Shirley Debassige (née Dusome) is your Women’s Representative for the Toronto York Region Métis Council.
She was born in Penetanguishene , Ontario and moved to Toronto at the age of 4 and has lived there ever since. Shirley is married and has two sons. She is also a grandmother of two beautiful grandchildren.
Shirley works at Intake in Emergency at Michael Garron Hospital under the Toronto East Health network. She has worked there for eighteen years and has gained a wealth of health sector knowledge during that time.
Christine Skura is a Registered Nurse at SickKids in Toronto. She has been a volunteer for the Toronto York Region Métis Council since 2009. She has been the Youth Representative for 9 years. Christine attended Ryerson University, and throughout her years there she was the Infinite Reach Coordinator for the MNO. Christine hosted, and co-hosted different events for Métis students throughout the city of Toronto.
In 2015, Christine was one of the volunteers and dancers for the Pan Am opening ceremonies. In 2016, Christine and other Toronto youth received a $25,000 grant from Laidlaw Foundation. With this money Christine and the fellow youth, planned and implemented 4 different cultural days within Ontario. Christine has thoroughly enjoyed her time as the Youth Representative for the Toronto and York Region Métis Council.
Being Metis is a part of everything John does- personally and professionally. As a paramedic for Toronto EMS, and owner of Job Ready CPR, (which provides Indigenous individuals with the opportunity to gain medical experience), John has been able to educate, inspire and connect with others to serve the community, build cultural knowledge and awareness.
Being a Councillor for the TYRMC is a privilege, and John looks forward to continuing to learn, grow, lead and collaborate with others to strengthen our Indigenous community.
Marilyn J. Hew, B. A., B.Ed, is a retired Elementary teacher. She has been part of the Toronto & York Region Métis Council since its inception in 2009; first as Women's Rep and for the last seven years as Secretary/Treasurer.
She also sits on the Ryerson University Aboriginal Education Council and the TDSB Aboriginal Community Advisory Committee representing TYRMC.
Marilyn became aware of her French Métis ancestry in 2007 and proudly and enthusiastically embraced her heritage.
She is Métis through her mother’s father's line, with roots in Sutton and Penetanguishene, Ontario.
She lives in Toronto with her husband.
Constance is a proud Métis woman from Treaty Six Territories of Northern Saskatchewan.
Constance heritage is Cree and Scottish and her ancestors were part of the Duck Lake and Batoche Resistance. Her family were also WW1, WW11 and NATO veterans. Constance carries Cree teachings in her Sacred Bundle and is a pipe carrier.
She is a Mother of two and a Grandmother of two. Both of her children serve the Métis Nation in BC and Ontario. Both are National scholars and have achieved PhD. Status.
Constance has worked for thirty-eight years providing addictions, mental health and trauma outreach, counselling and case management in British Columbia and Ontario. Constance currently works at Native Child and Family Services providing concurrent disorder case management for adults.
Constance currently serves as the Senator for the Toronto and York Region Métis Council and is one of the Founding Elders of the Indigenous Advisory Council for the Law Society of Upper Canada, Elders Council, U of T, Indigenous Education Council for Centennial College and Elder for the Faculty of Law at U of T.
Todd Ross is a Public Affairs Consultant and is the Indigenous Health Consultant for the Toronto Central Local Health Integration Network. He has served as a Senior Advisor to Ontario’s Deputy Premier and Minister of Health and Long-Term Care and most recently as a Special Advisor to the President of the Métis Nation of Ontario.
Todd’s Métis heritage traces back to Duck Lake, Red River and James Bay. Todd first got involved with the Toronto and York Region Métis Council in 2014 and serves as the Chair. He is focused on providing education to a broader audience about Métis people, community and culture as well as improving relationships. He currently represents the Métis voice on the City of Toronto Aboriginal Affairs Committee as well as the Toronto Aboriginal Support Services Council.
Todd is a veteran and lives in Toronto with his partner Kirk who is also Métis.
When not volunteering for TYRMC, Kezia’s day job for the last six years has been working with various organizations doing Indigenous community research and Indigenous policy. Kezia also has more than a decade of research experience in critical and political theory and has previously taught philosophy at Lakehead University.
As a person committed to social justice, advocacy, and human rights, Kezia looks forward to working for the benefit of Metis citizens in the Toronto and York region. She was born and raised in Thunder Bay, with her ancestry from the historic Red River Settlement.
Tera Beaulieu is of Indigenous (Métis), Hungarian and Ukrainian ancestry and resides in Toronto, Ontario. Her Métis ancestry originates from Saint Laurent, Manitoba and Ituna, Saskatchewan. Tera is a citizen of the Métis Nation of Ontario and has acted as the President of the Toronto and York Region Métis Council (Métis Nation of Ontario) since June 2014, previously acting as the Women’s Representative for the Council. Tera is the lead of the Council's Relationships Committee, which focuses on building and strengthening relationships with Métis community members, Indigenous and non-Indigenous agencies and organizations, and the government. She has received several awards for her leadership within the Aboriginal community of Toronto, including the Miinake Award (which means those walking a good path in Ojibway) from the Native Women’s Resource Centre of Toronto and the University of Toronto President’s Award for Most Outstanding Native Student of the Year. Tera is a proud Métis scholar, clinician, and community member.
Tera is currently completing her Doctor of Philosophy in the Counselling/Clinical Psychology Program at the University of Toronto and is a recipient of the Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship. Her program of research examines the supports and challenges of Métis traditional knowledge in addressing the life transition needs (mental health, education and employment) of urban Métis homeless peoples. Additionally, Tera sits as an Advisor on the Toronto Indigenous Health Advisory Circle and is passionate about initiatives focused on youth, women, Métis culture, and health. Tera also acts as an independent consultant for projects related to Aboriginal health and well-being, and possesses an area of expertise in Métis mental health. She has also lectured at the University of Toronto, York University, and the University of Windsor, and instructed at the undergraduate level at Ryerson University. She is a passionate and spirited facilitator and lecturer and greatly enjoys sharing knowledge about Métis culture and contributing to the strengthening of Métis communities throughout the Métis Nation homeland.
Mike was born in Thunder Bay, and has previously lived in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, Vancouver, British Columbia, and spent most of his youth in Dryden, Ontario, His Métis background traces back to Saint-Boniface/Winnipeg, Manitoba.
Mike has been a Communications Manager at Humber College for over 8 years, and was previously the Student President at both Humber College and the University of Guelph-Humber.
He has over 10 years of volunteer and leadership experience, and looks forward to developing the TYRMC’s social media and web presence. Mike aspires to contribute to the TYRMC any way he can, and would particularly like to develop additional mentoring and networking opportunities for Métis youth in the Greater Toronto area.
Our Council is comprised of a President, Chair, Secretary/Treasurer, Senator, Women's Rep, Youth Rep, and 3 Councillors.
Scroll down to see who is currently on our Council!