Executive

Meko Nicholas

Executive Director

Meko Nicholas is the Executive Director of the First Nations Lands Management Resource Centre and is Welastekokewin (Maliseet) from the Neqotkuk (Tobique) First Nation in New Brunswick.  He has been working to support the development, finalization and fulfillment of the Framework Agreement on First Nation Land Management for the past 23 years.

Angie Pitre

Executive Assistant to the Executive Director

Angie Pitre, a member of the Elsipogtog First Nation, NB, joins us from the Department of Indigenous Services Canada (ISC). During her 11 year career as a public servant, she volunteered in varying capacities (Co-Spokesperson, Secretary and project lead) on the Aboriginal Employees’ Network, a committee which focuses on Indigenous recruitment, retention, advancement and the cultural competencies within the regional ISC office.

In the fall of 2018, Angie joined our team as an Executive Assistant. She provides administrative support to the Resource Centre’s Executive Director, Meko Nicholas.

Finance, Information Technology & Administration

Sandra Gfellner

Director, Finance, Information Technology & Administration

Sandra was born and raised in British Columbia and is one of four siblings to Irish Immigrants.  She spent 30 years working in the accounting field before starting work with the First Nations Land Management Resource Centre.  Since February 2006, Sandra has been Director of Finance, reporting to the Executive Director.  Sandra oversees and administers all financial functions of the Lands Advisory Board and Resource Centre.

Charmaine Matteau

Manager, Human Resources

Charmaine’s family is from the Qalipu Mi’kmaq First Nation in Newfoundland and Labrador. The second youngest of 16 children, she was born and raised on the west coast of the province.

Before joining the RC in 2013, she spent several years working for the provincial government in Canada’s far north followed by nearly 10 years the federal public service in Ottawa in areas related to HR, finance, and administration. Charmaine is a currently a member of the Nova Scotia branch of Chartered Human Resources Professionals.

A military spouse, in her spare time Charmaine also loves to cook, spend time with her family, friends and animals and plan her next running adventure.

Robina Bear

Executive Assistant to RC Chair

Robina Bear has worked for the Resource Centre since 2001 as Executive Assistant to Chief Austin Bear the RC Chair. Robina completed her studies in Business Administration at SIAST campus in Prince Albert Saskatchewan in 1995. She is originally from Powell River, BC but now has a home on Muskoday First Nation in Saskatchewan with her husband and their rescue animals. Robina is a photographer specializing in people and wedding photography.

Shannon Goedike

Financial Services Officer

Shannon is Cree from Peguis, Manitoba, born and raised in Montreal. She has worked with First Nations for over a decade and has 20+ years’ experience in finance. Joining the Resource Centre in 2022, she brings with her experience in policy and procedure writing, strategic planning, budgeting, and the sound financial management of public funds.

Shannon has two teenage sons and enjoys spending her free time with family and friends. She is a foodie who loves to cook and enjoys gardening and reading a good book.

Jelisa Genge

Human Resources Administrator

Born and raised in Newfoundland and Labrador on the northwest tip of the Island, Jelisa grew up in a little fishing village and later left for Alberta where she spent 16 years. She has spent several years at the provincial public service level in various HR capacities such a recruitment, recognition, training and more. Jelisa is currently a member of Newfoundland Branch of Chartered Human Resources Professionals

Jelisa recently moved back to the island where she and her husband now reside with their two children spending any spare time they get exploring the rugged terrain, and catching up on lost time with their extended family and friends around a table filled with food

Virginia Game

Administrative Support to the Lands Advisory Board

Virginia was born and lived in Victoria, BC until 1999 when she moved to Winnipeg, Canmore and finally settled in Kelowna the summer of 2010. Virginia worked in the policing and legal worlds until she began working for Westbank First Nation in January 2011 in the finance department. In June 2011 she became Chief Robert Louie’s Executive Assistant in WFN’s corporate department and started with the Resource Centre as Chairman Robert Louie’s Executive Assistant in October 2016. Virginia has two sons and two dogs that take up most of her time, if she’s not at work she is out walking her dogs.

Martin de Kryger

IT Support Services

Martin de Kryger, born and raised in Ottawa Ontario, graduated from Computer Systems Technology at Algonquin College.  Shortly after completing college, he joined the Ottawa Senators Hockey Club as an IT Support Technician, where he worked for over four years.

In August 2017 he accepted a position as the IT Support Services Officer with the Resource Centre.

Martin, his wife and their two energetic boys live in eastern Ontario. Martin loves spending time with his kids, playing guitar, relaxing at the cottage, gardening, cooking, and is a sports nut.

Rob Pinkerton

Survey Advisor

Rob Pinkerton is a Land Surveyor and Engineer who has spent the last 20 years working on land surveys throughout the western provinces. He attended the University of Calgary and is licensed to survey in Alberta, British Columbia, Saskatchewan and on Canada Lands.

Born in North Vancouver he has lived in Moncton, Edmonton and now calls Calgary home. He has served as a Councillor for the Alberta Land Surveyors’ Association (ALSA) and as President of the Association of Canada Lands Surveyors (ACLS).

Dan Bear

Administrative Assistant

Dan Bear joined the team in 2008 and has worked with First Nation communities in British Columbia, Saskatchewan and Manitoba as a Field Technician before moving into an administrative role in 2014.

