ABOUT LEMON CREE
Lemon Cree was founded in 2010 by Theresa Ducharme with a vision to provide fitness and wellness programs in First Nation communities across Canada. To date Lemon Cree has brought programs to over 30 communities and trained 144 trainers. Lemon Cree is committed to promoting active and healthy lifestyles, empowering through education,online support, providing innovative programming to suit needs of community or organizations. We now have programs all online and many programs are free due to kind sponsporships for the public. Contact us if you are interested in sponsoring a program for your community or company.
Theresa is a Red River Metis- (Cree-Salteaux) from Winnipeg, Manitoba. She has an extensive background working with Indigenous First Nations in Canada, United States and abroad. Early in her career, Theresa owned and operated a successful Indigenous focused modelling agency called “Mystique Models” in Edmonton, Alberta. Her career started at the age of 14 where she was a National Fashion Model in Canada for Hudson Bay, Eaton’s, Simpson Sears, Nygard, just to name a few. Through Mystique Models, Theresa was hired by the Former International External and Internal Affairs of Canada to represent Indigenous culture in the Canadian Embassies around the world. This opportunity gave her literally the world to travel and perform with her new Dance and Drum group called” Eagle Drum Troupe with performers from Hobbema, Alberta and Poundmaker in Saskatchewan. They also performed in world expos concerts in China, Korea, Mexico, Mongolia and Japan numerous times. In the early nineties, the Dali Lama invited Theresa and her dance groupe to Darmsala, India. As he said, it was a beautiful reunion.
Later in her career she got the calling and worked in Canada’s Capital city, Ottawa, Ontario as the National Communication Officer for the National Aboriginal Capital Corporation Association as the Communication Director. Later, She was hand picked by the Native Women’s Association in Ottawa to represent and coordinate the beginning of the movement, Sisters in Spirit across Canada and Globally for the missing and murdered Indigenous Women and Girls in 2006, alongside Amnesty International. This is where she became a National and International Advocate for Indigenous Women across Turtle Island.
In 2009, she stepped down and knew her role now was to focus on health, fitness and wellness within our Nations. She saw first-hand the sicknesses of diabetes, heart disease, depression and suicide amongst the youth. Truly an epidemic that needed to be tackled. In 2010, with the help of her family, Theresa established Lemon Cree Fitness & Wellness. To date, her unique style has helped thousands of people across Canada. She has certified 144 people in over 20 First Nations communities across Canada and USA to be a Lemon Cree Fitness and Wellness Advocate for their community. She is currently running all her Fitness and Wellness programs, plus private training of clients online to keep everyone motivated, fit and healthy during this crucial time of the world pandemic.
President / Instructor
Jessica is an actor, founding member of Lemon Cree and board member of Lemon Cree Non-Profit Society. She stars in such shows as "Blackstone", "Burden of Truth" and Discovery Canada's "Frontier" and the soon to premier APTN's "Tribal". She creates and facilitates the acting and modelling programs.
Jessica ran multiple articles and the magazine "Active Cree" distributed monthly to 60,000 people and 10 communities across the James Bay area throughout Northern Ontario. She also heads #N8VGirls - a social media campaign designed to help spread awareness globally of the thousands of missing and murdered indigenous women and girls across Canada.
Throughout all of her work, Jessica strongly believes in the power of helping others on their own journeys in life and understanding that we are all connected.
Christina has over 1000 hours of yoga teacher training and enjoys teaching various styles of yoga. She personally enjoys practicing restorative type classes and flows. Her belief is that yoga is the connection to oneself through breath and movement.
LEMON CREE NON-PROFIT SOCIETY
Neegann Aaswaakshin is Saulteaux of the Anishinaabe Nation, a member of Fishing Lake First Nation in Saskatchewan, and from the Bear Clan. Her name O’Niigaannii Aaswaakshin means "leader to lean on" in Anishinaabemowin. As such, Neegann is a passionate about the wellness of Indigenous families, communities, and Nations and she is a dedicated advocate for Indigenous peoples’ health, rights, lands, laws, and reconciliation.
Neegann holds a Juris Doctor (JD) law degree from the University of Ottawa Faculty of Law and has worked for numerous Indigenous organizations such as the Union of BC Indian Chiefs, Native Women’s Association of Canada, Legacy of Hope Foundation, and the Assembly First Nations. She was also an advisor to Member of Parliament Mr. Romeo Saganash. Throughout 2013-2016, Neegann worked for the Ontario Ministry of the Attorney General in civil litigation, negotiation, and legal issues concerning the intersect between Indigenous peoples’ legal rights and interests and the Crown rights, duties and obligations. Currently, Neegann works as a consultant for several Indigenous law firms, and is the Vice-President and managing Partner of First Peoples Group Inc’ western Canada operations.
Starting as a youth, Neegann has been committed to ceremony, culture, language healing, wellness, and nutrition. As a child, Neegann was homeschooled by her single mother and nutrition, fitness, culture, and ceremony were central to her homeschool curriculum and experience. This laid a foundation for practicing physical wellness in connection to ceremony and healing. Neegann has spent her life repeatedly turning to fitness, yoga, meditation, ceremony, and mental health healing (western and traditional) to stay strong in the face of adversity, including surviving violence and losing a child to suicide.
Neegann believes that strong Nations and successful self-government are built with strong individuals, leaders, families, and communities, and she is committed to helping individuals achieve the personal growth and healing necessary to contribute to building stronger Indigenous Nations. Neegann is committed to working with Lemon Cree to empower Indigenous people to achieve their personal health and wellness goals, because this is what will help result in the strongest and most successful Nations.