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.

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Andrew Stegemann – Director (left)

Staff role: A skilled relationship-builder and convener, Andrew  identifies opportunities for collective advocacy and measuring shared impact within the Network. As one of the original architects of Our Living Waters, he is the keeper of many of our stories.

“My ancestry includes German heritage on my father’s side and English as well as Scottish heritage on my mother’s. My brother and I were raised solely by my mother in Vancouver and, being honest, that fact has shaped my identity more than connection with the traditions of these heritages. I’m only now finding some intriguing yearnings around this ancestry percolating to the surface.”

“I work on the traditional, unceded territory of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam- People of the River Grass), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish- People of the Sacred Water), and səlilwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh- People of the Inlet), sitting alongside the waters of the Salish Sea in what is also known as Vancouver.”

“I’ve had a love affair with the ocean since I could sense its presence. The ocean then kindly introduced me to fresh water (and all the salinities in between) and now being near any water has an instant calming effect. Water is such a patient listener. You can bend the ear of water anytime. Love that large is worth protecting.”

“I’m a father, husband, outdoor enthusiast, water advocate, and lover of good food … and scotch!”

Taylor Wilkes – Facilitator (middle)

Staff role: As a heart-centred strategic thinker, Taylor brings a mix of inquiry and vulnerability to facilitating collaborations in the Network. With a discerning eye for the talents of others and a playful imagination, she helps groups unearth novel ways to think, work together and protect the waters.

"Living in Nogojiwanong (‘the place at the end of the rapids’) in Michi Saagiig Nishnaabeg territory, I am grateful to call the Odenabe watershed my home. As an immigrant to Peterborough (Treaty 20), I work hard to learn the stories of my Dutch and British ancestors who originally settled here, as well as to become naturalized to this new place by knowing its plants and protocols. I just can’t stay away from the waters or keep my hands out of the garden! They are my most effective teachers. The longer I live here, the more I listen and the less I say."

"At this stage in my (un)learning journey, I lean into invitations that challenge me to pick up my Treaty responsibilities and that alleviate educational burdens on Indigenous leaders. When I do speak up, it’s typically reflective or disruptive, aiming to hold my peer ‘white’ folks accountable to right relations. It feels edgy and uncomfortable, but is done on behalf of the waters."

"I'm a water person through and through, happiest in the stern of a canoe!”

Rebekah Kipp  Communications Lead and Network Weaver (right)

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

“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) and Kaniatarowanenneh (the St. Lawrence River in Kanyen'kéha).”

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

Our Steering Committee

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

Thea Belanger: Director of Philanthropy - Dragonfly Ventures
Sébastien Cottinet: Mobilization 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
Lindsay Telfer: Manager, Capacity Development, Green Municipal Fund - Federation of Canadian Municipalities

 

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: