Learn more about the ‘Supporting Indigenous Language Revitalization’ Project’s Team

Jesse Alook

Evaluation Coordinator, Community-University Partnership (CUP) + Supporting Indigenous Language Revitalization (SILR)

Jesse (RN, BScN, MPH) is Cree from Bigstone Cree Nation based out of Wabasca, AB in Northern Alberta. He was raised in Wabasca until the age of 15, when he moved to Edmonton for higher education. He currently lives on Treaty 7 territory in Lethbridge, AB. He is a graduate of the Masters of Public Health program at the University, with a specialization in Health Policy and Management. Prior to pursuing a masters degree, Jesse worked as an Emergency Department Registered Nurse at the UofA Hospital.


Jason Daniels

Evaluation Specialist, Community-University Partnership (CUP) for the Study of Children, Youth and Family, University of Alberta

Dr. Daniels has worked as an evaluator for 14 years. Dr. Daniels has extensive experience in conducting participatory, community-based evaluations in many different areas of focus including working with children, youth and families from a wide range of backgrounds.

Jenn Gallup

Grant Admin Support, Faculty of Education + Supporting Indigenous Language Revitalization (SILR)

Jenn grew up and lives in Edmonton with her husband and two boys. She has been providing administrative support for over 15 years ranging from student services to senior leadership. She is currently providing admin support for the ILTDP (Indigenous Language Teacher Development Projects) and now, in addition, the SILR project. She is extremely excited to be part of this revitalization project.

Velvalee Georges

Graduate Research Assistant, Office of the Vice-Provost (Indigenous Programming & Research), Supporting Indigenous Language Revitalization (SILR)

Velvalee Georges is a PhD candidate in elementary education at the University of Alberta.  She is a graduate of the Saskatchewan Urban Teacher Education Program (Saskatoon, 1985) and has a Master of Education degree in Inclusive Education from the University of Manitoba (2007).  She is an experienced teacher and administrator.  Originally from Sakitawak, Sk (Ile-a-la-Crosse) she speaks some Northern Michif and understands a great deal more. Although she left her home community many years ago to pursue employment and study, language resonates strongly in all of her work, no matter where she goes.  She married, has an adult daughter, and is now raising her great niece who is 8 years old. She makes her home in Pigeon Lake, AB

Pamela McCoy Jones

Executive Director, Office of the Vice-Provost (Indigenous Programming and Research), Supporting Indigenous Language Revitalization (SILR)

Pamela is Anishinaabe from Wawa, Ontario with family in Michipicoten First Nation (on her mother’s side) and Batchewana First Nation (on her father’s side). She is a mother of four and currently lives in Stony Plain on Treaty Six territory. Pamela has over 15 years of experience in policy and strategic planning specializing in Indigenous education. Pamela is passionate about Indigenous language sovereignty and the implementation of the Supporting Indigenous Languages Revitalization initiative. Pamela is also the chair of the Steering Committee. 

Violet Okemaw

Curriculum Director, Office of the Vice-Provost (Indigenous Programming & Research), Supporting Indigenous Language Revitalization (SILR)

Violet Okemaw, originally from Berens River First Nation, speaks fluent Anishinaabe and commends her parents and grandparents for her strong linguistic and cultural background. 

In 1984, Violet received her Bachelor of Education degree and later graduated with a Master in Education Degree at the University of Manitoba. She has taught elementary and secondary students and was a school administrator in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

In addition, Violet has worked with the Manitoba First Nations Education Resource Centre Inc (MFNERC) for several years as a manager/director for school programs. Violet graduated with her PhD in June 2019 at the University of Alberta. Her research is based on developing a deeper understanding of the relationships among Anishinaabe language and literacies, Indigenous knowledge systems (IKS), and bimaadiziwin (“a way of life”) in the Anishinaabe language by exploring current Aboriginal language teaching and learning practices.

Violet and her husband Rudy have two daughters and two grandchildren.

Davina Rousell

Research Associate, Office of the Vice-Provost (Indigenous Programming & Research), Supporting Indigenous Language Revitalization (SILR)

Dr. Rousell has specialized in community-driven research and Indigenous research methodologies and has over 18 years of experience working with and for Indigenous communities. Her areas of expertise include the mitigation and prevention of racist beliefs and praxis, Nêhiyaw teaching and learning processes, allyship, leadership, health and well-being. She is honoured to be part of an interdisciplinary research team which is seeking a deeper understanding of the connections between Indigenous languages and wellbeing.

Sherryl Sewepagaham

Graduate Research Assistant, Office of the Vice-Provost (Indigenous Programming & Research), Supporting Indigenous Language Revitalization (SILR)

Sherryl Sewepagaham is of Woodland Cree and Dene roots from the Little Red River Cree Nation in northern Alberta in Treaty 8 territory. She is working to complete a M.Ed in Elementary Education focusing on Curriculum & Pedagogy. Sherryl is a long-time K-6 elementary music specialist, music therapist, and Indigenous choral director having focused her passion on infusing the Cree language and culture in her work with students, clients, and educators. She is a published choral composer of Cree repertoire on an international level and created many Cree-based, music education resources for the National Arts Centre’s Music Alive Program and MusiCounts Education Charity. Sherryl has worked on Indigenizing music education nationally and has been invited to conduct research in this field with professors of Music Education across Canada. She is a 23-year member of the 2006 Juno-nominated Indigenous women’s trio, Asani, and has a 19 year-old son and a mini-poodle.

Crystal Wood

Graduate Research Assistant, Office of the Vice-Provost (Indigenous Programming & Research), Supporting Indigenous Language Revitalization (SILR)

Crystal Wood is a member of Łı́ı́dlı̨ı̨ Kų́ę́ First Nation from Fort Simpson, NWT but has always resided on Treaty Six or Seven territory in Alberta. She currently lives with her husband, two children and dogs North of Spruce Grove on Treaty 6 territory. Her passion(s) include creating and supporting meaningful change in the community, and currently serves on committees with her children’s school division, and with the Indigenous Graduate Students Association with the University of Alberta. Her drive for meaningful educational change for the inclusion of Indigenous education leveraged her to pursue her PhD. Crystal is excited to be part of the ‘Supporting Indigenous Language Revitalization’ research team to help bring forward research and awareness of the importance of First Nation, Métis, and Inuit languages on Turtle Island.