MEET THE TEAM

Executive Team

  • Rachel Kiddell-Monroe

    Executive Director

    Rachel Kiddell-Monroe is a lawyer, a humanitarian practitioner and an advocate. She is a Board Director at Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), a founding President of Universities Allied for Essential Medicines and a Professor of Practice at McGill University. Rachel believes putting people and their community first is key to creating a more humane, just, and fair society.

  • Samantha Poncabare

    Executive Assistant

    Samantha Poncabare holds a BA in International Development with a minor in International Relations and Environmental Sciences from McGill University. Previously, Samantha worked in the sales department of a startup, organized a course on Humanitarian Action at the McGill Summer Institute in Global Health and volunteered with SeeChange on fundraising and event planning.

  • Peter Saranchuk

    Medical Director

    Peter Saranchuk is a medical doctor with more than a dozen years of international experience with the humanitarian medical organization Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF). In addition to performing HIV-TB clinical work in resource-limited settings, he has worked as a TB-HIV Advisor in MSF’s Southern African Medical Unit. He currently works in a Community Health Centre in southern Ontario.

  • Sumeet Sodhi

    Monitoring & Evaluation Coordinator

    Sumeet is a family physician in the Toronto Western Hospital Family Health Team, an Associate Professor of Medicine at the University of Toronto, and the Academic Lead for the Indigenous Health Partners Program at the Department of Family and Community Medicine at the University of Toronto. Sumeet has led many global health initiatives, including indigenous health, diabetes, HIV, TB, primary care integration, community-based programming and chronic illness care.

  • Tanya Ayala

    Communications Officer

    A storyteller at heart, Tanya Ayala is a Communications Consultant and holds a BA in Political Science with a minor in Professional Writing from Concordia University. She also holds a Graduate Diploma in Paralegal Studies from Conestoga College and is pursuing a Graduate Diploma in Public Relations & Communications Management from McGill University. She previously worked in the private sector as a Sales Manager, Recruiter, and Internal Communications Specialist.

TB Initiative Team

  • Malcolm Ranta

    Local Director

    Malcolm Ranta is the Executive Director of the Ilisaqsivik Society. He also manages the Ittaq Heritage and Research Center and the social enterprise Tukumaaq Incorporated. Malcolm has years of experience working in Nunavut in government and non-profit sectors. He has worked in public health and community development with remote and urban Indigenous communities. Malcolm is also a wannabe weekend hunter.

  • Sheila Enook

    TB Project Coordinator

    Sheila Enook has a business degree from Queen’s School of Business. She worked for the Government of Nunavut as Manager of Finance with Arctic College and Director of Finance for the Department of Health. She is a member of Regional TB Committee. In her free time, Sheila makes traditional hunting equipment and goes out to her cabin or hunting.

COVID-19 Initiative Team

  • Jessica Farber

    Community Readiness Coordinator

    Jessica Farber works with community leaders to organize, prepare and respond to COVID-19 using the CommunityFirst COVID-19 Roadmap. She has experience in outreach, advocacy and project coordination with forced migrants and asylum seekers in Montreal and Mexico. Jessica holds a B.A. in International Development from McGill University.

  • Megan Corbett-Thompson

    Community Readiness Outreach Coordinator

    Megan Corbett-Thompson holds a BSc in Ecological Determinants of Health from McGill University. She has gained diverse experience in protection work, community mobilization and environmental health promotion alongside NGOs in Latin America. Megan is committed to community empowerment and upholding the dignity of all persons.

  • Violeta Chapela

    Medical Advisor for Community Health

    Violeta Chapela is a doctor with humanitarian experience in the areas of sexual violence, migration, sexual and reproductive health, mental health for victims of violence and primary healthcare in exclusion and war zones. Violeta also has an interest in strengthening community networks from a gender perspective.

Board of Directors

  • Denis Blanchette

    President and Treasurer

    Denis Blanchette has spent 30 years bringing community first. He worked with communities in Africa and Latin America. After working at the Supreme Court of Canada, he is now a partner at one of Canada’s leading law firms supporting Indigenous communities. Denis is recognized as a leading practitioner in Indigenous law in Best Lawyers in Canada 2020.

  • Madlen Nash

    Board Secretary

    Madlen Nash holds an Honours BSc in Microbiology and Immunology and an MSc in Epidemiology, both from McGill University. She has led several global health research studies in India and authored academic articles in leading scientific journals. Madlen is a founding member of SeeChange and currently works as a Research and Advocacy Associate at AIDS-Free World.

  • Jasper Monroe-Blanchette

    Member

    Jasper Monroe-Blanchette studies Forestry at Cégep de Chicoutimi. Through his studies, he is working towards getting involved with Indigenous communities in relation to forest management. Jasper loves wild places and finds his calling in mountains and forests. He is a yoga teacher and finds his peace in practicing traditional forms, which include qigong and kung fu as well as yoga.

