Traditional Territory of Blackfoot Confederacy (Siksika, Kainai, Piikani), the Tsuut’ina, the Îyâxe Nakoda Nations, and traditional homeland of the Métis Nation (Treaty 7)
Action Canada Fellow, Public Policy Forum
FutureXChange Climate Policy Fellow, Youth Climate Lab
Founder and Managing Director
Provides training, research, speaking and community services
Larissa is a published Indigenous and anti-racism researcher, award-winning ribbon skirt artist, restorative circle keeper, and proudly passes on Métis and Jamaican ancestry to her daughter, Zyra.
She is the Founder of Future Ancestors Services, a youth-led professional services social enterprise that advances equity and climate justice through lenses of ancestral accountability and anti-racism. Under Larissa's leadership, the organization has mobilized +$20K in donations for anti-racist and climate justice initiatives, and now serves over 90 diverse clients in their capacity to honour people and Planet through their work and spaces.
Larissa is a 2020 CohortX Climate Justice Fellow; 2019-20 Action Canada Fellow; a 2019 GLOBE Very Impactful Person; and a Corporate Knights’ 2019 Top 30 Under 30 in Sustainability. She has been featured in Elle Magazine, Flare Magazine, eTalk, CTV News, and CBC News, speaking on her work and advocacy.
Larissa graduated from York University with a Bachelor of Arts in International Development and Communication Studies 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, an advisor on the Toronto Police Services Anti-Racism Advisory Panel, and Community Council member at Aboriginal Legal Services. She has volunteered as a Nike Women Role Model to promote health, self-care, and equity, and now serves as Board Director for the Young Womxn’s Leadership Network.
Larissa's experience has led to her specializations in raced-based data collection, Indigenous and anti-racism research, accessibility, adult literacy and learning, restorative circle keeping, conflict resolution, climate justice, and public policy.
Most clients who hire Larissa do so because they're looking for...
Larissa specializes in anti-racism lens, Indigenous research methodologies, adult learning, restorative practices in conflict resolution, accessibility, sustainability and climate justice.
Larissa carries Métis ancestry from Penetanguishene, ON, and Afro-Carribbean ancestry from Jamaica. She is a young mother with a chronic pain disability, and a passionate land-based learner.
Larissa has experience working with and in all levels of Canadian government, in the private sector, and in the non-profit sector. She has extensively worked with public policy.
Want the bigger picture? Here are some visual samples of Larissa's work.
Larissa's interviews and publications are windows to her
mind and direction.
Benefit Not Burden: Older
Workers and the Future of
Work in Canada
Action Canada Fellowship Program, Public Policy Forum
I Grew Up With My Métis Roots. I Dug Deep To Find My Black Ancestry.
Huffington Post Canada Article
Black mentors support key to Larissa Crawford's success
Ron Fanfair News Article
We recognize the importance of mentorship relationships. Here
are a few words from Larissa's mentors.
"Larissa brings together the best of academic training with community engagement in a way that has contributed significantly to both the academy and the York community. Her emotional intelligence (EQ), communication skills and empathy necessary for effective relationships with her fellow students and colleagues, teachers, and the university and wider communities, provides a critical foundation for continued leadership advancement. She is by far, one of the most gifted students that I have ever had the pleasure to meet."
Dr. Lorne Foster
Director, Institute for Social Research
"Of all the ambitious youth we have worked with, Larissa stands out as one of the best. Her devotion to focusing her amazing skill set on lifting up the communities she is a part of is unparalleled by her peers, and her entrepreneurial nature opens doors for her and those she advocates for.
I first meet Larissa when we were both speakers at the G7 Oceans and Energy meetings where she gracefully educated the entire conference on the need to become a more inclusive space for people of colour. There she greatly impacted the thinking of the politicians and thought leaders. Almost two years later, people still bring up how much meeting Larissa impacted them."
Executive Director, Student Energy
Learn more about what drives Larissa and her work first hand, in these
quick responses to a few of our questions.
What do you do, and what inspires the work that you do?
How does your lived experience and identity contribute to your qualification as a service deliverer?
What are some of the biggest challenges you face in your work?
What does it mean to you to be a future ancestor?