Stephen Kwinter 

Executive Director

Clay Melnike

Senior Manager of Special Projects

Contact Clay

    Clay completed his undergraduate and master’s early in his career and focused on sport and recreation development, marketing and business planning.  Clay is currently working in 3 areas he is very passionate about: sport, youth and Indigenous program development.  

    Clay is currently the Senior Manager responsible for programs development and special projects for Indigenous Sport & Wellness Ontario (ISWO).   

    Clay has worked in sport all his life, has also taught in the Sport & Recreation Department at Humber College, and was certified as an Ontario Trainer with Canadian Sport for Life with a focus on older adults and youth physical literacy.

    On a personal note, Clay loves to paddle, ski, hike, workout, boat, and bike in the outdoors. He is very active in many sports and played squash, tennis and pickleball at a completive level.  He was a coach and trainer for soccer and hockey for over 15 years. He is currently an Ontario certified soccer referee. 

    Gary Lynch

    Manager of Sport and Athlete Development

    Contact Gary

      Gary Lynch is a teacher and guidance counselor with a wide range of experience both coaching and playing sports. A former CIS Academic All-Canadian with Lakehead University’s Men’s Varsity Wrestling team, Gary has transitioned to coaching wrestling at Beaver Brae Secondary School and was selected to coach Team Ontario at the 2020 North American Indigenous Games. Gary has explored many different sports including hockey, soccer, Muay Thai, mixed martial arts, and Olympic weightlifting among others. He loves introducing young people to new sports and realizes that it is in the exploration of different experiences whether through sport, art or culture that a young person has their identity revealed to themselves.

      Blue Hill

      Coach and Athlete Development Coordinator

      Contact Blue

        Blue Hill is a proud Haudenosaunee man, belonging to the Tuscarora Nation, Beaver Clan, born in Lewiston New York. Blue was raised in both Niagara Falls and Fort Erie. Blue is a provider and family man to his wife and three children.

        Blue has been involved with sports and working with Indigenous youth for over 10 years. His passion for sports stems from his childhood, being raised and involved with sports, specifically hockey and lacrosse.

        As a youth, Blue competed at the North American Indigenous Games (NAIG) in lacrosse, securing two gold medals. He continued to work toward a competitive lacrosse career and was part of the 2011 Men’s Iroquois National Team, earning a silver medal in Prague, Czech Republic.

        Blue is currently living a healthy active lifestyle, while also working toward establishing his competitive coaching credentials.  He wants to further develop and apply his knowledge and skills in support of growing the game of lacrosse and working with youth.

        Blue is thrilled to join the ISWO family and to apply his passion and commitment to empower youth through his position as the Coach and Athlete Development Coordinator.

        Zach Fraleigh-Whiteye

        Sport, Events & Athletes Services Coordinator

        Contact Zach

          Zach is a proud member of Bkejwanong Territory. He currently attends the University of Windsor for his Master’s degree in Sport Management & Leadership. Previously, he earned his Bachelor’s degree at Brock University in Sport Management.Zach has been immersed in sport his entire life ranging from roles as an athlete, scout, coach, and manager. He is an avid golfer, former baseball player and has an extensive background in hockey.As an Anishinaabe-Irish man, Zach understands the connection between sport and Indigenous youth and aims to provide them with the tools to succeed. Upon joining ISWO in 2022 for the Ontario Summer Indigenous Games, he got to unite his two passions of sport and Indigenous prosperity and looks to continue making a positive impact within Indigenous communities.

          Belle Bailey

          Sport Program Development Assistant

          Contact Belle

            Belle Bailey is a proud Algonquin women and member of the Pikwakanagan First Nation. She is currently attending Carleton University Bachelor of Arts program, majoring in Indigenous Studies. Belle is a Team Ontario alumnus who participated in the 2017 North American Indigenous Games as part of the 16U Badminton Team for Aboriginal Team Ontario. She has had a lifelong love of sports and fitness, competing in badminton, basketball, volleyball, baseball, dance, and track & field. Working for ISWO was a personal goal for Belle, one that she hopes to continue building on with the coaching modules they have to offer. Belle is a cultural ambassador who helps to educate others through speaking engagements, educational presentations, working with Indigenous Charities and non-profits, facilitating Kairos Blanket exercises, and through her social media platform as an athlete activist.

