Our Staff

Melanie Osmack

Acting Director

Melanie Osmack is a 3rd generation settler of Northern European descent with Cree ancestry on her mother’s side. She lives with her family as a guest on the unceded and continuously occupied territories of the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh Nations, also known as Vancouver B.C. She has a strong connection to her family and nature, spending her free time connecting with her loved ones and exploring the outdoors.

In her role as acting director, Melanie supports our board of directors and leads our staff team. She is dedicated to our strategic priorities: acting as a support mechanism for Indigenous physicians, residents, and students; advocating against anti-Indigenous racism; strengthening the association through capacity building; and advancing the health of Indigenous nations, communities, and individuals. You can contact her at melanie.osmack@ipacamic.ca

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Tom Lindsay

Membership and Mentorship

Tom is mixed European and Cree from One Arrow, Saskatchewan, but has lived in Ottawa for most of his life with the exception of spending most of his twenties in China. Since completing his degree in biology he has worked in the area of Indigenous health in various forms in policy analysis, Indigenous engagement, and in Indigenous data governance to name a few.
He is very passionate about everything related to science, and loves science-fiction, so feel free to geek out with him if you have the chance.
He enjoys biking, swimming, and playing and gaming with his two sons Chayton and Kanen.

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Ariel John

Administrative Manager

Ariel’s Inuvialuk name is ikilanna and her name ênêhiyawêwin (in Cree is) mahkêsis iskwêw. Her mother is from Tuktoyaktuk, NT and her father is from Onion Lake Cree Nation, SK. Ariel has a Bachelor of Education: Secondary Route from the University of Alberta where she focused on both Biology and Cree as a Second Language.
Ariel has a wide range of life and work experience — the latter including twelve years with the Canadian Armed Forces, a summer with the Canadian Coast Guard in one of their Arctic Programs, and, more recently, time spent teaching junior high & high school in two different Indigenous communities. After work, Ariel can be found spending time with her nieces and nephews, working out at the gym, or hunting with her dad.
Since joining the team at IPAC, Ariel has provided administrative, technical, communications, and event support to both Staff and Board.

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Kayla Knelsen

Finance and HR Manager

Kayla is Métis from Manitoba. She grew up in a small rural community 35 minutes south of Winnipeg, Manitoba. She now lives in St. Malo, Manitoba, which is located on Treaty 1 Territory, in the rural municipality of De Salaberry with her husband, two children and two dogs.
Kayla has worked in the health care field as a health care aide and as a support worker to adults with intellectual disabilities. For the last 9 years she has worked in finance for both a non-profit organization and a for-profit company. She is excited to join the IPAC team as Administrative and Finance Coordinator.
In her free time she enjoys watching racing, camping and participating in ATV derby’s with friends and family.

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Rochelle Mathieu

Event and Administrative Coordinator

Rochelle is mixed European descent from Calgary, Alberta. After several moves around British Columbia and Alberta, she currently resides with her partner in Strathmore, Alberta where she is grateful to live, work and play as a guest on unceded Treaty 7 Territories and Region 3 Métis land of Southern Alberta. Rochelle has a certificate in Medical Office Administration; Social Work: Policy, Practice and Procedure; and Event Planning and Management. She has a background in caregiving, and as a family service support worker for both adults and children with diverse needs. In the past several years she has gained both experience and education in event planning and coordination, as well as general management and event management. In her spare time Rochelle likes to travel, cook, and spend time with family.

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Save the date! Monday November 28th is #GivingTuesday. All donations made Monday will go towards Indigenous student travel for our 2024 AGM.

Save the Date! No time travel required!

Our 2024 Annual Mentorship Gathering and AGM will be taking place July 11-14th in Halifax, NS.

Stay tuned for more updates or find them on our site:
Today is Transgender Day of Remembrance, a day of observe and commemorate lives lost due to anti-trans violence. 
#transgenderdayofremembrance #transdayofremembrance #tdor #endtheviolence
Today we honour and remember the lives and legacies of Indigenous Veterans who have served and continue to serve. #InidgenousVeteransDay
Happy International Inuit Day, November 7th, 2024 #InternationalInuitDay
IPAC member extraordinaire Dr James Makokis and his co-presenters at #icre2023