Melody is a member of the Mikisew Cree First Nation and was raised in our beautiful community of Fort Chipewyan. My family and community teachings in environmental values and stewardship at a young age motivated me to advance my education and study environmental conservation sciences at the University of Alberta. This balance in teachings of both traditional knowledge and western science has become my key strength in her professional career. I am honored to have been working directly for our First Nation for the past eleven years, first as the environmental coordinator and now currently as the Director. During my time with the GIR, I have been managing numerous files some of which include six oil sands regulatory interventions, co-developing the Mikisew Cree consultation protocol, numerous traditional land use studies and oil sands application reviews, initiating a community based environmental monitoring program and participating in multiple government policy initiatives. I am now enrolled in the Masters of Science program of Environment and Management at Royal Roads University will complete the program in the Fall of 2016. When I’m not working I enjoy Alpine climbing, canoeing, camping, travelling, gardening and spending quality time with myfamily.
Finance & project assistant
Sheena is a proud Mikisew Cree First Nation member of Fort Chipewyan. After High School, Sheena held many Office Administration roles in Fort Chipewyan including working for the Mikisew Cree First Nation band office and for the Nunee Health Board Society. Realizing that she wanted to further her education, she moved to Fort McMurray in 2012 and enrolled in the Office Administration program at Keyano College. Sheena began working part-time with the Mikisew GIR in March 2014 to complete her On-The-Job training portion of her program. In May 2014, she graduated with a diploma in Office Administration with a specialization in Electronic Publishing and was hired full-time at the Mikisew GIR as the Administration Coordinator.
In May 2018, Sheena moved into a new role as the Finance & Project Assistant. She will be working closely with the Operations Manager and Finance Coordinator on GIR projects. Sheena feels privileged to work for her First Nation and to stay so well connected to her hometown of Fort Chipewyan.
When Sheena is not working, she enjoys: yoga, travelling, trips home to Fort Chip and spending quality time with her family, friends and fiancé.
As a Mikisew member, working at the GIR office in Fort McMurray for the past 10 years, I have enjoyed my position in the Finance department as I work closely with the Business Centre in Fort Chipewyan. This opportunity has given me the chance to be involved in the organizations many events such as: The Cultural Retreat (9th Annual), Elders Christmas Celebration, Treaty Days and Roadshows. I enjoy talking to the Elders, and I have many relatives in the Community. Some highlights of my career while being at the GIR include: a 2004 invitation to plant the 3 millionth tree at the Suncor Reclamation site, and again in 2011 to plant the 5 millionth tree. Both were exciting experiences that brought back memories of being one of the first tree planters for the Alberta Forestry Service in the early 1970’s.
Jocelyn lived on the land for most of her earlier years. She attended school but left early all the while continuing to practice her cultural heritage. Jocelyn has the knowledge that enables her to understand what is needed in her role as a Community Coordinator, which bridges the link in translating the traditional knowledge to what is needed by the Government and Industry Relations (GIR).
Jocelyn then went back to school later on as an adult and completed school. Upon achieving her grade 12, Jocelyn then applied for a job with the Mikisew Cree First Nation (GIR).
Jocelyn started working part-time for the MCFN- GIR out of the Fort Chipewyan office in 2010 and flourished in her job role, taking on a wide variety of responsibilities. In 2013 she made the transition to a full time employee, and continues to work closely with staff at the Band office, various consultants, industry partners and the GIR team. She also is actively involved with engaging the MCFN of Fort Chipewyan, Trappers, Hunters and Traditional Knowledge Keepers into community events and initiatives.
MANAGER, GOVERNMENT RELATIONS
Mr. Braun is a member of the Pimicikimak Cree First Nation and was born and raised in Northern Manitoba in Treaty 5 Territory. His family and community teachings fostered a natural inclination toward an environmental career with values in promoting stewardship. Mr. Braun spent much of his youth on the land trapping fishing and hunting and further was employed in the mining and logging industries and went on to be educated as a Natural Resource Management Technologist and further into the Environmental Sciences. Knowledgeable in both the traditional and scientific ways, Mr. Braun has created the ability to collaborate well, focusing on communication and understanding of both the community, government and industries aspirations.
Mr. Braun has been working directly for First Nations and government for the past twenty years, first as a technician in the fisheries, wildlife, forestry fields and then as a consultant for First Nations in environmental monitoring and natural resource management. More recently Mr. Braun has worked on Treaty Land Entitlement processes on behalf of 21 First Nations in Manitoba alongside the Federal and provincial governments. Mr. Braun also worked for the Anishinabek of Ontario as a Minerals and Mines Analyst facilitating consultation processes within the Ontario mining sector and also served as a Senior Policy Analyst for Manitoba’s Department of Conservation and Water Stewardship working specifically on the topic of the Duty to Consult. Mr. Braun has joined the Mikisew Cree First Nation’s Government and Industry Relations office as Senior Consultation Coordinator and is managing specific projects being planned by government and industry.
