Circle Team

Strong Circle hosts a team of collaborators who offer both expert and peer-based support in the areas of leadership, governance, conflict management and mediation, grant writing, policy, and more.

Circle Team

Strong Circle hosts a team of collaborators who offer both expert and peer-based support in the areas of leadership, governance, conflict management and mediation, grant writing, policy, and more.

Board of Directors

wedlidispeck

Chief Wedlidi Speck, Board President

Chief Wedlidi Speck is a member member of the Namgis First Nation in Alert Bay, BC. His cultural connections are to the Kwakwaka’wakw, Nuuchanulth and Island K’omoks. Wedlidi is the head chief of the Gixsam namima (clan) of the Kwagul tribe. He has a ‘seat’ amongst the naiichaplalamlath of the Mowachat, the nunemasaqalis clan of the Tlawitsis and is the speaker for his late uncle George & E’iksan K’omoks. As a chief and spiritual leader, Wedlidi is recognized for his knowledge on traditional protocols and indigenous relational practices. He is a story keeper and name-keeper for his families.

Pansy Wright-Simms, Board Secretary

Gaypaygw’m Ganauu Pansy Wright-Simms is the spokeswomen for Simogyet Luudkudziiwus, Charlie Wright; of the Gitxsan Nation. She is a volunteer teacher of Gitxsan song, dance, and drumming within the communities surrounding the nation, including at her traditional territories of MadiiLii. She is immersed in her Gitxsan culture and strives to be the voice of those who would not otherwise be heard. She is the Education Administrator for the office of Gitanmaax. She currently serves as a Board of director for the First Nations Education Steering Committee Society, First Nations Schools Association, and the Gitxsan Wet’suwet’en Education Society, and the BC Games Society.
Pansy_Wright-Simms_Circle
Ellen_Newman

Ellen Newman, Board Treasurer

Kugwi' sila' ogwa, Ellen Newman, is Kwaguilth, Haida, Salish, and of mixed European heritage. Her traditional name means the female version of a Chief’s seat, ``the person as one where one’s wealth is deposited``. Ellen has over 20 years’ experience with Indigenous nonprofits at frontline and board levels and understands that good governance practice enables organizations to do the work they are called to do. “We have inherited the Societies Act and so we are responsible to follow the rules. Strong Circle offers board training that fits for Indigenous nonprofits and with how Indigenous communities govern”.

Rosy Hartman, Board Director

Rosy is Scottish on her mother’s side and Cree on her father’s side from the Saddle Lake Cree Nation in Alberta. She has 15 years experience working directly with Indigenous communities and organizations across Canada. Rosy has just joined the Indigenous Cancer Control team at BC Cancer as the Indigenous Design and Cultural Safety Lead. Prior to that Rosy was the Director of Operations for the Moose Hide Campaign, an Indigenous-led grassroots movement of men, boys and all Canadians standing up against violence towards women and children. Rosy has also acted as lead coordinator on many large-scale projects including the Witness Blanket, a large-scale art installation that recognizes the atrocities of the residential school era, honours the children and survivors, and symbolizes ongoing reconciliation. Rosy has a passion for travel and loves to spend as much time as possible in her garden. Born and raised in the Okanagan Valley, she now lives with her husband and young daughter on the beautiful traditional territories of the Lək̓ʷəŋən Peoples.
rosy h (1)

Strong Circle Team of Collaborators

Amy_Woodruffe

Amy Woodruffe, Director of Operations, Founder

Amy is a white settler with Jewish and European heritage, and lives as a guest in unceded Syilx Territory. Amy founded Strong Circle in 2020, and incorporated as a nonprofit in 2022, with an understanding that relationship and responsibility to the land, and inherent rights of Indigenous peoples and their territories, is the starting place to all work. She has worked as a guest in urban Indigenous communities and nonprofits for over 24 years in the capacity of frontline worker, manager, researcher, director, and board member. Amy supports Indigenous nonprofits through offering HR and governance policy support, organizational design and strategy, nonprofit board training, and operations management.

Sierra Wells, Director of Strategic Development & Mediation Practice Lead

My name is Sierra Wells, my mother comes from the Wui’kinuxv Nation of Rivers Inlet and my father was Irish and English. My passion to support Indigenous children, youth and families has led me to work for Indigenous nonprofits for most of my adult life. It is my hope to continue to support the valuable work that Indigenous organizations continue to do. As a mediator I am skilled at supporting people to have tough conversations and at supporting people to build / repair and or strengthen relationships to move forward, and find new ways of working together.
Sierra_Wells_Circle
lisa mercure photo

Lisa Mercure, Education and Indigenous Leadership Practice Lead

Lisa Mercure is Mikisew Cree, K'ai Taile Dëne Sųłıné, and Wêmistikôsêw Iskwêw. She lives in Lekwungen territory and is the proud mother of three strong and beautiful Cree daughters. Lisa is honoured to support Strong Circle and hold space to bring together Indigenous leaders in BC. She has spent the past 20 years supporting Indigenous nonprofits in organizational management and governance throughout the province. Lisa also works at the Victoria Native Friendship Centre as the Indigenous Culture and Traditions Coordinator, and supports Elders and Old Ones to determine culturally relevant programming for their urban community.

