Developed in May 2016, SMASH is a program of the non-profit organization FOXY (Fostering Open eXpression among Youth). FOXY was incorporated in October 2014 and is led by a stellar Board of Directors. Prior to this, FOXY was a project of the Institute for Circumpolar Health Research since its inception in 2012.
Our Board Members
Sarah Arngna’naaq is an Inuk originally from Quamani’tuaq, Nunavut, but has lived across the country and has resided in Yellowknife for many years. Sarah completed her BA Honours in International Development Studies at Trent University and then earned her Juris Doctor at the University of Victoria. Sarah is now a Crown Prosecutor practicing law in Nunavut, primarily in the Kitikmeot Region. As a Northerner who has spent the last several years working with some of the North’s most vulnerable women, Sarah is excited to bring her knowledge and experience to the FOXY Board. Sarah feels particularly FOXY when she is rocking anything sealskin in a courtroom, representing her people both visually and verbally.
Reneltta is of Inuvialuit, Cree, and Dene descent from Fort Smith, Northwest Territories. In 2005, she became the first Indigenous person to graduate from the University of Alberta’s BFA Acting program. Reneltta is founder of Akpik Theatre, the only professional Indigenous Theatre company in the NWT, and for over a decade has been a part of or initiated the creation of Indigenous Theatre across Canada and overseas. Reneltta is committed to the development of Northern-based Indigenous inspired stories and supporting the voice of our youth through the Arts. In 2017, Reneltta became the first Indigenous person to direct at The Stratford Festival. She has recently been hired as the Indigenous Arts Director at the BANFF Centre for Arts and Creativity. She is also a mother to a son, Carver.
Jay Boast (better known as Jay Bear) was born and raised in Thunder Bay. Jay graduated with a BA in Communication Studies from Brock University. During his time at Brock, Jay was a facilitator for a program that went into high schools to encourage conversations between young men and women on the topics of date rape, sexual assault, and respectful interpersonal communication. In 2006, Jay received his diploma in Radio Broadcasting from Loyalist College and it was his broadcasting career that brought him to Yellowknife in 2007. Jay currently works as the Communications Advisor for the GNWT Department of Municipal and Community Affairs. He is passionate about the need and benefits of the FOXY and SMASH programs and is thrilled to be able to support and be a part of this work through his membership on the Board. Fun Fact: it was Jay who first proposed the acronym SMASH that was voted in as the name of the program!
Dr. Logie is an Assistant Professor at the Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work, University of Toronto and an Adjunct Scientist at Women’s College Research Institute. She is an Ontario Ministry of Research & Innovation Early Researcher (2016-21). Dr. Logie’s research focus is health equity, with particular attention to stigma, resilience, and sexual and mental health. She has active programs of research in collaboration with youth and communities impacted by HIV and STI in Canada and Jamaica. She is excited to be on FOXY’s board because she is committed to promoting young people’s sexual health and arts-based change. She feels FOXY when she is riding her red Royal Enfield motorcycle.
Dr. Candice Lys was raised in a large Métis family in Fort Smith, NWT and now resides in Yellowknife. She is the Co-Founder and Executive Director of FOXY, and holds a PhD in Public Health Science and a Master’s degree in Health Promotion. She has many years of experience in sexual health education and health promotion, beginning with her days as a Peer Health Educator at the University of Alberta during her undergrad. In her spare time, Candice is a Girl Guide Leader with the 3rd Yellowknife Girl Guides, and a novice but enthusiastic gardener. Candice feels especially FOXY when sporting her FOXY hoodie and moose hide moccasins.
Kayley Inuksuk Mackay
Kayley Mackay was our fabulous photography facilitator for the first FOXY Peer Leader Retreat and has continued to lead the photography workshops at the retreats every summer since. During the first few days of her first exposure to FOXY she found herself saying over and over “where was this when I was a teen?” She walked away from the first retreat a full-hearted believer in everything FOXY stood for and was out to accomplish and was resolved that it would be her honour to help FOXY in any way she could. It was of course an immediate “yes!” when approached to be a Board Member. Kayley states that “FOXY is that thing I wish was there when I faced critical junctures in my own life; seeing young women empowered with the information, skills, and self-awareness it provides helped to heal my own heart and I want to see it go as far as it possibly can to continue to inform and empower young women in our communities and beyond.” Kayley is FOXY because she stands for every woman’s right to make their own informed decisions.
Nancy MacNeill was born in Iqaluit, and moved to Yellowknife with her family after a brief stint in Quebec. After graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and History, she returned to the Northwest Territories and began working with arts organizations and youth to create a stronger, more vibrant, more resilient community for Northern youth. In addition to her work with FOXY, Nancy has worked with the Northern V Network, the Long John Jamboree, and the Yellowknife International Film Festival to create venues of artistic expression and opportunities for youth to become more active in their communities. Nancy co-founded FOXY with Candice Lys, and is at her FOXiest in a fancy dress and sealskin boots.