(photo by Alex Heidbuechel)

 Landscape of Nations 360° Incorporated is a not-for-profit organization that creates, designs, and implements educational and expressive arts programs that convey the meaning, depth, substance, and contributions of Indigenous peoples to Canadian history and society. The organization develops projects that are intended to enlighten and transform the public’s understanding of — and engagement with — Indigenous peoples.

LON 360° emerged from the process that developed Landscape of Nations: The Six Nations and Native Allies Commemorative Memorial, a nationally significant public artwork unveiled in Queenston Heights Park on October 2, 2016. The memorial inspired dynamic educational and expressive culture programs intended to more fully convey the information expressed by its historic and symbolic elements. These include the LON 360° Indigenous Education Initiative, Celebration of Nations Gathering of Art, Culture, and Tradition, Empathic Traditions: Niagara’s Indigenous Legacy exhibition curated for the Niagara Fall History Museum, the Indigenous Niagara Living Museum Tour, and numerous other programs and consultancies.

Meet the Team

April Mitchell-Boudreau, Board Member
Michele-Elise Burnett, Board Member
Michael Gruyich, Board Member
Tony Belcourt, Elder/Advisor

April Mitchell-Boudreau is a Niagara-based multi-discipline creative , designer, and proud Indigenous entrepreneur. She is a member of the Turtle Clan and Mohawk Nation with roots at Six Nations.

April infuses her design work with traditional materials imagined in a contemporary context, and is committed to wellness through creativity and slow fashion. Owner and CEO of Lofttan Convertible Jewelry, April is the inventor of the Lofttan convertible strand system, worn and loved by people around the world.

Lofttan (a word comprised of first initials of nieces and nephews) is designed and made in Niagara on the traditional lands of the Haudenosaunee and Anishnaabe people. Nominated for many business awards, April is asked to speak about Entrepreneurship regularly, and shares her story of a small-home based business now found in 33 Rexall stores across Canada. Passionate about the Arts and her community, April sits on several boards in Niagara, and teaches creative workshops delivering cultural teachings.

Michele-Elise Burnett, Métis, Scottish with Algonquin roots, Bear Clan, is President of Kakekalanicks, an Indigenous arts and consultancy company which helps promote and educate Indigenous art and artists to a broad audience. Ms. Burnett is the president and co-founder of Landscape of Nations 360°, a unique national Indigenous education and tourism initiative; Artpark’s Indigenous Producer of Arts; the creator and Artistic Director of the Celebration of Nations, and the Artistic Producer of Artpark’s Annual Strawberry Moon Festival, curator and producer of The Red Dress Exhibit: If only these Dress Could Tell their Story and Mino Bimaadiziwin: An Indigenous Journey Through the Arts, all providing a far-reaching platform for the community to embrace and honour the unique heritage, diverse cultures, and outstanding achievements of Indigenous peoples
Michele-Elise has been very involved in several Indigenous public installations over the past few years. She served as Co-Advancement Director and Inaugural Unveiling Producer for Landscape of Nations: The Six Nations & Native Allies Commemorative Memorial, at Queenston Heights, committee member for the Carlisle Street Public Art Project which chose the exquisite Curtain Call installation created by Lilly Otasevic that is proudly displayed on the outside wall of the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre and serves as a legacy project of the Celebration of Nations and the City of St. Catharines. In addition Michele-Elise conceptualized and oversaw the building of the Native American Peace Garden installation at ArtPark, The Indigenous Unity Garden in Thorold Ontario and produced two 65 minute Indigenous site reactive audio journey along Artpark’s trails called Her Moccasins Talk and Rekindling All our Relations, a journey into the Niagara Glen.

Ms. Burnett started her career in the radio industry. After graduating from Ryerson University’s School of Radio and Television Arts, she became a third-generation radio business owner in an industry pioneered by her father and grandfather. Later, partnering with her mother, she owned and operated the most powerful signal in the Niagara Region, Spirit 91.7 FM Radio. The accomplished mother/daughter team were the first Indigenous people to be granted two private broadcasting licenses in Canada. Ms. Burnett applied her radio experience in sales, marketing, production, and event planning to LON 360° , which has been entrusted by several Niagara partners to help curate, develop and implement Indigenous Experiences, educational programs, events and site tours.

