FNHP, CIL, Turtle Island Associates and FNHPA Board Member
Roxanne is Mi’kmaq from the Eel Ground First Nation in New Brunswick.
Roxanne is a founding Board member of the First Nations Housing Professionals Association (FNHPA). She is a partner in Turtle Island Associates Inc, an Aboriginal business committed to supporting the efforts of First Nation communities by providing housing advisory and training services.
Roxanne has worked on Aboriginal housing issues for over 30 years and has extensive experience moderating workshops and facilitating community consultations. Roxanne has co-developed several adult educational curricula (e.g. Enhanced Arrears Management, Portfolio Management by Housing Tenure) and facilitates sessions to First Nation clients across the country.
Roxanne holds a certificate in Adult Education from St. Francis Xavier University, N.S. and is a certified FNHP.
FNHP, Associate Director, Housing & Technical Services, Prince Albert Grand Council and FNHPA Board Member
For almost four years, Rosie Charles has held the position of Housing Circuit Rider Trainer and one year as Program Manager with Prince Albert Grand Council. In her position Charles serves as a mentor to twelve First Nation communities with respect to their housing administration and management functions, conducting assessments, and providing support and assistance where needs are identified. Prior to holding this position, she served as a Housing Manager and a Housing Consultant.
She was proud to be one of the first members of the First Nations Housing Professionals Association to achieve certification by way of the Prior Learning and Recognition (PLAR) pathway.
FNHP, CIL, Executive Director
First Nations Housing Professionals Association
Candace is a resident status member of the Algonquins of Pikwakanagan First Nation, located about 1.5 hours west of Ottawa, where she has lived for the past 40 plus years. Candace is a specialist in the field of First Nation housing management and policy development. She has extensive experience in the analysis of on-reserve policy development and implementation and has 24 years of experience working within the First Nation Housing Industry. Her long-time career has exposed her to the many facets of delivering First Nations Housing and the many gaps present for Housing Managers. Her breadth of exposure spans across First Nation grass roots, provincial, national, political, and private industry.
After serving in her community housing department for 10 years, she expanded her career with Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation in program delivery and aboriginal capacity development out of Sudbury’s point of service location and accepted a transfer to National office where she further expanded her knowledge and experience with delivering homeownership programs, capacity development and partnership relations. As a natural progression she moved on to the Assembly of First Nations as their Senior Housing Advisor to gain experience on the political nature on a national scale. She then returned to her community to become the General Manager of AOPFN Limited Partnership, managing First Nation owed businesses including solar energy, then entered the world of private industry as the Vice President of Indigenous Business with Innovation 7, a consulting firm. In January of 2021 Candace took on the role of Executive Director of the First Nations Housing Professionals Association.
Candace earned her designation as a First Nation Housing Professional (FNHP) with FNHPA in December 2020, she recently achieved her Certified Indigenous Leader (CIL) designation through the Aboriginal Financial Officers Association. She is committed to expanding her education in the area of First Nation administration and her dedication to learning and is currently working towards her Certified Aboriginal Professional Administrator designation with AFOA.
Director of Technical Services
First Nations Technical Services Advisory Group Inc.
Monica is the Director of Technical Services for the First Nations Technical Services Advisory Group Inc. (TSAG); an organization dedicated to the technical services and training for Alberta First Nations. As a proud member of the Treaty 6 Michel First Nation, Monica’s dedication and commitment to First Nations is prevalent in her work and ensuring to always deliver quality programs that foster personal development and personal growth.
A continual learner, Monica has spent much of her professional experience in senior accounting roles with additional roles cultivating her skills in event management, recruitment, marketing, training and program development. She is currently the Vice Chair of the Amiskwaciy Cultural Society Aboriginal Head Start and a Director on the Little Warriors board. Monica believes strongly in working and volunteering with organizations that mandate themselves in transparency and growth.
Monica lives in St. Albert with her family and spends much of her time golfing, travelling and spending as much time as possible supporting her step children, nieces and nephews as they peruse their goals and aspirations.