Dan received his professional training at the Justice Institute of British Columbia and earned an Associate Certificate while studying Dispute Resolution Mediation and Negotiation.

He is a proud member of the Muskoday First Nation in Saskatchewan where he was raised and lives with his wife Sarah and their two cats and dog. Together they have a son and are expecting a baby boy in early May.

Dan’s spare time is often spent writing and creating music, as he has been involved in Canada’s independent music industry for many years. Several songs featuring Dan have been used in film and television projects. He has shared the studio and stage with Canadian Indigenous and Juno award winners while releasing several independent albums.

Curtis Clark

IT Support Services

Born and raised in the Vancouver.  Curtis worked as an auto mechanic but found his calling working in IT. He enjoys golfing, road trips and flying his drone. He wants to learn guitar in 2024.

Luke Forbes

Legal Survey Analyst

Luke has been in the survey industry for nearly 30 years. He graduated from BC Institute of Technology with a Diploma in Geomatics Technology. He has spent his career surveying in the prairies working in the industry. He has worked with the federal and Saskatchewan land tenure administrators. He has also spend many years working with private survey firms in Saskatchewan.

Luke was born in Regina and still lives there with his 3 children. He enjoys fishing, sports, and camping.

Lise Steele

Travel & Logistics Coordinator

Lise Steele is a proud member of the We Wai Kai Nation, located on both Vancouver and Quadra Islands’. Lise has a certificate in Aboriginal Language Revitalization through the University of Victoria, a certificate in Professional Lands Management from the University of Saskatchewan and is a certified tax administrator with a certificate from Thompson River University.

Lise joined the Resource Centre in 2016 and is the coordinator for the Training, Mentorship and Professional Development.

Lise is married with one grown daughter, and along with their wolf-dog Shadow, and husky Daisy, they enjoy life on the Quinsam Reserve.

Operations

Steven Bonspille

Director Developmental & Operational Support

Shékon sewakwékon (Greeting to everyone),

Sosé Onahsakenrat iontiàts ne Kanien’kehà tànon Kanesatake Kanien’kehà:ka kanakerahsera nia’tewake:né. Joseph swan is his Kanien’kehà:ka (Mohawk) name and is from the Kanien’kehà:ka territory of Kanesatake.

Steven is a proud member of the Bear clan as are his eight brothers and sisters. He is also the proud dad of three boys.

Being born, raised and living most of his adult life in Kanesatake has given him the insight on the many good things that can happen when a community works together to find solutions. How a community can change its present for a better tomorrow. He has dedicated his career to helping our indigenous communities and people improve their current situations for a brighter future for them, their communities and future generations.

His career has taken him on the path of culture and language (Director of the Kanesatake Cultural Centre), politics (Chief and Grand Chief of Kanesatake), Housing (Regional Manager of Aboriginal Housing – Quebec bureau of Canada Mortgage Housing Corporation), employment and capacity development (First Nations Human Resource Development Commission of Quebec) to his present position of Managing Director of Operations for the FNLMRC.

When he is not working he enjoys spending time with his kids, playing lacrosse and golf, listening to music, being with family and friends and working on his 69 Road Runner.

First Nation Support Services – BC

Patti Wight

Patti Wight

Manager First Nation Support Services BC

Patti Wight is from the Squamish Nation and currently resides in the heart of Lheidli T’enneh traditional territory (Prince George, BC) where she has been working with the Resource Centre since 2012. Patti holds a Bachelor of Science in Geography with an environmental science focus from the University of Northern BC and also has a certificate in Indigenous Peoples Resource Management from the University of Saskatchewan. Prior to joining the Resource Centre, Patti was the Lheidli T’enneh Director of Lands & Natural Resources.  Patti enjoys spending her free time in nature exploring and camping.  She loves to travel and is always trying out new ways to prepare foods, teas and medicines.

Erica Louie

Land Code Governance Advisor BC

Erica Louie’s lineage is Sto:lo and Wet’suwet’en, Erica sits with the Gitdumden (Bear) Clan, in the Cas Yex (Grizzly) house within the Wet’suwet’en clan system. Erica was born and raised in Hazelton, B.C. and understands the importance of our Indigenous languages and culture, as well as importance of maintaining our traditional governing systems. Erica lives in Kitselas territory, Terrace, B.C., she has two boys that are working and pursuing post secondary education, Erica enjoys camping, hunting and exploring with her husband in the beautiful Tahltan territory in Northern B.C. Erica studied Environmental Planning at the University of Northern, B.C., she graduated with the bachelor’s degree in Planning in 2009.  Since 2009, Erica has focused on working with Indigenous communities within Land Management and Economic Development. Erica dedicates herself to continually expanding her knowledge and networks to continue to work with Indigenous communities in prospering and working toward self-governance.  Erica has recently completed a certificate in Indigenous economic development and is now pursuing a master’s degree in Business Administration at Royal Roads University RRU. Erica is excited to work with the team at the Resource Center.

Jasmine Pouce Coupe

Land Code Governance Advisor BC

Jasmine Pouce Coupe is a proud member of the Doig River First Nation, hailing from the rich cultural landscape near Fort St. John, British Columbia. Her roots run deep within the Treaty 8 territory. Currently, she resides on her small acreage near Kamloops on the unceded lands of the Tk’emlúps te Secwe̓pemc.