Terar Dum Prosim (May I be consumed in service) motto from her education at Ridley College is a way of life for Michele-Elise. She is the Co-Chair of the Indigenous Health Conference 2020, after serving seven years as a Board of Trustees at Brock University and Co-Chairing the Aboriginal Education Council, she has been bestowed the great honor to become a Board of Trustees Emeritus at Brock University. She serves as a Board member of the Ridley College Fund USA and on the Niagara 2021 Canada Summer Games Board where she created and chair’s the Indigenous Partnership Council for the 2022 Canada Summer Games being held in Niagara

In 2018, she was the recipient of the Culture Arts Award from the GNCC Women in Niagara for her success and contributions to the community; in 2020 was recognized as one of Welland Historical Muesum’s Notable People in their virtual tour, in 2022 honored with Leadership Niagara’s Distinguished Alumni Award and presented with the 2023 International Women’s Day Award by the Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce and recognized with the Global Excellence Award by Brilliant Minded Women Organization.

Fiercely proud of her heritage, Ms. Burnett has demonstrated that an individual like her, who is inspired and passionate about making positive changes in our world, can wake up every day and follow and achieve their dreams. A strong proponent of Indigenous aspirations, she fosters a dream to unite, share, and respect each other’s Nations and to build a stronger Indigenous future filled with pride, dignity, and honour that will carry on for seven generations.

Michael Gruyich was born and raised in Niagara Falls, Ontario. He received his BA from Trinity College, University of Toronto, and his MBA from Niagara University, Lewiston, New York. Michael and his family have owned and operated businesses in the Niagara area for over 80 years. He is currently President of Niagara Duty Free, an award-winning duty-free store located at the Rainbow Bridge in Niagara Falls.

Michael is very active in the community and was Honorary Capital Campaign Chair for the Bethlehem Housing and Support Services Kenmore Court Building in Niagara Falls, which provides permanent housing for men, women, and families in Niagara with low to moderate income. Michael is also a board member for Bravo Niagara! Festival of the Arts, transforming Niagara through the power of music and presenting the world’s finest Canadian and international artists in innovative, inspiring multi-sensory concert experiences in Niagara-on-the-Lake and the surrounding Niagara wine country.

Michael also volunteers his time with the Lifeline Humanitarian Organization, helping to support orphanages, safe houses for children rescued from human trafficking, homes for the elderly, and hospitals in Serbia.

Tony Belcourt was born in the historic Métis community of Lac Ste. Anne, Alberta, Tony Belcourt’s career spans over 50 years of experience and significant achievement in Indigenous affairs, the corporate, government and not-for-profit sectors. During this period he founded, led and served on the boards of numerous local, regional, national and international Indigenous organizations including as Vice-President and Managing Director of Team Products,
Alberta and Mackenzie, a cooperative of 500 Indigenous artists and crafts people in those regions (1968-1970) and Vice-President, Metis Association of Alberta (1970-1971). As founding President of the Native Council of Canada (1971-1974), he was instrumental in creating a national voice for Canada’s Métis and Non-Status Indians and his efforts were an important contributing factor in the Métis being recognized in the Constitution Act, 1982, as one of the Aboriginal peoples of Canada.

Tony is a well-respected negotiator and as founding President of the Métis Nation of Ontario (1994-2008), he helped to achieve recognition of existing Métis Constitutional rights in the 2003 Supreme Court decision in R v. Powley. He was a member of the Board of Governors of the Métis National Council (1994-2008), Métis National Council Minister for International Issues and Métis Nation Ambassador for International Issues. He participated in numerous meetings and conferences of the United Nations and the Organization of American States, including the negotiations on the UN Declaration on the
Rights of Indigenous Peoples. A champion of access to, and the appropriate use of, ICT’s by Indigenous people, he was founding President of the Indigenous Commission for Communications Technologies in the Americas (2005- 2010).

Tony Belcourt is a long-standing member of the Aboriginal Education Council at OCAD University. He received the National Aboriginal Achievement Award for Public Service in 2006; received an Honorary Doctorate of Laws from Lakehead University in 2010 and was appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada, 2013. He has been carried by the Pipe since 2004. Now widely regarded as a Métis elder, Tony Belcourt is often invited to present on Indigenous culture, history and traditions.