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About Us

The XU Pow Wow is a student-led and organized community event, operating with the generous support of the Provost’s Office, Saagajiwe at The Creative School, and many other incredible Institutional and External Partners.

Dehmin Cleland
Dehmin Cleland

Outreach Lead, OCADU

Dehmin Clealand (she/her) is our Outreach Lead this year!

Dehmin is Ojibwe/Odawa from Wikwemikong Unceded territory and is currently studying Indigenous Visual Culture at OCADU.

She is excited to hopefully be able to see people in person again this year!

Shannah Williamson
Shannah Williamson

Editor Post Production, X University

Shannah Williamson (she/her) is our Video Editing Lead this year! 

Shannah is Anishinaabe from the Chippewas of Georgina Island First Nation. 

She is her fourth year of RTA Media Production at X University and is excited to be on a team with such talented Indigenous students!

You can find Shannah here, external link, opens in new window.

Karly Cywink
Karly Cywink

Design & Website Lead, X University

Karly Cywink (she/her) is our Website and Design Lead this year! Karly is a multidisciplinary Ojibwe artist from Whitefish River.

She’s a recent graduate of XU's RTA Media Production and is currently headed into her Masters.

This is her 3rd year working with Pow Wow and is so excited to continue the work with the community.

You can find Karly here, external link, opens in new window.

Kay Higgins
Kay Higgins

Social Media & Communications Lead, X University

Kay Higgins (they/them) is our Social Media and Communications Lead this year!

Kay is an Anishinaabe two-spirit artist in the Image Arts program at X University.

They are excited to be working alongside other Indigenous students this year to bring a deadly virtual Pow Wow!

You can find Kay here, external link, opens in new window.

Kathleen Edwards
Kathleen Edwards

Coordinator, X University

Kathleen Edwards (she/her) is our Pow Wow Coordinator! K. J. is a filmmaker with Moontime Productions.

She is of Kanien’kehá:ka and European settler ancestry. Her family are wolf clan, from Kahnawá:ke.

K.J. recently wrote and directed a narrative short, Meet The Sky.

You can find Kathleen here, external link, opens in new window.

Emma Litscho
Emma Litschko

Education Week Lead, York University

Emma Litschko (she/they) is our Education Week Lead this year!

They are of mixed Mi'kmaq descent. She is currently pursuing her MA in History with a thesis on Two Spirit, Non-Binary, and Transgender Indigenous history from 1500-1900.

You can find Emma here, external link, opens in new window.

Sidney Groombridge
Sidney Groombridge

Vendor & E-Commerce Lead, Georgian College & GB

Sidney Groombridge (she/her) is our Vendor and E-Commerce Lead this year!

Sidney is Ojibwe from Serpent River First Nation. She is currently studying Denturism at Georgian College and hopes to pursue her dream of opening a Denturist office on/close to her reserve.

You can find Sidney here, external link, opens in new window.

Faculty and Staff Support

Riley Kucheran
Riley Kucheran

Saagjiwe - Faculty Support, X University

Riley Kucheran, Biigtigong Nishnaabeg, (he/him) is our Faculty support! Riley is an Assistant Professor of Design Leadership in the School of Fashion.

He is the Associate Director of Saagajiwe, an Indigenous research centre within the Faculty of Communication and Design, and he's also a PhD student and supports many of X University's Indigenous initiatives.

Riley helped reboot the Pow Wow in 2018 with Laura Heidenheim, and he's excited to see another year of growth with a new student team!

You can find Riley here, external link, opens in new window.

Laura Heidenheim
Laura Heidenheim

Saagajiwe - Staff Support, X University

Laura Heidenheim (she/her) is the Pow Wow's staff support!

Laura is a settler of German and Jewish descent. She is currently the Manager of Saagajiwe, which is proud to host the XU Pow Wow.

She is excited to see what the brilliant team of students will accomplish this year!

Over the years The XU Pow Wow is also thankful for the incredible support of Institutional and External Partners over the years.

Miigwetch to:

Aboriginal Student Services, the Provost’s Office, Saagajiwe, the Creative School, the

Athletics Department, the Library, the Centre for Excellence in Learning and Teaching,

Student Life, SciXchange, the Ted Rogers School of Management, the RTA School of

Management, the School of Journalism, the School of Fashion, the Theatre School, the

City of Toronto, Canadian Heritage, Canadian Roots Exchange, Joanne Dallaire, Monica

McKay, Marie Gaudet, Jimmy Dick, Pauline Shirt, Steve Teekens, Jennifer Sylvester,

Stephanie Pangowish, Damie Lee, John Moore, Geoffery Daybutch.

And a big thank you to all of the students, staff, faculty and community members who volunteer and contribute to Ryerson Pow Wow!