About the Founder

wâciye Candace Linklater nitišinihkâson nitohcîn môsoniyi ministik 

ᐙᒋᔦ ᓂᑎᔑᓂᐦᑳᓱᓐ ᑳᓐᑖᔅ ᓕᒃᓓᑕᕐ ᒨᓴᓃ ᒥᓇᔅᑎᒃ ᓂᑐᐦᒌᓐ

Hello, my name is Candace Linklater and I am from Moose Factory Island

Introducing Candace Linklater: an inspiring figure in the realm of education and a leader in advocating for the rights of Indigenous children in schools. As a member from the Moose Cree First Nation on Treaty 9 territory, Candace is more than a descendant of a historical Chief and a Treaty 9 signatory; she's a contemporary trailblazer. 

Currently a Ph.D. candidate, Candace's research focuses on creating safe and respectful spaces for Indigenous queer children in educational environments. With experience being an educator on her reservation, she firmly believes in the pivotal role of K-12 education in leading meaningful change between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people. Her approach goes beyond traditional teaching methods, encouraging educators to learn and unlearn colonial educational practices and urging a commitment to continuous change in pursuit of meaningful solidarity.

Candace's influence extends to social media, where she educates and inspires nearly a million followers on Facebook under the moniker Relentless Indigenous Woman. The success of her online platform led her to establish Relentless Indigenous Woman Co., where she provides invaluable guidance to educators and educational leaders on their reconciliation journey. Her work is not just about imparting knowledge; it's about inspiring change within education and beyond.

Education: PhD (C), MEd, BEd, BA, ECE

The RIW Co. Team

Standsinwater - Elder (he/she/they)

Standsinwater is the in-house Two Spirit Elder of RIW Co., whose wisdom and compassion shape the heart and soul of our company. With rich life experiences as Swampy Cree, Standsinwater brings a unique and beautiful perspective to our clientele, guiding our work with an unparalleled depth of understanding and empathy.

Across Turtle Island, Standsinwater is renowned for their heartfelt contributions to various seminars, where they offer nurturing support and guidance to both youth and adults. Their approach is always infused with kindness and a genuine caring spirit, making every interaction a testament to their beautiful impact on those around them.

Standsinwater is not just a part of RIW Co.; they are sacred medicine within our IndigiQueer & Two-Spirit community, embodying the love and dedication that stand at the core of our company's values.

Lisa - Associate (she/her)

Lisa is a dedicated educator from Attawapiskat Cree First Nation and a cornerstone of the RIW Co. team. With over 20 years of experience in K-12 education, Lisa brings a deeply personal perspective to her work, informed by her own experiences as an Indigenous student and educator. Her compassionate approach creates a nurturing learning environment that is felt in every project she touches.

At RIW Co., Lisa leads with heart and expertise, ensuring that our clients in the education sector receive in-depth insights into their practices. She specializes in developing strategies that support all children, particularly Indigenous students. Lisa's work empowers educators to make meaningful and effective changes from a place of compassion, care, and connection. Balancing her time, she contributes to RIW Co. on a part-time basis, dedicating herself to enhancing educational outcomes while nurturing the next generation of learners as a full-time educator.

Portfolios: Curriculum design, policy development, education leadership strategies, classroom management

Alycia - Associate (she/they)

A member of the Mistawasis Nêhiyawak First Nation, Alycia earned a Bachelor of General Studies with a minor in Canadian Studies and a Master of Education focused on Early Childhood Education from the University of Calgary.

Alycia is also the founder of the Moon Time Bag Project, providing essential care items to those experiencing houselessness in Calgary. Additionally, they has authored "Two-Spirit: Stories, Sex, and the Ceremony Behind It All," enriching her advocacy and educational contributions.

She plays a pivotal role at RIW Co., where she leverages her educational expertise and her identity as a Two-Spirit member of the 2SLGBTQ+ community to lead projects with an authentic and bold approach. Their work seamlessly integrates professional knowledge with profound community engagement, emphasizing love and connection.

Portfolios: early years, education, 2SLGBTQ+ advocacy, health, traditional healing and medicine

Deanne - Associate (she/her)

Deanne is a member of Constance Lake First Nation who grew up in the rural community of Moosonee on the Mushkegowuk territory. Deanne's deep connection to her culture shines through in her music, which she brilliantly incorporates into her professional life to nurture beauty, creativity, and resilience.

Holding a Master’s degree in Social Work with a specialization in resilience and trauma, Deanne offers invaluable expertise and heartfelt compassion to her role at RIW Co. as an Associate. Her work extends beyond mere professional duties; it's a sincere commitment to healing and empowering, using her academic knowledge, lived experience, and musical talents to uplift and inspire those around her.

In addition to her role at RIW Co., Deanne is devoted to serving First Nations communities in the northeastern region as an Indigenous Social Work provider. Her dual roles allow her to blend her lived experience, neuroscience, creativity and decolonizing approaches effectively, making a significant impact in many lives and strengthening the support network within these communities.

Portfolios: trauma informed approaches, music therapy, resilience practices, foster child and youth advocacy, social work

S - Research Assistant (they/them)

S is the insightful Research Assistant at RIW Co. A proud member of Mid Island Métis Nation, they bring a rich blend of academic rigour and spiritual perspective to our team. Their exceptional writing and research skills are evident in their acclaimed and in-depth pieces they have written throughout their academic career. 

At RIWCo., S is instrumental in ensuring that all client files are supported by robust and decolonial research that truly captures the essence of each client and the communities they serve.

S has a unique ability to view topics in a way that interweaves Western academic and Indigenous spiritual lenses. This approach deeply aligns with the values of RIW Co. and enriches our approach to engaging and supporting our valued clients.

Chondra - Executive Assistant (she/her)

Chondra is the invaluable Executive Assistant at RIW Co. Raised in her home territory of Kainai Nation, part of the Blackfoot Confederacy (Siksikaitsitapi), Chondra brings a blend of local Siksikaitsitapi insight and universal appeal to her role, providing seamless support with creativity and organization. She is the cornerstone behind our CEO, Candace, ensuring that she is perfectly poised to meet the needs of all our clients with her best self every day. Chondra’s dedication and meticulous care help make everything at RIW Co. possible.

Courtney - Graphic Designer (she/her)

Courtney is the creative powerhouse behind the stunning visuals at RIW Co. From her vibrant homeland of Kainai First Nation, Courtney masterfully blends traditional design elements with her own modern flair to create truly captivating graphics. With an innate ability to capture the essence of each client, she ensures that every project is delivered with both professionalism and a fresh, innovative approach. Courtney’s designs represent our clients beautifully and embody the spirit of RIW Co., making sure our identity resonates clearly and vibrantly across the globe.