LEAD REGULATORY AND CONSULTATION COORDINATOR
Margaret comes to us after three years of working with the Fort McKay community as their regulatory coordinator responsible for coordinating all of McKay’s regulatory applications. Originally born in Toronto, Ontario she spent most of her youth living in small northern communities in Ontario where she enjoyed time spent outdoors in the northern wilderness, especially camping and fishing and trapping with her dad. After moving across Canada from Ontario to Saskatchewan, she finally settled in Alberta where she completed her Bachelor of Science degree at the University of Alberta in their Environmental and Conservation Sciences program, specializing in Wildlife Restoration and Conservation Biology. She followed her husband to Fort McMurray after completing her university studies where she was employed by Golder Associates Ltd. and eventually the Cumulative Environmental Management Association (CEMA) where she served eight years as their Land Program Manager, specializing in contracts management, multi-stakeholder relations and negotiation/facilitation. The relationships she built with several of the First Nations and Métis communities during her time with CEMA furthered her interest and passion in working with Aboriginal communities to address consultation issues.
While not at work, Margaret enjoys spending time with her family which includes her two children, two Great Danes, Siamese cat, Senegal parrot and of course her husband. As an avid animal lover Margaret enjoys supporting animal rescue and showing her Great Danes in competition.
Sebastien Fekete has been working with the GIR for the past 4 years as a Consultation Coordinator, and is known for his accurate shot which he mastered in the Peace Athabasca Delta. Prior to joining Mikisew, Sebastien studied abroad in the Netherlands where he got a Master’s degree in International Development with a major in Human Rights and Social Justice and a minor in Environment and Sustainable Development. He also has a degree in Commerce, which he obtained in Montreal from Concordia University. Sebastien has experience in project management, group facilitation, policy analysis, and report writing/editing.
In his spare time, Sebastien enjoy’s snowboarding, tennis, volleyball, rock climbing and fishing.
Patricia (Trish) Hardisty is from Colville Lake, NT and is a member of the Behdzi Ahda First Nation in the Sahtu Region and Treaty 11 Territory. Prior to moving to Fort McMurray in July 2012, she spent most of her career living and working in various communities throughout the Northwest Territories, including Colville Lake, Norman Wells, Yellowknife and Fort Simpson.
During this time, Trish worked in various Private, Government and First Nations Government roles, including five years advocating for First Nation youth by co-founding the NWT Youth Council and representing the Northwest Territories at the national level for the Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC) and the Assembly of First Nations (AFN).
Ms. Hardisty’s various work experience has resulted in a diverse skill set including: stakeholder relations; project management; budgeting and finance; and community and business development. Prior to her transition to the Manager of Operations, she spent two years as a Consultation Coordinator.
Trish was raised in a traditional community where many people today continue to live off the land hunting and trapping. She has a strong respect and connection to the land and is pleased to be a part of the Mikisew Cree First Nation Government and Industry Relations Team as the Manager of Operations.
Denise Golden is a Ph.D. Candidate in Forest Sciences at Lakehead University-she is defending her dissertation in the summer of 2017. Her research examined boreal forest carbon, forest conservation and utilization approaches to mitigate climate change. The study was a collaboration with Nishnawbe Aski Nation (a political-territorial organization representing 49 First Nations) to document their observations of changes occurring on traditional homelands attributed to climate change along with their perspectives on climate change. The research also examines First Nation engagement in climate change policy within Ontario. She received the Aboriginal Partnership Research Award from Lakehead University in 2012 and was recognized in 2015 as one of the 50+ Research Stories to celebrate Lakehead University’s 50th Anniversary.
Prior to undertaking graduate studies she worked for 20 years in the environmental field in Alberta. Denise also volunteers in the communities she has lived; she served on the committee to City Council for Thunder Bay to implement the municipality’s action plan to reduce greenhouse gases. Denise is a published lead author in peer-reviewed science journals and contributor to book chapters, as well as, a lecturer, guest speaker and has presented her research and other topics related to climate change and the boreal forest at conferences across Canada and the U.S.A.
MANAGER, INDUSTRY RELATIONS
Environmental management, monitoring, agreement negotiation, regulatory coordination and administration, as well as communication, consultation and relationship building are the cornerstones of Daniel Stuckless’ career as an environmental steward, consensus builder and leader. With over eleven years’ experience working in the Alberta oil sands region for industry, indigenous communities and regional multi-stakeholder groups, he brings an acute awareness and insightful appreciation of the issues and dynamics at play amongst the diverse stakeholder groups and communities involved in—and affected by—industrial development in northern Alberta.
