Dr. Brenda M Restoule (Waub Zhe Kwens) is from Dokis First Nation (Ojibwa) and from the Eagle Clan. She is a registered clinical psychologist who received her undergraduate training from The University of Western Ontario and her graduate training from Queen’s University.
The bulk of Dr. Restoule’s practice is providing direct clinical services and consultation to First Nation peoples, communities in Anishinabek territory and past work with the Skhkagamik-Kwe Health Centre. She also acts as a consultant to government in the area of Indigenous mental health, addictions, and mental wellness including acting as co-chair with the Thunderbird Partnership Foundation, the Assembly of First Nations and First Nation and Inuit Health Branch on the development and implementation of the First Nation Mental Wellness Continuum Framework. She is an invited trainer and speaker to regional, national and international events and has authored book chapters and training manuals pertaining to Indigenous mental health and wellness.
Some of Dr. Restoule’s past work experience includes Prison for Women and the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples. She has particular interest in cultural safety, Indigenous community development and capacity building, and reducing suicide rates in First Nation communities using Indigenous knowledge and practices.
Chief Executive Officer
Dr. Brenda Restoule
Dr. Connors is a Psychologist registered in the Province of Ontario. He is of Mohawk ancestry from Kahnawake Mohawk Territory. He has worked with First Nations communities across Canada since 1982 in both urban and rural centres. His work over this time has included Clinical Director for an Infant Mental Health Centre in the city of Regina and Director for the Sacred Circle, a Suicide Prevention Program developed to serve First Nations communities in Northwestern Ontario. While developing the latter service, Dr. Connors worked with Elders and apprenticed in traditional First Nations approaches to healing. Today his practice incorporates traditional knowledge about healing while also employing his training as a Psychologist.
He and his wife Donna, manage Onkwatenro'shon:'A, a health planning firm which provides health consultation and psychological services to First Nations communities throughout the Georgian Bay Muskoka region.
Dr. Connors was a board member and vice-president of the Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention between 1990 - 1998 and has since returned as a board member and has chaired their First Peoples Committee since 2012. He is currently on the advisory council for the Ontario Suicide Prevention Network. Some of his current work includes consultation and community training to assist First Nations in the development of Restorative Justice programs. He has also provided psychotherapy and traditional healing experiences to native inmates at Fenbrook Medium Institution, Correctional Services Canada.
Dr. Ed Connors
Dr. William J. Mussell (Bill) has 55 years of experience working as a professional in probation and parole, adult education, college and university instruction, and senior management including Executive Director of the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs, founding chair of the Coqualeetza Cultural-Education Centre, co-founder of the Salishan Institute, and its Principal Educator and Manager, and President and Chair of the Native Mental Health Association for 20 years. He served as Chair of the First Nations, Inuit and Metis Advisory Committee to the Mental Health Commission of Canada, and is currently co-lead with Dr. Caroline Tait of the First Person, First Peoples Hub of the CDRIN network.
His main academic teaching has been with Capilano College, Simon Fraser University, the Institute of Indigenous Government, and the Salishan Institute that gave priority to healing and personal and professional development in Indigenous fields of health/mental health, addictions, governance, social and community development, and family education. His research experience has focused primarily upon Indigenous health, social development, child and adolescent health, leadership development, addictions and mental wellness challenges.
Bill also has 55 years of experience doing volunteer work, including service on the executive committee of the North American Indian Brotherhood (1960s), treasurer and president of the Vancouver Indian Friendship Centre (1960s), administrator, planner and chief of the Skwah Indian Band, member of the founding board for the University College of the Fraser Valley (1970s), governor of the Fraser East Heath Board (1990s), and similar roles addressing health, wellness, legal and justice matters through 20+ years of service on the board of the Native Mental Health Association of Canada, 15 years with the Mood Disorders Society of Canada board of directors, and current engagement on the board of the Thunderbird Partnership Foundation.
Bill is a member of the Skwah First Nation at Chilliwack Landing, one of 24 Sto:lo communities where he and his wife Marion, make their home. He was the first of his community to graduate from high school and of his cultural territory to graduate from university. Throughout his life, he has lived up to the spirit of his traditional name, ‘one who leads everywhere he goes’.
Dr. Bill Mussell
Carol Hopkins is the Executive Director of the Thunderbird Partnership Foundation (a division of the National Native Addictions Partnership Foundation, Inc.) and is a member of Eelūnaapèewii Lahkèewiit (Delaware Nation at Moraviantown), ON.
