Advisory Committee

Dr. Lucie Lévesque

Dr. Lucie Lévesque photo
Dr. Lucie Lévesque is Associate Professor at the School of Kinesiology and Health Studies at Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario. Hers research on physical activity in Aboriginal communities in Canada is intensively community-engaged; she works closely with community members to plan and implement research-related activities. Over the past 15 years, she has mainly focused on physical activity intervention effectiveness evaluation from an ecological and holistic perspective. She is especially interested in enhancing the accessibility of physical activity opportunities for youth and has a keen interest in working with Aboriginal communities to eliminate health disparities related to physical inactivity. Her research is funded through the Canadian Institutes for Health Research, the Public Health Agency of Canada, and the First Nations and Inuit Health branch at Health Canada. She identifies as an ally to Aboriginal communities.



Dr. Tara-Leigh McHugh

Dr. Tara-Leigh McHugh photo
Dr. Tara-Leigh McHugh is an Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Physical Education and Recreation at the University of Alberta. She is currently the lead academic in the University of Alberta’s Certificate in Aboriginal Sport and Recreation that is jointly offered by the Faculties of Native Studies and Physical Education and Recreation. Her program of research is focused on working with urban Aboriginal youth to shed light on the often overlooked topics of Aboriginal peoples’ physical activity, sport, and body image experiences. Dr. McHugh has lived and worked in Alberta since 2009, and since this time she has been committed to developing and maintaining research relationships with various Aboriginal communities. She is committed to participatory action research methodologies, and to actively partnering with Aboriginal peoples in community-based research.



Allan Ross

Allan Ross photo
Allan Ross, a Cree First Nation member from Chekastepisn First Nation, Sask., was raised from birth by his grand- parents in an isolated log cabin, experiencing a rich traditional life of hunting, trapping and commercial fishing, but later encountering culture shock, alcohol and poverty when he moved to City of Prince Albert at 15 years old. His grade 9 teacher inspired Allans interest in the sport of Basketball and his love of learning. Both became his saving graces, propelling him to university, where he played several years on a number of college teams. 
He has been a teacher since 1991 and has organized numerous sports teams and tournaments since 1980. Ross is the founder and manager of both the Edmonton Native Basketball Association (2006) and the Alberta Indigenous Games (2011, 2013, 2015 & 2017) He is closely connected with the Edmonton’s Aboriginal community as a former board member of the Wicihitowin Secretariat Board. He is also past chair for the board of Trustees on Mother Earth Childrens Charter School. Allan has a bachelor of education degree, a diploma in business administration and a social work certificate. He now is a consultant for his own company called SEED Indigenous consulting.



Clayton Melnike

Clayton Melnike photo
Clay completed his undergraduate and master’s early in his career and focused on sport, recreation and the development business, marketing and sport plans. Clay is a planner, facilitator, manager, and published author who has worked for over 25 years in the two worlds about which he is most passionate: sport and youth development. Current sport contracts include: teaching sport and recreation at Humber College, national Trainer with Canadian Sport for Life/Play Tools, working with the Community Sport Councils of Ontario, the Aboriginal Sport and Wellness Council and the Canadian Curling Association. Clay has also worked with all types of youth and youth organizations – from high performance soccer coaching to facilitating at-risk youth anger management sessions. In a volunteer capacity, Clay is very active in sport and has been a coach and trainer for soccer and hockey for twenty years. Clay was the Vice President of Business Development and Planning for the Markham Sports Council for two years and is currently involved with the Pan Am Games as an event coordinator for the Wheel Chair Tennis.

More biographies to come..