Ray Aldred, TH.D [ABD] (Cree)
Th.D. [ABD], Wycliffe College, University of Toronto
Areas of specialization: Theology
Ray graduated Summa Cum Laude from the Canadian Theological Seminary with his B.Th. and his M.Div. degrees. The Former Director of the First Nations Alliance Churches in Canada, Ray currently teaches theology at Ambrose University College and Seminary. He is a contributor to and product of the NAIITS approach to theological and Biblical training. Ray is married to Elaine. They have 4 children and 3 grandchildren.
Terry LeBlanc, Ph.D., D.D. (Mi'kmaq-Acadian)
Ph.D. Asbury Theological
Seminary, 2012; D.D. [h.c.] Acadia University
Areas of specialization: Intercultural Studies, Mission, Theology, Community Development, and Ethics
Terry has been active in full-time vocational ministry with the Native North American community since 1978. He is currently CEO and Director of Indigenous Pathways overseeing the programs of My People, iEmergence, and NAIITS. He has been the recipient of three fellowships and the Student of Highest Distinction award. He completed his Ph.D. at Asbury Theological Seminary and was awarded the D.D. honoris causa by Acadia University in 2015.
Cheryl Bear, D.Min. (Carrier Sekani)
D.Min., Masters, The King's University, 2009
Areas of specialization: Evangelism
Cheryl is a Carrier Sekani from Prince George, BC. From her work of building a street church and Bible school with First Nations people in downtown Vancouver, BC, to her award-winning music, Cheryl displays creativity in mission like few others. She is a pastor, itinerant minister, and NAIITS board member. Cheryl has 3 sons. Cheryl published Introduction to First Nations Ministry in 2013.
Jeanine LeBlanc, M.Div. (Mi'kmaq-Acadian)
M.Div., Asbury Theological Seminary, 2008
Areas of specialization: Anthropology, Indigenous Culture
Jeanine is employed in Edmonton She is currently preparing for Ph.D. work in Anthropology. Jeanine has been involved with the World Christian Gathering of Indigenous People’s movement for more than 10 years. She is one of the North American leadership team for iEmergence – an Indigenous youth movement.
Jacqueline Ottmann, Ph.D. (Saulteaux)
Ph.D., University of Saskatchewan, 2005
Areas of specialization: Native education and leadership development
In addition to a number of academic and research fellowships and an extensive publishing history, Jackie has taught on Native Leadership and education for many years. She earned her B.Ed. degree from the University of Calgary going on to complete her M.Ed. and PhD in Education at the University of Saskatchewan. She has contributed extensively to literature in the field of Native education and leadership development. She is currently full-time faculty with the University of Calgary and part-time with NAIITS.
Jennifer LeBlanc, M.Div. (Mi'kmaq-Acadian)
M.Div., Sioux Falls Seminary, Sioux Falls, 2010
Areas of specialization: Intercultural Studies
Jennifer has worked in street-level ministry for several years with the Mustard Seed in Edmonton and has been involved with the World Christian Gathering of Indigenous People’s movement for 11 years. She is one of the North American leadership team for iEmergence – an Indigenous youth movement. Jennifer is the twin sister of Jeannie LeBlanc.
Wendy Peterson, Ph.D., (ABD) (Métis)
Ph.D. [ABD], Asbury Theological Seminary
Areas of specialization: Apologetics, Indigenous Social Realities, World Religions
Wendy served as Senior Instructor and adjunct faculty at Providence University College and Providence Theological Seminary from 1990 to 2009. She earned a BA from Winnipeg Bible College (now Providence University College) and an MA in Theology from Providence Theological Seminary. A Red River Métis, descended from a member of Louis Riel’s council, Wendy has been active in Native affairs in Canada for many years. Chairing the Aboriginal Ministries Council of the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada is one example of that work. Peterson has travelled extensively and taught in a diversity of locations such as visiting lecturer in Apologetics in Ukraine. She is a founding board member of NAIITS and editor of the NAIITS Journal. Wendy is married to Ed, has 3 children and many grandchildren.
