“George Brown College is the perfect environment to celebrate diversity, gender and race. I can be free to be me here and welcome others to do the same.” - Gloria Harris, Student Support Officer
Audrey Rochette, Director of Indigenous Initiatives
Audrey Rochette is Anishinaabe from Waabadowgang-Whitesand First Nation. As Director, Indigenous Initiatives, she leads George Brown College’s efforts to implement the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s (TRC) Calls to Action and oversees Indigenization measures as part of the college’s Vision 2030/Strategy 2022 initiative.
Pauline Shirt was born and raised in Saddle Lake Reserve, Alberta. She is greatly recognized for her commitment to the Toronto Indigenous community and for her dedication as a teacher and lecturer since the late sixties. A member of the Three Fires Society and the Buffalo Dance Society, Pauline is also a founder of the First Nations School and the Red Willow. Today, Pauline serves as a mentor to many Indigenous youth and young families as an experienced and trusted Grandmother. She also works in all levels of government conducting opening prayers and attending meetings; making sure the Indigenous community is positively recognized as she offers a voice for her people.
As an Indigenous counsellor, Lori helps to retain and advocate for Indigenous students at the college, making them feel comfortable and giving them a sense of belonging while they are on campus. Since arriving at George Brown College more than 20 years ago, she has had a profound impact on the integration and enrolment rate of Indigenous students. Lori has also played an instrumental role in the establishment of two student centres for our Indigenous students and secured the necessary funding for a Knowledge & Wisdom Keeper. In addition, she provides enormous assistance to Indigenous students in the administration of bursaries. Outside of her counsellor duties, Lori provides assistance to other Indigenous Education & Services staff, serves on numerous external boards and committees and teaches the General Introduction to Indigenous Studies course. Lori brings with her a BA in Sociology from Trent University and is currently pursuing her Masters through Central Michigan College.
Robert (Bob) Whiteduck Crawford
Bob (Migiziw/Eagle) Whiteduck Crawford is a member of the Snimikobi Algonquin First Nation. He is currently an Indigenous Professor/Counsellor at George Brown College. He has over 30 years of experience in leadership positions including various mental health, child welfare and addiction settings such as coordinator at Ontario Indigenous Friendship Centres, lead Therapist at the Centre for Addictions & Mental Heath, Indigenous Program, Coordinator of the Aboriginal Rights Movement (ARM) and Family Service, Native Child and Family Services, Toronto. Bob has developed curriculum and training manuals for both Indigenous and mainstream agencies regarding historical trauma. Additionally, Bob is the former Chief of the Ardoch Algonquin First Nation and has sat on numerous boards of directors including Anishinaabe Health as President, the Algonquin Nation Land Claim Negotiations Directorate executive board member and currently serves as President of Native Earth Performing Arts, Toronto, Canada’s oldest professional Indigenous performing arts company.
Jolene is Ojibwe from White Fish River Birch Island. She graduated from the Community Worker program at George Brown College in 2010 and was on the Dean’s List each semester. The first elected Indigenous student representative to sit on the Student Association board of George Brown College, Jolene completed a yearlong placement with Indigenous Education & Services, where she is now currently employed. For more than six years Jolene has worked at George Brown College, helping students with the application process, band funding, career goals and volunteering opportunities. She also works closely with the Knowledge & Wisdom Keeper with cultural teachings, the annual Pow Wow and event planning. Jolene has demonstrated outstanding commitment to George Brown College, as well as to the Indigenous community. She is always willing and eager to help students.
Shallen Murray was born in Saskatoon and calls Dish with One Spoon Territory home. She is Wolf Clan and a member of Lutsel Ke Dene First Nation in Treaty 8 traditional territory. She is an alumni of the Human Services Counsellor Program at George Brown College and a graduate of the University of Saskatchewan where she studied Sociology.
Shallen joined the Indigenous Education and Services team in 2018 but her journey began in the social services sector when she was only 16 and was employed as a cook in the Out of the Cold Program at Council Fire Native Cultural Centre. Between cooking dinner and breakfast there would be stories exchanged, chess played and much laughter in the drop-in centre. She has worked frontline in many non-profit organizations in both Toronto and Saskatoon. Shallen is also a long-standing volunteer Council Member of the Community Council Program at Aboriginal Legal Services.
Shallen provides strength-based counselling and academic support to students. She is knowledgeable about the impact that ongoing colonialism has on Indigenous communities and is an experienced student placement supervisor who is involved in organizing and facilitating student and college wide events. Her goal is to ensure that students from all across Turtle Island feel welcome at the Indigenous Education and Services Centres and that they are connected to the support, resources and opportunities they need to have a meaningful education experience.