Asset Management Coordinator and GIS Administrator
Waabnoong Bemjiwang Association of First Nations
Hannah Burke is the GIS & Asset Management Coordinator for Waabnoong Bemjiwang Association of First Nations, a Tribal Council in Ontario along the Eastern Shores of Georgian Bay with 6 member First Nations. She is a member of Wahnapitae First Nation and grew up on the Mahzenazing River at Point Grondine, Wiikwemkoong First Nation. She has an extensive background in Environmental Earth Sciences and has worked for federal and provincial geological surveys, and for First Nations organizations conducting small and large scale geological and environmental surveys and monitoring programs. She has facilitated consultation between various industries and her First Nation and worked as an intern for the Ontario government through the early years of Mining Act modernization and worked on controversial lawsuits from and against First Nations. She has worked for the last 4 years applying her GIS skills developed through many years of various types of regional studies of different media to developing a GIS-based Asset management system to increase the capacity for our member First Nations to make more informed decisions regarding investments in housing, water treatment and other infrastructure. She has been exploring the advances of cloud–hosted GIS applications and the growing possibilities for community engagement and development for First Nations to overcome restrictive capital asset reporting and close the infrastructure funding gap. She is a two-spirit person, mother of one curious little boy, licensed drone pilot who regrets not playing more video games growing up, and loves to fish and just be on the water with her family and friends.
Client Solutions Specialist, Indigenous Northern Housing Solutions
Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation
As a Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation Specialist, Indigenous Northern Housing Solutions in Alberta, Alma Cardinal has spent the past twenty years working with First Nations, Indigenous Organizations and Metis Settlements with the last three at CMHC delivering programs and initiatives. “We’re constantly evolving to build an inclusive housing system through research, design, innovation, and partnerships”. Providing effective management in the delivery of business activities, including federal funding and programs, and other CMHC initiatives and represent CMHC in Government-to-Government relationships. Provided effective expertise and guidance on a range of housing strategies in support of key clients and their portfolios, including delivery of cross-functional services and initiatives to advance housing outcomes. Applied sound risk assessment of applications when making decisions, and as a TEAM conducting a financial analysis of the housing proponent, assessing market conditions, analyzing the financial, operational performance of the property, and determining adequate security. Through her innovated and unique approach, ensures all projects are researched and that all of her propose actions are backed by years of experience and collaboration with other teams. She graduated from the University of Concordia with a degree Psychology and Computing Science and continued to her MBA in Finance.
Our MISSION: We help CANADIANS meet their HOUSING NEEDS – “Every Home has a Story.”
Home Inspections Coordinator
First Nations Technical Services Advisory Group Inc.
Dylan, a proud member of the WhiteFish Lake First Nation #128, started his professional experience with TSAG in October 2019 as a Skills Link student, and was quickly tasked with handling housing within TSAG.
Dylan dove in head first into the housing program and, with a lot of trial and error but huge dedication, Dylan was handed over the coordination of the CMHC inspection program. This has been his direct overseeing for over 3 years and it has been very rewarding.
With the success of the CMHC program, Monica then added on the task of overseeing and delivering the Housing Condition Assessment Program (HCAP). Since that time, I have been able to train and help many nations around the country to successfully utilize the HCAP program.
Dylan has most recently added to his portfolio by taking on and additional role as the TSAG community liaison; when he’s not helping with housing, you will find me reaching out, and visiting with the nations talking about all of the programs that TSAG has to offer.
Asset Management GIS Technologist
Waabnoong Bemjiwang Association of First Nations
Valerie Commanda is the Infrastructure Asset Management Technologist with Waabnoong Bemjiwang Association of First Nations of Pickerel, ON. She is a member of Nipissing First Nation and has a diverse background in the technical and community health field. Her work experience includes employment in Western Canada and overseas. She has 3 college diplomas and acquired the Governor General’s Academic Medal in her last graduation from Native Community Care. When she returned to her home community in 2021, she was recruited to take on the role in Asset Management and GIS. Since joining WBAFN in August 2021, her skills and experience have grown with the ongoing work in developing the tribal council’s asset management data and software for each of the 6 communities in their area. She enjoys learning and developing her skills; taking on the position with WBAFN allows for the development of her GIS skills so that she can assist the communities in augmenting their data and work towards completing their asset management inventories.