            Daniel Smith

            Manager, Events & Office Operations

            Contact Daniel

              Growing up in Toronto, Daniel became enamoured with Sport at a very young age and pursued his passion by studying Sport Management at Brock University. After working in Sport Administration roles for the University of Toronto and the Toronto 2015 Pan American Games, Daniel was appointed to the Host Organizing Committees for the 2016 National Aboriginal Hockey Championships and the Toronto 2017 North American Indigenous Games. In September 2018, Daniel joined the ISWO family full time as the Manager, Events & Office Operations, a role which he believes will allow him to continue sharing his passion and love of Sport & Recreation with Indigenous Youth across Ontario and the rest of Turtle Island.

              Carlyn Johnston

              Manager of Standing Bear and Regional Development 

              Contact Carlyn

                Carlyn Johnston is a member of Chippewas of the Thames First Nation. Carlyn is very passionate about sport and recreation, having grown up playing hockey and soccer, and participating and competing in swimming, snowboarding, cross country skiing, canoeing and kayaking. She studied Kinesiology at Western University, has competed as a part of Team Canada, and competed at the World Championships for Marathon Kayaking. As a youth, she’s competed as a swimmer at NAIG in Winnipeg and Denver, and since then has become a coach for the Team Ontario Canoe/Kayak Team for NAIG Regina and Toronto.

                She has been able to gain experience and build relationships through her previous role as Southwest Regional Coordinator. Carlyn has witnessed the positive impact that ISWO programs and events have on Indigenous communities, and is happy to be a part of continuing this work for the next seven generations.

                Dustin Peltier

                Manager, Marketing & Communications

                Contact Dustin

                  Dustin is a member of Wiikwemkoong Unceded Territory, and is very passionate about the promotion and development of indigenous athletes having come from a background in scouting and hockey player development at the Major Junior level. As an Algonquin College and Laurentian SPAD alumni, Dustin’s portfolio in business and marketing is very diverse, having worked in the golf industry, indigenous tourism, and in professional sport with the Ottawa Senators of the National Hockey League.

                  As an Anishnaabe, Dustin is a dedicated advocate for the culture, and believes it should be at the core of all ISWO youth initiatives to positively impact the individuals and communities that ISWO serves. Working in his current role, Dustin looks forward to continuing to build programming that will support the indigenous community and empower the youth.

                  Deidre Debassige

                  Manager of Well Nation – Health & Wellness Programs

                  Contact Deidre

                    Deidre is proud to say she was born and raised in her home community of M’Chigeeng First Nation on Manitoulin Island. She grew up playing many different sports but fell in love with hockey early on and played competitively through her career before ultimately winning a national championship in her final year. Deidre was honoured to help represent Team Ontario at the National Aboriginal Hockey Championships for four consecutive years, as well as helped facilitate hockey development camps for younger Indigenous youth. Deidre’s passion for sports and living a healthy lifestyle continued as she completed her specialized diploma in Physical Fitness Management from Cambrian College and then went on to complete her Bachelor of Physical & Health Education with a specialization in Health Promotion from Laurentian University. During her time at Laurentian, she also acted as Vice-President with their Women in Sport committee.

                    Deidre began working for ISWO in 2020 as a Regional Coordinator assistant, before moving on as part of our Sports team, and now as our program manager for the Women & Girls and Well Nation programs. Since 2018, Deidre has been the coordinator of the B.J. Corbiere Memorial, a hockey tournament in her home community that has been running since 1998. Most recently, she also acts as the lead coordinator for M’Chigeeng First Nation’s Little NHL teams. In between all of this, you could find Deidre on the ice, on the lake, or soaking up quality time with her son and nephews.

                    Regional Coordinators

                    Carmen Jones

                    South West Regional Coordinator

                    Contact Carmen

                      Carmen Jones is a member of Chippewas of the Nawash First Nation. Carmen is very passionate about sport and recreation, having grown up playing hockey, fastball, baseball, badminton, golf, and volleyball.  Carmen has competed in both the Junior and Masters divisions for the North American Indigenous games.   He has studied Police Foundations, Law and Security and Professional Golf Course Management.

                      Carmen has been able to gain experience and build relationships through his previous role as the Chippewas of Nawash Community Activator Program in Neyaashiinigmiing Ontario for the past 11 years. Carmen has witnessed the positive impact that recreation based programs like ISWO programs and events, have had on Indigenous communities.  He is happy to be a part of continuing this work to build healthy communities in the years to come.

