Constance McKnight

Executive Director

Constance McKnight, a woman of Metis heritage, is the Executive Director of the De dwa da dehs nye>s Aboriginal Health Centre in Hamilton. She is a wife, mother and auntie. Currently, she is also the Aboriginal Constituency Member of the Board of Directors of the Association of Ontario Health Centres, and is a Public Member…

Peter Wierspecker

Maintenance Services

Jo-Ann Mattina

Chief Operating Officer

Jo-Ann Mattina,  has over 10 years of progressive management experience through her work with the De dwa da dehs nye>s Aboriginal Health Centre, Hamilton Niagara Haldimand Brant Local Integration Health Network and the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care and has 16 years experience in the healthcare. As Chief Operating Officer, Jo-Ann is an…

Janice Noble

My name is Janice Noble and my position here at the Aboriginal Health Center is the Bookkeeper.  I have been working in the accounting field for 26+ years and love working with numbers.   I am a grandmother of three beautiful grand babies and love spending as much time with them as possible.

Laura Workman, Executive Assistant

Laura Workman is from the Mohawk Nation, she is Turtle Clan from Six Nations of the Grand territory.  She was born and raised in Hamilton and is the second of four siblings.  Laura has over 20 years of Administrative experience and has worked her entire professional career in the urban Indigenous community at various agencies. …

Advocacy and Outreach

Tara Williams

Manager of Advocacy and Outreach Services

Tara Williams is a member of Cayuga Nation, Snipe clan, from Six Nations, Ontario. She was raised and currently resident in Hamilton, Ontario with her two children. Tara has been working at De dwa da dehs nye>s Aboriginal Health Centre for the past 15 years. She was previously the Advocacy Program Coordinator at Aboriginal Health Centre for 13 years and is now the Manager/Team Lead for the Advocacy & Outreach Services for the last two years. She graduated from Canadore College in 1996, Social Service Worker – Native Program and Correctional Worker Program in 1998.

Tara has worked within our communities from Infants to Seniors with extensive knowledge & experience within our Urban Aboriginal Communities of Hamilton & Brantford. In the areas of Aboriginal Patient Advocacy, Case Managment, Counselling, Crisis Intervention, Traditional Health & Wellness, Social Determinants of Health, Children’s Mental Health, Health Promotion & Education.

Jason Cayuga

Transportation Services

JASON CAYUGA is of bearfoot onondaga descent and has worked at DE DWA DA DEHS NYE>S for three plus years in the transportation department as the medical transfer driver. He is grateful in helping the clients receive safe and reliable transportation. He was born and lives in Hamilton and enjoys walking his two dogs on the trails and dog parks through out the city. Jason was previously a heavy truck driver for 20 years, and enjoys his change in life and his new career at DE DWA DA DEHS NYE>S.

In the future will be going back to school to be a social worker, so he can continue to help the aboriginal community and to grow as a person.

Tara Miller

Brantford Patient Navigator

Tara Miller is a member of Six Nations Mohawk Turtle clan where she raised her four children and is grandmother of two grandsons. She is the Aboriginal Patient Navigator for De dwa da deh nye>s Aboriginal Health Centre. Tara graduated from Mohawk college in 1991 in the Native community care program, which lead her into a job in her community as a Community Health representative for many years. She has substantial work history in the community Health field where she gained extensive experience & training to assist community members of all ages.

Since becoming an Aboriginal Patient Navigator in January 2014 for the Haldimand Brant region lifes been busy for her, energetically networking to increase awareness of the program and focusing on patient wellness as the goal.

Stephenie Faulkner

Aboriginal Patient Navigator - Hamilton

Stephenie Faulkner is the Aboriginal Patient Navigator for Hamilton. Stephenie is a member of the Cayuga nation from Six Nations, born and raised in Hamilton Ontario. Stephenie has certification in Medical Terminology (2008) and a diploma in Cardiovascular Technology (2010) both from Mohawk College. Previously Stephenie has worked in several client service roles including addiction…