Carol has spent more than 20 years in the field of First Nations substance use and mental wellness. She has both a Master of Social Work Degree from the University of Toronto and a degree in sacred Indigenous Knowledge, equivalent to a PhD in the western-based education systems. Carol also holds a sessional faculty position in the School of Social Work at King’s University College at Western University.
Carol has co-chaired national initiatives known for best practice in national policy review and development, resulting in the: First Nations Mental Wellness Continuum (FNMWC) framework, Honouring Our Strengths: A Renewed Framework to Address Substance Use Issues Among First Nations People in Canada, the Indigenous Wellness Framework, and best practice guidelines for culturally-based inhalant abuse treatment. Carol has also inspired the development of the Native Wellness AssessmentTM, the first instrument of its kind in the world to measure the impact of cultural interventions on wellness over time.
In recognition of this work, Carol was appointed as an Officer to the Order of Canada in 2018 and is the recipient of the 2015 Champions of Mental Health Award for Research/Clinician, as well as the Health Canada Innovations Award. She is a member of the Leadership Advisory Council to the Ontario Minister of Health and Long-Term Care and was part of the Canadian delegation to the 2016 United Nations General Assembly, Special Session on the World Drug Problem. Carol also participates on a national mental health advisory council to the federal Minister of Health.
Caroline is a medical anthropologist with particular research interests in Indigenous health and social justice, and the challenges faced by women who are marginalized.
Dr. Tait earned her MA at the University of California (Berkeley), and her PhD at McGill University. She has been a Fulbright Scholar and Visiting Fellow at Harvard, and she completed a postdoctoral fellowship at McGill.
In 2004, Caroline returned to her home province of Saskatchewan to join the Indigenous Peoples’ Health Research Centre—a collaborative initiative involving the First Nations University of Canada, the University of Regina and the University of Saskatchewan. In 2012, Caroline became a member of Faculty at the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Saskatchewan.
Dr. Caroline Tait
Margaret Terry Adler is a first generation Canadian of Jewish descent whose first language is Yiddish. For 54 years, as an Educator, Social Worker and Art Therapist, she worked with people of diverse cultures, principally First Nations, through Warrendale/Browndale Treatment Centre for Emotionally Disturbed Children, Capilano Community College and the Salishan Institute. She co-founded and taught in both Salishan Institute and Vancouver Art Therapy Institute.
Her volunteer experience is extensive; 45 years with North Shore Projects Society for the Low-Income and Handicapped, 20 years with the Native Mental Health Association of Canada, 4 years with Love is the Answer and one year with Children's Sanctuary Namibia Society. She served on the First Nations Inuit Metis Advisory Committee to the Mental Health Commission of Canada, actively contributing to its Cultural Safety Project.
She has focused on helping people find strengths within themselves and their cultures as a basis for creating positive change in organizations, systems and policies affecting their lives.
Margaret Terry Adler
Anne is currently assisting with the Comprehensive Needs Assessment FPWC is in the process of completing. She earned her BSc, Psychology from Wilfred Laurier University and BEd from Nipissing University. The majority of her career to date has been in the Financial industry which she held several positions, with most recently in management.
Anne spent her childhood in Nipissing First Nation and is now living in Dokis First Nation with her husband and two boys. She is an active volunteer in her community.
Aanii Boozhoo! Marilyn Kimewon ndizhnikaas. Wiikwemkoong Unceded Territory ndonjibaa. Mshiikenh ndodem. Lansing, Michigan (Gchi-mookmaan-Kiing) Giidaadis. I am the Executive Assistant for the First Peoples Wellness Circle. I have the knowledge in maintaining the day to day operation of First Peoples Wellness Circle in an Administrative Capacity. I have worked at one of the oldest Indigenous Mental Health Clinics in Canada which is The Nadmadwin Mental Health Clinic for over 22 years. I worked with community members daily assisting them with their mental health and wellness. I have had the opportunity to work with dynamic individuals who are Clinicians, Youth Mental Health Worker, Psychologists, Psychiatrist and Community Wellness Workers!! I currently reside in the old village of Wiikwemkoong, known as Murray Hill!! I have also been serving Wiikwemkoong Unceded Territory with various Governance Committees over the years, I enjoy this, as we work very hard to ensure progress and prosperity for our future in Wiikwemkoong. I practice everyday to speak and understand our Anishinaabemowin. Our most valued resource in our organizations is our People!! Miigwetch.