Larissa is a published Indigenous and anti-racism researcher, award-winning ribbon skirt artist, activist, and proudly passes on Métis and Jamaican ancestry to her daughter, Zyra. She is the founder of Future Ancestors Services, an enterprise that provides speaking, training, research, and community services that centre ancestral accountability, climate justice, and equity. Her organization hosts a new-age speakers bureau that charts and supports diverse service contractors based in Canada, with the aim of uplifting people who, despite facing disproportionate barriers, remain committed to Earth and community in their work and lives.
Larissa is a 2019-20 Action Canada Fellow; Government of Canada 2020 10 Influencers to Watch; FLARE Magazine Top 50 Women; a 2019 GLOBE Very Impactful Person; and a Corporate Knights’ 2019 Top 30 Under 30 in Sustainability.
Larissa went to Tkaranto (Toronto) to complete a Bachelor of Arts double honours major in International Development and Communication Studies at York University, and graduated in June 2018, Summa Cum Laude, with her 2-year-old daughter, Zyra on her hip. Experiences such as starting a library in Accra, Ghana, studying international law and volunteering in Istanbul, Turkey, and representing her university at several global United Nations events contributed to earning the $100K of scholarships and awards she used to fund her undergrad.
She has worked with the Government of Ontario as an Indigenous Policy Advisor with the Ministry of Energy, Northern Development, and Mines, and as an Advisor at the Ontario Anti-Racism Directorate, Ministry of the Solicitor General. As a volunteer, Larissa served as the 2018 G7 Youth Head Delegate of Canada, where she lobbied successfully for Indigenous climate action in the G7 Summit, and continues to do so through international energy ministerial forums. The scope of her impact with anti-racism research has been broadened through her volunteer roles as Project Lead with York University’s race-based data collection initiative, the advisor on the Toronto Police Services Anti-Racism Advisory Panel, and Community Council member at Aboriginal Legal Services. She has leadership roles on several panels and committees with anti-racism missions, and volunteers as a Nike Women Role Model to promote health, self-care, and equity.