Janice Simcoe, Indigenous Education & Leadership Specialist

Janice Simcoe is an Ojibwe-kwe and a member of Chippewas of Rama First Nation. She has lived on Lekwungen territory, near Victoria, BC, for nearly 50 years. Janice recently retired from a long career of working in Indigenous post-secondary and educational leadership. Moreover, she carries with her many years of contributing to community, sitting on and often providing leadership to various boards, councils, and committees. Janice has supported the Friendship Centre movement for over 30 years and remains active in Indigenous community work. Janice is very knowledgeable of and interested in the theory and practice of Indigenous leadership, as well as Indigenization. She is supporting Strong Circle as a curriculum development and process advisor. She offers vision, experience, and love to this work.
janice
Megan_Boddy_Circle

Megan Boddy

Megan Boddy grew up on the traditional territories of the Nedut'en, Gitxsan, and Wet'suwet'en, and has been working in Indigenous community on Lekwungen territory in the Friendship Centre movement for the last decade. Her work includes a broad range of administration, program management, communications, and writing and editing everything from novels and scripts to grants and other technical documents. She combines a love of narrative and deep respect for different voices with a passion for clear, concise language.

Lise Gillies

Lise Gillies (Cree/Metis), born in Williams Lake BC, and raised in Revelstoke, has been honoured to work with Indigenous communities in various roles for the past 10 years. Committed deeply to her culture, she is always quick to love, laugh and create, Lise identifies as neuro-diverse and is famous for having too many hobbies and unfinished art projects. She is mama-bear to a 8-year-old daughter Cammie, who is autistic with complex needs/diverse abilities. Lise is a fierce advocate for disability rights, inclusion, and doodling/drawing in meetings. Lise lives in beautiful Cowichan Tribes territory in Maple Bay, with her husband and excitable puppy named Cedar.
lise
Tanya_Behardien_Circle

Tanya Behardien

Tanya is a nonprofit leader, collaborator, ally and coach. She has led nonprofits for over 30 years and currently serves as the Executive Director of OneSky Community Resources Society. Tanya's leadership style is grounded in collaboration and compassion, informed through her lens as an African woman who as a child escaped apartheid and moved to unceded Secwepemc territory, known as Kamloops. Tanya now resides as a guest in unceded Syilx territory, known as Summerland, and offers Strong Circle peer support and mentoring in executive leadership, board governance, and labour relations.

Board of Directors

Wedlidi Speck, Board President

Chief Wedlidi Speck is a member member of the Namgis First Nation in Alert Bay, BC. His cultural connections are to the Kwakwaka’wakw, Nuuchanulth and Island K’omoks. Wedlidi is the head chief of the Gixsam namima (clan) of the Kwagul tribe. He has a ‘seat’ amongst the naiichaplalamlath of the Mowachat, the nunemasaqalis clan of the Tlawitsis and is the speaker for his late uncle George & E’iksan K’omoks. As a chief and spiritual leader, Wedlidi is recognized for his knowledge on traditional protocols and indigenous relational practices. He is a story keeper and name-keeper for his families.
wedlidi speck photo

Ellen Newman, Board Treasurer

Kugwi' sila' ogwa, Ellen Newman, is Kwaguilth, Haida, Salish, and of mixed European heritage. Her traditional name means the female version of a Chief’s seat, ``the person as one where one’s wealth is deposited``. Ellen has over 20 years’ experience with Indigenous nonprofits at frontline and board levels and understands that good governance practice enables organizations to do the work they are called to do. “We have inherited the Societies Act and so we are responsible to follow the rules. Strong Circle offers board training that fits for Indigenous nonprofits and with how Indigenous communities govern”.
Ellen_Newman

Pansy Wright-Simms, Board Secretary

Gaypaygw’m Ganauu Pansy Wright-Simms is the spokeswomen for Simogyet Luudkudziiwus, Charlie Wright; of the Gitxsan Nation. She is a volunteer teacher of Gitxsan song, dance, and drumming within the communities surrounding the nation, including at her traditional territories of MadiiLii. She is immersed in her Gitxsan culture and strives to be the voice of those who would not otherwise be heard. She is the Education Administrator for the office of Gitanmaax. She currently serves as a Board of director for the First Nations Education Steering Committee Society, First Nations Schools Association, and the Gitxsan Wet’suwet’en Education Society, and the BC Games Society.
Pansy_Wright-Simms_Circle

