This individual is not a direct affiliate of the Berkley Center.
Grand-Mother Marie-Josée Rankin-Tardif is the President of Kina8at Together and an Elder from the Anicinape (Algonquin) tradition, thus Indigenous, in Canada. For the first 15 years of her professional life, she was known as a journalist and news anchor for major TV and radio channels in Quebec (Radio-Canada, RDI, LCN, Radio Rock Détente), and in Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and Great-Britain. Since 2005, she has focused her work on issues related to self-awareness and interpersonal communication. In 2007, her life took a complete turn, as the Algonquin elders offered her a Sacred Pipe, a great mark of respect and recognition, thus launching a long journey of learning the language, philosophy, and traditional medicine of this thousand-year-old people. Marie-Josée – now called Kokom (grandmother) – teaches and travels regularly with Grandfather T8aminik as his female counterpart. In 2013, she co-founded Kina8at with Elder T8aminik, and chairs the Board of Directors. She is a counselor and trainer at the Canadian School of Public Service and a consultant and lecturer at Notre Dame University in Indiana. She sits on various national and international committees, including the Religions for Peace Women of Faith Network and the Ethics in Action committee at the Vatican. Marie-Josée is the author of On nous appelait les Sauvages (We were called Savages) and La Leçon de Sitar ou l’Art de vibrer de toutes ses cordes (The Sitar Lesson or the Art of Vibrating with all its Strings).
The word Kina8at (pronounced "Kinawat") means "together" in the Algonquin language, sums up the organization’s mission: To allow cultural reconnection among First Nations; to foster the sharing of Indigenous cultures with everyone; in the spirit of Reconciliation and with respect for Mother Earth.