Larissa’s work applies anti-racism and Indigenous research to renewable energy policy and program development in Canada. As a government contract researcher and independent business owner, she works internationally as a policy consultant, trainer, and professional public speaker.
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.
Larissa 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. Now based in Calgary, she works as an Indigenous Community Liaison with Calgary-based non-profit, Calgary Learns. In 2018, Larissa founded Larissa Crawford Speaks, extending her consulting, training, and speaking services to diverse clients working with renewable energy, youth upskilling, and policy. Larissa is a 2019/2020 Action Canada Fellow, studying policy and governance across Canada in one of the country’s most recognized policy fellowship programs.
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. In 2017 she became Project Lead with York University’s race-based data collection initiative, and continues to work to implement the project as an alumna. 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.
Larissa is an award-winning ribbon skirt artist and researcher, passionate land-based learner, and proudly passes on Métis and Jamaican ancestry to her daughter, Zyra.