We are a mostly volunteer led organization but growing fast. Cecelia is our only staff member. Our staff and core volunteers all walk a sober road. Some have walked a sober road for their entire lives. 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 patriarchy, internalized oppression, lateral violence, addiction, and community brokenness. With this strong foundation we can bring greater healing to our people and communities.
Cecelia Rose LaPointe - Director
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 is ajijaak dodem (crane clan). 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 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.
Desiree Jermac - Conference intern
Desiree is an enrolled Ojibwe member of Kchiwiikwedong (Keweenaw Bay Indian Community), where she was born and raised. She is Makwa Dodem (bear clan). Desiree is currently a full time student, studying Liberal Arts at Keweenaw Bay Ojibwa Community College. After graduation she plans to transfer to a 4 year university, and one day hopes to bring her degree back to her tribe to help her people in any way that she can.
She will be the Native Justice Coalition’s Conference Intern from February through the end of May. Desiree will be engaging in community outreach and assisting overall with making our 2nd Annual Anishinaabe Racial Justice Conference happen. She was also a Story Sharer at the Healing Stories Project in Keweenaw Bay in 2015.
Philomena Kebec - Projects & outreach 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 Needle Exchange, 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.
Jeny Lai - Graphic Design Volunteer
Jeny is a doctoral student studying sociology at Michigan State University. She has a bachelor's degree in agricultural and biological engineering from Purdue University, and a master's degree in sociology from Michigan State University. She served two terms as an AmeriCorps service member, with placements in Washington state and Minnesota. She lives with her partner Sam and their cat, Gumbo. As an extension of her studies, Jeny works to support minority and Indigenous-led initiatives that pursue an inclusive racial justice.
TEIANA mcgahey - anishinaabe northern outreach volunteer
Teia (Ojibwe - Sault Tribe of Chippewa Indians) lives in Waawiyaataanong - At the Curved Shores (Detroit). She also has Aztec, Irish, German, and French ancestry. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Urban Studies from the University of Michigan-Dearborn in 2017. Teia has worked as community organizer and now works as the I-Lead Program Assistant at American Indian Health and Family Services (AIHFS) in Detroit. She is passionate about building a larger Anishinaabe Racial Justice Coalition so that we can heal, grow, and find strength together. Teia served as the NJC’s first Healing Stories Intern in Fall 2018 in which she successfully assisted in the launch of the program and recruiting 23 Story Sharers and 100 event attendees in 3 Anishinaabe communities in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. She is passionate about decolonization and shared experiences of Indigenous people on a global level.
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.