With her experience in Indigenous governance and community development, Jasmine has proven herself as a dedicated advocate for her people and for First Nations across Canada. Her most recent role as Program Coordinator at the Tulo Centre of Indigenous Economics, within the First Nation Tax Commission, exemplifies her commitment to advancing economic sovereignty and self-governance among Indigenous communities. Prior to her work at the Tulo Centre, Jasmine served as the Land Code Coordinator for Doig River First Nation, where she played a pivotal role in their land code development.

In addition to her professional endeavors, Jasmine is an active member of the Steering Committee for the Fish and Wildlife Compensation Program, where she continues to champion conservation efforts and promote Indigenous stewardship of natural resources. She is also a member of the Land Governance Committee for Doig River First Nation.

Beyond her professional pursuits, Jasmine enjoys creating distinctive hand-beaded jewelry and especially loves being immersed in the wonders of nature. Whether navigating challenging landscapes on foot, gliding along watercourses in a kayak, or immersing herself in the exhilaration of jet boating, fishing, and hunting, Jasmine’s fervor for outdoor exploration is unmistakable.

With her unique blend of experience in land code development, community engagement, and policy advocacy, combined with her love for culture, nature and the outdoors, Jasmine Pouce Coupe is a force to be reckoned with in the realm of Indigenous governance and self-determination and environmental stewardship.

Jackie Brown

Land Code Governance Advisor BC

Jackie Brown is a member of the community of Kispiox(Anspayaxw), 1 of 6 communities within the Gitxsan First Nation. His Gitxsan name is Guiyee’is. He grew up in Terrace, BC which is an hour and half away from Kispiox. After obtaining his Forest Technology Diploma at Northwest Community College (now Coast Mountain College), he worked in the forest consultant world for 8 years before moving his family to Prince George, BC.

He was the Forestry Coordinator at Lheidli T’enneh Nation for 7 years before joining the BC Government as a Senior Advisor, First Nation Relations within the BC Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development for 3 years.

His wife, Cheryl, is from the Nisga’a Nation community of Gitlakdamiiks(New Aiyansh). They have 2 kids and 2 dogs. He enjoys coaching and playing basketball and soccer from time to time. They try to make it back home as often as they can, especially when cultural duties call them home.

Heather McIntyre

Land Code Governance Advisor BC

Heather McIntyre is of Mohawk descent and is originally from Peterborough, Ontario, but grew up in Kelowna, BC. Heather holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in anthropology with a focus on archaeology and a minor in history from the University of British Columbia, Okanagan. She has worked in the real estate appraisal industry for the past two decades first as a research analyst and most recently as an Appraisal Institute of Canada candidate member in the commercial appraisal field. She has worked on many appraisal assignments related to land leases for a variety of First Nations throughout the Interior and has worked on historical and archival research for several Specific Claims projects.  Heather is excited to continue working with First Nation communities utilizing her experience and education to assist in the development and implementation of their own Land Codes. Heather enjoys spending time with her family and her animals and loves to travel. She is also a musician and artist and enjoys live theatre, music, art and literature.

Shawn Speirs

Land Code Governance Advisor BC

Originally from Pointe-Claire Montreal, Shawn Speirs grew up in Westbank, BC. He attended UBC for his undergraduate degree and subsequently received his Law degree from Thompson Rivers University.

His legal practice initially focussed on estate and trust planning before he transitioned into law and policy development. Shawn accepted a position with the Resource Centre in 2017 as part of the BC support services team and is excited to continue working with communities both in the development and implementation of their land codes.

First Nation Support Services – BC, Fraser Valley

Denise Unger

Manager First Nation Support Services Fraser Valley

Ey Swayel (Good Day)

Denise Unger is a proud member of Chi’yaqtel (Tzeachten) First Nation in Chilliwack, BC, which is also where she resides. The Chi’yaqtel people originate from the Ts’elxwéyeqw Tribe and they are politically affiliated with Stó:ló Nation.

Denise began working with the First Nation Land Management Resource Centre in 2009 as a field technician on Vancouver Island and is now the Manager of Support Services – Fraser Valley Region. She has a wonderful team of Land Code Advisors who also provide land management support services to the signatory First Nations in that region.

Before establishing her 20+ year career working with the Stó:ló and other Indigenous peoples in the Fraser Valley and throughout BC, Denise’s background includes commerce and banking. In 2000, Denise joined Stó:ló Development Corporation and Stó:ló Community Futures, which further lead to an opportunity to manage the Ts’elxwéyeqw Tribe in 2007. She has been actively involved with various initiatives Chi’yaqtel has pursued over the years, including the development and implementation of their Land Code. She was passionate about assisting other First Nations in re-gaining jurisdiction over their reserve lands and resources and establishing strong systems of land governance, which lead her to joining the First Nation Land Management Resource Centre.

Denise and her husband Mark have four children, two dogs and they have been blessed with five wonderful grandchildren (the sixth is on the way). Outside of work, Denise enjoys spending time with her family, gardening, crafting, and riding her Harley Davidson on sunny days.

“S’ólh Téméxw te ikw’elo. Xolhmet te mekw’stam it kwelat”

(This is Our land we have to take care of everything that belongs to us)

Dr. Wenona Hall

 

 

Brittany Hall

Land Code Governance Advisor Fraser Valley

Brittany Hall is a member of Sq’ewqeyl (Skowkale) First Nation, located in Chilliwack, BC. In the Halq’emeylem language, Sq’ewqeyl means “Going around a turn”. Brittany previously worked for the Skowkale, Aitchelitz and Yakweakwioose (SAY) Lands Office in Chilliwack for a number of years. SAY is the first joint management agreement group of First Nations in Canada.

