Team

The Freshwater Alliance runs a virtual office with staff located across the country. 

Danielle Paydli (she/her), BC Program Director
Located in Ladysmith, British Columbia on Stz’uminus First Nation land in the Stocking Lake Watershed.

Danielle's water story: My neighborhood water source, located just minutes from my home on Vancouver Island, flows to a beautiful waterfall called Stocking Creek Falls. When my family and I first moved to our new home, in the heat of summer, I was ecstatic to hike to the falls. I convinced my family to go on a 'fun' hike to see this breathtaking wonder. When we finally arrived after numerous mistaken 'shortcuts', sore and tired, we saw an anticlimactic trickle down the side of a rock! However, over the course of the next few months, following the rainy season, we watched it build to a powerful, gorgeous waterfall. I feel this has mirrored my personal experience within my new community. It takes time to build relationships, understand the unique culture of a community and build a life somewhere new but it is very worth it. I'm passionate about protecting our waters because I am passionate about community. Communities are built around water - it is our source of life and it is what truly connects us.

 

Kelly Laforet (she/her), Communications & Engagement Coordinator
Located in Windsor, Ontario on the traditional territory of the Anishinabek Three Fires Confederacy comprised of the Ojibwe, Odawa, and Potawatomi. This region is also home to the Wyandot of Anderdon Nation and the unceded territory of Caldwell First Nation. 

Kelly's water story: Growing up in the context of Southern Ontario urban sprawl meant daily life had three primary destinations: two of those were fast food places, and the other was the water. I'd make the regular journey down to Lake St. Clair where I'd see families of ducks gathering, patches of ice floating by, and water that seemed to stretch on forever. I started to understand that nature is not just some far-off concept reserved for the lush forests or beautiful mountains I'd see in magazines. Today, I am extremely grateful for Lake St. Clair, the Detroit River, Lake Erie, and the unending ways in which they shape and sustain my community.

 

Melissa Bramham (she/her), Director
Located in Simcoe County, Ontario, on the traditional land of the Anishnaabeg people as the Lake Simcoe-Nottawasaga from Treaty 18.

Melissa's water story: Growing up on the shores of Lake Scugog in Southern Ontario, I can fondly remember swimming and boating both the Nonquon river and water skiing as a teen with friends in Lake Scugog. It wasn’t the most pleasant of water bodies as it was shallow and weedy; intentionally flooded for commerce, trade and travel in the 1830s and is now part of the Trent-Severn waterway lock system. The word Scugog originates from the Mississauga First Nations who have traditional land on Scugog island meaning “waves leap over a canoe” as the waters are shallow and can quickly turn the water into whitecaps. My fondest memories of enjoying water would be in my undergraduate years while living in Thunder Bay with the astonishingly beautiful Kaministiquia River, Agawa River and Lake Superior. I would spend hours swimming and paddling in these beautiful places with friends and my faithful canine Darby. My canoe adventures have taken me to many beautiful places around Ontario from the well-travelled French River to the group of seven inspired paintings within Killarney Provincial Park, Temagami, and many places around Haliburton and Muskoka, ON. I now enjoy family canoe trips and my young son has had the enjoyment of canoe tripping and swimming in some amazing places with me. I have the privilege of fresh, clean drinking water whenever I turn my tap on. I can access beautiful rivers and lakes within minutes of where I live. I know this is not the same for all Canadians. I aspire to help advocate and unite with other water advocacy groups to make this a reality for our people.

 

Steering Committee

 

The Freshwater Alliance is guided by the advice and support of our trusted advisors and our Steering Committee members, including:

We are immensely grateful for all of our current and former Steering Committee members for sharing their time, guidance, and knowledge.

Past Steering Committee members include:

  • Kat Kavanagh - Water Rangers
  • Jill Ryan - Freshwater Future
  • Krystyn Tully, Entremission
  • Danika Littlechild, Assistant Professor at Carleton University Department of Law and Legal Studies 
  • Jennifer West, Jijuktu'kwejk Watershed Alliance 
  • Susi Porter-Bopp, First Nations Fisheries Council of BC

Want to join our team? Check out our current postings

If you are interested in joining our Steering Committee, please contact Melissa at [email protected]