Rosy Hartman, Board Director

Rosy is Scottish on her mother’s side and Cree on her father’s side from the Saddle Lake Cree Nation in Alberta. She has 15 years experience working directly with Indigenous communities and organizations across Canada. Rosy has just joined the Indigenous Cancer Control team at BC Cancer as the Indigenous Design and Cultural Safety Lead. Prior to that Rosy was the Director of Operations for the Moose Hide Campaign, an Indigenous-led grassroots movement of men, boys and all Canadians standing up against violence towards women and children. Rosy has also acted as lead coordinator on many large-scale projects including the Witness Blanket, a large-scale art installation that recognizes the atrocities of the residential school era, honours the children and survivors, and symbolizes ongoing reconciliation. Rosy has a passion for travel and loves to spend as much time as possible in her garden. Born and raised in the Okanagan Valley, she now lives with her husband and young daughter on the beautiful traditional territories of the Lək̓ʷəŋən Peoples.
rosy h (1)

Strong Circle Collaborators

Amy Woodruffe, Director of Operations, Founder

Amy is a white settler with Jewish and European heritage, and lives as a guest in unceded Syilx Territory. Amy founded Strong Circle in 2020, and incorporated as a nonprofit in 2022, with an understanding that relationship and responsibility to the land, and inherent rights of Indigenous peoples and their territories, is the starting place to all work. She has worked as a guest in urban Indigenous communities and nonprofits for over 24 years in the capacity of frontline worker, manager, researcher, director, and board member. Amy supports Indigenous nonprofits through offering HR and governance policy support, organizational design and strategy, nonprofit board training, and operations management.
Amy_Woodruffe

Sierra Wells, Director of Strategic Development & Mediation Practice Lead

My name is Sierra Wells, my mother comes from the Wui’kinuxv Nation of Rivers Inlet and my father was Irish and English. My passion to support Indigenous children, youth and families has led me to work for Indigenous nonprofits for most of my adult life. It is my hope to continue to support the valuable work that Indigenous organizations continue to do. As a mediator I am skilled at supporting people to have tough conversations and at supporting people to build / repair and or strengthen relationships to move forward, and find new ways of working together.
Sierra_Wells_Circle

Lisa Mercure, Education and Indigenous Leadership Practice Lead

Lisa Mercure is Mikisew Cree, K'ai Taile Dëne Sųłıné, and Wêmistikôsêw Iskwêw. She lives in Lekwungen territory and is the proud mother of three strong and beautiful Cree daughters. Lisa is honoured to support Strong Circle and hold space to bring together Indigenous leaders in BC. She has spent the past 20 years supporting Indigenous nonprofits in organizational management and governance throughout the province. Lisa also works at the Victoria Native Friendship Centre as the Indigenous Culture and Traditions Coordinator, and supports Elders and Old Ones to determine culturally relevant programming for their urban community.
lisa mercure photo

Janice Simcoe, Indigenous Education & Leadership Specialist

Janice Simcoe is an Ojibwe-kwe and a member of Chippewas of Rama First Nation. She has lived on Lekwungen territory, near Victoria, BC, for nearly 50 years. Janice recently retired from a long career of working in Indigenous post-secondary and educational leadership. Moreover, she carries with her many years of contributing to community, sitting on and often providing leadership to various boards, councils, and committees. Janice has supported the Friendship Centre movement for over 30 years and remains active in Indigenous community work. Janice is very knowledgeable of and interested in the theory and practice of Indigenous leadership, as well as Indigenization. She is supporting Strong Circle as a curriculum development and process advisor. She offers vision, experience, and love to this work.
janice

Megan Boddy

Megan Boddy grew up on the traditional territories of the Nedut'en, Gitxsan, and Wet'suwet'en, and has been working in Indigenous community on Lekwungen territory in the Friendship Centre movement for the last decade. Her work includes a broad range of administration, program management, communications, and writing and editing everything from novels and scripts to grants and other technical documents. She combines a love of narrative and deep respect for different voices with a passion for clear, concise language.
Megan_Boddy_Circle

Lise Gillies

Lise Gillies (Cree/Metis), born in Williams Lake BC, and raised in Revelstoke, has been honoured to work with Indigenous communities in various roles for the past 10 years. Committed deeply to her culture, she is always quick to love, laugh and create, Lise identifies as neuro-diverse and is famous for having too many hobbies and unfinished art projects. She is mama-bear to a 8-year-old daughter Cammie, who is autistic with complex needs/diverse abilities. Lise is a fierce advocate for disability rights, inclusion, and doodling/drawing in meetings. Lise lives in beautiful Cowichan Tribes territory in Maple Bay, with her husband and excitable puppy named Cedar.
lise

Tanya Behardien

Tanya is a nonprofit leader, collaborator, ally and coach. She has led nonprofits for over 30 years and currently serves as the Executive Director of OneSky Community Resources Society. Tanya's leadership style is grounded in collaboration and compassion, informed through her lens as an African woman who as a child escaped apartheid and moved to unceded Secwepemc territory, known as Kamloops. Tanya now resides as a guest in unceded Syilx territory, known as Summerland, and offers Strong Circle peer support and mentoring in executive leadership, board governance, and labour relations.
Tanya_Behardien_Circle
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