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The Team

Animikii’s employees are grateful to conduct our work as visitors on the traditional, unceded territory of the Lekwungen (Songhees) Peoples of the Coast Salish Nation, the traditional, unceded territory of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh Peoples of the Coast Salish Nation and the traditional territories of the Kwanlin Dün First Nation and the Ta'an Kwäch'än Council. Animikii is a remote-first company committed to supporting Indigenous technologists who work on meaningful projects in ways that fit their lives and support their personal and professional goals. Each of the Thunderbirds (Animikii employees) has completed accredited Indigenous Cultural Safety training and Animikii approaches technological solutions through this lens.

Jonathon Forbes

Jonathon Forbes

/ Project Management

A proud member of the Tsimshian people, Jonathon has over a decade of experience in client services, web design, stakeholder communications, and graphic design. As the Digital Services Project Manager, Jonathon leverages his past experience with Indigenous communities to provide the best possible services and coordination with the Animikii team. He works on Lekwungen territory in Victoria, BC.

Chuck Frank

Chuck Frank

/ Back-end Developer

Chuck Frank is a senior software developer who has designed software solutions for 18 years. Chuck was a founding partner at PlusThree, LLP, in New York City, providing campaign software solutions to political organizations for seven years. Chuck worked at the University of Victoria for ten years, providing software solutions for centralized information technology, including emergency notification, budget planning, and research administration tools. Chuck values his roles as a father, husband, and community member; he loves to spend his time at his children's activities, and as part of various community-building social events. Chuck believes in the dignity of all peoples, in equity and human rights, and in social justice. Chuck is Yéil naa, Deisheetaan, Kaagwaantaan of the Tlingit peoples in Southeast Alaska - Raven moeity, Beaver, and Wolf clans, from Angoon Alaska. Chuck works on Lekwungen territory in Victoria, BC.

Mat Harvard

Mat Harvard

/ Back-end Developer

Mat has been designing and developing user experiences through software development since 2006. His focus is building and maintaining web-based products that are easy to use and are backed by well-designed systems that can scale. Mat lives in Victoria, BC and can often be found on remote hiking trails of Vancouver Island. He has a beard. Which keeps him warm on the trails. 

Dakota Lightning

Dakota Lightning

/ Front-end Designer & Developer

Dakota brings our projects to life by making them look great, work across all platforms and are a delight for users to interact with. As our resident front-end expert, he is responsible for delivering engaging experiences through the latest web technologies. Dakota is a member of the Samson Cree Nation and lives and works on Vancouver Island.

Monica Olinescu

Monica Olinescu

/ Full-Stack Developer

Monica is a full-stack developer who has been building web applications for a decade. She is continuously learning how to build cleaner, more maintainable codebases. When she is not coding you can find her climbing the wonderful granite cliffs north of Vancouver.

Jen Polack

Jen Polack

/ Digital Communications Strategist

Jen manages content, social media, and multimedia projects for both Animikii and their digital communications clients. She is I'sga (Nakota Sioux) and Danish with relations from the Alexis Nakota Sioux Nation in Alberta on Treaty 6 territory. Jen began her journey with Animikii as a freelance copywriter and later worked as a co-op student while she was pursuing her Bachelor’s degree in English, Professional Communications, and Cooperative Education. Jen is a passionate advocate for women - particularly Indigenous women - working in technology and strives to promote and celebrate the female voice in a predominantly male industry. When experiencing writer's block, Jen likes to spend the day baking bread, gaming, and exploring Vancouver Island. Jen lives and works on the traditional territory of the Lekwungen (Songhees) Peoples of the Coast Salish Nation.

Mark Rutledge

Mark Rutledge

/ Lead Designer

Mark Rutledge, CGD™ is Animikii’s lead designer. As a passionate graphic designer who embraces his creative instincts and intuition, he has a burning desire to cultivate flawless outcomes in branding, photography, and web design. Mark is Anishinaabe and a member of the Little Grand Rapids First Nation. He lives and works on Kwanlin Dün and Ta'an Kwäch'än Council Territories in Whitehorse, Yukon. Mark also serves as National President of the Graphic Designers of Canada.

Samantha Vanderdonck

Samantha Vanderdonck

/ Administrative Assistant

Samantha is proud to be born and raised on Vancouver Island. She is Coast Salish and a member of the Snuneymuxw First Nation. Samantha is the Coordinator of the Songhees Innovation Centre and the Administrative Assistant to Animikii. She has a foundation in business and over 10 years of experience providing executive support. Samantha is passionate about working in Indigenous business, building the capacity of Indigenous people, and working for a socially driven company.

Jeff Ward

Jeff Ward

/ Founder and CEO

 Jeff founded Animikii in 2003 and has orchestrated and managed its growth ever since. Everything Jeff does in business is geared towards uplifting his family, communities and Indigenous Peoples. He is Ojibwe and Métis, originally from Manitoba, and now lives and works in Victoria, BC on Lekwungen territory. Jeff is a web designer, software developer, author, and speaker. He also serves as board member for Aboriginal Peoples Television Network (APTN).

Robyn Ward

Robyn Ward

/ Director, People Operations

Robyn has been with Animikii since it began in 2003. She supports the team in a variety of ways from website content strategy and information design to administrative support, bookkeeping, strategy, and people operations. Her keen eye for detail and thoughtful approach allows her to anticipate our team’s needs throughout all of our project lifecycles as well as internal operations. Robyn is an artist, children's book author and a volunteer counsellor for the Esquimalt Neighbourhood House. Robyn has Ukrainian and European ancestry and was born in Winnipeg, MB on Treaty 1 Territory. She is grateful to work and live with her family, including two amazing boys (13 and 9 years old), on Lekwungen territory in Victoria, BC.