A registered charity working with Indigenous families and children to heal from the heart. Our message is one of change and unity that awakens Indigenous traditional knowledge, since time immemorial. Shinah House Foundation is the only charitable organization that provides peer-based support for wellness by focusing on the whole person and respecting individual needs, beliefs and circumstances. Recognized as the catalyst for a national movement to improve wellness for all people, we draw from lived experiences, combined with a range of natural and traditional practices to address the needs of each individual.

Shinah House Foundation was born out of understanding the challenges of trauma from personal lived experiences. We created a safe environment for others, that treats more than just symptoms and gets to the root of the trauma. One can truly begin to heal with the traditional values and way of life. All Shinah House does is directed through NOH KOH WAA and lead by Indigenous people including friends with lived experiences; welcoming people of all races, cultures, abilities, and ethnic backgrounds to join in a journey of healing and change.


Vision Holders
Karen English

Karen English


Karen is from the Piikani Nation, part of the Blackfoot Confederacy and the first “free” generation in her family after her ancestors signed the Treaty #7 in 1877. Her mother, father, grandparents, and great-grandparents were all  Residential  School survivors. Karen volunteered on the Shinah House Foundation Board for three years as Director and Chairwoman and is now currently serving as President and lead Vision Holder.

For 27 years, Karen has worked in the human resources field and in 2003, established an Indigenous grassroots business, called Kamotaan Consulting. The desire to start this company came from her own painful events. Able to see past the trauma, Karen’s experiences have inspired her to be a role model and help Indigenous people reclaim their place in Canada. In 2000, she completed her Bachelor of Social Work at the University of Calgary and continues to work within the systems to create more holistic, grassroots approaches to working with Indigenous families and communities.

Judy Medicine Crane

Secretary / Treasurer

Judy Medicine Crane is from the Blood Tribe, largest reserve in Canada and part of the Blackfoot Confederacy. She, along with her mother, father, grandparents, and great grandparents were all Day School/Residential School survivors.

Judy has worked with Children Services for 20 Years, in various departments as an Administrative Support worker. She is currently working in the finance department at Children Services in Lethbridge. Judy has worked on various Boards through her career, such as the Opokaa’sin Board for 7 years, and the Aboriginal Council of Lethbridge. She owns her own business called, Jud-A-Brations, which is an event planning/decorating business, servicing the local reserves, and communities around Lethbridge.

Peter Strikes With A Gun


Former Piikani Nation Chief Peter Strikes With A Gun (Eaglespeaker) is from the Piikani Nation (Blackfoot Confederacy) born July 29, 1942. Peter is a respected elder and knowledge keeper for the Piikani Nation. Peter and his wife have been foster parents for the past 30 years which included many of their grandchildren.

Peter has been honored with the Queens Golden Jubilee Award Medal and Alberta Centennial Award Medal for his dedication to his culture, community and many years of fostering children. Peter was a board member for the Alberta Foster Parent Association from 1991 – 2015. He continues to support his community with his knowledge and dedication to the children in his community. Peter was Chief of Piikani Nation for 4 terms 1997 – 2006. Currently, Peter continues to share his knowledge to increase awareness of culture.

Lance Tailfeathers

Lance Tailfeathers

Board Member

Lance Tailfeathers was born and raised on the Kainai First Nation (Blood Reserve) in southern Alberta. His background is in the communications arts field with an extensive knowledge in audio and video production. He has many years of experience and education in office administration and management. He recently served as councillor for the Blood Tribe Chief and Council from 2012-2020. It was from his participation on the Lands Committee portfolio that Lance realized the importance of farming and ranching best practice and the revitalization of traditional Blackfoot knowledge in sustaining and reintroducing the native plants and animals to Siksikaitapi (Blackfoot Confederacy) territory. This recently included the Kainai Iinnii (buffalo) project in which the Kainai First Nation has introduced a buffalo cultural herd into the community.

Lance currently sits on various organization boards in neighbouring southern Alberta towns and cities in assisting Indigenous community members with the proper support for housing and resources for living in urban communities. His interests include art, music, and graphic arts design. Lance lives in Lethbridge with his family where he operates GhostRattle Arts, a small graphic design, multimedia, and t-shirt business.