  • Michelle Osry

    Member

    Over the past 25 years, Michelle Osry has worked across North America, Europe and Africa as an academic and investment banker She is now a partner at Deloitte Canada, where she leads the firm’s Family Enterprise Consulting practice. Michelle is Vice Chair of the Family Enterprise Xchange, a Canadian organization dedicated to empowering enterprising families and their advisors.

  • Carol Devine

    Member

    Carol Devine was a founding member of SeeChange and is a Humanitarian Affairs Advisor with Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) Canada. Carol was a 2016 fellow of the Ecologic Institute’s Arctic Summer College. She is a member of the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research Humanities Expert Group and a Community Fellow at the Dahdaleh Institute for Global Health Research.

Board of Advisors

  • Jennifer Furin

    Dr. Jennifer Furin is an infectious diseases clinician and medical anthropologist who has spent 25 years working to address TB and HIV in vulnerable populations. She is a lecturer at Harvard Medical School and serves as a consultant for a variety of organizations to support person-centered care. She specializes in the care of children with drug-resistant forms of TB.

  • Daniel Solomon

    Daniel Soloman is a businessman and trustee of the Heathside Charitable Trust which is a family charity based in London, United Kingdom. The charity funds projects both in the UK and overseas.

  • Grace Yang

    Grace Yang is the Chief Trouble Maker at TEDxMontrealWomen, curating and encouraging speakers to step outside of their comfort zones to deliver their most compelling talks. She leads a dynamic team of volunteers and fosters a creative culture where everyone can grow together. Previously, Grace worked in the investment industry on both the buy and sell sides of the Street.

  • Stephen Lewis

    Stephen Lewis is co-director of the international advocacy organization AIDS-Free World and co-chair of the board of the Stephen Lewis Foundation. He has previously served as the UN Special Envoy for HIV/AIDS in Africa, as Deputy Executive Director of UNICEF, and as Canada’s Ambassador to the United Nations.

  • Courtney Howard

    Dr. Courtney Howard is an Emergency Physician in Canada’s subarctic, and board President of the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment (CAPE). She was the first author on the 2017 and 2018 Lancet Countdown on Health and Climate Change Briefings for Canadian Policymakers, as well as being the 2018 International Policy Director for the Lancet Countdown.

  • Jerry Natanine

    Jerry Natanine was born and raised in Clyde River, Nunavut. He has been working with Ilisaqsivik for several years. He completed Ilisaqsivik’s Our Life’s Journey: Inuit Counsellor Training Program. Jerry has held many leadership roles in Clyde River, including Chair of the Hunters and Trappers Organization. Jerry is currently Mayor of Clyde River for a second time.

  • Igah Sanguya

    Igah Sanguya currently sits on the Board of the Ilisaqsivik Society and serves as the Community Health Representative of Clyde River, Nunavut. In the past, Igah has also served on the Board of Directors of Pauktuutit and the Canadian Aboriginal AIDS Network.

  • Georgia White

    Georgia White is a Strategy and Policy Associate at the international advocacy organization AIDS-Free World. Over the past decade, Georgia has worked in the United States, Cambodia and her home country of Australia as an advocate and policy expert on health and social justice issues.

Interns & Volunteers

  • Béatrice Petitclerc

    Volunteer

    Beatrice is a student in the Law-MBA co-op program at the Université de Sherbrooke, with an interest in humanitarian and environmental issues, as well as Indigenous law. Previously, Beatrice has travelled globally for humanitarian and scientific projects. She completed an internship in Iqaluit through College Sainte-Anne de Lachine, as well as a contract with the Government of Nunavut, focused on long-term health in the region.

  • Emanuelle Lyons

    Communications Intern

    Emanuelle is a recent graduate of McGill University, holding a Graduate Diploma in Public Relations & Communications Management. She also holds a BMus in Opera Performance from the University of British Columbia where her passion for communications and storytelling began. A recipient of the McGill Integrated Internship Award, Emanuelle is thrilled for the opportunity to work with SeeChange.

Partners

  • Ilisaqsivik Society

    Community initiated and community-based Inuit organization located in Clyde River, Nunavut. Ilisaqsivik Society is dedicated to promoting community wellness by providing space, resources, and programming that helps families and individuals find healing and develop their strengths. Ilisaqsivik Society is a Canadian registered charity and brings two decades of Inuit-based experience in training and community empowerment.

    Learn more about the Ilisaqsivik Society

DONATE

SeeChange Initiative is a non-profit organization and we count on the generosity supporters like you who believe in our vision.

