Board Members

MMVI board composition is made up of Indigenous women from Turtle Island.

The current Board was selected by election held in May of 2015 during the First AGA; using a “staggered” election process allows for a level of continuity in the Board with positions of 2 and 3 year terms.

The Executive



Vanessa Gamblin

Co Chair


Vanessa Tait


Born and raised in northern Manitoba, Vanessa Tait is proud of her roots as a Cree woman from O-pipon-na-piwin Cree Nation – South Indian Lake, Manitoba.

Vanessa is currently obtaining her Master’s in Development Practice: Indigenous Development degree at The University of Winnipeg. She holds a Bachelor of Commerce (Honours) Degree from the University of Manitoba (2012) and has also completed the Indigenous Women in Community Leadership program from Coady International Institute at St. Francis Xavier University in Antigonish, Nova Scotia (2011). In 2014, Vanessa achieved the designation of Certified Technician Aboriginal Economic Developer (TAED).

Vanessa participates actively in knowledge exchange and has attended and presented at numerous conferences. She is community leader, as demonstrated by her involvement as Co-founder and Secretary of Manitoba Moon Voices Inc., a non-profit Indigenous women’s organization. She has also served on the Board of the Council for the Advancement of Native Development Officers (Cando). She also has volunteered for student groups, community committees, and continues to be a helper in her journeys.


Maxine Boulanger


Katherine Thomas

North Rep

My name is Askiy Notoquay {earth old woman}, Christian name is Katherine Thomas. I am from the Eagle Clan; I was raised in the trap lines for the first seven years of my practicing traditional life. Went to boarding school for 3 years and then moved to Winnipeg, became the mother of twelve children, raising them all.

Became involved with community activism and Manitoba Moon Voices when my grandchildren got apprehended, I wanted to help others because I found that the systems were designed to fail our first nations people. As I tried to navigate these systems to bring my grandchildren home, to no avail they became permanent wards. After all this they are now in the process of coming home soon, but had to go through 4 years of hearts broken and lives shattered, where they have to be built up again.

I am a spiritual care giver at Turtle Island community church that embraces both our culture and teaching of Jesus Christ. I also go to communities in the North to bring some hope and encouragement through our mission field trips where we work with traditional and church people working together as one.


Thelma Morrisseau

Community Member at Large



The Grandmothers’ Advisory Circle



Laverne Contois

Laverne Contois is a mother of two; with two grandsons. She is a Dakota Ojibway member and a very experienced social worker as a child protection worker. Laverne is involved with the Grandmother Advisory Circle with the Board of Directors’ of MMVI.


Founding Members

  • Vanessa Tait
  • Wendy McNab
  • Maxine Boulanger
  • Sylvia Boudreau
  • Linda Murphy
  • Shannon Courtemanche-Cormier (Helper)