AFN National First Nations Homelessness Action Plan

Calling all First Nations leadership and staff, technicians, and program managers whose work includes advocating for resources and providing services to members experiencing homelessness in or away from the community!

The Assembly of First Nations (AFN) has long worked to advocate for improved housing outcomes for First Nations. Building on this work and guided by a resolution from the Chiefs-in-Assembly, the AFN is working towards the development of a National First Nations Homelessness Action Plan (Action Plan). The AFN is also currently engaging with First Nations across Canada to ensure that the Action Plan is First Nations-led and reflects First Nations’ needs and priorities. We invite you to participate in a focus group to inform the development of the Action Plan and other AFN advocacy efforts. This will help to ensure that the specific needs, realities and priorities of your region and community are reflected in this work.

The primary audience for this engagement session is First Nations leadership, staff, technicians, and program managers. This could include program managers such as housing, health, social development, or other program areas which intersect with issues surrounding First Nations homelessness. Key outcomes of discussion may include:

· A First Nations definition of homelessness informed by First Nations experiences;

· Objectives for a National First Nations Homelessness Action Plan;

· A national survey for First Nations leadership and staff, service providers, and community members. The survey is currently in progress, and you can access it here (

· Resources or partnerships required to eliminate First Nations homelessness; and

· Ways to support First Nations in developing their own homelessness strategies and initiatives.

This series of engagements is just one part of several initiatives and conversations AFN has been conducting to inform the Action Plan. Other initiatives include:

· Research on First Nations homelessness, including a literature review, environmental scan, and a systems map of existing programs and services across Canada;

· Engagements with service providers, advocates, and other experts working in the homelessness sector;

· A national survey for First Nations leadership and staff, service providers, and community members; and

· A National First Nations Homelessness Symposium (June 2021).

Further engagement will be planned to ensure that a wide range of community input informs the development of the Action Plan, including opportunities to review and validate the draft Action Plan.

If you cannot attend these sessions, please consider completing the AFN’s national survey for First Nations leadership and staff, service providers, and community members which can be accessed here. The survey is intended to allow us to hear from First Nations leaders and staff, service providers, and

community members to help strengthen understandings of First Nations experiences of homelessness and identify how the Action Plan can advocate for improved programs and services for First Nations experiencing homelessness.

If you are interested in attending a session, please follow the link to pre-register. Please note there is limited space available:


Should you have any other questions, comments, or concerns about the AFN’s work on a National First Nations Homelessness Action Plan, please contact Jordan Fischer, Senior Policy Analyst, at The AFN looks forward to advancing this important work, together.

Samoon Tasmin

Samoon Tasmin, PhD (Cand.) MA, R.P (Qualifying)


Samoon Tasmin, PhD (Cand.) MA, R.P (Qualifying) is a mental health professional and researcher with a focus on the mental health of immigrants and newcomers to Canada. He is currently consulting on Archipel’s curriculum development project with OCASI, and works closely with leading immigrant-serving organizations including Muslim Family Services of Ottawa, Jewish Family Services of Ottawa, Ottawa Muslim Community Services and REPFO (Ottawa’s Black Francophone Serving Organization), Afghan Network for Social Services (Toronto based organization serving immigrants and newcomers from the South Asia region). 

He has expertise in qualitative research design for social sciences and has led multiple qualitative research projects.  Samoon is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Counselling and Psychotherapy focusing on Psychotherapy for Immigrant communities.. Samoon is also a Registered Psychotherapist (Qualifying) with years of working experience in Afghanistan, India, and Canada. He provides psychotherapy services to a diverse population of clientele.

Portrait of Jeremy Speller

Jeremy Speller, MA, BA Researcher


Jeremy Speller, Mi’gmaq from Gespe’gewa’gi, Mi’gma’gi (Gaspe Peninsula, Quebec), is a facilitator, researcher, and community worker with a B.A. in Political Science and Native Studies (St. Thomas University) and M.A. in Indigenous Governance (University of Victoria).

He is guided by a strong sense of purpose in supporting Indigenous self-determination, particularly through his work with Indigenous communities in policy development and analysis. Both personally and professionally, he has dedicated his efforts to Indigenous resurgence, revitalization and decolonization.

Jeremy has delivered workshops, developed curriculum and facilitated research with the ultimate goal of supporting and advocating for the health and wellness of Indigenous youth and communities.