Jolene Courchene

Health Promotion

Anastasia Blackey

Healthy Living Manager

Anastasia Blackey grew up in Brantford, Ontario where she currently lives with her husband and daughter. Anastasia is a Mohawk(Turtle Clan) from Six Nations  and Italian. Anastasia did her undergraduate studies at the University of Ottawa, majoring in English Literature. She pursued her post-graduate education at Sejong University in Seoul Korea in Asian Studies. Anastasia…

Brenda Sault

FASD & Child Nutrition Worker, Brantford

Brenda Sault is from Mississauga of the New Credit First Nation. She is the mother of two beautiful daughters and four handsome grandsons. She has worked at De dwa da dehs nye>s Aboriginal Health Centre since July 2009 as a part of Health Promotion Team through the FASD & Child Nutrition Program, currently working from the Brantford site. She has been an active member for The Health & Safety Committee since it’s beginning. She has an extensive background in the Health field beginning as a Health Clerk to being the first Healthy Babies Healthy Children Coordinator at New Credit. Graduated from Mohawk College in 2000 through the Native Community Care and Counselling Program. Received Diploma from Brock University in 2002 for completing the Aboriginal Adult Education program.

Marilyn Wright

FASD & Child Nutrition, Hamilton

Marilyn has been involved with the Health Centre for more than 15 years in different capacities. Marilyn was a Board member representing Urban Native Homes in the late 90’s while working as a Community Health Representative at Six Nations after returning to school and graduating from Mohawk College in the Native Community Care Counselling and Development Program. While at Six Nations she was one of the original Hospital friendly visitor Advocates that went into certain Hospitals in Hamilton, Brantford and Hagersville to liaise with Native patients and assist them as requested. At that time she was also the Health and Safety Coordinator for Six Nations Band Council and participated in the successful accreditation process that Six Nations Health Services undertook. In 2004, Marilyn came to the Health Centre in the capacity of Management Trainee and at one point was the Interim Executive Director for a year and a half. Marilyn also undertook a 16 month secondment with the Hamilton Police Services, Victim Services Branch as the Aboriginal Victims Services Coordinator. After a 3 year hiatus, Marilyn is currently the FASD / Child Nutrition Program Coordinator overseeing Women’s Circles, Men’s Drumming Circles, Kids Programs and continues to promote and advocate for the Health Centre in the Community. She is currently the Chair of the Aboriginal Advisory Committee for the City of Hamilton. As well, in her “off hours” she is a wife, mother, grandmother, sister and auntie and friend.

Elaine Lee

Healthier YOU Project Coordinator, Hamilton

Elaine Lee is a mother of two and lives in Hamilton, ON. She is from Whitefish River First Nation and she is from the Ojibway Nation, Bear Clan. Elaine is a three-time graduate of Mohawk College; holding diplomas in Business, Marketing and Aesthetics. She is a former Commissioned Reserve  Officer of the Canadian Armed Forces. She has worked at De dwa da dehs nye>s since 2011 in various capacities developing programs and coordinating events. Currently she is the Healthier YOU program coordinator at the Hamilton site.

Christine Patterson

Diabetes Nurse Educator (CDE)

Christine Patterson is the Diabetes Nurse Educator at De dwa da dehs nye>s Aboriginal Health Centre in Hamilton. She has many years as an experienced educator in adult education at McMaster University. Her interest is on program development, inter-professional care and education.  Projects were funded by First Nations and Inuit Health Branch, Ministry of Health…

Chelsey Overell

My name is Chelsey Overell and I am a registered Chiropodist. I attended the University of Guelph where I completed a Bio-Medical Science degree and then continued my education completing an Advance Graduate Diploma for Chiropody. I live in Hamilton and I have my own Chiropody Clinic in Oakville. In my spare time I enjoy…

Amanda Squire

  Amanda Squire is a Mohawk Turtle clan from Six Nations where she currently resides with her daughter.  She attended high school in Pierson, Florida and began her college and university in Greensboro, North Carolina.  Amanda received her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Contemporary Studies from Wilfrid Laurier University in 2004.  In the Six…

Charlotte Chan

Charlotte Chan is a Registered Dietitian with a passion for promoting health and well-being through a balanced lifestyle. She graduated from McGill University with a Bachelor of Nutritional Science, Dietetics. Her  interest in health and nutrition stemmed from a young  age with her  love for sports. While training as a competitive  figure skater , Charlotte learnt…

