SMASH (Strength, Masculinities, and Sexual Health) is our long-awaited parallel program to FOXY that is designed to meet the unique demands of young men around the Northwest Territories (NWT).

SMASH is the result of collaboration with Northern youth, men, teachers, artists, health professionals, parents, Elders, and community leaders, responding to needs identified in interviews, focus groups, and discussions with over 200 Northerners that took place across the NWT in 2015-16.

In May 2016, FOXY held a Think Tank with a large group of boys and men from all regions of the NWT to lay the foundation for SMASH, which teaches sexual health, consent, healthy relationships, and positive masculinity through school-based workshops and a Peer Leader Retreat program.

SMASH is a program that educates and encourages young men to define their own masculinity – what does it mean to be a man, and how to be a good man. It includes practical, realistic discussions about sexual health and relationships, and straight-forward strategies for communication, consent, and discussions of boundaries. SMASH encourages Northern youth to become exceptional leaders in their own communities, identifying both problems and solutions, and acting as role models in all facets of their lives. In SMASH workshops and Retreats, participants learn about individual and team achievement, being a positive part of a healthy community, and modelling great decision making for others.

Since January 2012, FOXY (and SMASH) has reached over 6495 youth in more than 41 NWT, Nunavut, and Yukon communities through over 433 workshops and 21 Peer Leader Retreats that have brought together over 546 Northern and Indigenous young Peer Leaders.

FOXY’s mission is to enhance the knowledge, health, and well-being of Northern and Indigenous youth
through the arts.

FOXY’s vision is that by 2025, FOXY is innovative, well-resourced, and adaptive to the needs of Northerners. Our youth
are resilient, informed, and engaged in healthy relationships with self and community.

FOXY’s core values include:

  • Safety
  • Shared Knowledge
  • Intersectionality
  • Connections
  • Northern
  • Openness
  • Culture
  • Self Determination
  • Trauma-Informed
  • Trust
  • Strengths-Based Trauma-Informed Lens

FOXY will fulfill its vision by reaching 6 goals:

  1. Access ongoing, long term funding.
  2. Maintain public awareness and engagement.
  3. Expand within and into Northern communities.
  4. Enhance and maintain high quality trauma informed sexual and mental health education and leadership training programs
  5. Build capacity for organizational sustainability.
  6. Maintain a trauma informed lens for the organization that is rooted in culture.

For more information, check out our Community Reach and the Frequently Asked Questions.

How is SMASH Research?

FOXY/SMASH is a participatory action research project, which means youth are involved with all aspects of the project, from its development to implementation, and the evaluation. The research component of FOXY/SMASH looks at the effectiveness of FOXY/SMASH for empowering NWT youth and educating about sexual health in the North. Please contact the Executive Director, Candice Lys, for more information about the research component of FOXY/SMASH!

Our Team

Dr. Candice Lys (She/HER), Executive Director

Candice Lys grew up in Fort Smith in a very large Métis family, and has lived all over the world, including a brief stint on a ship in the Pacific Ocean. Candice has a Masters degree in Health Promotion and holds a PhD in Public Health. She is an Ashoka Canada Fellow, a mom to Luca & Mira, dog mom to Maple, and an avid almost-gardener.

Jennifer Butler (She/Her), Director of Programs

Jennifer grew up in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia before moving to Yellowknife in the summer of 2019. She graduated from Saint Mary’s University in Halifax, NS with a degree in Criminology, with a double minor in Sociology and Psychology. She then went on to obtain a college diploma in Human Services with a concentration in Mental Health and Addictions counseling. Jennifer has been working with vulnerable populations across the lifespan for over 6 years in various settings, including supportive and transitional housing, shelters, mobile outreach, group homes, vocational programs, and as a caseworker. Jennifer is excited to continue her new role with FOXY and has loved getting to work with young people again. Her hobbies include hiking, swimming, paddleboarding, camping, and spending time with her dog, Max.

Kiera BR (All Pronouns), Program Coordinator

Kiera is a francophone Canadian who was born in northern Alberta and grew up in Hay River, Northwest Territories. Following a brief stint down south to complete their B.A. in Women’s and Gender Studies and Sociology, Kiera decided it was high time to head home to the North! Kiera now resides in Yellowknife working and traveling with us at FOXY and SMASH. Kiera loves working with FOXY and SMASH because it gives them the opportunity to use both creativity and theory as well as to connect with and empower youth all over the North.  When not at work, Kiera is a serial hobbyist, an aspiring botanist (alas all her plants keep dying) and self-proclaimed nerd.  When asked what they want to do when they grow up, no specific career aspirations came to mind; however, Kiera strives to be the kind and informed adult she needed to turn to for questions as a child for the next generation.

Cassi Atamanenko (They/Them/She/Her), Program Coordinator

Cassi is a queer, multidisciplinary artist who grew up in Yellowknife before moving to Edmonton in 2015 to attend the University of Alberta. They completed their B.A. with a major in Drama and a minor in Women’s and Gender Studies in 2020, and has since worked in arts-based non-profits as a youth support worker. Cassi is thrilled to be moving back up north and to be working with FOXY, as she is incredibly passionate about education surrounding sexuality and gender identity, as well as both sexual and mental health!