Portrait of Yusra Osman

Yusra Osman, MSW


Yusra is a Black Canadian anti-racist advocate and educator, registered social worker, mental health counsellor, and researcher. She was the City of Ottawa’s first Anti-Racism Specialist, leading the Anti-Racism Secretariat from 2020-2022. Yusra recently joined Archipel as the EDI Manager. She holds a Master of Social Work degree from Carleton University. Her experience includes working as a frontline social worker and counsellor in community settings and as a contract instructor in Carleton University’s School of Social Work. Her work in Ottawa begins with a deep recognition of Algonquin Anishinabeg presence and nationhood, and the importance of solidarity between Indigenous and racialized communities. She is committed to the well-being of Indigenous, Black and other racialized communities in the face of racism and racial trauma, and to intersectional anti-racist work that strives to bring about systemic change.

Portrait of Megan Julian

Megan Julian, MA


Megan Julian, MURP is a Coast Salish daughter and a member of Stó:l Nation. Growing up in an urban environment Megan experienced the duality of life as an Urban Indigenous, working to maintain a connection with her ancestral community while navigating the requirements of survival in a modern world. This duality persisted further as she pursued goals to travel internationally, while always and simultaneously being drawn back to the necessary work of indigenous self-determination and revival. 

Guided by a drive to improve the quality of life for the world’s most vulnerable she pursued a Bachelor’s degree in International Development; gaining insight into the ways that macro-level policies and political decisions impact the lives of people every day. In order to gain a more locally based understanding of the policies that impact everyday life, Megan completed a Master’s in Urban and Regional Planning. 

Megan has worked as a facilitator, researcher, and Urban Planner. Her most recent work has focused on Disaster-Mitigation Planning, Planning Urban areas for Sea-level rise, and Indigenous Water Planning. Megan is passionate about Indigenous self-determination, indigenous land planning, GIS mapping, learning new languages, and aerial acrobatics. 

Roxanne Buckle

Roxanne Buckle, MBA


Roxanne Buckle, MBA, is a settler woman of Italian, Irish and English ancestry living and working on unceded, unsurrendered Algonquin territory. She brings to Archipel a passion for helping organizations thrive, with over two decades of leadership, marketing, and organizational development experience in private and not-for- profit organizations. Roxanne has helped shape some now well-established global brands. She has a particular expertise in helping to build an organization’s capacity and capability through coaching, training, mentorship, and empowered leadership.

Portrait of Muna Osman

Dr. Muna Osman, PhD, MA, BA


Muna Osman is a researcher and facilitator specializing in social and cross-cultural

psychology, ethnocultural diversity, and the psychosocial development of adolescents. She has a PhD in Psychology at the University of Ottawa and is published in leading journals such as Canadian Psychology and Psychology of Music.

She is a dynamic speaker, facilitator, and researcher who has a passion for understanding the resilience and development of racialized youth. She has facilitated workshops on supporting racialized youth and their families, and has extensive experience speaking in academic and community settings. 

With Archipel, Muna has led several EDI projects, as well as played a key role in developing and implementing the research methodologies for all of our projects.  She has also delivered trainings for local organizations, including Big Brothers Big Sisters of Ottawa. She is fluent in English and Somali and proficient in French.

Portrait of Janet Ferrante

Janet Ferrante


Janet is an Algonquin woman and member of Pikwakanagan FIrst Nation. Providing administrative support to the business development and leadership teams, Janet brings over 15 years of clerical experience in the customer service and health care industries.  Her great poise, ability to navigate high pressure situations, and excellent organizational and time management skills are a tremendous asset to our fast-paced, multi-client, and growing organization.  Janet resides in Niagara Falls Ontario and loves to spend her spare time connecting with her Indigenous roots and staying active with family and friends.

Portrait of John Carlson

John Carlson, PhD (Cand.), MA, BA


John Carlson is Anishinaabe and a member of the Red Rock Indian Band. He has worked on issues of Indigenous self-determination, land-use conflict, and cultural revitalization. He has conducted research on the economics and politics of trapping in northern Ontario, as well as the importance of manoomin to Anishinaabe communities. His research expertise lies in the area of political economy, land use, community development, and economic history. 

His passion is understanding and determining the multiplicity of factors that affect the empowerment of Anishinaabe communities. His article “Manoomin is not Wild Rice: An Anishinaabeg Treaty” appeared in Zeitschrift für Kanada-Studien, the journal of the Association for Canadian Studies in German-Speaking Countries. He teaches Indigenous and Canadian studies at Carleton. He is fluent in English, French, and German.

Candidate, PhD Indigenous and Canadian Studies (Carleton University); M.A. Indigenous Governance (University of Victoria); B.A. Art History and Philosophy (Carleton University).