Primary Health Care

Angela Naveau

Manager of Clinical Services

Angela is Anishnaabe, Bear Clan and a member of Mattagami First Nation in Northern Ontario.  Angela began her journey with the Aboriginal Health Centre in 2004 and is dedicated to the health and well-being of the Aboriginal community. Angela’s passion and commitment to the clients of De dwa da dehs nye>s ensures their access to…

Lindsay Johnson


Lindsay Johnson, a member of the Seneca Nation and Bear clan from the Six Nations Reserve is the Medical Receptionist for the Aboriginal Health Centre’s Hamilton location. Lindsay has been a part of the Aboriginal Health Centre’s Primary Care Team since July of 2002.

Ashley Johnson

Data Entry/Receptionist

Ashley Johnson a Six Nations band member from the Cayuga Nation and Deer clan. Ashley works as Data Entry and Medical Reception at the Aboriginal Health Centre.  Studied at Seneca College in North Toronto in General Business. Graduated from Mohawk College with Medical Administration Diploma. Ashley has been a part of the Aboriginal Health Centre primary care team since 2011.

Melanie Butler

Administrative Assistant (Clinical Services)

Melanie Butler, Clinical Services Administration Assistant, has been working at De dwa da dehs nye>s Aboriginal Health Centre since February 2005. Melanie’s commitment and compassion to the patients/clients of the centre is what drives her to do what she does. Melanie has been instrumental in coordinating the Health Centre’s Christmas Hamper Program. In addition, Melanie…

Dr. Wong


Primary Care Physician – Brantford

Dr. Ada Ho

Family Physician - Brantford

Barb Loeprich

Nurse Practitioner - Mental Health

Barbara-Lyn Loeprich RN(EC), MSN, DNP (c) is the Family/Mental Health nurse practitioner working at the Hamilton Aboriginal Health Centre. I attained my undergraduate nursing degree from the University of Pittsburgh (U of P) in Pennsylvania in 1997. I then completed my Masters of Nursing at (U of P) coupled with my Nurse Practitioners degree in 2005. Along with working at the health care centre I enjoy tutoring nurse practitioner students at McMaster University. I am a strong advocate for patient rights and working along side each and every individual at a pace that suits their needs in attempts of preventing illnesses and targeting disease. I am currently working on a Doctorate nursing degree with a focus on addictions and mental health. Even though I am a non-Native Canadian I strongly admire and am drawn to the Native culture. When I am not involved with nursing, tutoring or studying I enjoy hiking, yoga, swimming and being with my family.

Michelle Gentle

Nurse Practitioner/ Wellness Case Manager

Michelle has been working with the Aboriginal health Centre  since 2011. Her goal is to provide patient centred,  best evidence based practice in the remit of primary healthcare Michelle trained as a registered nurse and nurse practitioner in the UK She then joined her family over here in 2005 and once more graduated as an…

Michael Spoljar

Nurse Practitioner

Michael J. Spoljar is an assistant professor in the department of Family Medicine at McMaster University.  He has over 20 years of Nursing experience in various clinical fields including GI surgery, Internal medicine, Community Nursing and coordination of the Home TPN program.  Michael is currently practicing as a Primary Care Nurse Practitioner at McMaster Family Practice for last 10 years.  He is also actively involved in running an after hours clinic in a homeless shelter in downtown Hamilton and assists in diabetes management at the Aboriginal Health Center.  Michael teaches the clinical skills course for Nurse Practitioners and is a co-tutor in the Pharm D program at the University of Toronto.

Aric Rankin

Nurse Practitioner - Chronic Disease Specialist

My name is Aric Rankin and I am a Nurse Practitioner who works full time at the Brantford Clinic of De dwa da dehs nye>s. In 2005, I completed my bachelor of Science in Nursing and have worked in a variety of acute care settings including Paediatric Oncology and Paediatric Emergency. I have a passion…

Lisa Connolly

Nurse Practitioner

Lisa Connolly is a Nurse Practitioner working with De dwa da dehs nye>s Aboriginal Health Centre at the Brantford office. Lisa has many years of nursing experience in hospital, public health, education and community health settings. She has worked in First Nations’ communities on the James Bay coast and Manitoulin Island. Lisa has a passion for horticultural therapy which involves the use of plants and gardening to improve a person’s mental, physical and spiritual aspects of life.