Brandi Hehn (She/her), Program Coordinator

Hey folx my name is Brandi and I am a born and raised northerner. I originate from the South Slave area. I studied Education/Native Studies at the Aurora College which led me to teach in the Beaufort Delta for a few years until I moved “south” to Hay River again and worked with the Health Authority helping create inclusion in the community for the residents.I spend most of my downtime either playing games with friends or hanging out with fur kids. I am super excited to be working with youth again, helping each other grow our brains together. Hope to meet you at a school near you soon!

Scott Clouthier (He/Him), Program Facilitator

Scott was born and raised on the traditional and ancestral lands of the Algonquin and Anishnaabe people near Ottawa, Ontario. He first moved to Hay River, NWT in 2007 to work as a journalist and loved it so much he decided to stay forever! Scott has been working with SMASH since 2018. He is currently studying towards receiving his Sexual Health Educator Certificate from Options for Sexual Health in Vancouver.

Treiva Plamondon (She/Her), Program Facilitator

Hello, my name is Treiva Plamondon. My pronouns are she/her. I was born and raised in Hay River, NT. I consider myself a traveler, finding my joy in meeting new people and experiencing the things the World has to offer. I thank FOXY for giving me the foundation for being bold and finding what makes me happy.In 2013 I attended the first ever FOXY Retreat. The whole experience was life changing for me. I remember the realization I had at just 14 years old how uneducated we all were. Sexual health and wellness was not something many teachers are keen to talk about. Thankfully FOXY is a very comfortable and inclusive space to learn. Even though sexual health is their main goal FOXY also helps youth understand relationships and wellness. My journey with FOXY continues, I was given the opportunity to attend the 2015 retreat as a Peer Facilitator and currently I am working with FOXY/SMASH as a Facilitator. I look forward to educating and inspiring youth.

AMANDA KANBARI (She/Her), Program Facilitator

Amanda was born in British Columbia and moved to Yellowknife after completing a B.A. with Distinction in Criminal Justice. She is an advocate for self-propelled travel and prefers to get around by canoe or bicycle. Amanda once cycled the Pacific Coast from Vancouver, B.C. to Tijuana, Mexico! She has created several youth-focused programs that encourage young people to address inequality and to pursue healthy relationships with the land, with others, and with themselves.

Ziggy Allerton (They/Them), Peer Facilitator (Foxy & SMASH)

Ziggy is an Inuk who grew up in Edmonton, AB; Wolfville, NS; and Iqaluit, NU. They currently live in Iqaluit. Ziggy loves figure skating, photography and filmmaking. They also love to hunt, harvest, and fish! Ziggy enjoys travelling and socializing! Ziggi would like to become an airline pilot who also competes in figure skating competitions! Ziggy wanted to work for FOXY and SMASH because they wanted to help other youth. After their experience in the Call of the North: FOXY & SMASH Leadership Summit, as well as their time at the SMASH Peer Leader Retreat, they knew this was an experience they could share with others.  They love that youth from every Territory in Canada have the chance to learn about Mental/Sexual health through Peer Leader Retreats and Workshops!

Dawson Craig (They/Them/He/Him), PEER Facilitator

Dawson is an Inuvialuit youth, born in Inuvik, NT, and now lives in Yellowknife, NT.  They love to participate in Arctic sports, hockey, and school.  Dawson is pansexual and Two-Spirit.  Dawson is thankful SMASH taught him about sexual health and gender identities, and now he gets to share his knowledge with others!


Billy Goose is an Inuk from Ulukhaktok, NT. He loves helping folks and doing his best in everything. Billy enjoys working with SMASH because it is a great way to learn new things!


Tyson is from Yellowknife and likes to play video games and role-playing games such as Dungeons and Dragons.Tyson likes working at SMASH because he gets to go around the North and do fun educational activities. His first Peer Leader Retreat was in 2021 and he was hired shortly after!


My name is Marlin Miersch-King, son to Bradley King and Brandie Miersch. I have one sibling and her name is Mandie. I am a born and raised in Fort Resolution NT and I am 15 years old. My hobbies are hunting, trapping, being out on the land, skidooing, dirt biking, playing guitar and working on things with my dad or other friends that enjoy the same thing. I am currently in grade 10 at Deninu School. After high school graduation, I would like to enter into mechanics and get my red seal, as I would like to own my own trucking company one day with my dad. Other than my hobbies I try my best in school, sports, and as an employee at the local First Nations DKDC store. I have participated in the dene games and hand games as I enjoy them best. When I am not occupied by hobbies I spend a lot of time with my grand parents, parents, and my aunts and uncles as I believe in strong family values.


Coming Soon!


Kendrick lives in Kugluktuk, Nunavut. He is an Inuk who enjoys playing guitar and creating his own riffs. Through music, he goes into his own world where he never wants to stop playing. He joined SMASH because he wanted to make new friends and learn something new. Kendrick was part of the Think Tank which created SMASH in 2015! Kendrick works with youth because he believes youth are precious and have many gifts to provide the world. Fun Fact: Kendrick was the lead singer and songwriter on SMASH’s latest recording about consent and ending men’s violence against women through our “Consent is SMASHing campaign”