Tabitha Donkers

Land Code Governance Advisor Fraser Valley

Tabitha grew up in the Fraser Valley of BC in Coast Salish territory and is now living on Central Vancouver Island. She completed her undergraduate degree in business at UBC and her master’s in public policy from SFU. Prior to joining the RC Tabitha worked in the private sector, non-profit, and First Nation government. In her role with the RC, Tabitha focuses on supporting First Nation communities in the Fraser Valley in implementing their Land Codes. In her free time, Tabitha enjoys volunteering at local community events, gardening, Mountain biking, and almost everything else outdoors.

First Nation Support Services – Prairies

Eugene Peterson

Manager First Nation Support Services Prairies

Eugene Peterson is a member of Long Plain in Treaty 1 south central Manitoba. While growing up in Vancouver Eugene often visited friends and family in Manitoba each summer.

Eugene completed his bachelors degree in Economics and Business at Simon Fraser University and Bachelor of Law at the University of British Columbia. Eugene practiced law in Winnipeg, eventually focusing on Land Claims and Self-government. Eugene began working with the Resource Centre in 2017 and manages support for First Nations throughout Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba.

Eugene is a father of four and often travels throughout western Canada and central USA for business and pleasure.

Leah Bitternose

Leah Bitternose

Land Code Governance Advisor Prairies

Tānsi, Kitatamiskātināwāw! Leah Bitternose Nitisiyihkāson. Nēhiyawskwēw ohci George Gordon ēkwa Treaty 4 Niwīcihowān.  Leah M. Bitternose is Cree from the George Gordon First Nation in Treaty 4 Territory.  She has a Juris Doctor and Master of Laws from the University of Saskatchewan and is dedicated to the protection of Indigenous and Treaty Rights.  She is honoured to work for the FNLMRC assisting First Nation’s in the Prairie Region and North West Territories to take back control of their lands and resources.

Joey Fulton

Land Code Governance Advisor Prairies

Joey Leigh Fulton started with the Resource Centre Prairie Region in early 2019. Her home base is located in Treaty 6 Territory in Spruce Grove, Alberta.

She has been working in the Lands field since 2009 and has completed the Level Two: Technical Training in the Professional Lands Management Certification Program in 2009.

Joey is a proud member of Chippewas of Nawash First Nation and volunteers with the Canadian Native Friendship Centre in Edmonton and volunteers as a knowledge keeper and Auntie with Indigenous Birth of Alberta.

Her pride is her family and her greatest blessings are her 2 kids.

Dean Bear

Land Code Governance Advisor Prairies

Dean Bear is a member of the Muskoday First Nation in central Saskatchewan and comes to the Resource Center after 17 years working as the Director of the Muskoday lands department. During that time, he helped develop laws and procedures under the Land Code that have helped Muskoday First Nation become a trailblazer for other operational First Nation communities to follow. He assisted the First Nation in negotiating a Treaty Land Entitlement settlement and a land exchange agreement with the neighboring rural municipality – both firsts for a Land Code community in Canada. Dean is a major proponent of the Framework Agreement and has a desire to see more First nations strive toward sectoral self-government. He has sat on numerous boards at the First Nation level, is a previous chairman of the Saskatchewan Aboriginal Land Technicians (SALT) and former board member of the National Aboriginal Land Manager’s Association (NALMA).

His background includes farming with a diploma in Agriculture from the University of Saskatchewan. He has also received certification from the Indigenous Peoples Resource Management program at the U of S and the First Nation Tax Administration program at Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops, BC.

Dean and his wife Kim reside on the family farm at Muskoday with their three cats. In his off time, he enjoys golf and is a member of the Birch Hills Golf Club board, watching football and hockey and cooking different delicacies on his wood and charcoal smokers.

First Nation Support Services – East

Crystal Restoule

Manager First Nation Support Services East

Crystal Restoule is a proud member of Dokis First Nation, located on the boundaries that separate the Districts of Parry Sound, Sudbury and Nipissing, Ontario. Crystal and her spouse are proud parents of a beautiful boy and enjoy spending much of their free time outdoors, hunting, fishing, and participating in various sporting activities.

While attending Laurentian University, Crystal worked with the Department of Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada as a summer student and continued her work there after graduation. Crystal accepted a position with the First Nations Land Management Resource Centre in 2014 as Support Services Technician for the Eastern Region.  In April 2018, Crystal accepted the position as Manager of Support Services for Ontario, Québec and the Atlantic Regions. She looks forward to continuing her work with First Nations in pursuing land governance under the Framework Agreement.

Cassandra Cadeau

Land Code Governance Advisor East

Cass is a proud member of Alderville First Nation and grew up in southern Ontario. Cass began working for Shawanaga First Nation in 2011, assisting with the implementation of the consultation and accommodation protocol, coordinating logistics for major projects and providing admin support for the Shawanaga Youth Council. Through the following years, Cass built upon her education in Negotiation, Aboriginal Law, Consultation and Accommodation, Project Management, Aboriginal Professional Administration and Indigenous Peoples Resource Management.