Sandra Manyfeathers

Board Member

Sandra Manyfeathers is a member of the Kainai First Nation. Sandra is the Academic Coordinator/Instructor of Blackfoot Language & Culture Programs at Werklund School of Education, University of Calgary. She received three of her degrees from the University of Calgary which include a BA in Canadian Studies, a BEd, an MEd degree and is currently enrolled in studies toward an EdD, Learning Sciences. Sandra loves all things Blackfoot including the language & ways of knowing. Her research interests include revitalization of the Blackfoot Language which is her first language.

Sandra’s vision for the future includes young Blackfoot people speaking the language fluently and she is committed to making this a reality. Sandra joined our Noh Koh Waa team as board member in October 2022 and is committed to the vision and mission of our program.


Dr. Deborah Faith Pace, PhD, RPsych

Dr. Pace is from the Blood Tribe, Blackfoot Nation, and is a Clinical Psychologist specializing in children’s mental health. In her long time career, first as a special needs teacher and then as a school psychologist, Dr. Pace has been a true advocate in providing quality mental health care for First Nations children. Currently, she provides clinical consultation services to First Nations in Treaty 7 rural clinics, schools and Children’s Services with Calgary Health Region.

With an extensive research focus on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, community wellness and culturally appropriate psychological assessments. Dr. Pace combines western approaches to mental health issues with cultural knowledge and insight through her consultation with local area elders. She also holds an Education Degree and has worked in the Education System as a teacher and in other areas.

Lee Ann Johnson RN BN

Lee Ann Johnson was born on the Blood Reserve 62 years ago at the Blood Indian Hospital near Cardston Alberta and hospitalized there at five years old with pneumonia, little did she know, fifty years later she would manage at the hospital as the Director of Nursing.

Lee Ann’s career has spanned over 27 years, taking her through several different paths within the health care system of Alberta Health Services and also within the system of the Blood Tribe Department of Health and the Kainai Board of Education on the Blood Reserve. Lee Ann has worked extensively in Population Health and Diabetes clinical and management for the community of the Blood Tribe. Her nursing career and venturous spirit took her to northern Alberta where she provided public health education for the Woodland Cree and Lubicon community. Lee Ann is currently employed with Alberta Health Services, Mental Health within the title of Indigenous Opioid Harm Reduction. The goal with this position is to create better awareness and understanding of Harm Reduction within the Blood Tribe Community.

Rita Sweetgrass

Rita Sweetgrass is a strong Blackfoot Grandmother who survived residential school. She shares her life experience with others to help herself heal and in support of her family and community. Rita was born and raised in Kainai Nation and speaks fluent Blackfoot. She shares when asked and never gives up on her people. Rita has too much life experience and wisdom to share in a paragraph. Rita is never scared to share the truth and has been described as a bold speaker not willing to accept the status quo.

Elder Peter Weasel Moccasin

Peter Weasel Moccasin is a Blackfoot Elder, fluent in his language and signs, and is known for his work with Youth and Communities. Peter received an Honourary Bachelor of Applied Science – Ecosystem Management degree from the University of Lethbridge. He is an amazing horseman, storyteller, and Keeper of Blackfoot Teachings and Traditions. He shares his journey and great wisdom with many as he inspires them to hope. Peter is a man of quiet respect and honours all men.

Elder Weasel Moccasin served on the Shinah House Board of Directors, as a Vison Holder for four years; currently he serves as a Wisdom Keeper and Advisor.

Since 2009, Peter has been instrumental with his support of youth from Blood Reserve and Cardston County as they directed the Shinah House ONEHEART social inclusion project. The ONEHEART project has been talked about throughout Canada and it has served as a model for other Alberta communities. ONEHEART has had its events and activities reported on by newspapers, television channels, and even recognized in the Canada Parliament.

Elder Weasel Moccasin is a strong and courageous peacemaker and has been a strong pillar in bringing understanding and respect to the people of Southern Alberta. Shinah House is honoured to work with Elder Weasel Moccasin and it is a stronger Foundation due to his efforts and inspiration.