Rachel Levee – Acting Executive Director
Of mixed European and Ashkenazi Jewish settler heritage, Rachel was born on Tiohtià:ke (colonial name Montréal), under the custodianship of the Kanien’kehá:ka Nation, and now lives as an uninvited guest on the lands of the Songhees and Esquimalt Nations of the Ləkw̓ əŋən People (colonial name Victoria). Rachel joins the PPP team as our Acting Executive Director and the archival project’s “Victoria”- based lead, after serving on the Board of Directors for three years. She also currently acts as a co-chair for the South Vancouver Island (SOVI) chapter of BCCIC, and works with non-profit organizations towards good practice in governance and operations. A long-time career generalist, she has an MA in African History from U of T, has worked in documentary film and television, and has coordinated and managed community based projects from Vancouver to Addis Ababa, with a focus on media, documentation, and public engagement. Most days, though, Rachel can be found digging in the dirt, seeking missing LEGOs, or singing silly songs with her young child.
Andy Nystrom – Archivist & Research Assistant Volunteer
Andy has two BAs (English Major, Psychology Minor; Sociology Major); over two decades later he is still trying to find some use for them. He first started volunteering with PPP in 2010. He acts as an archivist for Tok Blong Pasifik, maintaining inventories and scanning earlier issues. His outside interests include movies, comics, travel (including extensive explorations of northwest Washington and Oregon, the “Golden Horseshoe” area of Ontario, and the general vicinity of Montréal), as well as photography (with over 5.9 million photos uploaded to Flickr). He is also the Administrator for Who Watches the Watchers, a forum devoted to The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe and similar reference works. At some point, he’d like to get novels published.
Teuila Roskvist-Dellimore – Pacific Program Associate
Born in Aotearoa (New Zealand) Teuila is a proud afakasi (halfcaste) Sāmoan/Swede and Canadian resident on Kanien’kehaka territory. She has a passion for connecting and engaging people and a knack for finding answers to even the curliest questions.
With over 10 years of experience in the domestic and international intelligence world, she can happily say she has worked on every continent except Antarctica. Following her years of service to the New Zealand Government came a shift to the World Anti-Doping Agency headquartered here in Canada where they spearheaded anti-doping investigations across all sports and all corners of the globe. She then decided to follow her heart and found that together with Pacific Peoples’ Partnership she could work in the service of her new home and combine it with her love for the Pacific and its people.
Growing up surrounded by the Pacific Ocean to the East and the Tasman Ocean to the West, spending time in Samoa, Tonga, and Fiji, as well as being a child of the ocean, Pacific Peoples’ Partnership feels like coming home. It took moving away from her family and culture to realize how much her roots mean to her and she is looking forward to working with Pacific Peoples’ Partnership to help further their mission and values that reflect her own.
Dr. Jeff Corntassel – Knowledge Partner
As a member of the Tsalagi Cherokee Nation, Jeff was the first to represent the Cherokee Nation as a delegate to the United Nations Working Group on Indigenous Peoples. He strives to honor his family and nation as a teacher, activist, and scholar. Jeff received his Ph.D. from the University of Arizona in 1998. He is currently an Associate Professor and Graduate Advisor in the School of Indigenous Studies and an Acting Program Director for the CIRCLE (Centre for Indigenous Research and Community-Led Engagement) at the University of Victoria, which is located on Lekwungen and Wsanec homelands.
Jeff has been a valued partner of PPP since 2014 and helped us to produce two conferences and many events including a 2015 Pacific Networking Conference, RedTide: International Indigenous Climate Action Summit and Youth Conference in 2018, and event components of PPP’s One Wave Gathering among other initiatives.
Hanna Elise – Communications & Engagement Coordinator
Hanna Elise (she/they) is a multi-disciplinary creator who grew up and currently lives on the unceded territory of the Coast Salish, Ts’uubaa-asatx, WSANEC, Quw’utsun people and Hul’qumi’num treaty group. Hanna’s relationship to creativity began with visual art, whereafter she migrated to sound, movement, and language by finding self-expression through music, dance, theatre, and poetry.
