Indigenous community leader renowned for her invaluable insights, collaborates with Julie Elsdon-Height, an experienced figure in community development and a student of Laurentian University's Indigenous Social Work program. Together, they form the dynamic leadership behind The Brave Canoe, aiming to bridge communities and revitalize Indigenous culture within Dufferin County.