Passion Projects

Thunder Bay and Area Food Strategy (TBAFS)

Brings local food players to the table to take a coordinated approach to achieving food security through the implementation of pertinent research, planning, policy, and program development. As an TBAFS Executive Member I enjoy being a part of such a progressive group committed to Thunder Bay and Area’s food system.


Indigenous Circle

Is a unique opportunity to explore food as a tool for reconciliation and resurgence, the Circle is in exploratory phases of understanding urban Indigenous perspectives around Thunder Bay’s food system, with an initial aim of reducing food insecurity, increasing Indigenous food self-determination while establishing and fostering relationships. As the student coordinator I am honoured to be a part of this beautiful reclamation process.

Jessica McLaughlin

I am...

From Nakina, Ontario and a member of the Long Lake #58 First Nation and I currently reside in Thunder Bay with my partner Erik and our son Jaxon.  Over the course of my journey and career I have had the privilege of living and visiting many communities in Northern Ontario and have dedicated my life to working for this region and the people that encompass it.  My admiration and passion for this region and its communities was fostered from my parents who taught us at an early age about the many things that our region’s natural environment has to offer from the resilient people to its forest and freshwater foods my passion has only grown since I was small.

How I Know What I Know...

is based in my life experiences… personal, educational and professional but most of all my family.  Becoming a mother was the single most life altering blessing I have ever been able to experience, I learn from Jaxon every day, he fuels my passion for my work.  My adventurous self for living all over Northern Ontario, the lifelong connections and relationships I developed and now cherish definitely add to my knowing.  I have a 3 – year Human Resources Diploma from Confederation College and from Lakehead University a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree focused on Political Science. I have recently been slowly educating myself towards an Honours Bachelor Social Work (HBSW) degree from Lakehead University and will continue to pursue educational goals well into my future.  My knowing professionally is connected to many different positions over my life …but my greatest professional teacher was working for a political territorial organization in the North of Ontario where I was gifted with some of the best professional experience and young developer could ask for.  From community visits and connections, political and funding understandings to managing large scale capacity development training programs I could not have asked for a better experience and am humbled to have received it.  I have been teaching at Oshki-Pimache-O-Win - The Wenjack Institute since 2015 in both business and social services diploma/certificate programs and the reciprocal learning I strive for has given me many professional and personal understandings and gifts, I am proud of each and every one of my students and stay in touch with many.  I recently have been learning and growing from being a partner with Collective Future Consulting and have had the opportunity to work on many inspiring projects with progressive organizations and communities.  The collaborative and transparent support our team provides each other continues to develop my learning further.  I am excited for my future and I am excited about this region’s future.  We live in the most magical place in the world I couldn’t ask for a better way of learning.

My Approach

Relationship Focused: I need to know you and/or your community I also need to know your project and/or your organization to fully assist you in your development. That is why I focus on establishing and building our relationship which fosters an enhanced understanding and a platform for learning about details around said development.


Reconciliation Based: I understand and develop with a reconciliation based lens which provides me with the background knowledge to understand historical injustices and the ability to provide positive solutions to the consequences.  


Holistic and Collaborative: I see in many connected circles and develop and deliver all my work in this fashion by mapping and visualizing all possible connections for each project I am able to ensure a collective view.


Empowering and Motivational: I am excited and passionate for life and work experiences, sharing my energy through calculated effort has proven to be progressive and detrimental to project and individual success.  


Action Orientated: Through a process driven system based on relationships, developed from a reconciliation lens, analyzed with a holistic view entrenched in motivation I will provide your project, program, community or organization with clear actionable tangible results.

Contact Jessica

Interested in having Jessica support you? Get in touch today!

Check out Jessica's resume here: