Who We Are
FOXY (Fostering Open eXpression among Youth) is a totally new way of talking with young women about sexual health, sexuality, and relationships. By putting the decision making back in their hands, no one is being told what to do, or what is right or wrong – everyone is being given the tools they need to make the best decisions for themselves.
FOXY uses traditional beading, theatre, digital storytelling, photography, and music to help teenage girls express their knowledge, opinions, and questions about health and love (and everything in between). With a strong focus on sexual health and empowered decision-making, young women and gender-diverse youth across the North get to know themselves a little bit better and learn through the arts.
Since January 2012, FOXY has reached over 6495 youth in more than 41 NWT, Nunavut, and Yukon communities through over 433 workshops and 21 Peer Leader Retreats that have brought together over 546 Northern and Indigenous young Peer Leaders.
FOXY’s mission is to enhance the knowledge, health, and well-being of Northern and Indigenous youth
through the arts.
FOXY’s vision is that by 2025, FOXY is innovative, well-resourced, and adaptive to the needs of Northerners. Our youth
are resilient, informed, and engaged in healthy relationships with self and community.
FOXY’s core values include:
- Shared Knowledge
- Self Determination
- Strengths-Based Trauma-Informed Lens
FOXY will fulfill its vision by reaching 6 goals:
- Access ongoing, long term funding.
- Maintain public awareness and engagement.
- Expand within and into Northern communities.
- Enhance and maintain high quality trauma informed sexual and mental health education and leadership training programs
- Build capacity for organizational sustainability.
- Maintain a trauma informed lens for the organization that is rooted in culture.
Dr. Candice Lys (SHE/HER), EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
Candice Lys grew up in Fort Smith in a very large Métis family, and has lived all over the world, including a brief stint on a ship in the Pacific Ocean. Candice has a Masters degree in Health Promotion and holds a PhD in Public Health. She is an Ashoka Canada Fellow, a mom to Luca & Mira, dog mom to Maple, and an avid almost-gardener.
Jennifer Butler (She/Her), Director of Programs
Jennifer grew up in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia before moving to Yellowknife in the summer of 2019. She graduated from Saint Mary’s University in Halifax, NS with a degree in Criminology, with a double minor in Sociology and Psychology. She then went on to obtain a college diploma in Human Services with a concentration in Mental Health and Addictions counseling. Jennifer has been working with vulnerable populations across the lifespan for over 6 years in various settings, including supportive and transitional housing, shelters, mobile outreach, group homes, vocational programs, and as a caseworker. Jennifer is excited to continue her new role with FOXY and has loved getting to work with young people again. Her hobbies include hiking, swimming, paddleboarding, camping, and spending time with her dog, Max.
Kiera BR (All Pronouns), Land-Based Program Coordinator
Kiera is a francophone Canadian who was born in northern Alberta and grew up in Hay River, Northwest Territories. Following a brief stint down south to complete their B.A. in Women’s and Gender Studies and Sociology, Kiera decided it was high time to head home to the North! Kiera now resides in Yellowknife working and traveling with us at FOXY and SMASH. Kiera loves working with FOXY and SMASH because it gives them the opportunity to use both creativity and theory as well as to connect with and empower youth all over the North. When not at work, Kiera is a serial hobbyist, an aspiring botanist (alas all her plants keep dying) and self-proclaimed nerd.
Cassi Atamanenko (They/Them/She/Her), Community Program Coordinator
Cassi is a queer, multidisciplinary artist who grew up in Yellowknife before moving to Edmonton in 2015 to attend the University of Alberta. They completed their B.A. with a major in Drama and a minor in Women’s and Gender Studies in 2020, and has since worked in arts-based non-profits as a youth support worker. Cassi is thrilled to be moving back up north and to be working with FOXY, as she is incredibly passionate about education surrounding sexuality and gender identity, as well as both sexual and mental health!
Brandi Heln (She/Her), Special Initiatives Program Coordinator
Hey folx my name is Brandi and I am a born and raised northerner. I originate from the South Slave area. I studied Education/Native Studies at the Aurora College which led me to teach in the Beaufort Delta for a few years until I moved “south” to Hay River again and worked with the Health Authority helping create inclusion in the community for the residents. I spend most of my downtime either playing games with friends or hanging out with fur kids. I am super excited to be working with youth again, helping each other grow our brains together. Hope to meet you at a school near you soon!
Pyper Rehm (She/Her/They/Them), Program Facilitator
Pyper is a Métis person from Fort Smith, NT now living in Yellowknife, NT. She is currently a student at UBC Okanagan for their Bachelor of Arts degree. When Pyper isn’t working, she spends a lot of time with her family while making and eating amazing food. Pyper loves working for FOXY & SMASH because it helps people learn about their own bodies and how to know when their bodies are telling them what they need. Pyper loves when the participants reach out to say how meaningful their FOXY/SMASH experience was for them. Fun Fact: Pyper has been a FOXY school workshop participant, a FOXY Peer Leader Retreat Participant, and a PEER Facilitator before becoming a Program Facilitator!