Most recently, she has been collaborating with Collective Space Cowichan on a variety of grassroots multimedia projects at the intersections of climate resilience, community building, decolonization and permaculture. Her personal commitments to decolonization include learning to grow food, making plant medicine, protecting ancient old growth ecosystems, supporting BIPOC artists and land defenders, cultivating joy and continuously working to heal her own ancestral relationships. You may find one of her sacred grief guidebooks, “A Traveller’s Guide to Grief,” atop a mountain, inside a tree, or perhaps nestled in a river valley.
Hanna is incredibly excited to be working alongside the Pacific People’s Partnership in relation to Indigenous communities locally and across the South Pacific. She believes that the arts are a powerful way to facilitate cross-cultural knowledge sharing and is passionate about connecting more people with why this work is so vital to our collective healing and survival.
Ksid Kloulechad – Program Coordinator
Ksid Kloulechad was born in the Republic of Palau, a small archipelago in the South Pacific. Ksid’s father is of Palauan nationality, while her mother is of European ancestry and grew up in British Columbia’s Fraser Valley area. Ksid grew up learning to speak both her father’s language of Palauan and English, and she learned Palauan values from her father’s mother and his sisters. Ksid has experience facilitating cross-cultural dialogue by recording information and documenting cultural values and performance through multimedia. She regularly participates in conversation about globalization and the negative impacts of climate change in the South Pacific. In 2015, she moved to Victoria, B.C. to pursue a Bachelors of Arts in Anthropology at the University of Victoria. Ksid plans to use her degree and experience to document and research Indigenous women’s health issues. She also wants to further her education in a Masters of Public Health in order to help create better healthcare systems for minority women.
Kalilah Rampenen – Program Coordinator
Kalilah Rampanen (AKA) Hasaatuk is nuučaan̓uł from Ahousaht on the west coast of Vancouver Island, Woodland Cree from Fort Mcmurray Alberta and Finnish ancestry.
Kalilah is also a musician under her traditional name Hasaatuk, meaning loud vibrant voice. Her music explores a diverse range of indigenous, environmental and social horizons that combine a blend of acoustic, blues and alternative styles of expression.
In addition to her musical path, Kalilah is actively involved in activism and advocacy for the protection and preservation of Indigenous lands, culture and language. They have participated in a wide variety of campaigns that raise awareness of environmental devastation caused by mining, oil extraction, deforestation, climate justice and aquaculture. She uses her music to shed light upon the interconnectedness that is maintained through ancestral, indigenous roots to the lands and waters and she maintains a lifestyle that keeps her connected to her traditional territories, culture and family.
Benjamin Gregory – Program & Policy Coordinator
Ben is a recent graduate from the University of Victoria with a B.A. in History and a minor in Pacific and Asian Studies. Ben decided to pursue this degree after taking a year off from university to travel across Asia for several months by himself, eventually deciding to focus on modern history of the Asia-Pacific region. While at UVic, Ben gained a strong interest in international policy, social and economic development, and social history.
Born and raised in Victoria, Ben is deeply grateful for being able to live and work on the lands of the Lekwungen speaking peoples. He is also grateful to be able to work and learn with the Pacific Peoples’ Partnership and its partners.
William Corbin – Guest Researcher
Having initially started his studies in advertising, William eventually decided to switch
branches and now holds two bachelor degrees (Public Communication/Sociology and
Social and Cultural Anthropology) from Laval University, located in Quebec City. He is
now in the process of completing his Masters in Anthropology with PPP on Climate
Change and International Cooperation. Who knows, maybe a PhD later!
His first experience with the Pacific was as a volunteer in 2017 when he joined an NGO
to help rebuild villages and teach children after Hurricane Winston. Shortly after he met
his current thesis supervisor, Natacha Gagné, who is a very active researcher in New
Zealand and French Polynesia. An avid traveler and adventurer, his travels have taken
him to 4 continents, including New Zealand and Morocco.
With his work, William is now looking to help and empower Pacific communities to find
local and sustainable solutions to climate change. He strongly believes that research and
anthropology can help and participate to give voice to situations and people who may
not often have the chance to be heard.