Terry LeBlanc PhD, Mi’kmaq/Acadian, Ph.D. (ABD) Asbury
Terry is Mi’kmaq/Acadian in his 41st year of marriage to Bev. He is the father of twin daughters and one son. Jennifer and Jeanine (married to Dan) are actively involved in the Indigenous community through their vocations and churches. From his residence in the Philippines, Matt directs a community development framed ministry to Indigenous youth and young adults that is active in various regions of the globe.
The founding Chair and current Director of the North American Institute for Indigenous Theological Studies (NAIITS) Terry also oversees iEmergence and My People International, both of which are focused on building capacity with Indigenous people. In addition to 35 years of grassroots work in the Native North American and global Indigenous context, Terry has taught at various colleges, seminaries and universities. Reflecting his commitment to Christian education from an Indigenous perspective, Terry also serves as a sessional or adjunct faculty member at Asbury Theological Seminary, George Fox University and Evangelical Seminary, and Tyndale University College and Seminary.
Author of numerous articles, theological papers and assorted book chapters, Terry has won several awards for his varied writings. In June 2010, for his work on the creation of NAIITS, Terry became the 28th recipient of the Dr. E.H. Johnson Memorial Award for Innovation in Mission.
Ray Aldred, Cree, Ph.D. (Cand) (London School of Theology)
Ray Aldred is husband to Elaine and father of four adult children. He is a Cree from the Swan River Band in Alberta. Ray completed his B.Th. and his M.Div. at Canadian Theological Seminary, graduating both degrees Summa Cum Laude. Former Director of the First Nations Alliance Churches in Canada, Ray currently teaches theology at Ambrose University College and Seminary. Ray is also both contributor and product of the NAIITS consortiums approach to theological and biblical training and a part-time faculty with NAIITS. His earned doctorate is in Theology.
Cornelius A. Buller, Ph.D. (McMaster University)
Cornelius Buller is husband to Vernelle and the father of three children. Cornelius graduated from the Mennonite Brethren Bible College with a B.R.S. and the University of Winnipeg with aB.A. Subsequently Cornelius earned an M.A. (University of Manitoba) and Ph.D. (McMaster University). After a number of years as staff ethicist and instructor in Ethics with the Salvation Army’s William and Catherine Booth College, Cornelius founded and became first director of Urban Youth Adventures in Winnipeg, Manitoba. He has served on the board and as faculty with the NAIITS community since its inception in 2001.
Cheryl Bear, Carrier Sekani, D.Min. (Masters University)
Cheryl Bear is wife to Randy Barnetson and mother of three boys. She is a Carrier Sekani from Prince George, BC, with an M.Div. from Regent College in Vancouver and a D.Min. from The Master’s University in Los Angeles. From their work building a downtown 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. In addition to itinerant ministry, chairing the board of NAIITS and serving as part-time faculty she is a part-time faculty with NAIITS
Jacqueline Ottmann, Salteaux, Ph.D. (University of Saskatchewan)
Jackie Ottmann is wife to Pat and mother of two children. She earned her B.Ed. degree from the University of Calgary going on to complete her M.Ed. and Ph.D. in Education at the University of Saskatchewan. 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 is currently full-time faculty with the University of Calgary and part-time with NAIITS. She has contributed extensively to the literature in her field: Native Education and Leadership development.
Wendy Beauchemin Peterson, Métis, Ph.D. (ABD) (Asbury Theological Seminary)
Wife of Ed, a businessman in Steinbach, MB, and grandparent to a growing number of grandchildren. Wendy has been adjunct faculty at Providence College and Providence Theological Seminary since the early 1990s. She earned a BA from Winnipeg Bible College and an MA in Theology in 1994 from Providence Theological Seminary. A Métis descendant of one of Louis Riel’s council as well as Cree, French Métis, and English immigrants, Wendy has been active in Native affairs throughout Canada for many years. Chairing the Aboriginal Ministries Council of the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada is but one example of that work. Wendy has traveled extensively and taught repeatedly in Ukraine as a visiting lecturer in Apologetics and World Religions. Wendy is currently Ph.D. (ABD) at Asbury Theological Seminary and Editor of the NAIITS Journal.