Cass led Shawanaga First Nation and the community through the development of a Land Code in 2013 and pioneered an electronic voting ratification process. With the successful vote for Shawanaga’s Land Code, Cass accepted a Technician position with the First Nations Land Management Resource Centre in 2015, where she continues her work with pride in developing and implementing Land Codes in other First Nations across Turtle Island. She has supported many First Nations through Land Code votes, including Long Lake 58, Wasauksing, Temagami, Chippewas of Kettle and Stony Point, Chippewas of Rama, Algonquins of Pikwakanagan, Beausoleil, Moose Deer Point, and Hiawatha.

Cass enjoys year-round cottage country life with her fiancé Adam, four children and house full of cats and dogs in the small town of Parry Sound, in the traditional territory of Shawanaga First Nation. In her free time, Cass enjoys cruising around Georgian Bay, beading, sewing and taking on home reno and pinterest building projects.

Danielle Alain

Land Code Governance Advisor East

Danielle Alain is a proud member of the Wolastoqiyik (People of the Beautiful River) from Woodstock First Nation, New Brunswick.

Danielle completed her Bachelor of Arts at St. Thomas University, graduating with a double major in Criminology and Native Studies.

Upon graduation, Danielle accepted a position with, at the time, Aboriginal Affairs and Norther Development Canada and spent two years as a Band Governance and Estates Officer and eight years as a Lands Officer, where she thoroughly enjoyed working with many of the First Nation communities in the Atlantic.  Most recently, Danielle accepted a position with the First Nation Land Management Resource Centre and currently works as a Support Technician for the Eastern Team!

Danielle has two beautiful children and they love to hang out with friends and family, travel, participate in community activities and whatever daily adventures come their way!

Katharina Trottier

Katharina Trottier

Land Code Governance Advisor East

Kiley Shebageget

Land Code Governance Advisor East

Kiley joined the FNLMRC in June 2022 as a Land Code Governance Advisor with the East Team. Previously, she worked for Rainy River First Nations for 19 years, starting as a Project Officer in their grassroots environmental program, to eventually heading their Lands & Natural Resources Department as the Lands Manager for over 10 years. While at Rainy River, she oversaw the Land Code development process, bringing them to a successful vote in 2020. She also spearheaded the development of the Rainy River First Nations Land Use Plan, which went on to win the 2018 CIP Award of Planning Excellence in the Aboriginal Community Planning and Development category.

Kiley is a certified Aboriginal Lands Manager and has completed the Indigenous Peoples Resource Management certificate program at the University of Saskatchewan. She also attended Sault College in Sault Ste. Marie, ON, earing double diplomas in Forestry and Integrated Natural Resource Management.

Kiley grew up and still resides in Nestor Falls, ON in the heart of Treaty #3 territory in northwestern Ontario. Her husband and daughter are proud members of the Ojibways of Onigaming First Nation, and her family partakes in events and celebrations in their community. Kiley’s great-grandfather built tourist camps in the Nestor Falls area beginning in the 1920’s, and her family still operates some of the camps today. As such, fishing, hunting and being outdoors on the land with her family are among Kiley’s favourite activities.

Kelly Dickinson

Land Code Governance Advisor East

Kelly Dickinson is a born and raised member of Alderville First Nation, in southern Ontario. Kelly has an Advanced Diploma in Business Administration – Marketing from Fleming College, as well as a Bachelor of Business Administration from Trent University. Kelly began her career in lands working for Hiawatha First Nation in 2018 as a Lands Clerk, where one of her primary roles was to lead the community through the development of a Land Code. The community successfully ratified their Land Code in 2021. Kelly and her family enjoy spending time together, visiting with family and friends, going on family trips, and trying new restaurants. In her spare time, she enjoys cooking, reading and philately.

Public Relations

John Makson

Senior Public Relations Advisor

John is a proud member of the Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory, from the Wolf Clan, of the Kahienkeha’ka people from South Eastern Ontario. After attending Queen’s university John moved to British Columbia to work with the Federal Treaty Negotiation office in 1998. John moved on to Statistics Canada to work on the 2001 Aboriginal Census and Aboriginal People’s Survey, and then to the start-up First Nations Statistical Institute.

John accepted a full-time position with the First Nations Land Management Resource Centre in 2007.  John has worked as a field technician in BC and was the Manager for the Western team and was happy to be a part of many successful votes throughout British Columbia. In 2017 John accepted the position of Manager of Communications to help build a new communications team and approach for the Lands Advisory Board and Resource Centre.

John father of three and enjoys life with his wife Angela and three dogs on Vancouver Island, in the territory of the Malahat First Nation. He and his family love island life, from the island grown foods, great coffee and local artisans. John is an artist and spends much of his free time on a mountain bike chasing son down the mountains.

Communications

Suzanne Winch

Manager, Communications

Suzanne Winch began her journey with the Framework Agreement in the early 1990’s, as administrative support to its legislative development.  She began working for the Lands Advisory Board in 1996 and later accepted the role of Manager of Administration for the First Nations Lands Management Resource Centre after it was incorporated in 2001.

Committed to her involvement in support of the Framework Agreement, Suzanne achieved a B.A. in Environmental Studies and consequently accepted a new position within the organization as an Environmental Technician.  With ever-growing First Nations’ interest in the Framework Agreement, and subsequent expansions to the Resource Centre, Suzanne joined the Strategic Planning and Communications team as a Communications Specialist where she helps craft and convey important messaging regarding the significance of the initiative.