Your gift helps us put CommunityFirst and supports more communities to respond to the health and social challenges they face.

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PARTNER

Together with our partners, we co-create innovative solutions to health and social challenges. We invite community-led organizations to reach out to explore how SeeChange Initiative can support your work.

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VOLUNTEER

We always welcome passionate, motivated, and skilled volunteers to join us! If you have talent and time to share, we would love to hear from you.

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Our Initiative

Turning the Tide on Tuberculosis in Nunavut

Turning theTide

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Tuberculosis among Inuit is a public health crisis. The inequity in Canada is striking.

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Inuit are 300 times more likely to get sick from tuberculosis (TB) compared to non-indigenous, Canadian born citizens.

TB is a preventable and curable disease. Yet the rates of TB for Inuit are similar to those of many low- and middle-income countries.

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TB in the North is not a new problem.

“It is a public health crisis and one that’s 60 years in the making.”

—Natan Obed, President of Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami (ITK)
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From 1946 to 1968, Canadian government ships, like the CD Howe, went to the Canadian Arctic to screen for TB.

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“We were taken down to the bottom of the ship. After the exam, we were informed we should not leave the ship or go on shore. I could not go off ship to see my family. It was so hard for us mentally. It broke us. Our life got shattered back then. I still feel scared of the CD Howe. When I left Broughton Island, I cried very hard. I was so homesick.”

—Ida, participant in Community TB Empowerment Workshop
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Inuit who tested positive for TB were not allowed ashore to collect belongings. They could not say goodbye, or make arrangements for their families.

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“My parents and my siblings were taken away on the CD Howe. I was just a child and I was left behind alone. It was the last time I would be seeing my parents and siblings for a long time. Even though I tried crying, nobody cared. I thought I was left because I was the only one that was not loved by my parents among all my siblings.”

—Mary, participant in Community TB Empowerment Workshop
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Some Inuit today still do not know where their relatives lost to TB are buried.

“I never found my mother’s grave. She left around 1960 and died on her way to a sanitorium, and I never heard anything else. She passed away en route to a sanitorium, in Iqaluit. I have never seen the grave personally.”

—Mariah, participant in Community TB Empowerment Workshop

Today, there is a widespread lack of trust in the health system.

Language barriers, cultural differences, and intergenerational trauma are barriers to accessing healthcare.

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IT IS TIME FOR A NEW KIND OF ACTION TO ELIMINATE TB IN NUNAVUT.

Community-owned and community-driven programs are key.

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Ikuma tunilavut: Let’s pass the flame

Ikuma tunilavut is a partnership between SeeChange + Ilisaqsivik Society to co-create a CommunityFirst response to TB in Nunavut.

“Inuit have used the oil lamp, qulliq (qul-liq), for thousands of years. I see our path as a qulliq. The base itself is made of hard thick stone that gets hot from the flames. The wick is a mixture of moss and cotton. The oil is from seal, whale or caribou fat.

The base is us starting with this tuberculosis project. The oil is us Inuit who want the knowledge but have no way of getting the answers around tuberculosis or other concerns. The flame is the knowledge. It starts out very small and spreads slowly to others. The more people want to learn, the more fuel we have and the bigger and hotter the flame becomes.

That’s how I see this project. Just like the qulliq my mother made for me, I will also carry this with me always and pass it on to the next generation.”

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—Sheila Enook, TB Project Coordinator
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Community TB Empowerment Workshops are a centrepiece of this project.

Workshops are held entirely in Inuktitut and facilitated by Inuit counsellors. Community members have space to heal from TB-related trauma. They can acquire knowledge about TB.

Workshops blend storytelling, narrative therapy, multimedia and passing of basic technical information. Participants and facilitators work together. Content is shaped by the community’s needs.

January 2020

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11 Clyde River and Iqaluit community members graduated from the first Community TB Empowerment Workshop. They are now TB Pijitsiit (community helpers).

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“In the old days, they shipped us out, which was not beneficial to the community. We went through extreme hardship. We don’t want other people to go through what we went through. Thanks to the workshop, we are healing ourselves by talking about it. We now have information on TB. Now we can work together to help people.”

—Ida, participant in Community TB Empowerment Workshop)

TB Pijitsiit are central to the community’s efforts to eliminate TB in Nunavut.

Workshop graduates become TB Pijitsiit (community helpers) who:

  • help remove language barriers, restore trust and improve health outcomes
  • act as cultural mediators
  • create culturally adapted tools and develop Inuktitut health terminology
  • train as community health workers
  • help carry out community-based health tasks (prevention, screening and treatment support)
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Community members are the changemakers

This is health decolonized. This is the revival of humanity, humility and solidarity.

This is just the beginning.