Meet the team

Kelsie Kilawna

Reporter, Okanagan
Email | Twitter
I’m a Sqilxw (Syilx/Indigenous) woman who was born and raised in Inkumupulux (the head of Okanagan Lake). I am a storyteller, photographer and experienced listener. As a reporter, I have a passion for sharing stories that normalize our way of life so that future generations have a place to safely recognize self.

Kelsie’s work is supported in part with funding from the Local Journalism Initiative in partnership with The Discourse and APTN.

Chehala Leonard

Contributing reporter, Okanagan
Email | Twitter
Tân’si my name is Chehala Leonard and I am a member of the Aseniwuche Winewak Nation, and grew up in Grande Cache, Alberta. Prior to joining this team, I worked as a producer for six years. My passion is to share and create space for other stories to be told through film and journalism.

Athena Bonneau

Education reporter, Okanagan
Email | Twitter
My ancestry includes Okanagan, Syilx and Northern Cree. I was born and raised on the unceded territory of the Penticton Indian Reserve. My journalism experience includes working as the Indigenous correspondent for Global Okanagan. I am passionate about representing Indigenous Peoples in today’s world, while acknowledging history, following traditional protocol, and producing truthful work with integrity as an Indigenous woman.

Athena’s work is supported in part with funding from the Local Journalism Initiative in partnership with The Discourse and APTN.

Odette Auger

Contributing reporter, Vancouver Island
Email | Twitter
Boozhoo, Niin doonjii Sagamok Anishnawbek through my mother. I live on Klahoose, Homalco and Tla’amin traditional territories. I’ve been writing and producing audio journalism pieces for five years at with a focus on Indigenous voices. Other experiences include writing for local news media and Indigenous artist series through the First Peoples’ Cultural Council. My work as a storyteller rests on decolonized communications: genuine listening, and respectful interview processes.

Anna McKenzie

Child welfare reporter, Vancouver Island
Email | Twitter
I am a member of the Opaskwayak Cree Nation currently living on the unceded homeland of the Snuneymuxw First Nation. My background is in Indigenous child, youth and community engagement. I have a B.A in First Nations and Indigenous Studies from UBC and am an experienced writer and researcher. My passion is upholding the stories and lived experiences of Indigenous children and youth.

Anna’s work is supported in part with funding from the Local Journalism Initiative in partnership with The Discourse and APTN.

Katłįà (Catherine) Lafferty

Contributing reporter, Vancouver Island
Email | Twitter
My name is Catherine (Katłįà) Lafferty, I am a Dene First Nation member of the Yellowknives in Somba K’e Northwest Territories, now residing in Esquimalt and Songhees Territories where I am completing my Doctorate of Law in the Indigenous Legal Orders and Common Law program at the University of Victoria. One of my very first jobs was working as a reporter for the local newspaper two decades ago where I still contribute biweekly columns to this day. I am the author of ‘Northern Wildflower,’ a memoir, and the most recently released fictional novel ‘Land-Water-Sky.’

Brielle Morgan

Email | Twitter
I’m a white, cisgender woman, a journalist and a new mama. Prior to taking maternity leave, I worked for The Discourse, where I reported stories about the child-welfare system and managed Spotlight: Child Welfare — a collaborative project that brings community members and journalists together to deepen child-welfare reporting. I’m honoured to be working for IndigiNews as an editor alongside journalists committed to decolonizing our industry and doing anti-racism work.

Emilee Gilpin

Managing editor
Email | Twitter
I’m a Michif nomad currently living in W̱SÁNEĆ territories. I’m Cree-Métis, Filipina, Scottish and Irish. I’ve been reporting on community-led solutions to climate change, stories of success and self-determination for the past four years. I led Canada’s National Observer’s ‘First Nations Forward’ series (dedicated to stories of success and self-determination) for two years before taking the role of managing director this year.

I advocate for anti-oppressive and relationship-based approaches to the ancient and ever-evolving art of storytelling.

Lindsay Sample

Editor – on maternity leave
Email | Twitter
I am the executive editor of The Discourse and part of a team working together to create IndigiNews. I’m based in Vancouver on the unceded territory of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm, Skwxwú7mesh, and səl̓ilwətaɁɬ / sel̓íl̓witulh. Throughout my eight-year journalism career, I have been working to build a more equitable and sustainable media ecosystem — something I remain committed to as I train, support and edit with IndigiNews. As a journalist and a settler, I am continuously working to decolonize my journalism practice.

Cara McKenna

Contributing reporter
Email | Twitter
I’m a storyteller of Alberta Métis and Irish descent. I previously was the editor of the Salish Sea Sentinel magazine, covering Coast Salish communities across Vancouver Island, the Lower Mainland and into Washington State. Prior to that, I worked with APTN National News, the Canadian Press and the Nanaimo Daily News. I have a Journalism Diploma from Langara College, and along with editing at IndigiNews, I am currently working on completing my BFA in Creative Writing at UBC. I’m passionate about words, stories and decolonizing journalism.

Erin Millar

Partnerships and funding lead
Email | Twitter
I am the founder and CEO of The Discourse. I grew up in the Okanagan Valley near the unceded territory of the Penticton Indian Reserve. I now live in East Vancouver on xʷməθkʷəy̓əm, Skwxwú7mesh, and səl̓ilwətaɁɬ / sel̓íl̓witulh territory. In 2015, I made a commitment to reconciling journalism in response to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action for media. I am honoured to advance that work by supporting the partnerships and funding needed to establish IndigiNews as a crucial independent Indigenous voice.