We are an Anishinaabe, Two-Spirit, and sober led grassroots organization. We are a two year old organization and growing exponentially. Our staff and core volunteers all walk a sober road. We emphasize healing and sobriety in our leadership as a true form of decolonization. The Native Justice Coalition is also Two-Spirit led. We have an old time but bold approach that is needed to challenge internalized colonization, internalized oppression, lateral violence, addiction, and community brokenness across Anishinaabe Aki. With this strong foundation we can bring greater healing to our people and communities.
Cecelia Rose LaPointe - FOUNDER & Executive Director
Nigig-enz Baapi nindizhinikaaz. Ajijaak doodem. Kchiwiikwedong miinawaa Mashkiziibi nindonjibaa.
My name is Little Laughing Otter. I am crane clan. I come from the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community and Bad River Band of Lake Superior Ojibway.
Cecelia is Ojibway/Métis and is Mashkiziibi (Bad River Band of Lake Superior Ojibway or LaPointe Band of Ojibway) and Kchiwiikwedong (Keweenaw Bay Indian Community). They are enrolled in Mashkiziibi and maintain a strong community affiliation to Kchiwiikwedong. Cecelia identifies as Two-Spirit based in their culture. They have a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan and a Master of Arts in Environmental Leadership from Naropa University in Boulder, Colorado. Cecelia has been fiercely walking a sober road since January 2nd 2010. They have survived settler colonial racism on numerous occasions as a form of every day resistance.
Cecelia is the Founder and Owner of Red Circle Consulting and Waub Ajijaak Press. The Native Justice Coalition is currently a project under Red Circle Consulting. They are a Consultant, Poet, Writer, and Author. Learn more about their work, writing, and poetry on their website.
leora lancaster - two-spirit project coordinator
Meskwa’aa-Opwaagan-Ikwe - Leora L Lancaster, is a contingent special instructor of Native American Studies at Northern Michigan University and MA candidate in Education Administration: American Indian Education Administration and Supervision. Her research involves Postcolonial Indigenous Theory, Tribal Critical Race Theory, and Indigenous pedagogy with an emphasis of teachings from the Great Lakes Anishinaabeg, Three Fires Confederacy. In addition to education, Lancaster works predominantly in the medium of photography. Through her postmodern Indigenous approach, she advocates the Indigenous Cultural and Linguistic Revitalization Movement. She is represented in the permanent collection of the DeVos Art Museum at Northern Michigan University. Leora is working on the launch of the Native Justice Coalition’s Two-Spirit Project. She will conduct community outreach and organizing across Anishinaabe Aki in 2019 as we build new relationships, focus on decolonization, health, and healing in our communities.
Grey shea - healing stories project coordinator
Meskwa Gekek Kwe n'dizhinikaaz. Migizi n'doodem. Ojibwe Anishinaabe n’daaw. Bahweting n'doonjibaa.
Grey is a citizen of the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians and is Eagle clan. They graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Native American Studies from Northern Michigan University in 2019, and are grateful to be a part of the first Native Studies Bachelor's program in Michigan. They have previously worked with Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore to help improve the park's consideration and inclusion of the Anishinaabe within their programming and among staff. Grey is passionate about learning everything they can so they may share that knowledge with others. They strive for Anishinaabe mino-bimaadiziwin (living a good life) and practice their Anishinaabemowin and traditional arts such as beadwork and birch bark etching as much as possible in their spare time. Grey will be working on building a stronger Anishinaabe Healing Stories on Racial Justice Project in our second year of the program through community outreach for our events and mentorship of event’s Story Sharers.
Neebinnaukzhik Southall - graphic design consultant
Neebinnaukzhik Southall is a member of the Chippewas of Rama First Nation. Her first name means “Summer Evening” in the Anishinaabe language. Neebin currently lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico. She is a graphic designer, photographer, writer, and an artist. She graduated from Oregon State University with an Honors BFA in Applied Visual Arts in 2011 and a minor in Visual Arts, and a certificate in Native American Art History from the Institute of American Indian Arts in May 2019. Recently, she was a summer fellow in the Peabody Essex Museum’s Native American Fellowship program. Neebinnaukzhik runs a small creative business called Neebin Studios (www.neebin.com). Since 2012, Neebin Studios has predominantly focused on work impacting and involving Native communities, including arts writing on Native artists and designers; photography encompassing portraits, fashion, artwork, and jewelry; and graphic design projects for cultural and arts organizations and individuals. Neebinnaukzhik has helped drive conversations about the importance of representation of Native graphic designers, and maintains a list of Indigenous graphic designers through the Native Graphic Design Project (www.neebin.com/nativedesign), one of the few such resources currently available.