Suzanne is mother to three active boys and lives with her husband on Chippewas of Georgina Island First Nation traditional territory,  just East of the Resource Centre’s Sutton office in Ontario.  She and her family enjoy all things outdoors.  Suzanne adores sharing her love of the environment with her children and is pursuing studies in Environmental Education and Communication as part of that passion.  Suzanne has a lifetime of experience with animals (both domestic and wild) and expanded on that interest to attain certifications in Animal Sciences from Colorado State University.   Personal passions include photography, caring for her small farm menagerie, gardening, and making memories with her family.

Sean Cunningham

Graphic Designer

Sean graduated with honours from the Digital Design and Development program at the BC Institute of Technology where he learned graphic design, motion graphics and web and app development.

Sean has experience working as a brand designer for various companies and non-profit organizations in BC. After working with the Resource Centre for nearly a year as an independent contractor, Sean joined the team as a full-time graphic designer in November 2021.

Sean resides in the lower-mainland British Columbia and is an avid movie and concert-goer. Sean enjoys spending his free time honing his graphic skills, practising other artistic mediums and technologies as well as enjoying walks in the rainy weather with his girlfriend Kalee and their pup.

Joslin Sanger

Communications Officer

Joslin a proud member of the Fond du Lac Denesuline First Nation but was raised in La Ronge, Northern Saskatchewan. She studied at the University of Saskatchewan, where she completed her Bachelor of Commerce, followed by a diploma in Communications Design from North Island College. Currently based in Montreal, she has professional experience in Corporate Responsibility and Indigenous Relations.

Her main hobbies include playing the piano, DJing, and engaging in various forms of art such as painting. Additionally, she enjoys trying new foods and immersing herself in different cultures through travel. Joslin is passionate about creativity, exploring diverse cultures, and connecting with communities from various backgrounds.

Land Code Governance

Andrew Beynon

Director, Land Code Governance

Andrew Beynon has over thirty-five years experience working on First Nation lands and self-government. Andrew has worked on land development, environmental protection, environmental assessments, additions to reserve and treaty land entitlement, economic development, specific claims, federal-provincial agreements, optional self-government legislation, taxation, infrastructure projects, reform of federal funding agreements, work with First Nations drafting laws and many other areas.

Andrew was Canada’s lead lawyer on the Nisga’a treaty and has considerable experience with negotiations as well as drafting and has appeared on numerous occasions before Parliamentary Committees. Andrew is one of the authors of “Modern First Nations Legislation Annotated”, a legal publication which includes a chapter dealing with the Framework Agreement and the federal legislation which ratifies the Framework Agreement.

Andrew is married with two “kids” in post secondary studies. Andrew has no time for his wide range of hobbies and interests which range from eternal home renovations to collecting vintage JBL studio monitors originally used by Led Zeppelin and the Rolling Stones, to studying the history of the Nixon administration, as well as to international soccer and playing golf rarely, but always badly.

Sharon Jack

Administrative Assistant

Sharon Jack is a member of the Osoyoos Indian Band in the Syilx territory located in the southern interior of British Columbia.  She received her education from Thompson Rivers University attaining a Diploma in Business Administration (Marketing).  She worked for the Okanagan Indian Band for a number of years in the Social Development department.

She then took time off from work to raise her children until they were both full-time students in elementary.  Sharon started working with the Lands Advisory Board in April 2007; working as Executive Assistant to the LAB Chairman.  In April 2017, she then moved over to her current position with the Planning & Readiness team where she is the Administrative Assistant among her other duties.

Sharon is married to Ernest M. Jack (OJ), they have two adult children; Kylie who is in her final year at Simon Fraser University, majoring in Criminology and Austin is in his first year at UBCO.  The family resides on the Westbank First Nation in the Syilx Territory.  Sharon’s interests include golf, volunteering and she has found that she has a knack for Traditional crafting, after taking a class at the En’owkin Centre (Penticton) in January 2017 – she enjoys beading, basket weaving, working with leather and sewing.

Hugh Benevides

Counsel, Land Code Governance

Hugh Benevides has worked in a variety of public interest law contexts. He was called to the Bar of Ontario in 1996, and to the Bar of Nova Scotia in 2008. As a legislative assistant in the House of Commons, he worked for a senior Member of Parliament and former cabinet minister who was an early champion of sustainable development and strong environmental laws. He was legal counsel at the Canadian Environmental Law Association and at East Coast Environmental Law. As Canadian legal officer at the Secretariat of the North American Commission on Environmental Cooperation, he examined allegations of failures by Canada to enforce its environmental laws. During the eight years prior to joining the Resource Centre, Hugh gave strategic, legislative, government relations and other support to leading civil society organizations.

Born and raised in Tkaronto (Toronto), Hugh has guided whitewater canoe trips in Ontario, Quebec, the Northwest Territories, and Nunavut. He and his partner now live, work, and paddle canoes and kayaks in the traditional territories of the Lekwungen-speaking Peoples, the Songhees and Esquimalt Nations (in Victoria, BC). His daughter is a student and athlete in the Maritimes.

First Nation Land Governance Registry

Angie Derrickson

Angie Derrickson

Registrar, First Nation Land Governance Registry

Angie Derrickson is a proud member of Westbank First Nation, located in the Syilx Okanagan territory in southern British Columbia.  