Mental Health and Addictions

Leigh Staats

Mental Health Team Lead

Leigh Staats-Lowes is a Six Nations band member of the Mohawk Nation Wolf clan. She resides in Brantford with her husband and 3 beautiful children. Leigh began working for De dwa dah dehs nye>s in January 2013 as the Healthier You Program Coordinator and has been the Mental Health Team Lead since March 2016. Leigh…

Mary Anne Wisdom

Concurrent Disorders Worker

Mary-Anne Wisdom is currently employed by the Aboriginal Health Centre as a Concurrent Disorders Practitioner. She brings with her nine years working experience on a Psycho Geriatric unit in Recreational Therapy as well as six years working at a Treatment Centre in New Credit. In this position she worked as a Counselor, Programmer, Research and…

Kristin Tyrer

Mental Health Youth Navigator

Kristin Tyrer is a proud Cree who comes from Moose Cree First Nation, Wolf Clan. Kristin was given the name of Matau Maskinuu, which means the road that shines bright and she carries it with honour. Kristin comes from a background in Criminal Justice, and has resided in Hamilton for 6 years. Kristin enjoys dedicating…

Brittany Vincze

Brantford Child and Youth Mental Health Worker

Brittany is proud of her Six Nations (Cayuga) and non-native (Celtic, European) ancestry. Brittany grew up in Hamilton and attended Mohawk College and then McMaster University for her Social Work education. Brittany has worked with the Hamilton, Brantford, Six Nations and New Credit communities and brings various experience with her from the areas of: street-involved…

Cheryl Adams

Karonyahawi (Carries the Sky)  Cheryl Adams is of the Kanyenkehaka (Mohawk) people and belongs to the Turtle clan family. Cheryl has been raised on the Six Nations Territory where she currently resides. Cheryl is a mom of two children Wade and Santana. Wade and his partner Krystal have blessed her with 3 unique and special…

Tanja Steinbach

Tanja Steinbach is a Mi’kmaq from Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. Mother of three awesome kids, she lives in a lovely country setting in Stevensville. She considers herself as a community helper and has worked in urban Indigenous communities in Niagara and Montreal since 1998. Tanja’s educational background includes a Bachelor of Education – Aboriginal Adult Education from Brock University as…

Jessica Baskin

Jessica Baskin is the Administrative Assistant with the Mental Health & Addiction Team, located at the Niagara site. Jessica grew up and remains in the Niagara Region; from the Mohawk, Turtle Clan. Her previous positions have been working within Aboriginal organizations and she really enjoy providing supports for her community. She is very excited to be a part of the team,…

Traditional Healing

Jeanne Hebert

Niagara Patient Navigator

Jeanne Hebert is a proud Anishinabekwe, from Garden River First Nation. And she enjoys serving individuals, families and community as Aboriginal Patient Navigator Niagara Region of the De dwa da dehs nye>s Aboriginal Health Centre in the Niagara Region. She is dedicated to the preservation of Indigenous language, culture and heritage. As Aboriginal Social Work…

Janet Hill

Traditional Healing Program Manager

Janet is Onondaga from Six Nations. She has been working with the Aboriginal Health Centre since 2000 and is the Manager of Traditional Healing Programs & Services. She also facilitates Grief Recovery and Attitudinal Healing Circles. Her belief is that we are all born with inherent knowledge to heal ourselves and can access that knowledge when we listen to the voice of spirit rather than our intellect. Janet is also a mom, grandmother, aunty, sister and friend.

Jane Burning

Traditional Healer

Jane Burning is a Holistic Consultant and a Certified Social Service Worker. She is certified in Reality/Choice Theory, Psycho Dramatic Body Work, Masters of Energy, and Reiki Master.

After twelve years in the field of Child Welfare and Family Violence, she began her private practice with Universal Energy Training and Learning Center. She offered holistic counselling incorporating energy work, and co-facilitated weekend retreats.

Today, she continues to work independently as a holistic consultant creating and facilitating workshops which are developed through spiritual guidance.