                      Hannah Leaf

                      Southeast Regional Coordinator

                      Contact Hannah

                        Hannah is a proud Mohawk woman from Akwesasne, raising four daughters, and leading a healthy active life as a mom, coach and athlete. She is currently working towards completing her certification as a Competitive Box Lacrosse Coach, and coaches and plays lacrosse at many different levels. Hannah is also the Head Coach for the U19 Women’s Aboriginal Team Ontario for the upcoming NAIG. She looks forward to leading and promoting positive sport and recreation programs with Indigenous youth, families and communities within her region.

                        Hannah is a proud Mohawk woman from Akwesasne, raising four daughters, and leading a healthy active life as a mom, coach and athlete. She is currently working towards completing her certification as a Competitive Box Lacrosse Coach, and coaches and plays lacrosse at many different levels. Hannah is also the Head Coach for the U19 Women’s Aboriginal Team Ontario for the upcoming NAIG. She looks forward to leading and promoting positive sport and recreation programs with Indigenous youth, families and communities within her region.

                        Josh Carpenter

                        Central Regional Coordinator

                        Contact Josh

                          Joshua Carpenter was born in Peterborough, Ontario. His mother is a Seneca women from Six Nations of the Grand River and his father is an Anishinabe man from Curve Lake. Joshua currently lives about an hour east of Sudbury, Ontario. Joshua has been involved in sports and mental wellness programming his entire life.

                          Joshua was a member of five high school city basketball championships and four NOSSA basketball championships at Lasalle Secondary in Sudbury, Ontario; he also played basketball at Acadia University, located in Wolfville, Nova Scotia.

                          Helping Indigenous youth improve their skills in basketball has been a passion of Joshua’s for the last 10 years.  He applies this same passion for sport and wellness in his position as the North East Regional Coordinator.

                          Justin Sackaney

                          Northeast Regional Coordinator

                          Contact Justin

                            Justin’s lineage is mainly from 3 communities on the James Bay Coast, namely Attawapiskat, Kashechewan and Fort Albany.  He calls Fort Albany home.  Justin relocated to Fort Albany in 2006 after completing his first University degree in Psychology.  Upon experiencing a busy active life outside of school while growing up in Timmins, he noticed a gap in programming at Fort Albany’s gymnasium during the evenings. Justin developed a basketball program and spent numerous hours in the evenings playing sports with Fort Albany’s young people for 12 years. This experience helped him develop skills for fostering youth leadership, and saw first-hand the benefits of what sport can do for one’s development.

                            Justin has participated in numerous ISWO sporting events, first as a youth and then as an adult, playing basketball.  Recently he has been involved in sharing the joys of participating in sport events as a coach/mentor, with the community of Fort Albany.

                            Justin is excited to connect with other communities in the Northeast region who are looking for ways to engage youth.

                            Parker Pero

                            North Central Coordinator

                            Contact Parker

                              Cami Carpenter

                              Northwest Regional Coordinator

                              Contact Cami

                                Cami Carpenter is a member of Wabaseemoong Independent Nations in Treaty 3 Territory. Cami strives to share passion, build community/relationships, and continue to learn and grow. Throughout her life and sport career, Cami noticed a lack of opportunities for youth in her community. Working for ISWO allows her to make sport and wellness programs accessible and share her passion with youth.

                                Cami is a multi-sport athlete having grown up playing several sports, including soccer, basketball, wrestling, and hockey. Her passion for sport was mainly driven by her love for hockey. She played on Team Ontario for the National Aboriginal Hockey Championship. From there, Cami was offered a scholarship to play university hockey in the US. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, she shifted her passion for sport from being an athlete to coaching. She hopes to further develop her skills and knowledge for coaching and encourage youth to fuel their passion. 

                                Standing Bear Team

                                Danielle Johnson

                                Standing Bear Program Manager

                                Contact Danielle

                                  Danielle Johnson is a proud Haudenosaunee woman, belonging to the Oneida Nation, Wolf Clan from Six Nations. Danielle is a graduate of Geographic Information Systems, with an Honour’s in Office Administration. Danielle has more than 15 years of experience working within the education system at the elementary and high school levels, both in the classroom and as an office administrator. She also spent years advocating for Indigenous clients with the Canadian Paraplegic Association, now Spinal Cord Injury Ontario, as the Peer Support Coordinator. 

                                  Danielle has dedicated over 40 years to the Six Nations Skating Club as a skating member, and as a coach for figure skating and power skating. As a mother of six children, Danielle found herself volunteering for a variety of minor sports over the years. Recently, she developed an interest in health and wellness, and became passionate about supporting peers with their healthy lifestyle changes.