Staff Team

Want to join our amazing team? We are currently hiring! Click here to view current openings!


Jacqueline Nesh14192522_165018597235485_7372969439495599350_nkawa  Administrative Assistant – Toronto –

Hello ! My name is Jacqueline Neshkawa. I am Ojibwe and Ecuadorian. I was born and raised in Toronto but my family comes from Wikwemikong, Ontario as well as Quito, Ecuador. I am really excited to be a part of Canadian Roots Exchange. I continue to look forward to meeting new people during my time here. I have been with CRE for a year now and really enjoy working with indigenous and non indigenous peoples. I especially like that being here has given me an opportunity to grow as a person and to further understand what meaningful reconciliation looks like.





Jessica Alegria PrograCRE YRI Headshots - 02m Facilitator – Saskatoon – 

Hola! My name is Jessica Esmeralda Alegria. I began my time with Canadian Roots Exchange as a Saskatoon Youth Reconciliation Leader in 2015 and am now staff in the Saskatoon office.  Having been born in Texas to Salvadorean refugees and raised in Saskatoon, I describe myself as a mixed Indigenous woman who occupies various cultural spaces at once. I am in my final year of the Regional and Urban Planning program at the University of Saskatchewan, something that has fostered my interest in community-building, and am passionate about mental health issues, refugee and immigrant rights, and conservation of culture and heritage. I’m very excited to be working for an organization that demonstrates such faith in the youth of Turtle Island and that recognizes the legitimacy and power of lived experiences. When not working I can be found spending quality time with family and friends, watching movies, being an aunty, and cuddling my miniature dachshund, Science.



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Max FineDay Co-Executive Director – Toronto – 

Tansi, my name is Max FineDay, and I’m from the Sweetgrass First Nation in Treaty Six Territory, Saskatchewan. Coming from a mixed Norwegian-Nehiyaw family, reconciliation between Indigenous & non-Indigenous peoples has been something I’ve understood to be crucial for not only my families, or community, but Canada as a whole. I’ve spent time working on youth leadership development initiatives and projects that help move Canada toward reconciliation. Most recently, I worked as Advisor and Intergovernmental Relations Coordinator working with the National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations. Before that, I served two terms as President of the University of Saskatchewan Students’ Union. I served as a board member for Canadian Roots Exchange between 2014 and 2016, and began serving as Co-Executive Director in August 2016.


NicoleNicole Wemigwans  National Program Manager – Toronto –

Ahnii Mskwa Mikinaake Kwe Dizhiniikaaz, Mukwa Dodem, Genaabajing Ndonjaba
Hello, my spirit name is Red Turtle Woman, I am bear clan and my home community is Serpent River First Nation and Wikwemikong Unceded First Nation and I was born and raised in Toronto. I am passionate about working within the Indigenous community to promote reconciliation, healing, and revitalization. I have just completed my Master’s in Social Work in Aboriginal Field of Study and plan on completing my PhD in Indigenous Studies. I became involved with CRE as a Youth Reconciliation Leader, then became an exchange leader for the Algonquin summer program and have participated in the past three National Youth Conferences in Saskatoon, Winnipeg and Sudbury.



SaharStaffPhotoCRESahar Golshan Program Manager – Toronto –

! سلام |  你好 ! | Aanii !  My name is Sahar-e Golshan. I am extremely proud to be a young person of mixed ancestry from Chinese and Iranian origins living in Tkaronto, Dish with One Spoon Territory. It means a lot to me to be a part of the Canadian Roots Exchange team. I am honoured  to have the opportunity to collaborate with Indigenous and non-Indigenous youth who commit their lives to social justice on Turtle Island. I am inspired by young people who challenge themselves and their communities to engage in conversations about the history, reality and possibility of this Land. Before joining the CRE team as a volunteer and then a staff member, I have coordinated educational programming alongside young people of diverse identities in both Canada and in international communities with Canada World Youth and the Ontario Council for International Cooperation. I am passionate about learning languages and writing creative non-fiction.




Valene Bill Program Officer – Saskatoon –

Tansi, Kisihko Pisiw Iskwew nisihkahson.  Hello, my Cree name is Thunder Angel Woman.  I was born and raised on Treaty Six territory.  I am a Plains Cree (y-dialect) from Pelican Lake First Nation.  I am a mother of three beautiful daughters and have graduated with my B.Ed from the University of Saskatchewan.  I also hold a Community Services Addictions Counselling Certificate from the Saskatchewan Indian Institute of Technologies. I am very new to CRE, and have actually just begun in January of 2016. I am loving how this job is helping me connect with people and how it is allowing me to hear people’s stories.  I believe that telling our stories and listening to other people’s stories is one of the ways we can heal, learn from each other and begin moving forward on Turtle Island.  Counselling is a passion of mine and my goal, one day, is to have my Masters in School and Counselling Psychology.  I have actually gone out and taught for 3 years around my home community and am just returning to Saskatoon.  I have always enjoyed the diversity of people living in Saskatoon and will enjoy being part of CRE’s aim at building bridges between Indigenous and non-indigenous people here and in communities nearby.  Hi-hiy Thank-you


vibhor garg Co-Executive Director – Toronto –

Hello!  Ainee!  Bonjour!  I am very happy to be working with Canadian Roots Exchange.  Since  arriving in September 2012, I have met  many talented and inspiring youth from across the country and I am excited by the new youth that continue to  join CRE’s growing network.  I grew up in Sudbury and I have had a chance to live in a  few different parts of Canada and the world.  Prior to joining CRE, I gained valuable experiences managing youth exchange programs in both Canada and internationally with both the YMCA and Canada World Youth.  I’m fully  committed to ensuring that CRE programming is accessible and ensuring that we ensure there is strong participation of youth from historically under-represented communities.  I believe that youth programs should reflect the diverse face of Canada including strong representation from First Nations, Inuit and Métis communities.  When I’m not working, I enjoy exercising, travelling, eating out and checking out random events in the community.  I enjoy being part of a team that helps to foster better relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities on Turtle Island.