After graduating in 1992, she started her career at Westbank First Nation working in Administration, Intergovernmental Affairs and then Senior Lands Officer from 2000 to 2010. In 2013, Angie joined the First Nations Land Management Resource Centre and supports strategic approaches for training, mentorship, and professional development for Land Governance across Canada. 

Driven by her dedication to her community, Angie has actively participated in various governance initiatives and the implementation of the WFN Self‐Government Agreement. In 2022, she was elected to WFN Council and contributes to strategic priorities under WFN’s unique land base, cultural values, and governance structure. 

Angie has also achieved her Professional Lands Management Certification at the University of Saskatchewan, Associate Certificate in Training and Facilitation from the Justice Institute of British Columbia and a Professional Certificate in Management & Leadership from Royal Roads University. 

Land Code Governance Team

Jennifer Predie

Manager, Land Code Governance

Jennifer Predie is a member of Six Nations, Onondaga. She is a professionally certified First Nations Land Manager with an applied degree in Environmental Management and diplomas in Terrain and Water Resources.  In 2002, Jennifer received a four-year Ministerial appointment as a member of NACOSAR (National Aboriginal Council on Species at Risk) and was subsequently elected as one of the committee’s co-chairs.

Jennifer began her professional career in 2000 as an Environmental Scientist with EBA Engineering Consultants in Edmonton, AB. In 2002, Jennifer moved to Regina, SK to work as a Fish Habitat Biologist with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO), and in 2006, she transferred to the DFO Parry Sound, ON District office where she became their Senior Habitat Biologist. In 2013, Jennifer accepted a position as the Lands Manager for Wasauksing First Nation, located on Parry Island in Georgian Bay, leading the First Nation to the successful ratification of their Land Code in 2017.

A proud Haudenosaunee citizen, Jennifer resides just outside Parry Sound, ON, in the traditional territory of the Anishinabek, specifically of the Wasauksing First Nation.  Jennifer is married and has an 11-year-old daughter.  She most enjoys reading, fishing, boating, and spending time with family and friends at her cottage on Georgian Bay.

VACANT

Enforcement Advisor – East

Chantal Kitamura

Environment & Enforcement Advisor

Chantal joined the Resource Centre in 2021 and has previously worked in First Nations government, private sector, federal and municipal government roles, including various co-op positions.

Chantal holds a Master of International Forestry Degree from the University of British Columbia. During her time at UBC, Chantal focused on furthering her knowledge of forest policy and resource management as it relates to Indigenous rights and lands governance. Before attending UBC, Chantal graduated from the University of Waterloo where she obtained an Honours Bachelor of Environmental Studies Degree in Urban Planning with specialization in Environmental Planning and Management.

Outside of work, Chantal enjoys spending time in the mountains going hiking and camping.

Cory Kozmik

Environment & Enforcement Advisor

Cory resides within Central-Northern Ontario and holds a BSc (Hons) specializing in Conservation from Trent University and is currently a Master’s candidate in Boreal Ecology at Laurentian University. She also holds a Business diploma from Fleming College and is a certified restricted drone operator and Nitrox Scuba Diver.

Before joining the RC in 2021, Cory spent 5 years with Magnetawan First Nation’s Lands, Resource & Environment Department as their Environmental Management Biologist, where she played a key role in developing programs, advancing their strategies, policies and laws for environmental protections and management under the Framework Agreement, as well as Magnetawan’s Species at Risk (SAR) program, Guardianship program and turtle incubation facility. She developed and delivered training programs focused on Species at Risk and environment to local contractors, environmental monitors, and other organizations to improve environmental awareness on the jobsite and foster meaningful relationships with communities on their lands.

Cory has experience in the fields of project development and management, infrastructure development, environmental impact and risk assessment, mitigation strategies, Species at Risk research, climate change monitoring and adaption planning. Her previous programs were successful in creating ethical spaces and partnerships to ensure that Indigenous Knowledge systems played critical roles to inform research direction, land-use, and adaptation planning.

When Cory is not working, she enjoys riding her horses, playing various instruments, hiking, cooking, and spending time with her family on the farm. She loves to travel, so she can explore the lands and oceans of our planet and is quite the plant enthusiast. She brings passion and enthusiasm to her professional roles and is eager to continue in her work with First Nations across Canada in her role with the RC.

Stefanie Recollet

Waste Management Specialist

Stefanie Recollet is a member of Wahnapitae First Nation, in Northern Ontario. She is from the Crane Clan and a proud Anishinaabe kwe. Stefanie’s academic background includes a bachelors in Law, a certificate in Community Development and she holds numerous certifications related to land and environment management.

She spent 6 years working in Environmental Management within her home community before moving to Waabnoong Bemjiwang Tribal Council as the Waste Management Coordinator. She has since joined the Resource Centre’s Environment and Enforcement team as the Solid Waste Specialist where she leads the development of strategies for improving environmental governance in solid waste and is a resource in law development, management planning, implementation and protections.

VACANT

Planner, Land Code Governance

Leeanna Rhodes

GIS Specialist

Leeanna Rhodes, a member of the Muscowpetung Saulteaux First Nation, has over 35 years GIS experience, over 25 years of using GPS and over 25 years working with First Nation Organizations.  Leeanna received her professional training from Simon Fraser University to BCIT and attending several ESRI hosted GIS certified workshops.  Leeanna has shared her knowledge with many First Nations’ community members on how to use a GPS and map that same data on GIS, which include Haida Gwai, Gitsan, Wetsewatan, Doig River and many communities in British Columbia.

