Meet Our Team
Natasha Lariviere - CEO & Founder of Endaayaan Awejaa
Aaniin. Boozhoo. Emski Misgokwe ndizhnikaaz. Nbisiing ndoonjibaa. Waawaashkesh ndoodem.
My name is Natasha Lariviere. Also, my spirit name is Strong Earth Woman. I am from Nbisiing Aka Nipissing First Nation. I am part of the deer clan.
I have always had a passion for working with youth since I was a teenager. I was always a part of the youth group at the North Bay Indigenous Friendship Centre growing up. I then started attending high school at Nbisiing Secondary. They helped me learn about my culture and passion for helping others. After I graduated from there I attended the Indigenous Wellness Addiction Prevention program in 2011. I then also graduated from Canadore College in 2015 receiving my diploma in Office Administration. I am a recent graduate of the Social Service Worker program at George Brown College. I am currently working towards my Bachelor's Degree in Indigenous Social Work.
I am the Chief Executive Officer and Founder of Endaayaan Awejaa. I started this organization in memory of all my ancestors, my loved ones who have passed on, and for future generations. I also wanted to help our younger generation have a chance at a good life. Life isn't always easy and there can be a lot of obstacles. Growing up in North Bay and Nipissing First Nation I have met a lot of youth that have relocated for their education. A lot of them were youth and were living with family or on their own. I felt that sometimes our youth got overlooked when it came to housing supports and mental health issues. My hopes are to open a youth home in the future for those who may need a home, want support to start living on their own and learn more about their passion and culture.
I love meeting new people and learning their stories. I hope through our organization to meet a lot more of our younger generation and start helping them work towards their dreams.
- Natasha Lariviere
Aliyah Diamond - Youth Outreach Coordinator
Waciye! My name is Aliyah Diamond-Gunner, my spirit name is White Lily and I use she/they pronouns. I am a two-spirit First Nations youth from Moose Cree First Nation and the Cree Nation of Waskaganish.
I grew up with very little knowledge of my culture, only attending pow-wows occasionally. I would attend cultural activities and basic teachings here and there as a teenager, but never really felt connected. I began truly reconnecting and learning more about my culture during my early adulthood when I went to college.
Reconnecting with my community and the culture has been such a healing experience and my work as the Youth Outreach Coordinator for Endaayaan Awejaa helps me with this. I have been involved with Endaayaan Awejaa since December 2021, when I became a member of the Youth Wellness Council. This past spring, for my Bachelor of Indigenous Social Work degree, I completed my fourth-year placement with Endaayaan Awejaa.
Simon Mckerral - Marketing Intern
My name is Simon Mckerra, I use He/Him pronouns and I am a queer Métis writer/director based in North Bay, Ontario. I was born in 1999 and moved to North Bay in 2017 to begin my study at Canadore College and have been with the Bay ever since!
I began my journey to reconnect with Indigenous culture and my ancestors in the summer of 2020 when I began to study genealogical research at the OGS here in North Bay. Additionally, I began to involve myself with Indigenous-run and centred activities through Canadore College and Nipissing University where I have been able to connect with other Indigenous youth. I have always wanted to be a part of something bigger and to help support other Indigenous and/or queer youth and families, and thanks to Endaayaan Aweja - I am able to make that dream a reality.
Being the Marketing Intern for EA, I spend my time managing our social media pages and promoting events and workshops. I am able to connect with our clients and supporters as well as help set up and participate in our monthly workshops. Allowing me to always learn something new about our culture and meet new people, I hope to continue my work in aiding youth in their reconnecting journey.
Marrsî kâ wîtapmiyin - Thank you for your time!
Nikki Jo Mattinas - Facilitator
I am Cree from Constance Lake First Nation but I call North Bay my home. I am a recovering addict and I live an Indigenous cultural lifestyle to help me along my path. I have two children and I am a small business owner and an artist. I have been with Endaayaan for almost three years working as a facilitator which I love doing. I do workshops such as sewing, drumming and painting. Being a part of a community like Endaayaan makes me so happy.