Amanda L. Kennedy
Yotuni Charitable Initiative - Project Director
Amanda was a marginalized, colonized Indigenous youth. Her and her peer’s parents, grandparents and great-grandparents went to residential schools. She grew up in the troubled neighbourhood Manor Park in London, ON that had 70 low-income houses for marginalized Indigenous families. Amanda and her peers walked hard paths, some led to death, suicide, murder, addictions and more. All stemmed from their truth and intergenerational trauma.
As a youth Amanda became a leader, mentor, advocate, facilitator, coordinator and developer of Indigenous children and youth camps, workshops, committees, conferences, worked in the Social and Administration/Finance fields and as a Teacher for marginalized, Indigenous youth and adult learners.
Today Amanda is a Traditional Haudenosaunee woman leader and Indigenous Social Innovator. She is a self-taught, self-made social entrepreneur and the Founder of Kuwahs^nahawi “in her name they carry” Indigenous Social Enterprises and Yotuni Charitable Initiative. Both based on her Nation, Oneida Nation of the Thames beside the Thames River.
Yotuni Charitable Initiative is what Amanda and her peers needed as children and youth, and is for the children and youth of today, providing strong structure, support, guidance, culture and education. Amanda is the Project Director of Yotuni Charitable Initiative.
Yotuni C.I Youth Assistant
Tehya Quachegan is a 3rd year Psychology and Indigenous Studies honours double major candidate at Western University. She is James Bay Cree from Moose Factory, grew up in Thunder Bay, and considers both her homes. She has worked in student support at Western’s Indigenous Student Services and is beginning her term as President of the Indigenous Student Association. Through this role she currently sits on Westerns Indigenous Post-Secondary Education Council and their Indigenous Learning & Curriculum Sub-Committee.
She is currently a fellow for Global MINDS, a global mental health non-profit. Through her studies and work she is focusing on addressing the need to create opportunities for land-based learning in postsecondary institutions to improve education and wellness outcomes for Indigenous students.
Outside of school, Tehya spent two summers interning at Nishnawbe Aski Nation, a political organization representing 49 First Nation communities. She worked within Indigenous youth suicide response and prevention and was able to see the need for more mental health workers and youth programming first hand, inspiring her to pursue the like.
She is currently part of the 4Rs National Learning Community and received a grant to hold a youth empowerment and allyship symposium in Thunder Bay taking place this fall.
She recently joined the “Indigenous Youth: Designing a Better Justice System” project to develop a game which will empower youth by incorporating traditional Indigenous journeys into a journey to gain knowledge about their legal rights. Tehya acknowledges the difficulties that come with growing up Indigenous in the city and wants youth to know their value and that they have the power to create change. She is excited to be continuing this journey by joining Yotuni Charitable Initiative.
Yotuni C.I Youth Volunteer Advisor
Spencer is a volunteer advisor on the Yotuni team and a student attending Queen’s University for a Master of Science specializing in Aging and Health. A recent graduate from the Ivey Business School’s HBA program, he first started working with Yotuni C.I through a group project in his social enterprise class and has continued volunteering ever since! Born and raised in London Ontario, Spencer hopes to use his talents and passion for both business and healthcare to help Yotuni C.I grow and continue to make a difference in the lives of children, youth and their families.