Jane is a traditional Haudenosaunee Faith Keeper, and comes from a strong lineage of Seneca women. She was born into a family of traditional healers and seers. She carries a strong bundle that is grounded in Ancestral and Western knowledge.

She has an unique ability to see beyond the disruption within people and/or agencies and create a workshop that uplifts all.

In 2014, Jane received the Strives Award, an award created to honor individuals who strive to promote wellness and resiliency within their community.

Jackie (Tekaiatakwas) Labonté

Cultural Support Worker Jackie (Tekaiatakwas), is Turtle Clan of the Mohawk Nation, born and raised on Six Nations of Grand River Territory. Her family moved to the Niagara region when she was young, and where she currently resides. She has three beautiful daughters and “Dodah” (GrandMother) to 12 young Spirits, ranging from 5 months to…

Homeward Bound

Michelle Gentle

Nurse Practitioner/ Wellness Case Manager

Michelle has been working with the Aboriginal health Centre  since 2011. Her goal is to provide patient centred,  best evidence based practice in the remit of primary healthcare Michelle trained as a registered nurse and nurse practitioner in the UK She then joined her family over here in 2005 and once more graduated as an…

Dick Passmore

Navigation Services Liaison

Dick Passmore is working as a change agent at the systems level in Hamilton, supporting the Navigation Services department. Prior to his last role as the first Team Lead with Homeward Bound, he worked in the Traditional Healing department, and was seconded to the Mental Health and Street Outreach Team, Public Health Department of the…

Wendy Johnson

Mobile Housing Worker

Wendy Johnson from Six Nations  Indian Reserve is a Mohawk of the turtle clan. She recently started a new position with the Homeward Bound Team, as the Mobile Housing Worker.  She will assist clients in an effort to effectively live a life away from homelessness towards a more self-sufficient lifestyle.  Prior to this, she was…

Yvonne Maracle

Cultural Worker

Yvonne is Mohawk, Bear Clan and is a mother, grandmother, artist and community member who has joined the “Homeward Bound” Team.  She has many years experience working in the “homeless” field and brings her life experience and compassion to the team.

Tyson Benn

Housing First Case Manager

Tyson joined the Homeward Bound: From Homelessness to Community team as Housing Liaison Worker, and has moved into the role of Housing First Case Manager. Tyson is a graduate of Wilfrid Laurier University, holding a bachelor’s degree in History and Psychology, as well as an Aboriginal Concurrent Disorders designation from Mohawk College. He has previously…

Lorraine Brown

Landlord Liaison

Lorraine Brown obtained a degree in Indigenous Studies/Religious Studies from McMaster University in 2008, and a diploma from Mohawk College in Native Community Care, Counselling and Development. While at McMaster, her studies were concentrated towards a cultural understanding of religions, spirituality, and human sciences (with a focus on the effects of colonization on world-wide Indigenous…

Chris Stuckless

Housing First Case Manager

My name is Chris Stuckless. I became active in the community several years ago when I started my healing journey. Through this incredible journey I now identify on a daily basis with native culture and the teachings I have received. I am honoured to give back to the community now as a member of the…

Valerie Maracle

Housing First Case Manager

She:kon My name is Valerie Maracle from the Mohawks of The Bay of Quinte. I recently joined The Homeward Bound Team. I am honored to be part of a team that continuously strives to help First Nations People in the community with housing barriers. I’ve been working  in the Hamilton Community for a numbers of…

Dionne Aikman

Housing First Case Manager

Bio to follow shortly…

Carl Haley

Housing First Case Manager

Carl Haley joins the Homeward Bound team as an eager participant for truth and reconciliation with the Indigenous population of Turtle Island. He is coming with a foundation of working for 4 years within the framework of Harm Reduction, with a specialization of serving individuals struggling with addictions and homelessness from a variety of cultural…

Chantelle Berry

Team Coordinator

Chantelle Berry is a mother of two beautiful children and has been a resident of the Niagara Region all her life. Chantelle Berry is Mohawk from Six Nations, Turtle Clan. Chantelle is a graduate from Niagara College and has been working in the social service field for over 13 years, particularly within the housing sector…