Hello, my name is Treiva Plamondon. My pronouns are she/her. I was born and raised in Hay River, NT. I consider myself a traveler, finding my joy in meeting new people and experiencing the things the World has to offer. I thank FOXY for giving me the foundation for being bold and finding what makes me happy.In 2013 I attended the first ever FOXY Retreat. The whole experience was life changing for me. I remember the realization I had at just 14 years old how uneducated we all were. Sexual health and wellness was not something many teachers are keen to talk about. Thankfully FOXY is a very comfortable and inclusive space to learn. Even though sexual health is their main goal FOXY also helps youth understand relationships and wellness.
Amanda Kanbari (She/Her), Program Facilitator
Amanda was born in British Columbia and moved to Yellowknife after completing a B.A. with Distinction in Criminal Justice. She is an advocate for self-propelled travel and prefers to get around by canoe or bicycle. Amanda once cycled the Pacific Coast from Vancouver, B.C. to Tijuana, Mexico! She has created several youth-focused programs that encourage young people to address inequality and to pursue healthy relationships with the land, with others, and with themselves.
Ziggy Allerton (They/Them), Peer Facilitator (Foxy & SMASH)
Ziggy is an Inuk who grew up in Edmonton, AB; Wolfville, NS; and Iqaluit, NU. They currently live in Iqaluit. Ziggy loves figure skating, photography and filmmaking. They also love to hunt, harvest, and fish! Ziggy enjoys travelling and socializing! Ziggi would like to become an airline pilot who also competes in figure skating competitions! Ziggy wanted to work for FOXY and SMASH because they wanted to help other youth. After their experience in the Call of the North: FOXY & SMASH Leadership Summit, as well as their time at the SMASH Peer Leader Retreat, they knew this was an experience they could share with others. They love that youth from every Territory in Canada have the chance to learn about Mental/Sexual health through Peer Leader Retreats and Workshops!
Alex Banksland (She/They), Peer Facilitator
Alex is a queer, Inuk artist who grew up in Ulukhaktok, NT and now living in Toronto, ON. On her downtime she is focused on learning new art forms, keeping her plants… alive and learning about her culture. They have studied Baking and Pastry Arts at SAIT and Early childhood Education at George Brown College, before finishing they decided to dive into arts! She is currently working on a Inuit inspired children’s Illustration books, while continuing to work alongside FOXY/SMASH. Alex continues to work with FOXY because she finds it healing to see how much growth and empowerment each retreat brings to every participant, and to see all of the knowledge that’s is taken home. “I’ve never gotten to work with such a great team and continue to meet wonderful people.”
Shayla Moore (SHE/HER), PEER FACILITATOR
Lana Sanders (SHE/HEr), PEER FACILITATOR
Savannah Elias-Beaulieu, PEER Facilitator
Savannah Elias-Beaulieu is a proud Inuvialuit/Cree individual from Inuvik, NWT. She likes working with FOXY because it gives her an opportunity to meet girls like her all over the North and to travel to places she’s never been before. Savannah says being involved with FOXY has boosted her confidence and she is thankful to have a chance to work with such a great team! Savannah is a former pageant queen and enjoys hanging out with her friends, visiting with family and going out on the land whenever possible!
Aubrey Slugget (SHE/HER), PEER FACILITATOR
Aubrey is Cree Métis young woman from Yellowknife, NT. She loves being outdoors and being with her two dogs. She also wants to be an OB/GYN when she’s older, so FOXY is an amazing fit for her. Aubrey loves working with FOXY because she gets to learn so much and gets to meet so many amazing new peoples. She started as a Peer Facilitator in November 2021. Aubrey has been to two Peer Leader Retreats so far.
Millie Strachan-Legere (SHE/HER), PEER FACILITATOR
Millie grew up and still resides in Yellowknife. She is bilingual (French/English) and her hobbies include writing, acting, and swimming. She hasn’t yet decided what she want to be when she is older, but becoming an author is one of her top choices. Millie works with FOXY because the community is “amazing”, and she loved every minute of the Peer Leader Retreats, especially making new friends!
Brooke Delorey (SHE/HER), PEER FACILITATOR
Brooke Delorey is Inuvialuit and Chinese and lives in Hay River, NT. She loves singing, philosophy, travelling, and socializing! She also really enjoys any form of self discovery and self expression. Though she has not decided what career path she wants to pursue yet, she is focusing more on the kind of person she wants to become and the difference she wants to make in the world. Brooke chose to work with FOXY because it’s a wonderful opportunity to use her voice to help people learn and grow. It also gives her a chance to see the world from different perspectives.
Samuel Kodakin-Scott (Pronouns), Program Facilitator
Amber Adjun (pronouns), Program Facilitator
Marlin Miersch-King (he/him), Program Facilitator
My name is Marlin Miersch-King, son to Bradley King and Brandie Miersch. I have one sibling and her name is Mandie. I am a born and raised in Fort Resolution NT and I am 15 years old. My hobbies are hunting, trapping, being out on the land, skidooing, dirt biking, playing guitar and working on things with my dad or other friends that enjoy the same thing. I am currently in grade 10 at Deninu School. After high school graduation, I would like to enter into mechanics and get my red seal, as I would like to own my own trucking company one day with my dad. Other than my hobbies I try my best in school, sports, and as an employee at the local First Nations DKDC store. I have participated in the dene games and hand games as I enjoy them best. When I am not occupied by hobbies I spend a lot of time with my grand parents, parents, and my aunts and uncles as I believe in strong family values.