Our Team

We are proud to support and grow with each school that offers AYEP.

Mission and Values

Since 2007, AYEP has collaborated with schools to meet students’ needs, available resources and expertise. AYEP improves educational outcomes through approaches strengthened by Indigenous content.

Susan Aris
AYEP Coordinator

Susan received her undergraduate degree from the University of Western Ontario and her graduate degree from Lakehead University while working with Lakehead District School Board as a teacher and school administrator. She joined Ontario’s Ministry of Education in 2007 as an Education Officer in Thunder Bay. She has worked with First Nation schools, provincially funded school boards, and international schools in China and Hong Kong to support student achievement in both elementary and secondary schools. In 2015, Susan was appointed as Education Program Coordinator for MFI, where she supports Indigenous student achievement through MFI’s various programs.

Maria Biondi
AYEP Administrator

Yves Bousquet
AYEP Coordinator

Yves worked for the Saskatoon School Division for 30 years as an elementary teacher, vice-principal and principal. He spent most of his career working with Indigenous families and will always be thankful for the students, teachers, and Elders who shared their culture with him. Over the course of his career he received great honours, including being adopted by Nockum Ahenakew and receiving two eagle feathers. For the past six years, Yves has worked with both AYEP, the Indigenous Entrepreneurship Course in Quebec and Saskatchewan, as well as The Martin Family Greenhouse Project in Northern Canada.

Dave Isherwood
AYEP Coordinator

Dave Isherwood started his teaching career in 1995 in the remote northern community of Nibinamik, Ontario, and worked for over two decades with Lakehead Public Schools in Thunder Bay. He was the board’s first Student Success Lead and helped establish Lakehead’s Aboriginal Education Advisory Committee. He received the Glen Beatty Award from Skills Ontario in 2008 and has received two Trustees Recognition Awards from Lakehead Public Schools. Dave helped launch the Martin Family Initiative’s Accounting Mentorship and Aboriginal Youth Entrepreneurship programs and is proud to be an Education Program Coordinator with MFI.

Dr. Carlana Lindeman
Education Program Director

Carlana began her career in education in 1975 as a teacher and principal with the Lakehead Board of Education. She joined the Ontario Ministry of Education and served as an Education Officer and Regional Manager in Thunder Bay. In 2008, Carlana became the Education Program Director for MFI, where she supports various initiatives related to Indigenous students across Canada. She served as a member of the Ontario Special Education Tribunal from 2008 to 2014, and was on Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada’s National Selection Committee for the First Nations Student Success program for four years. In 2009, Carlana was awarded the Sandra D. Lang Lifetime Achievement Award for the depth and quality of service she provided to students, families, and communities in Ontario.