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About Us

Since its foundation in 2001, Wampum Records has become Canada's largest Aboriginal issues research and consulting firm. Today we serve a varied clientele of governments, organizations, and institutions of higher learning.

Our team is among the most experienced in the country when it comes to providing consultant services as they relate to the resolution of outstanding Aboriginal issues in Canada. Biographies of some of our team members are provided below. The company maintains access to several dozen additional consultants with specialized education and experience. Please feel free to contact us with regards to your specific project requirements.

Executive Team

Research Director - Taynar Simpson

Taynar Simpson founded Wampum Records while undertaking his M.A. in Anthropology at Carleton University. The company was a labour of love that combined his academic knowledge with his professional experience.  He previously held several research and policy positions within the Federal government. The company is based in Mr Simpson's home community of Alderville First Nation.

Taynar has worked as a Policy and Research advisor for the Department of National Defence (DND/NDHQ) and the Department of Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC). Taynar has also worked for various Aboriginal and private organizations. At INAC, Mr. Simpson held positions in communications, research analysis, policy development and legal research. Taynar has also served as a lecturer on Aboriginal issues at Carleton University.  He was previously a contributor for Windspeaker , Canada's leading Aboriginal news publication.

For the past thirteen years Taynar has grown Wampum Records from a small start-up research firm into Canada's leading Aboriginal issues research company. Since 2003, the company has provided over 30,000 days of research services to the Federal government of Canada. Mr. Simpson currently resides in Alderville First Nation with his two children.

Office Manager - Daryl Crowe

Daryl has a diploma in Hotel & Resort Management from SSFC (Dean's list) and has worked in accounts receivable, communications, as a travel and tourism supervisor and an executive assistant. Daryl has experience in providing staff training, supervision and implementing workplace policies. She has also helped to raise over $26 000 for Brain & Behaviour research for SickKid's Hospital through an affiliation with Living Pink Balloon as lead organizer.

Ottawa Region Manager - Sandra Kaddoura

Born and raised in the Caribbean island of Curacao, Sandra graduated with an Honours in Geography from Carleton University in Ottawa, ON, where she now resides. In 2005, she completed a Master’s degree in Sustainable Development at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia. Sandra greatly enjoys working and collaborating with people of multi-disciplinary academic and ethnic backgrounds. Multi-lingual in four languages: English, Arabic, Spanish, and Papiamentu, she began her professional career working as an in-flight attendant for the airline industry. She later landed herself a job as a Project Coordinator at CMHC International. Her employment at Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, gave her a unique opportunity to work on a wide range of sustainable housing and urban planning projects, including one in which she directed a team of multi-disciplinary experts in creating a Learning Module on Sustainable Community Development for a delegate-group audience from Amman, Jordan. Passionate about indigenous culture and heritage, Sandra joined Wampum in 2008. Over the years, she has contributed to a number of special projects related to indigenous issues, including pre-inquiry work into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG), conducting research for the TRC Call to Action on Death and Missing Children, the development and revision of Indian Residential School narratives, document collection and analysis for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), as well as research analysis and report writing for the Common Experience Payment (CEP) and Independent Assessment (IAP) projects. In her free time, Sandra enjoys traveling, cooking, and spending time with her family.

National Research Team

Thea Udd - Senior Researcher

Thea is a veteran researcher who has spent the past 13 years developing, supporting, and assuring the highest standards of quality for the vast majority of research projects at INAC.  As both a contractor and an employee, she has become a go to research consultant for new projects and an excellent historical reference source.  During this time Thea has led research teams, work extensively at the National Archives of Canada, and provided valuable insight to her colleagues.  Thea holds a Masters of Anthropology (Highest Honors) from Carleton University, where she taught a number of courses in the Social Sciences and English Departments.  In addition to her work at INAC, Thea has been called upon to help Fortune 500 companies with social context consulting and advising on Canadian First Nations.  Thea is bilingual and has security clearance.  In her personal life, Thea is a long distance runner and an avid traveler who seeks new adventures and experiences.

Daniel Cleasby

Originally from England, Daniel has a legal background and has been working at INAC for 10 years. He has worked on CEP, IAP and various special projects. He enjoys curling, watching soccer and hockey, and spending time with his wife and three children.

Michael Kelly

Michael has worked as both contractor and employee for the Department of Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada for 8 years conducting historical and litigation research for the Independent Assessment Process (IAP) and quality control assessment of submitted research cases as part of the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement (IRSSA). During this time, Michael has also led research team training seminars for INAC and created standardized templates and memoranda for INAC to be used by research team members working under the IRSSA.

Michael has also worked on contract for the Department of Canadian Heritage to research and create the World Wars Aboriginal Veterans Portal, an ongoing project commemorating Canadian Aboriginal Veterans of WWI and WWII.
Michael has a degree in Political Science and Communications from the University of Western Ontario and a Masters in Globalization and International Development from the University of Ottawa. His experience with the IRSSA, Canadian Heritage and his time with the RCMP Chief Information Officer Sector have given him a particular interest in historic and litigation research, Aboriginal issues and also media research and monitoring. Michael is bilingual and currently lives in Ottawa.

Katie Russell

Katie has been working with Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC) since 2004 as a research consultant on various projects including Alternative Dispute Resolution, ATIP, Common Experience Payment (including Appeals), and Independent Assessment Process. With a business degree, Katie previously worked in the High Tech industry. Katie enjoys spending time outdoors with her family and participating as an executive advisor for the Family Forum Committee at CHEO.

Jiwu Wang

Jiwu has a PhD in Religious Studies specializing in the history of religion in Canada and has extensive experience relating to various Aboriginal issues and INAC programs. Jiwu Wang worked as data analyst for the SADRE database, and has worked as a research consultant in Litigation, ADR, CEP and IAP. He enjoys reading history, economics and novels, visiting museums and old streets, and trying different foods.