Her interests include gardening, exercising, and walking in the fresh air, attending family and community events, and visiting, learning about nutrition and self-help for good health, trying new recipes, and traveling Canada. She’s happy to be close to her home community and to be immersed with family and community once again.
Qwuy’um’aat (Eyvette) Elliott
FNHP, Owner, Ever Plan Consulting and Senior Strategic Advisor, BC Housing
Qwuy’um’aat (Eyvette) Elliott, MCP, CPHR, FNHP, is from Quw’utsun (Cowichan Tribes) located on what is known as Vancouver Island. She brings over 7 years of governance experience, working in local government, First Nations, crown corporations, and non-profit organizations. She currently operates Ever Plan Consulting, works at BC Housing as a Senior Strategic Advisor, and teaches land management/Indigenous planning at Vancouver Island University. Her speciality includes facilitation, communications, policy development and community engagement.
CAFM, Principal and Founder
Urban Cree Consulting
Justin is the Chief Financial Officer of a BC First Nation and the owner and founder of Urban Cree Consulting. Justin is an Indigenous professional moving towards his CPA designation and is a holder of the CAFM designation from AFOA Canada, and is passionate about Indigenous economic reconciliation and working toward building bridges with the Indigenous and non-Indigenous community. Justin’s experience spans operations management, directorship, controllership, capacity building and technical accounting with First Nation governments and businesses, not-for-profits and with industry.
Justin has extensive experience working with senior level management including First Nations government and administration such as executive directors, CEO/CFO, in house legal counsel, Chief and Council, and external support such as, Indigenous Services Canada, Canada Revenue Agency, investment managers, and professional practitioners from various firms. He has experience with business processes including full cycle accounting, operational and capital budgeting, variance analysis, drafting various stakeholder financial statements, interim and annual audits, policy and internal control development, procurement, commodity marketing, capital market investment analysis and policies, software conversions, business improvements, facilitation, and curriculum development.
Justin is also an experienced director with appointments as Trustee, Director and committee members with various groups. Most recently, involved in sub-committees raising awareness around barriers to Indigenous higher education and professional education in accountancy and finance. Justin currently serves as a trustee with Wicekaskosiw Sahkahikan Askiwi-Pimiy “WSAP” heritage trust fund, and a director with the Siksika Group of Companies, Metis Settlements Development Corporation, AFOA AB, and a committee member on the Strategic Aviation Advisory Council, and Premiers’ Council on Multiculturalism for Alberta. Justin is also a licensed pilot with training from the First Nation Technical Institute in Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory in Ontario.
Justin is First Nations from the Onion Lake Cree Nation of the Treaty 6 territory in Saskatchewan.
First Nations Health Managers Association
Lori has had the privilege of working in Indigenous health for over 20 years. She grew up in the far north and since moving south, she has worked with the federal government, with not-for-profit associations, with First Nation communities, and with a variety of Indigenous organizations.
She has authored and co-authored several publications and has created and delivered workshops to thousands of participants across Canada.
She is honoured to have helped develop the FNHMA certification curriculum, and was their founding and lead instructor for many years.
Over her career, Lori has worked with learners of all ages and as a life-long learner herself, suggests that no one is ever too old to discover new ideas!
She now works on special projects with the First Nations Health Managers Association, in collaboration with First Nation health managers across Canada.
She has earned an MBA, a “Professional Certificate for Public Sector and Non-Profit Marketing”, is a trained facilitator, and is a certified change management practitioner. However, her greatest pride and joy are her family, including her four sons, daughters-in-law, and her three amazing grandchildren.
