Anishinaabe Support Staff

Anishinaabe Initiatives provides academic and cultural support to Anishinaabe students and Algoma U community members. In addition, Anishinaabe Initiatives delivers events and programming that helps Anishinaabe students succeed in University; while helping promote and celebrate Anishinaabe culture and practices on campus.

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Melissa Agawa
Anishinaabe Social and Cultural Program Coordinator
705-949-2301, ext.4816 
Office: SH 205

Melissa Agawa, the Anishinaabe Social and Cultural Program Coordinator, assists with activities on campus for Anishinaabe students and community members. She organizes the Gathering at the Rapids Pow-wow, Grade 5 Education Day and the Elders’ Gathering. She also mentors student assistants, who work alongside her to gain employment experience. As the staff advisor, Melissa also helps coordinate events with Shingwauk Anishinaabe Students’ Association (SASA).

Bonnie Gaikezheyongai

Bonnie Gaikezheyongai
Anishinaabe Academic Success Advisor
705-949-2301, ext.4815
Office: SH 314

Bonnie Gaikezheyongai, the Anishinaabe Student Advisor, provides academic advising services to both Anishinaabe and non-Anishinaabe students. She is responsible for helping students with course selections and ensuring program requirements are met while deliberating long-term academic goals. Bonnie liaises with Education Counselors and University departments as needed. She also develops and delivers seminars on study skills and academic success. The Anishinaabe Student Advisor has a working familiarity with University departments, academic regulations, practices, and protocols that are effective and valuable in providing academic advising to first-year students. Additionally, Bonnie assists students with maintaining physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual well-being while at Algoma U. She is acquainted with numerous community resources and will connect students with the help they need.

Aryn Lesage

Aryn Lesage
Anishinaabe Outreach Officer
705-949-2301 ext. 3151
Office: SH 306

The Anishinaabe Outreach Officer provides outreach to prospective students through an intensive schedule each fall semester with other Aboriginal representatives from post-secondary institutions throughout Ontario in the Aboriginal Post-Secondary Information Program (APSIP) tour. This annual tour travels to high schools and First Nations communities to provide awareness of post-secondary programs as well as to serve as role models to all they meet by sharing their personal stories of post-secondary education experience and success. For more information, please visit Please contact Aryn if you are interested in meeting with her to discuss post-secondary opportunities at Algoma U or having her attend your high school or community event.