Portrait of Roxanne Korpan

Roxanne Korpan PhD (Cand.), MA, BA


Roxanne Korpan is a historical researcher, writer, and educator. She lives in southern Saskatchewan—Treaty Four territory on the lands of the nêhiyawak, Anihšināpēk, Dakota, Lakota, and Nakoda, and the homeland of the Métis/Michif Nation—near where her ancestors immigrated to from Norway, Ukraine, and Scotland. Roxanne is passionate about how public-facing research can foster critical engagement with the institutions, policies, practices, and ideologies that govern individuals’ lives. 

Roxanne’s academic research and publications focus on histories of religion, colonialism, and multiculturalism in Canada and Indigenous histories of the Great Lakes region. She has experience teaching in higher education, including designing and teaching undergraduate courses at the University of Toronto on topics ranging from religion and multiculturalism to theory and method in the study of religion. 

Additionally, Roxanne has a background working for non-profit organizations in the areas of policy research and arts and culture, and she is a contemporary dance artist. 

PhD (Candidate) Study of Religion, Book History and Print Culture (University of Toronto); M.A. Religious Studies (University of Regina); B.A. Hons. Religious Studies (University of Regina). 

Portrait of Pitsulala Lyta

Pitsulala Lyta


Pitsulala Lyta (she/her) is Inuk originally from Iqaluit, Nunavut and comes from a long line of strong Inuit women ancestors who lived off the land. Fluent in spoken and written English and Inuktituk, she is a first generation relocatee to settlements before her parents and other Inuit were forced to leave their way of life in the early 1900’s. Pitsulala has worked on the front-line services, and numerous research projects representing in particular Inuit organizations on the local, territorial and national levels related to health, social, justice, human rights amongst other areas of interest.

With over 20 years of working for Indigenous and non-indigenous NGO’s, private companies and local and federal governments, she has gained a wealth of knowledge and experience through her work and through her own personal lived experiences. Pitsulala brings a strong understanding of northern and urban issues related to social determinants of health for Inuit.

Pitsulala comes with formal and informal training in the field of social work (McGill University), Corporate Business Management studies (Algonquin College), Epidemiology Research (Inuit Institute for Research and Planning) and has trained in translating and transcribing Inuktitut to English-English to Inuktitut.

Portrait of Travis Wysote

Travis Wysote, PhD (Cand.) MA, BA


Bio coming soon.

Jean-Marie Rurangwa

Jean-Marie Vianney Rurangwa, MA, BA, BA


Jean-Marie Vianney Rurangwa is a sociologist, educator, and author with decades of experience illuminating the most pressing social and political questions through social science inquiry. His MA research, entitled La question de l’ethnicité au Rwanda. Idéologie raciste et pouvoir, explored the origins and causes of the genocide of the Tutsis in Rwanda.

His critically acclaimed and widely studied works, published in France, Sweden, Mali, Rwanda, and Canada, include Les identités lourdes à porter, essai littéraire (L’Harmattan), “Lorsque la langue devient une arme prônant la destruction de l’autre : parcours diachronique” (in Le génocide des Tutsi. Rwanda, 1994 : lectures et écritures.  Presses de l’Université Laval), “Afrika, vem är du?” (in Emergencia, Bild Museet, Umea Universitet), his novel Au sortir de l’enfer (L’ Harmattan), and his autobiography Un Rwandais sur les routes de l’exil (L’ Harmattan). He has also directed and produced theatre in several countries, as well as being a fellow of the International Writing Program at the University of Iowa. He is fluent in French, Kinyarwanda, Kirundi, Italian, and English, and proficient in Spanish, Swahili, and German.

Candidate, Ph.D. Sociology (University of Ottawa);  M.A. Sociology (University of Ottawa); BA (Licenza in Sociologia) Sociology (Pontifica Universita Gregoriana), BA (Licence en Lettres françaises) French Language and Literature (Université du Burundi).

Shaniqwa Thomas

Shaniqwa Thomas, JD, MA


Bio coming soon.

Aliqa Illauq

Aliqa Illauq


Aliqa Illauq is an Inuk woman originally from Kangiqtugaapik in the Qikiqtaaluk region in Nunavut. She was born and raised in Inuit Nunagat and brought up in a strong Inuit community where Inuit culture, language, and traditions were very much alive and lived. She has Inuit skills that she has been taught from a very young age from the elders of her home community. Aliqa is of the first generation after Inuit displacement through the processes of colonization. Aliqa grew up surrounded by the strong presence of Inuit arts – literature, music, dance, films, carvings, printing, and more. 

