Who We Are
Our staff and steering committee work to make the Network thrive!

Our Staff

As a staff team,  we work together to catalyze collaboration within the Our Living Waters Network, all while having fun and deepening our connection to water. We want to share a bit about ourselves so you can see how our roles leading the Network are influenced by who we are.

Julie Wright — National Director

Julie_Winter_Water_Photo.pngStaff role: An experienced convener and network builder, Julie centres trust and relationships in all the projects she leads. She’s mission focused and strives to always link the global to the local grounded in the belief that caring communities can move mountains.

“I live and work on the traditional territory of the Haudenosaunee, Anishinaabe and Chonnonton peoples that is governed by the Dish With One Spoon Wampum. This treaty sets out powerful principles for living in good relations with the land and the peoples who depend upon it and precedes colonial settlement.”

“I grew up on the Haldimand Tract and the river central to this territory which has many names, including O:se Kenhionhata:tie in Kanyen’kéha and Owaashtanong-ziibi in Anishinaabemowin. To settlers, it’s the Grand River.”

“This river is central to my family’s story in Canada. My ancestors were mostly of English and Irish heritage and my father’s side farmed along the banks of the Grand River for 100 years. I am a child of trees and brooks: the woodlands along the banks of the river form a natural cathedral that has been an inspiration to me since the first time I followed a creek down to the river’s edge.”

“As a city councillor in Waterloo, Ontario, I feel a deep obligation to our natural environment. I focus on climate action as well as stewardship and protection of our groundwater supply, watersheds, tree canopy and overall biodiversity. It’s a promise I make to my community and an investment in my children’s future.”

Rebekah_Fall_2023.pngRebekah Kipp - Network Communications Lead

Staff role: As a creative communicator, Rebekah brings her gifts in language, writing and design to her work at Our Living Waters. With lived experience in French and English speaking Canada, she helps weave the Network together.

“I have roots and ancestry in diverse places, which all interweave to bind my identity together. My British ancestors settled in Canada after WWII, while my Dutch Huguenot ancestors established a colony on land that is now New York City in the early 1600s. Descendants of my Dutch ancestors eventually moved north, intermarrying with Québécois habitants.”

“I currently live and work in Quinte West, Ontario, on shared Anishinaabek, Haudenosaunee and Wyandot territory, sandwiched between Williams’ Treaty land & the Crawford Purchase. I spend lots of time along the banks of Saugechewigewonk (the Trent River in Anishinaabemowin), watching and feeling the river’s daily mood changes.”

I grew up on the shores of Gardom Lake, BC, where I fell in love with muck as I played in the bullrushes! Since then I’ve discovered joy in the vast watersheds of Nayaano-nibiimaang Gichigamiin (the Great Lakes in Anishinaabemowin).”

“I’m a mother, wife, lover of water and language, beachcomber and origami enthusiast!”

Natalija_Vojno_WhatsApp_Image_2024-06-06_at_11.05.44.jpegNatalija Vojno Network Engagement Lead

Staff role: As a systems thinker, Natalija brings a mix of head and heart to facilitating engagement in the Network. She applies foresight, storytelling, and creative methods to invite in new ways of aligning for the wellbeing of all life throughout the watersheds.

“Toronto is home. I live and work on the territory of many nations including the Mississaugas of the Credit, the Anishnabeg, the Chippewa, the Haudenosaunee and the Wendat peoples. The land is now home to many diverse peoples and is covered by Treaty 13, the Royal Proclamation of 1763, and the Dish With One Spoon Wampum.”

“The Humber River Watershed is where my Canadian heritage begins. In the 1990s my family and I arrived from what was Yugoslavia. Long walks along GabeKanang Ziibi or Kabechenong (the Humber River) are what wove us into the fabric of this landscape.”

“I grew up knowing a place of pluralism that protects and promotes diversity of thought and cultures. A systems ethos informs my approach to inclusive water governance.

“An idealist at heart, I am motivated to advance positive peace and find my own by the water or in moments observing komorebi (sunlight filtering through the trees) as well as in sharing food with friends and family.” 

Our Steering Committee

We are grateful for the generosity, commitment and guidance from the Our Living Waters Steering Committee:

Lindsay Telfer, Chair: Manager, Capacity Development, Green Municipal Fund - Federation of Canadian Municipalities
Sébastien Cottinet: Engagement and Public Policy Coordinator - Regroupement des organismes de bassins versants du Québec
Elizabeth Hendriks:
 Vice-President, Restoration and Regeneration - World Wildlife Fund Canada
Ross Jameson: Grants Manager - The Sitka Foundation
Tim Morris: Project Director - BC Freshwater Legacy Initiative

 

Our Living Waters is a project on MakeWay's shared platform, which provides operational support, governance, and charitable expertise for change-makers. The shared platform enables more time and money to go towards achieving greater impact. MakeWay is a national charity that builds partnerships and solutions to help nature and communities thrive together.

Who We Are|Our staff and steering committee work to make the Network thrive!
Who We Are|Our staff and steering committee work to make the Network thrive!
Imagine a Canada where all waters are in good health: