MEET THE SBE GROUP

_DSC2523

SUSAN BUCHANAN

CHIEF CHANGE MAKER

Susan has been providing professional workshops for teachers, business, social workers and leaders in First Nation and Inuit communities for the past 27 years. Susan is a published author of two books, educational curriculum and is an international Keynote and Conference speaker. Her workshops have been described as enlightening, valuable, positive and dynamic.

Susan’s passion for ensuring the wellness and success of First Nations people has driven her toward the highest standard of excellence in the work that SBE Group does. Her commitment to this mission has allowed SBE Group to expand into the organization that it is today, providing top quality, culturally appropriate and results oriented workshops for all stages of life.

Susan is proudly Cree with Metis status. SBE Group is registered as a 100% First Nation owned company. Our workshops reflect our culture, way of life and our history.

As with us all, Susan has a passion to offer our community members the absolute best experience with SBE Group as possible.

NICHOLE LIX

MANAGERIAL CHIEFTESS / HEAD CONSULTANT

Nichole was born and raised in Thunder Bay, Ontario. She is an entrepreneur at heart and has been working as a hairstylist for 13 years. After completing her apprenticeship, Nichole moved into working in a local hair salon, but quickly realized she wanted to be in business for herself. She quit her job and has been working from her home based salon successfully for nearly 7 years.

After so many years of maintaining her business, Nichole has decided branch out from doing hair to focus on her other skills. Nichole brings her vast technological capabilities to SBEGroup in many forms. She excels in web design, social media management, graphic design, and much more.

Nichole lives to travel and tries to get away as often as she can. Her adventures have brought her to Germany, Switzerland, Italy, The Caribbean, all over the USA and more. Travel is her passion and is a main priority in her life.

Nichole was on the hunt for a new challenge and she is looking forward to branching out and exploring new opportunities with the SBEGroup team!

As with us all, Nichole has a passion to offer our community members the absolute best experience with SBE Group as possible.

ADRIENNE BUCHANAN

ORGANIZATIONAL CHIEFTESS

Adrienne made her first contributions as a teenager to SBE Group as illustrator for our Social Education Skills Resources. These resources have been shared in over 280 First Nation and Inuit Schools in Canada. Adrienne was raised as a contributing member of SBE Group in workshop promotions, design / creation, advertising, and facilitation. Adrienne often traveled with her Mom to the communities and special conference events, which allowed her to learn more about her culture and Canada’s First Nations.

Adrienne, a Certified Life Skills Coach, also graduated from Red Deer College with a Diploma in Business Management with a major in Marketing in 2019.

Adrienne’s early start in SBE Group as well as her education and training, has supported one of her roles as a facilitator of our, Wellness Webinars, Computer Skills Training and Art Expressions Programs for youth. Adrienne is an integral member of our team that has made our workshops and training what they are today.

As with us all, Adrienne has a passion to offer our community members the absolute best experience with SBE Group as possible.

MARILYN BOOTH

RESIDENT ELDER

Marilyn is a retired Social Worker who worked professionally in Alberta and British Columbia for provincial and municipal government. This experience set her on course to learn as much as she could about the Canadian legal system and it’s profound effects on families and individuals. Marilyn has designed workshops and programs that were aimed at informing, educating and empowering individuals to achieve their potential working within the complex limitations of the Canadian Legal System.

Since her retirement from fulltime social work, Marilyn has traveled throughout Canada into First Nations and Inuit communities facilitating workshops on such topics as: dating and family violence, anger management, life skills, team building and feels very fortunate to have had the opportunity to meet and work with Canada’s first people.

At SBE Group, Marilyn is our head researcher and lead mentor. She keeps us focused on current issues and relevant topics that constantly enhance our workshops. Her compassion, insight and passion for the communities and the first people is present in all the work we do. Marilyn is our elder and guide.

As we know at SBE Group we are fortunate to work with the and in Canada’s First Peoples.