Aliqa knows the importance of Inuit arts and their connection to keeping Inuit culture, language and traditions alive so the next Inuit generations may learn from them. Currently, Aliqa is pursuing an undergraduate degree with a combined Honours in Law and Human Rights and Social Justice with a minor in Indigenous Studies at Carleton University. Aliqa is also a mother to three children with mixed Indigenous ancestry: Inuk, Plains Cree, Oji-Cree, and Métis. 

Through Aliqa’s lived experiences and family ties, she has a deep understanding, connection and respect to Inuit, First Nations, and Métis cultures and knowledges. She is an experienced facilitator and researcher who has worked on a variety of projects for both Indigenous and non-Indigenous organizations. These include the GALA project researching Inuit literature from the 1960-1970’s, and the Carleton University Indigenous Strategic Initiatives Committee. Aliqa is fluent in Inuktitut and English. 

Graham Paradis

Graham Paradis


Graham (he/him) is Michif/Wiisaakodewin from Penetanguishene with ancestral ties to the Métis homelands, specifically Lesser Lakes Lake, AB and the Red River Settlement. He is a citizen of the Métis Nation of Ontario. Graham has been beading since 2012 as a self-taught artist and started mentoring under Naomi Smith (Chippewas of Nawash, Neyaashiiningmiing Unceded Territory) in 2014. His beadwork and quillwork have been feautured at the Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies, Art Mur, the PAMA Museum, Guelph Civic Museum, the Niagara Falls History Museum, and the Mississippi Valley Textile Museum. Giniw is Red/Green colour blind which at times gives his beadwork an interesting and unique colour palette. He presently serves on the Indigenous Arts Committee of the Toronto Arts Council. Graham is one of Archipel’s leading facilitators, having conducted dozens of interviews and focus groups with Indigenous communities, organizations, artists, culture carriers, and elders. 

Catherine Stockall, MA, BA

Catherine Stockall MA, BA


Catherine Stockall MA, BA is an Archipel researcher and a settler woman, originally from unceded Mi’kmaq territory in what is now known as New Brunswick. Catherine holds an M.A. in Indigenous and Canadian Studies (Carleton University) and a B.A.(Hons) in Canadian Studies (Mount Allison University.) 

Catherine’s academic work has focused mainly on deconstructing the origins and manifestations of Canadian identity, and the criminalization of Indigenous peoples, focusing specifically on issues of gendered violence and environmental justice. 

Guided by a strong sense of purpose in supporting Indigenous self-determination, she has a breadth of experience related to Indigenous inclusion, development and policy analysis, having worked on numerous projects including Archipel’s national study for the Canada Council of the Arts, an environmental scan for the Geographical Names Board of Canada and a language study for the Assembly of First Nations. 

She has also worked in the area of affordable housing and community organizing.

Hope Metallic

Hope Metallic


Hope Metallic, BA is Mi’kmaq from Listuguj First Nation and holds a BA with a double major in Criminology and Native Studies (St. Thomas University). Hope is passionate about advocating for indigenous communities and especially for Indigenous women.  Hope has many years’ experience supporting Mi’kmaq communities throughout New Brunswick through her work at Wolastoqiyik family services, Mi’kmaw Kinamatnewey, and  Listuguj Youth Center. She has managed projects related to Treaty education, alternative housing for indigenous youth, and Family services to First Nations families across New Brunswick. With her years of experience within Indigenous communities, Hope understands what it takes to build an effective professional relationship with colleagues, clientele, and the general public service.  Hope resides in New Brunswick and is an active member of the rugby community, playing for the provincial women’s team and a coach for Indigenous youth rugby. 

Latissah Alleyne, BA

Latissah Alleyne, BA


Latissah Alleyne, BA. is an assistant researcher who specializes in equity, diversity and inclusion.  Latissah holds a BA in sociology from X-University (formerly known as Ryerson). Her studies focused on social justice, gender and racial equity.

Through her work with the sociology department at Ryerson, she was able to influence change in the curriculum. She also was involved in advocating for the principles of equity, diversity and inclusion to be practiced throughout the institution, as the Caribbean Studies student coordinator. 

Dr. Safiyah Rochelle

Dr. Safiyah Rochelle


Dr. Safiyah Rochelle, PhD, MA, BA. is an experienced researcher, scholar and community advocate in the fields of social  justice, race, and gender equity. Safiyah holds a Ph.D. in legal studies from Carleton University, Canada. Her research focuses on contemporary political and legal theory, critical race and visual studies, state violence, and violence and the body.  

She is a well respected published author, speaker and professor lecturing on a variety of topics related to law, gender, race, social justice, and Canadian legal institutions. Safiyah  is currently leading a nationwide research project for the Elizabeth Fry society examining the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on accessing and securing housing for criminalized women.