Michael Rynkiewich, Ph.D. (University of Minnesota)
Mike is husband to Theresa and father of five children, three of them adults. Mike graduated Magna Cum Laude from Bethel College with a BA in Anthropology. Completing his MA (Chippewa Pow-wows) and Ph.D. (Land Tenure among Arno Marshallese) in Anthropology at the University of Minnesota, Mike spent many years teaching in the field of Anthropology, He returned to school to complete an MDiv at Asbury Theological Seminary where he is currently faculty. Mike has held various faculty positions including Director of Post-Graduate studies at Asbury. He retires from Asbury in June, becoming faculty for NAIITS at that time.
Patrick Scott, Ph.D. (University of Dundee, Scotland)
Patrick is the husband of Gabrielle Mackenzie, a Tlicho (Dogrib) woman of hereditary leadership among the Tlicho people, and the father of eight Tlicho children. Patrick's work among them and the Dehcho Dene earned him a trusted place among them many years ago. He has been active in media and First Nation land and self-government negotiations and writing for the causes of the Dene, also working on their behalf for several years with World Vision Canada and the Anglican Church of Canada. Patrick focused his undergraduate work at Ryerson University in motion picture production and studied theology at Vancouver School of Theology. He completed his PhD in "Orality Among the Dene" at the University of Dundee, where he was recently appointed an Honorary Research Fellow.
Andrea Smith, Cherokee, Ph.D. (University of California Santa Cruz)
Andrea, her sister and their extended family live together in the greater Los Angeles area. Well- known in Native North American scholarly circles, Andrea 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 has an extensive publishing history.
Richard Twiss, Lakota, D.Miss. (Asbury)
President of Wiconi International, Richard is married to Katherine and the father of four adult children. Richard has been involved in vocational ministry for thirty-five years. As a Lakota man, and follower of Jesus, he has been instrumental in creating a receptive climate for contextualizing the Gospel among Native Americans with his speaking and writing. Richard exemplifies what NAIITS has been created to undertake, completing studies for his D.Miss. at Asbury Theological Seminary and graduating in the fall of 2010.
Randy Woodley, Keetoowah, Ph.D. (Asbury)
Husband of Edith and Father of four children, two of them adults, Randy is Keetoowah Cherokee from Oklahoma. Published extensively, Randy earned a BA from Colorado Christian University, a M.Div. from Palmer Seminary and his Ph.D. from Asbury Theological Seminary. He is a member of a variety of societies and organizations dedicated to the advancement of ministry in a good way among Native North American peoples. Together with Edith and their children, Randy operated Eloheh - a school of ministry for Native peoples – for a number of years. Randy is one of the most respected practitioner/teachers of contextualized Native ministry in the USA and Canada.
Jeanine LeBlanc, Mi'kmaq
Jeanine is Mi’kmaq and her people are from the Gaspe Peninsula of Eastern Canada. She is the wife of Dan Lowe, daughter of Terry and Bev LeBlanc, and sister to Matt and Jenn. She lives with her husband, Dan, in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. She studied History, Sociology, and Anthropology at the University of Winnipeg, obtaining her Bachelor of Arts in History in 2001. In 2008 she graduated from Asbury Theological Seminary with her Masters of Divinity academic degree in Anthropology. She has contributed two articles to previous issues of the NAIITS journal, one documenting the history of NAIITS and the other examining and celebrating some traditions of hospitality within the Maori context in New Zealand and the First Nations context. She has also published
Jeanine is passionate about indigenous education, particularly within the discipline of anthropology. She desires to explore how various anthropological tools might be used from an indigenous perspective, with indigenous communities helping direct the outcome of the research. She also desires to discover how indigenous theories and research methodologies, particularly among First Nations people, might offer a unique contribution to the field of anthropology.
Jeanine and Dan are active in the Edmonton community and among their church family.