We are a husband and wife team.

Unkan Wanbdi Wakita (Grandfather)

Strong leader, gentle & kind… In a lifetime that spans eight decades, Unkan Wanbdi Wakita has had a remarkable range of experiences. From travel on foot, horse and bicycle on his home reserve of Sioux Valley Dakota Nation during a time when a pass signed by the Indian Agent was required to leave to cruising in motor vehicles and airplanes to far-off places such as Europe, New Zealand, Hawaii, Africa and Mexico, Unkan has travelled many paths.


For over thirty years, Unkan conducted Ceremonies and provided counselling support to incarcerated men. His reputation for integrity allowed him to intervene during critical incidents and prevent loss of life. Unkan Wanbdi Wakita has received many honours over the years. He has been recognized for his work by the Aboriginal Justice Services of Winnipeg for having demonstrated excellence and dedication to his work in corrections.

He also received the Manitoba Premier’s Award of Excellence for his work with the Paraplegic Society and an “Honouring Our Elders Award” from the Aboriginal Circle of Educators. In July 2016, he was invested in the Order of Manitoba for his lifelong efforts to support individual healing and unity between all nations.

These days, he is Grandfather in Residence to the University of Manitoba Access Program and serves on numerous boards. He continues contributing to the community by sharing knowledge, advice and wisdom whenever asked.

You can read stories about Wanbdi’s life here.

Unkan Wanbdi Wakita provides support to the following organizations:

Pahan PteSanWin BSW MSW RSW

is Metis Niheyaw, a Red River Metis citizen with family roots that reach back to Willow Bunch, Saskatchewan. Her father, Tapwe Chretien, instilled in her a love of the natural world. Pahan has spent three decades working with Indian Residential School survivors and their families. She is past president of the Social Work Association of Northern Canada. She serves on numerous boards, such as the Louis Riel School Division Grandparent Advisory Council and Full Circle for Indigenous Education.

She is a ceremonial leader, a Grandmother in the role of making prayers for people. In 2016, in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Pahan was presented with the 10th Annual Aboriginal Circle of Educators Award in the category of Honouring Our Elders.

With formal training in Social Work from MacEwan University, where she graduated with honours, and the University of Calgary, Kunsi Pahan’s work with people has led to the roles of Indigenous Spiritual Caregiver at the Manitoba Youth Centre, an Elder for the Correctional Service of Canada at Stony Mountain Institution, a counsellor for organizations such as the Blue Cross Employee Assistance Centre and Health Canada’s Indian Residential School Survivor Support Program. Since 2002 she has been a business owner for BearPawTipi.ca where she provides consulting, workshop facilitation and presentations. In 2016 she received a vision to have a Sundance of Women that honours the spirits of missing and murdered women. In 2017, that vision was realized and continues until 2020.


Tapwe Chretien

Pahan is a published author contributing to the anthology, “Keetsahnak / Our Missing and Murdered Indigenous Sisters by editors Kim Anderson, Maria Campbell and Christi Belcourt (2018). Within her master’s research, she devised her own Metis Niheyaw Dakota research methodology to study the experiences of Kitayatisuk (Indigenous Elders) as they come to know traditional, empirical, and sacred knowledge while developing insight and wisdom.

She is pursuing a Ph.D. in Indigenous Studies at the University of Manitoba (UM) with research interests in Metis women, expressions of womanhood, rematriation, resurgence and resistance. Along with her work as a Sessional Instructor in the Faculty of Social Work, Pahan is co-chair of the Respectful Rematriation and Repatriation Ceremony at the UM.

Pahan says, 

Now is the time for women to take over leadership roles. When we do, you men are to support us.

Pahan PteSanWin provides support to the following organizations.