Illuminée Kanazayire, SSW

Illuminée Kanazayire, SSW


lluminée Kanazayire is a community worker and facilitator with decades of experience working with the survivors of war, genocide, and other forms of communal trauma. She has significant expertise in the areas of community healing, peacebuilding, reconciliation, and intercultural communication. For over a decade, she worked as a workshop facilitator for World Vision Rwanda, helping teachers, healthcare professionals, administrators, and faith leaders to heal the open wounds of conflict through education, dialogue, and community consultation. 

Illuminée brings to Archipel an expertise in harnessing community potential and grassroots expertise in order to approach complex social problems. She has also worked in Rwanda with children as an outreach nutritionist, and with newcomers to Canada at the Maison Marie-Louise in Ottawa. She has a diploma in Social Services from La Cité Collegiale, and a Diploma in Social Sciences from Goma, Democratic Republic of the Congo.  She is fluent in French, Kinyarwanda, Kirundi, Swahili, and English.

Hosai Qasmi

Dr. Hosai Qasmi


Hosai Qasmi is a Ph.D. candidate at the Institute of Feminist and Gender Studies, University of Ottawa. Hosai’s Doctoral project focuses on the role of television in representing gender relations in a post conflict society such as Afghanistan and on challenging representations of gender roles in Afghan media. She has a Master of Arts degree in Communication from  the University of Ottawa. Hosai has worked as researcher on developmental and academic projects in Canada and Afghanistan. 

She has been actively engaged in areas of women’s empowerment, media, immigration, resettlement, and reintegration. Her areas of research expertise include Gender-based Analysis Plus (GBA +), international development, and immigrant and refugee communities. She has over eight years of experience of designing and implementing developmental projects in Afghanistan. She is actively involved in Afghan refugee resettlement organizations in Canada. She is fluent in English, Persian, Urdu, and Pashto.

Candidate, Ph.D. Feminist and Gender Studies (University of Ottawa);  M.A. Communication (University of Ottawa); B.A. Psychology and Educational Sciences (Kabul University).

Sonja Belliveau

Sonja Belliveau


Sonja is Mi’kmaq and a member of Eel River Bar First Nation (ERB), a mother of three, a friend to many, and a practitioner of traditional medicines. Sonja has a strong and diverse portfolio and a variety of special skills including conflict resolution, mediation, human relations, and team building. She is known for her nurturing nature and ability to take initiative. Sonja prioritizes and enjoys continued learning and is a forever student of her medicinal teachings and botany. She currently lives in her home community of ERB, where she works with her band to adopt best governing practices.  

Portraint of Sabre Pictou Lee

Sabre Pictou Lee JD, MA, BFA


Sabre is Archipel’s CEO and co-founder and is a Mi’kmaw citizen of Ugpi’ganjig (Eel River Bar First Nation) in northern New Brunswick. Sabre holds a Juris Doctor of Law with a specialization in Indigenous and Aboriginal Law from Dalhousie University, an M.A. in Indigenous and Canadian Studies from Carleton University and a B.F.A. in Art History and Indigenous Studies from Concordia University.

Sabre is a highly experienced and sought-after Indigenous liaison and researcher with over ten years of experience in the areas of Indigenous and Aboriginal law, mediation, Indigenous arts & culture, identity, health, and language revitalization. She has worked in Indigenous-related program development, community planning, facilitation, marketing, and policy development and analysis. Her work includes developing reconciliation frameworks and relation tools, First Nation band codes, economic development initiatives, brand management, harm-reduction tools, Indigenous law revitalization and Aboriginal and Treaty Right projects.

Sabre has led a variety of projects seeking to augment Indigenous sovereignty, stewardship, and inclusion in provincial, federal, and organizational relations and workings. Under Sabre’s leadership, Archipel has served such noteworthy clients as ISO/APTN ,Canada Council for the Arts, Assembly of First Nations, Global Centre for Pluralism, , CN Railway, Covenant House Toronto, Department of Canadian Heritage, Parks Canada, The Native Women’s Association of Canada, and the Ottawa Museum Network, to mention just a few.
With her facilitation and mediation expertise, Sabre works to build bridges between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples, uplift community voices, and facilitate reconciliation. In 2022, Sabre was recognized as Invest Ottawa’s International Woman of the Year and received the Donald Marshall Junior Memorial Award for her Aboriginal Treaty Rights advocacy.

A former downhill skier who competed internationally, and varsity rugby player, Sabre continues to be heavily involved in the world of sports and is an avid outdoor enthusiast who works to honour and promote land stewardship. She serves as a board member/advisor to Protect our Winters Canada, Outsiders Network and AndHumanity.