Leading Founder and Project Director
Alyssa Carpenter was born and raised in the Western Arctic region of the Northwest Territories and identifies as Inuvialuit, Gwich'in and Dene. She is a northern social worker who currently resides in Whitehorse, Yukon. A majority of her work experience is within the non-profit sector, working with various levels of government in both the Yukon and Northwest Territories, working primarily with Indigenous people and northern Indigenous youth. She is the leading founder and Project Director of the Western Arctic Youth Collective, a Laureate of the Arctic Inspiration Prize Youth Category for 2020.
Growing up between Sachs Harbour and Inuvik, being involved in community volunteerism and activism, and opportunities to land-based and cultural activities were part of her upbringing. She was raised by a range of community helpers and witnessed the negative impacts when there was no opportunity for community involvement, activities, or access to connecting to land, culture, and language in remote and isolated northern communities. Life’s experiences and forms of ongoing colonization have also exposed her to stories of sadness, neglect, abuse, addictions, and loss. However, her community involvement, education, engagement and leadership opportunities with a focus on mentorship have directed her towards diversifying her social work career in the North to experience joy, healing, and a sense of community one project at a time.
Tate Juniper is Sahtu Dene and a member of the Délı̨nę First Nation's Band. He was born in Yellowknife NWT on Chief Drygeese Territory, traditional lands of Yellowknives Dene First Nation. He is the grandson of Doreen Cleary and the late George Cleary, a former chief of Délı̨nę. He is the son of the late Gary Juniper and the late Cheryl Cleary.
Tate has a diverse educational and professional background in finance and economics, wildland firefighting, the electrical trade, and video journalism. In 2021, Tate began a videography project that was grounded in authentic representations and portrayals of Indigenous people. He drove 40,000 kilometres to take portraits and record stories from Indigenous communities across America as part of his project, We Are the First.
He joined the Western Arctic Youth Collective as the Project’s Co-Director in the summer of 2023 and is humbled to help guide the programming and wellness work that they provide; the work that in his own words, saved his life.
He loves drumming, playing hand games, travelling, and laughing and telling stories with friends and family.
Bobbi Rose Koe vilzhii, Teetl’it Gwich’in ihtii, Shitsuu Kat Rosemary chan ts’at Dorothy Alexie giinlii, Shitsii kat Abraham Koe chan ts’at Robert Alexie Sr giinlii. I was raised by my grandparents Rosemary & Abraham Koe, Dorothy & Robert Alexie Sr, and the community of Teetl'it Zheh. Starting at a young age, I started travelling throughout the Gwich'in Country, and learned quickly about the Gwich'in way of life and instantly it brought me to life; the culture, traditions, values, stories, history & most of all the people. I am always learning & love to teach with anyone who wants to learn. This is the way I was raised- To continue to share what we have when we can, where we can. The Western Arctic Youth Collective aligns its values with the hearts and minds of Indigenous youth and communities in the North. I am very proud to work with, and for WAYC.
Bobbi Rose Koe
Co-Founder and Project Coordinator
Tsuk Tsal (Jacey Firth-Hagen) is a proud Dinjii Zhuh Khaii Łuk Tshik ts'àt Nihtat Gwich'in from Gwich'in and Inuvialuit Lands (Dinjii Zhuh Gwich'in from Travaillant River and Inuvik, Northwest Territories).She is one of the Co-Founders and the Project Coordinator for the Western Arctic Youth Collective and helped create #SpeakGwichinToMe and Treaty Talks, and remains actively involved.She is a Yukon College graduate with a Diploma in Northern Outdoor Environmental Studies and a Liberal Arts Certificate. She is working on her Bachelor of Arts Degree with the MacEwan University. She is an introvert, foodie and Netflix connoisseur with a love of language, land, culture, community, and wellness.
Kaila Jefferd-Moore is a Haida and Canadian journalist and communications consultant. She was born within Snuneymuxw territory in what is known as British Columbia, and raised in Inuuvik, on Gwich’in and Inuvialuit lands. After graduating from East Three Secondary School in 2013, she went on to earn a Bachelor of Journalism (Honours) from the University of King’s College in 2019, where she was Editor-in-Chief of the Dalhousie Gazette and began her freelance career. She’s had stints and bylines with local and national outlets such as Inuvik Drum (NNSL), CBC North (Yellowknife and Whitehorse), Maisonneuve, THIS Magazine, Up Here, and more.
She owns and operates Kaila JM Consulting across Denendeh and the Inuvialuit Settlement Region, offering strategic communications consulting and training. She is also an Associate Editor with IndigiNews, an in-house Storyteller with the Western Arctic Youth Collective, and produces freelance journalism projects.
Monica Loreen Dillon
Monica is a proud Inuvialuk born and raised in Inuvik, NT with her grandparents Marylou (Julia) and Ernie Dillon. After high school, she moved to pursue post secondary and graduated in amiskwacîwâskahikan, or Edmonton, AB, where she currently works out of. Monica joined WAYC in 2023 as the Storytelling Coordinator. She loves writing and sharing stories, whether it be poetry, quotes, jokes, or songs. You can find her posting her creations online, reading, going for walks, dancing, or hanging with her friends. She is formally trained in the beauty industry, and has always enjoyed being in service of and caring for others. She has background in working and volunteering with both youth and elders. She is a woman of experience in many fields but now finds passion working with youth, social media management and content creation. You can reach her by email at email@example.com
Autumn Koe-Schnell is a Gwich’in citizen living in amiskwacîwâskahikan, or Edmonton, AB. Autumn’s parents are Jacqueline Koe and Wade Schnell. Autumn’s maternal grandparents are: Janet Koe and Charles Sydney, and maternal great-grandparents are: Jim and Vivian Koe. Autumn wears many hats, but works mostly in community-based research, media, content creation, policy development, and a little bit of programming. In 2022 Autumn graduated from The University of British Columbia with a degree in Critical Indigenous Studies and Critical Studies in Sexuality. For fun, Autumn likes to go for long walks, garden, go berry picking, snowmobiling, make unnecessarily fancy meals, bake, and laugh with loved ones. Autumn is proud to be raised by a strong Gwich’in woman who worked relentlessly to ensure the impacts of colonialism are improved through her; and now is proud to be working alongside Gwich’in, Inuvialuit, Dene and Haida teammates who support one another with a beautiful dedication. You can reach Autumn at: firstname.lastname@example.org