She has worked tirelessly in affecting change in that area through education and empowering individuals and families.

moved to the Annapolis Valley in 2006 from the Comox Valley in British Columbia. Marilyn has worked in many social work settings since she started her career in Red Deer, Alberta. She has worked as a Family Court Worker, Child Protection Worker and a Family Mediator for the Government of Alberta. After moving to British Columbia in 1990 she worked for the Regional District of Comox-Strathcona as the first Victim Services Program Manager for the Courtenay RCMP and developed that program for the next 11 years. After leaving Victim Services she was the Center Coordinator for the North Island Women’s Services Society for 4 years. In 2006 Marilyn and her husband, Hank Sawchuk, moved to the Annapolis Valley to be closer to her eldest daughter. Since arriving in the Valley Marilyn has served on the Annapolis County Police Advisory Board, an Advisory Committee, for the Department of Community Services, Province of Nova Scotia and the Homecraft Committer for the Annapolis Valley Exhibition Association. Marilyn is currently the Chairperson for the Bridgetown and Area Friends of the Library. She has been a community volunteer in many areas since her high school days. Marilyn is an avid gardener, quilter and reader. Marilyn and Hank have 4 children, 4 grandchildren and one great grandson

JODI STRIZIC

CAPACITY BUILDER

Jodi was born in Southern Ontario, in a suburb of Toronto, but now calls Thunder Bay home.  After Jodi obtained her degree from George Brown College, she spent 15 years traveling around the world and living out of a backpack.

Jodi is a certified Red Seal Chef for more than 35 years, and during that time she has also achieved a Master’s Degree in Education. Jodi also holds certificates in Herbalists, Naturopath Nutrition, Nutrition Theory and Food principals, Wild Foods and Prep of Edible Plants.

Jodi’s Facilitating skills have been described as outgoing, entertaining, thought provoking and inventive.  Jodi’s working history in the communities makes her an exciting positive to SBE groups’ family.

Jodi enjoys meeting new people, learning about their ideas, opinions, and family traditions.  Jodi always feels very privileged when she is invited to join other communities and partake in the sharing of knowledge, customs, and traditions.

As with us all, Jodi has a passion to offer our community members the absolute best experience with SBE Group as possible.

JESSALYN LONGMIRE

CAPACITY BUILDER

Jessalyn was born and raised in Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia. Lived in Fredericton, New Brunswick where she achieved her Bachelors Degree in Nursing, then returned back to the Annapolis Valley to establish her home and begin her nursing career.

Growing up in a small town, she learned as a child, the importance of strong community relationships. She has always valued her close family and friends. Even though she no longer lives in the community she grew up in, she maintains relationships and carries the sense community wherever she goes.

Jessalyn has worked as a Registered Nurse in the medical field for 7 years. This has allowed her to make new relationships, work with a variety of different people and cultures. Through her work in the hospital, she was able to find and cultivate her passion for helping and teaching people.

She is looking forward to trying something that continues to be rewarding, helping others and fun. Always interested in learning new things she is very excited to be taking this step with the SBE group.

As with us all, Jessalyn has a passion to offer our community members the absolute best experience with SBE Group as possible.

JUDY GREEN

CAPACITY BUILDER

Judy was born in the Okanagan Valley in British Columbia. Since then, She has worked and lived in five provinces. In 2014, they returned to her husband’s home province of Nova Scotia (in Mi’kma’ki). While listening to friends from L’sitkuk (Bear River First Nation), she came to realize that her Celtic heritage and upbringing had instilled in her a world view that is in alignment with the teachings of many Indigenous cultures.

Judy’s Great Grandmother taught school on the Cape Mudge First Nations reserve on Quathiaski Cove, Quadra Island, her grandmother was raised there and her mother was born there. Judy is now an Earth Protector with Stop Ecocide Canada, who works internationally to ensure crimes against the planet are punishable. She understands that all of us are but a single member of a diverse family that shares our beautiful planet.

Judy has over 20 years of heart-centred teaching and coaching in the areas of health & wellness, self-esteem, self-empowerment, as well as computers, employment and entrepreneurialism. She draws on her experiences as a mother, grandmother, computer scientist and a veteran, to connect with people and provide them with the knowledge that can help them become the best person they can be.

As with us all, Judy has a passion to offer our community members the absolute best experience with SBE Group as possible.

