BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Miziwe Biik is overseen by an elected Board of Directors with the Executive Director reporting to the board. Our current board members are:
President: Steve Teekens
Steve Teekens is an Ojibway of Nipissing First Nation, is the proud father of three children, and grandfather of two. Steve and his family reside in Toronto were he has been working with the marginalized and homeless sector since 1995. Steve worked twelve years at Native Child and Family Services where he started as the Street Outreach Worker and left as the manager of the Youth Services, then he went to YOUTHLINK Inner City/ Youth Skills Zone for a year as the manager of both programs only to land at Native Men’s Residence as the Shelter Manager there for the last two years. Steve is very active in Toronto’s Aboriginal Community where he volunteers on the board of Miziwe Biik Aboriginal Employment and Training, Aboriginal Legal Services Community Council Program, and Toronto Police Services Aboriginal Consultative Committee. Steve also teaches traditional drumming and to the youth and men at various Native organizations inside and outside the city. Steve enjoys working and volunteering in the Aboriginal Community and wishes to see people overcome their obstacles and find the resilience in themselves to succeed in life.
Vice-President: Michael White
Michael White, Bear Clan, M’Chigeeng First Nation. Michael has served on the Miziwe Biik board for over six years. Michael has his Honours B.A from the University of Toronto and is currently working on his Masters. Michael is an owner/operator of a small business based in Toronto. Michael is currently on leave from his role as an events coordinator at the University of Toronto and is working as a Youth Worker for Nogojiwanong friendship centre. In his spare time Michael works a Oshkaabewis, helping elders with Healing, ceremony, teachings, sweats and various other tasks.
Treasurer: Valerie John
Valerie John is an Anishnabe Qwe and a member of Red Rock First Nation located near Thunder Bay Ontario. She has worked and volunteered in the Toronto Community for 10 years at various Aboriginal Agencies. Her previous experience includes sitting as Secretary Executive Board Member at the Native Canadian Centre of Toronto, Co-chair for the Toronto Urban Aboriginal Strategy and a Community Council Member for Alternative Youth Justice Diversion Program at Aboriginal Legal Services. Valerie commits and continues her journey with her family through community involvement and assisting members of the community through various capacity. As a decision maker, she is both bold and thoughtful, finding innovative solutions that value the recommendations and goals of her team. She currently has been a board member for Miziwe Biik.
Secretary: Jimmy Dick
Jimmy Dick is of the Moose Cree First Nation from the community of Moose Factory Ontario. Its located in James Bay and within the Nishnawbe-Aski Nation. He is fluent in the Cree language and a Teacher/Educator on Native Culture and Spirituality. He is a proud father of seven children, five sons and 2 daughters. Jimmy has been actively involved since moving to Toronto in 1975. Jimmy is well known as a member of the Eagleheart Singers drum group who have been based in Toronto for the past twenty six years. Jimmy has been a community organizer for many years involved in the Native Rights Struggle. He is an active volunteer in the Toronto Native Community and served as a board member with various agencies.
Youth Board Member: Krystal Abotossaway
“Krystal Abotossaway is from Aundeck Omni-Kaning First Nations. She is an urban Ojibwe Anishinaabe. Krystal received her Honours Human Resource Management degree from York University. In her current role with the TD Bank, Krystal helps attract and retain top Aboriginal talent. As an Aboriginal Youth herself her primary focus is to create an environment for Aboriginal youth employees to have the opportunity to be the best they can be. Krystal quickly recognized the need to advocate for equality for Aboriginal people, disabled people, youth, and women. Her passion for diversity and inclusion will continue throughout her career. She was an award recipient of the inaugural Minaake award where she was recognized in the youth challenger category, Krystal also volunteers for the Aboriginal Professional Association of Canada. Recognized as an expert in the field of diversity, regularly called upon by community partners and the media to share her professional insight on topics relating to Aboriginal recruitment and Aboriginal career development. “