Andy Reimer, Ph.D. (Mennonite)
Ph.D. University of Sheffield, Sheffield, England, 1999
Areas of specialization: Old and New Testament
Andy Reimer is a biblical studies specialist with a lifelong interest in how gospel and culture go hand in hand. Growing up on the Canadian prairies, Andy spent part of his childhood living beside the Peguis First Nation while his father served as part-time minister in a local reserve church. Andy's PhD studies and subsequent academic research have explored themes of Christianity and culture. Following his PhD studies, in addition to working as a full time biblical studies professor, Andy spent seven years working in an urban First Nations church context. Today, Andy splits his time between teaching/researching in biblical studies, and working on initiatives to make the Canadian oil industry safer.
Julene Pommert, PhD (Blackfeet)
Julene is an experienced teacher and public speaker. She has invested over twenty years in professional development and leadership, including volunteer work. She is also a relational counselor and Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing therapist (EMDR). She resides in Seattle, WA.
Shari Russell, M.A. (Saulteaux)
M.A., Providence Theological Seminary, 1994
Shari is stationed in Southern Ontario and is a field training officer/instructor and the Territorial Aboriginal Liaison. She was born into the Saulteaux First Nation in Saskatchewan and was part of what is known as the ‘Sixties Scoop’ where approximately 20,000 Aboriginal children were taken from their families and put into foster care. While Shari was earning her BA in Christian Education she also met her husband, Robert Russell. Shari followed her BA with an MA in Christian education from Providence Seminary. Feeling called to full-time ministry with The Salvation Army, the Russell’s entered training college in 1997. They were commissioned in 1
Danny Zacharias, Ph.D. (Cree)
Areas of Specialization: Biblical Studies and Biblical Languages
Danny is a graduate of Acadia Divinity College, with both his Master of Divinity and Master of Arts (Theology). Previous to this Danny resided in Winnipeg where he earned his Bachelor of Arts at Providence College. He currently teaches Introduction to Greek, Introduction to Hebrew, along with other classes in biblical studies, alongside his administrative responsibilities relating to technology at ADC.
More than any other achievements, Danny is most proud to call Maria his wife, Lex and Jack his sons, and Ella-Rose his little princess.
Kelsey Dayle John, PhD. Cand. (Diné)
Kelsey (Diné) is a PhD Candidate in the Cultural Foundations of Education program at Syracuse University. She is a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow. Kelsey holds a B.A. from Colgate University in Educational Studies and a Certificate of Advanced Study in Women’s and Gender Studies from Syracuse University.
Her PhD dissertation is on Diné Tribal Colleges and Universities and the connection between community and academic knowledge’s. Kelsey’s research interests include Indigenous and decolonizing methodologies, Tribal Colleges and Universities, settler colonial studies, livestock, land, and epistemology. In her free time, she rides horses, runs, and is learning Diné Bizaad.
Andrea Smith, Ph.D (Western Cherokee-Ojibwe)
Ph.D., University of California Santa Cruz, 2002
Areas of specialization: Gender issues, Politics
Andrea is well known in Native North American scholarly circles as she has an extensive publishing history. She continually offers a coherent critique of issues in gender and politics from a Native North American woman’s perspective. Andrea earned her BA in Comparative Religions from Harvard, her M.Div. from Union Theological Seminary and her Ph.D. in the History of Consciousness from the University of California Santa Cruz. Andrea passed her bar exams and was called to the California State bar in 2013.
Casey Church, D.Miss (Potawotomi)
Areas of Specialization: Intercultural Studies, Indigenous Spirituality
Casey is a Pokagon Band Potawatomi member of southwest Michigan. His Potawatomi name is Ankwawango, which means, “Hole in the Cloud”. His wife Lora, their five children and he live in Albuquerque, New Mexico where they have lived for the past fifteen years.
Casey and his wife Lora have pastored a Native church plant in Grand Rapids, Michigan from 1996 to 2000 which would become one of the first contextualized worship services in the country.