His work has comprised of managing environmental and multi-stakeholder programs, including environmental projects involving air quality and industrial odours, traditional resource surveys, and traditional ecological knowledge projects. Daniel has also been involved in developing and evaluating government policies, regulations, land management initiatives, providing strategic and technical advice for establishing and pertaining to IBA agreement negotiations. In addition, Daniel’s work over the years has included receiving, reviewing and responding to oilsands, forestry, quarry, pipeline and other resource development-related applications to multiple provincial and federal regulatory authorities.
Throughout his career, Daniel has attained progressive leadership experience in the areas of environmental management, regulatory and stakeholder relations. Currently, as the Manager, Industry Relations for Mikisew Cree First Nation Government and Industry Relations (MCFNGIR), his work includes facilitating strong, positive relationships between Aboriginal community stakeholders, industry, government and regional groups through timely and transparent communication and meaningful consultation.
A graduate of Memorial University in Newfoundland, Daniel holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology.
PROJECT COORDINATOR, GOVERNMENT RELATIONS
Jenny has been working in Fort McMurray for three years for a consulting firm called Willow Springs Strategic Solutions and the McMurray Métis Local 1935. She has experience in: Anthropology, research, Traditional Land Use, project managing & tracking, and regularly affairs.
Jenny completed her M.A. in Environmental Anthropology at University of Saskatchewan in December 2015, and her degree was awarded in May of 2016. Jenny completed nine weeks of field research during the summer of 2013 at the Woodland Cree First Nation. Her thesis is entitled: Energy Uncertainty: The effects of Oil Extraction on the Woodland Cree First Nation. Jenny completed her Bachelor of Arts with High Honours at the University of Saskatchewan in 2012. She majored in Anthropology and minored in Archaeology.
Jenny is interested in learning more about and working in the areas of: policy analysis, environmental impact assessment, regulatory affairs, cultural impact assessment, consultation, socio-economic issues, Aboriginal Engagement, Traditional Land Use, Traditional Knowledge, human-environmental interactions, anthropology, and research.
Jenny Gerbrandt grew up in Saskatoon Saskatchewan. She loves the unique beauty of the prairies and spent a lot of her childhood camping in Canada and the western United States in the trailer her father built.
In their spare time Jenny and her partner enjoy travel, visiting her nieces and nephews, visiting his family out east, camping, hiking, walking in the natural beauty of Wood Buffalo. One of Jenny’s favourite pastimes is spending time with Elders and trappers.
Jenny is excited and honoured to work for the Mikisew Cree First Nation and it’s GIR office as a Government Relations Project Coordinator.
AGREEMENT IMPLEMENTATION COORDINATOR
Willis Flett is a member of the Mikisew Cree First Nation and was raised in Fort Chipewyan, AB. Growing up in the region and understanding the socioeconomic challenges facing the Aboriginal community, one of Willis’s passions has always been the advancement of the Aboriginal community in workforce development and business development.
Willis brings a wide range of experiences in Aboriginal governance, boardmanship, committees, leadership from executive to mid-level management and wide range of experience in the oil and gas industry (including experience construction phase to production of projects) to the MCFN GIR.
Working in corporate Canada for some of the largest global organizations, Willis gained the understanding of the complexity in developing and maintaining meaningful relationships with the Aboriginal community and corporate Canada.
Willis’s teaching and upbringing was to incorporate Indigenous Knowledge with Western Science in all activities, and to have a holistic view.
Willis states that “my main teaching in life are to”;
My mom always taught me to treat people the way I wanted to be treated
My dad always taught me to be honest,
Chief Archie Waquan taught me to speak from the heart.
MCFN GIR SUMMER STUDENT - INDUSTRY AND ADMINSTRATION
Breanne Whiteknife is a member of Mikisew Cree First Nation and will be job shadowing the industry consultation team, as well as assist in daily administrative work. This is Breanne’s 2nd year working as a summer student for the MCFN GIR. Breanne is a full-time student at MacEwan University, working towards a combined degree in Bachelor of Science in Environmental Conservation Sciences and Bachelor of Arts in Native Studies. Having grown up trapping and hunting on the Athabasca River, Breanne hopes to give back to the community through her efforts to achieve a more environmentally committed future.
WELCOME BACK TO THE GIR TEAM BREANNE!!!!!
MCFN GIR SUMMER STUDENT - ADMINISTRATION and finance
Sara Voyageur is a proud member of the Mikisew Cree First Nation. She will be joining the MCFN GIR for the summer to assist the finance and administration team. This is Sara’s 2nd year working as a summer student for the MCFN GIR. Sara is a full-time student at Keyano College in Fort McMurray, Alberta. This upcoming fall, she will be entering her fourth year in the Bachelor of Science in Nursing program through the University of Alberta.
WELCOME BACK TO THE GIR TEAM SARA!!!!!!