MICHELLE RUFFO

CAPACITY BUILDER

Originally hailing from near Toronto, Ontario, Michelle is a practiced facilitator whose career has kept her on the move working within and in partnership with varied communities in Canada and across the globe. She holds two bachelor’s degrees and draws heavily from her own experiences as a learner to strengthen her practice as an educator. Acutely attuned to both the rewards and challenges one may encounter on a learning journey, Michelle is highly skilled at supporting others to recognize their strengths, build self-confidence, and pursue their goals well beyond the classroom.

After obtaining her first degree in Comparative Literature and Culture, Michelle spent several years facilitating language and literacy development abroad before returning to Canada to complete a Bachelor of Education specializing in Adult Education.

Michelle has taught in the Ontario secondary school system, she has facilitated online courses reaching learners worldwide, and she has worked substantially with newcomers to Canada. In support of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action 93 and 94 pertaining to newcomers, her work has prioritized facilitating understanding and respect for the Treaties with First Nations.

A teacher by profession, Michelle considers herself a learner at heart. She is deeply grateful to the countless individuals and communities who have welcomed and shared knowledge with her, and she credits her strengths as an educator to this generosity. Above all, Michelle believes teaching and learning are reciprocal activities; she will tell you one cannot be teacher without also being a learner, nor can anyone, as a learner, help but be a teacher. With this in mind, Michelle looks forward to the next opportunity with SBE Group.

NANCY LITWIN

CAPACITY BUILDER

Nancy was born and raised in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan on Treaty Six land, home to the Cree and Metis. She is of settler ancestry of Ukrainian and Irish roots with celebrations and traditions she still holds close to her heart. Growing up in the prairies Nancy loved learning about her culture and many other cultures and traditions as well as learning from the land. Her life path has taken many turns and different directions that has lead her to joining the SBE Group. Her post secondary journey took her through the Professional Cooking program and then into the Hotel and Restaurant Administration program at the SIAST – Kelsey Campus where she really got to explore her love of cooking and hospitality. Nancy knew this still wasn’t quite her calling and from a Girl Guide exchange trip she was leading with her Pathfinder unit, her true passion showed and that is teaching, helping others learn and grow. In 2019, Nancy convocated from the University of Saskatchewan with a Bachelors degree in Education, being the first in her direct family lines to graduate from university.

She spent two years in Cumberland House, Saskatchewan teaching second grade while learning as much as she could about the culture and language of the Swampy Cree Metis that inhabit the island of the Northern Delta. This experience has given her the foundation and taught her what it means to live mino-pimatisiwin, living the good life, no matter who or where you come from but how to get to where you are supposed to be in time. As a teacher part of the profession is to always be learning and growing, building understanding and one way Nancy continues to do that is by building relationships with those that have taught her and guided her along her journey. Relationships drive everything! As well as language, from a young age Nancy was taught to speak Ukrainian and a little sign language, in university she took Cree and knows just a little French and English being her first language.

Currently Nancy is calling Nova Scotia home and loves being back in the same province as her parents. Getting to quilt on a weekly basis with her mom she is finally completing projects that have been in the works for many years. As well as target shooting with her dad when the weather allows and learning how to take care of a garden as that was not something they had back in Saskatoon.

As with us all, Nancy has a passion to offer our community members the absolute best experience with SBE Group as possible.

LANA BULLOUGH

CAPACITY BUILDER

Lana is passionate about teaching healthy life skills and relationship skills to individuals who want to live a purposeful and abundant life. She is an award winning speaker trainer educator and musician who combines all of these skills and unique and inspirational ways when delivering workshops.

Lana has a bachelors degree majoring in sociology with 25 years experience in career and employment counseling. Through those years of helping students and adults discover their life and work passion she developed innovative training strategies that help foster healthy relationships, promote life balance and manage stress in our high demand world.

Lana has returned to her native Thunder Bay area after living in Alberta for 35 years and now lives in her beloved little piece of heaven in Shuniah Ontario

Lana has two grown children, two grandkids, a dog and a husband (not necessarily in that order)she is very excited to be a part of the SBE group

As with us all, Jessalyn has a passion to offer our community members the absolute best experience with SBE Group as possible.