Leeanna gained her Land Code experience from working with the community AQAM as their Lands Officer for over 5 years.

She has applied GIS to many disciplines such as forestry, anthropology, Oil and Gas, Mining, Archaeology and Land Code mapping.  She has worked with several organizations such as Treaty 8 Tribal Association, Sto:lo Nation, Ktunaxa Kinbasket Tribal Council, Shuswap Nation to name a few.

Some of the products developed by Ms. Rhodes include, but not limited to: Maps made for the documentary/video Peace Out; the book Where Happiness Dwells-A History of the Dane-Zaa First Nations and The Sto:lo Coast Salish Historical Atlas.

Leeanna has been married for over 35 years, is also the mother of two adult children and the proud grandmother of two amazing grandsons.

She enjoys NASCAR, POWWOWS and being with her family as much as possible.

Wade Davidson

Enforcement Advisor

Wade Davidson joined the First Nations Land Management Resource Centre as an Enforcement Advisor in 2022. He has travelled extensively but always returns to Treaty 7 lands; where he was born, raised, and educated. Wade attended Lethbridge College, obtaining a diploma in Environmental Science with a focus on Renewable Resource Management followed by a specialization certificate in Conservation Enforcement. After college, he went to work for what is now the Canada Border Service Agency, at Coutts, Alberta. In 2005 Wade moved on to a career with the Lethbridge Police Service where he served in patrol operations, traffic operations, and as a collision reconstructionist. Wade has been qualified as an expert witness in both the Provincial Court of Alberta and the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench. He also spent several years as a part-time police recruit trainer for the Center for Advancement of Community Justice at Lethbridge College. In 2014, he was promoted to sergeant and had the opportunity to lead patrol teams, manage the traffic unit, and work in professional standards. Wade has been involved in policy development, legislation development and establishing enforcement programs at the local, provincial, and federal levels.

Wade, his wife, and their labradoodle live in Lethbridge, AB. They have an adult son serving in the Canadian Armed Forces in Oromocto, NB, a daughter playing rugby and attending university in Victoria, BC, and a daughter finishing grade 12 at a hockey academy. He spends as much time as possible outdoors and looks forward to having any of his kids home to scramble up the nearby mountains with him. He also enjoys both riding and repairing motorcycles as much as his time and budget allow.

Hilary Black

Planner, Land Code Governance

Hilary Black is a Registered Professional Planner assisting First Nations with land-based planning and plan implementation.

Prior to joining the Resource Centre, she worked in policy and planning in the government of Ontario for 5+ years, and previously worked in northern Ontario directly supporting First Nations in their Comprehensive Community Planning processes. She has a masters of Planning from the University of Guelph.

She is a grateful to reside in Toronto, covered under Treaty 13. She is the eldest of 4 kids, born to a Pakistani mum and mixed European (by way of Saskatchewan) dad.

Kara Zemel

First Nation Lands Registry Advisor

Kara joins us from Kahnawake Mohawk Territory, just outside of Montreal, where she previously worked within the Land Management team at Mohawk Council of Kahnawake (MCK) and as General Manager of Records Management. While she was GM of Records, she assisted MCK’s Database Developer and the Lands Unit to create their own internal Mohawks of Kahnawake Land Registry Database to have up to date land transfer information for the community, which was implemented and is in continued use since 2016.

She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Canadian Studies from McGill University, a Certificate in Records Management Fundamentals from University of Toronto, a Business Administration Certificate through a special program with MCK and Concordia University’s John Molson School of Business, and most recently completed the Information Privacy Certificate from York University.

Outside of professional life, Kara loves to travel, trying different foods, and attending concerts; and is happy to have her partner, daughter, stepdaughter, and niece tag along on these adventures.

She spends a lot of time reading, attempting to finish random craft projects, going on epically long walks, and spending time with family and friends.

Matthew Charles

Environment & Enforcement Advisor

Matt resides within the Greater Toronto Area on Treaty #13 and Williams Treaty territory lands, home of many First Peoples, including the Mississaugas of the Credit, Anishnaabe, Chippewa, Haudenosaunee and Wendat peoples.

He holds a B.Sc. (Hons.) from the University of Waterloo specializing in Environmental Science. Before joining the Resource Centre in January 2024, Matt worked for a decade in the private sector conducting field work and managing Environmental Site Assessment and remediation projects throughout Ontario.

Matt is proud of his family’s First Nations heritage and his father, aunt and uncle are members of the Chippewas of Rama First Nation. Outside of work, Matt enjoys playing hockey, practicing archery, reading, attending powwows and spending time with his wife and rescue dog Michelangelo.

He is passionate about the environment, protecting the land and eager to support First Nations communities across Canada on their land development projects.

Training, Mentorship & Professional Development

Leana Farlam

Interim Manager: Training, Mentorship & Professional Development

Leana joined the First Nations Land Management Resource Centre in 2019 as the learning & development specialist. She grew up in southern Ontario where she obtained a Bachelor of Environmental Studies, Bachelor of Education and a Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction.

Leana maintains her professional license with the Ontario College of Teachers and membership with the Canadian Association of Instructional Designers.

Leana, her husband and two pups live in Kingston, Ontario.