Anthony Cergnul - Outreach & organizing intern
Boozhoo Kina! Anthony Cergnul n'dizhinikaaz M'iigan n' doodem Kitchiwikwedondsing n'doonjiba. Hello everyone my name is Anthony Cergnul I am of the wolf clan of the Cherokee nation with ancestral ties to the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians as well as the Blackfoot Nation of Montana.
Anthony is originally from Manton, Michigan. He currently resides in Marquette, Michigan, where he works and studies at Northern Michigan University (NMU). Anthony is pursuing a double major in Native American Studies and Criminal Justice. Ever since hearing about his family’s stories of oppression of their culture, he has made it his goal and passion to fight for the racial justice for the first people of Turtle Island. Anthony currently sits as the Vice President of the Native American Student Association at NMU. He is also active in the tribal communities in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan focusing on language and cultural revitalization.
Samantha hale - youth community outreach volunteer
Samantha is a 14 year old Bahweting (Sault Saint Marie Band of Chippewa Indians) tribal member. She attends J.K.L Bahweting Anishnabe Public School Academy in Bahweting. Sam enjoys community organizing and outreach in Anishinaabe Aki. Currently she is having over 100 middle schoolers work on different charity projects in groups of 17 with my partner for our class project. Everything they raise will go to the community. Some of her hobbies are charity work, playing instruments, designing buildings, or hanging out with friends. She has participated in the Native Justice Coalition’s Anishinaabe Healing Stories on Racial Justice Project, Anishinaabe Environmental Justice Project, as well as she was a presenter and panelist at our 2nd Annual Anishinaabe Racial Justice Conference. Sam will be volunteering with youth community outreach for the NJC and we are excited to watch her leadership grow!
Philomena Kebec - harm reduction Project volunteer
Philomena is an enrolled member of the Bad River Band of Lake Superior Chippewa and a 2008 graduate of the University of Minnesota Law School. She currently serves as the Co-Coordinator of Gwayakobimaadiziwin Bad River Harm Reduction, along with Aurora Conley. Gwayakobimaadizin is an all-volunteer tribal harm reduction program offering syringe exchange and overdose prevention services since 2015. The program serves people who inject drugs, their friends and family members who live in and around the Bad River Indian Reservation with respect and dignity, access to sterile injection equipment, overdose prevention services, food and other services. Philomena enjoys living in Ojibwe traditional territory and spends free time harvesting wild food and medicine with her two children.
Jazz McKinney - Two-Spirit Project Volunteer
Jazz is a Black and Indigenous (Cherokee and Ojibwe) Two-Spirit individual that currently lives in Grand Rapids, Michigan. They received their Master’s degree in Counseling Psychology from Western Michigan University and their bachelor’s degree in Psychology & Women and Gender Studies from Grand Valley State University. They currently work as a LGBTQ+ Domestic and Sexual Violence Outreach Therapist at YWCA West Central Michigan. Jazz has been involved with advocacy and activism in the LGBTQ+ community for over 15 years as well as racial justice work. Also, they serve on the boards of the Grand Rapids Pride Center and GVSU’s Milton E. Ford LGBT Resource Center. Jazz is passionate about working to decolonize gender roles and identities as well as discussing the impact that harmful gender binaries can cause within our communities.
Kateri Phillips - Racial Justice Youth Organizer Volunteer
Bozho gete’i ndezhnekas. Bodwewadmi ndaw, thigwe mine mbish ndodem. Hello my name is Kateri Phillips I am Potawatomi tribal member. I am water and thunder clan.
Kateri is from the Potawatomi nation with a strong cultural identity. She has a passion for her people and a drive to be involved in neshnabe communities. She is enrolled at Bay Mills Community College learning her neshnabe language and plans to receive a degree in Plant Chemistry. Kateri is learning to use resources from the great lakes area such as harvesting birch bark, wild rice, spruce root, different berries, and picking different teas. She recently claimed the title of Miss Potawatomi 2019-2020. As the current Miss Potawatomi she wants to represent her people by showing the resiliency and strength of her people. One of her main goals is to boost native pride and to make a more positive self image for our people. She feels that by singing her songs that she writes and being a sober positive role model she can empower her people and make a better path for future generations.
Board of Directors
Updated information on its way dagwaagin (fall) 2019. Stayed tuned.