SHIVONNE CHARLIE

CAPACITY BUILDER

Shivonne is a proud member of Fort William First Nation and is currently living in Thunder Bay, Ontario. Shivonne was born and raised in her community surrounded by her loving family, nature and her culture.

Shivonne has worked for her community for 8 years in various roles and employment positions. Her latest position was an Employment and Training Councillor which sparked her interest in achieving her Life Skills Coaching Certification. Shivonne has a deep passion for helping First Nation people strive to be their best selves. Family is especially important to Shivonne, she took time off from work to take care of her mother and 3 wonderful children.

Shivonne is now back in the workforce and ready to take on anything life throws her way, tall and proud.

As with us all, Shivonne has a passion to offer our community members the absolute best experience with SBE Group as possible

SUSANNE BASTABLE

CAPACITY BUILDER

Susanne is a recently retired educator with 30 years of experience in Northwestern Ontario as a teacher, principal and supervising principal. Susanne attended Western, Winnipeg and Lakehead Universities to obtain her BA/BEd and earned a Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership from Charles Sturt University in Australia. Susanne is described as optimistic, tireless, resilient, motivating and inspiring to others during challenging times. Most recently, Susanne has enjoyed teaching Indigenous adults, who are pursuing post secondary diplomas, in Nipissing University’s Native Classroom Assistant Diploma Programme. When not teaching, or facilitating workshops, Susanne works with her husband at Vermilion Bay Lodge, their fishing vacation business. Susanne loves spending time in the outdoors biking, walking, snowshoeing, cross country skiing, fishing and ice fishing. Children, youth and adult students find Susanne friendly, approachable and knowledgeable and she works hard to make everyone feel comfortable and engaged in the learning. Susanne is excited to learn with and from workshop participants in First Nations Communities!

BRENDA FERRIS HYATT

CAPACITY BUILDER

I am text block. Click edit button to change this text. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ut elit tellus, luctus nec ullamcorper mattis, pulvinar dapibus leo.

GARETH EVANS

VISUAL ARCHITECT

I am text block. Click edit button to change this text. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ut elit tellus, luctus nec ullamcorper mattis, pulvinar dapibus leo.

ELVIS

CHIEF BARKETING OFFICER

I am text block. Click edit button to change this text. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ut elit tellus, luctus nec ullamcorper mattis, pulvinar dapibus leo.

IF YOU ARE INTERESTED IN ONE OF OUR WORKSHOPS

BULLY FREE SCHOOL & CLASSROOM

Bullying is an issue that concerns us all. In this informative workshop learn how to deal with bullying, social skill issues that result in negative interactions and how to create a safe, bullying-free environment.

RAISING A
BULLY FREE FAMILY

This informative 3 hour session is designed for caregivers, parents, front line workers, concerned community members & all those who work with children & youth.

SURVIVING GRIEF LOSS AND TRAUMA

This workshop is designed to help individuals learn more about travelling through grief, loss and trauma in the most empowering way possible, for ourselves and others, that we want to help in our lives.

PARENTING DURING
THE SCHOOL YEARS

Designed to assist parents and caregivers with the difficult role of parenting. In this workshop participants will walk away with a “parenting plan” covering such areas as social skills, rules, chores, homework, school, and much more. “You go!” moms, dads and caregivers.

BECOMING
EMOTIONALLY HEALTHY

Who doesn't need a little help along the way. Becoming Emotionally Healthy focuses on empowering people and helping them to reflect and discover themselves while gaining a better understanding of who they are.

SELF REGULATION AND ANGER MANAGEMENT

You will learn more about emotions, self-regulation, and anger management so that you can have more meaningful, long-lasting and healthy bonds with others, as well as with yourself.

TEAM
BUILDING

This team building workshop is for Chiefs, councillors, Entities, Band Office Staff,
School Staff, Board, Health Center…any team!

LIFE SKILLS
WORK SKILLS SUCCESS

These positive and interactive sessions are for: youth and adults who are seeking positive change in their personal lives, while also seeking new careers, business ventures or education.