Legal Director, Wahkohtowin Law and Governance Lodge, Faculty of Law, University of Alberta
Koren Lightning-Earle, Blue Thunderbird Woman, is Cree from Samson Cree Nation. She is the Legal Director of Wahkotowin Law and Governance Lodge. She is a Board Member for First Nations Caring Society, Acting Commissioner for Alberta Utilities Commission and Board Member for Peace Hills Insurance. Koren is a Board Member for LEAF, Women’s Legal Education and Action Fund. She was President of the Indigenous Bar Association for 6 years. Koren graduated from Law School in 2007 at the University of Alberta. She was called to the bar in February 2009 and had the honour of having her Bar Call in her First Nation Community, Samson Cree Nation. Koren received her Master of Laws in 2018 from Osgoode Hall Law School, York University, her concentration was Alternative Dispute Resolution. Koren’s work focuses on working with Indigenous clients and supporting the revitalization of Indigenous Laws. Koren advises in the areas of Indigenous Governance, Indigenous Child Welfare, Indian Act matters. She was recently awarded the “Pringle/Royal sessional teaching excellence” Award from Faculty of Law, University of Alberta for 2021/2022. She was awarded “Tomorrow’s Leader” Award from Women in Law Leadership Awards in 2019. She was also awarded the Alumni Horizon Award from the University of Alberta in 2017. Koren is alumni of the Governor General’s Canadian Leadership Conference, she participated in the 2017 NWT Tour. She is a sessional instructor at Maskwacis Cultural College and University of Alberta, Faculty of Law.
Founder and Partner
Mack Law Corporation
Leah has almost exclusively worked for Indigenous clients since being called to the bar in 2007. She strongly believes in working closely with each community, which means she is often travelling to meet with clients in their home communities. This enables her to practice law in a way that reflects and honours a Nation’s unique customs, laws and traditions. Her practice is honest, approachable and practical. She has advised clients on jurisdiction, membership, elections, and human resources, as well as governance structures and policies to meet her clients’ goals of self-determination and Nation building that reflect each Nation’s unique culture and laws. To provide these services, she has worked extensively with legislation affecting Indigenous peoples including the Indian Act, the Canada Labour Code and Federal First Nations Land Management Act.
Born and raised in Victoria, B.C., Leah is a Member of the Toquaht Nation, located on the west coast of Vancouver Island. She received her LLB from Osgoode Hall in 2006 and was called to the B.C. Bar in 2007. She has lived in the Yukon, Nova Scotia and Ontario, and currently resides in Victoria with her husband and their two sons.
Professor, Cape Breton University, Owner of Ma’sl Advisory and Consulting Services, and President, Mi’kmaq Circle of Hope Society
Audrey Marshall (Heidi) is a professor with CBU and also the owner of Ma’sl Advisory and Consulting Services and the President of the Mi’kmaq Circle of Hope Society. Heidi is a Mi’kmaq grandmother and comes from the Membertou First Nation in Nova Scotia. Heidi has been a lecturer on Aboriginal ad Treaty rights for over 15 years and teaches Indigenous law and policy. She has worked extensively AFN Regional Chief Marlene Poitras from Alberta, Chief Roger Augustine of New Brunswick and was the Constitutional Advisor for Treaty 8 First Nations of Alberta and is the co-founder of the Jane Paul Indigenous Women’s Resource Centre, a Centre for Indigenous women living high risk lifestyles. Heidi has a Bachelor of Arts, degree with a major in Political al Science (CBU), a Bachelor of Laws at Dalhousie University and a Master of Education from Mount Saint Vincent University.
Ma’sl Advisory and Consulting Services provides services to First Nations in way of proposal, writing, report preparation, land based teachings, community retreats and gatherings etc. Her fee for services is based on the success of the project.
Ma’sl Advisory and Consulting Services also provides report writing, program evaluations, facility assessments, land based education, proposal writing workshops, governance training strategic planning and operational planning including policy development.
Heidi has participated in Family Laws on Reserves Legislation training in the Atlantic area and has provided workshops and facilitated sessions on the legislation for First Nations communities in Nova Scotia.
Clarence J. Natomagan
Founder & Leader
Meth Busters Incorporated
Clarence J. Natomagan is a dynamic entrepreneur and visionary leader with a wealth of experience in occupational safety, health, environmental protection, and regulatory legislation. As a member of the Peter Ballantyne Cree Nation, Natomagan brings a unique perspective that bridges Indigenous values and mainstream business practices. With this background, and a passion for sustainable solutions, he founded Meth Busters Incorporated, a pioneering company specializing in methamphetamine contamination remediation.
Natomagan’s journey is a testament to his unwavering commitment to addressing the complex challenges posed by methamphetamine contamination in both Indigenous and mainstream communities. Beyond his entrepreneurial endeavors, Natomagan emphasizes collaboration, cultural awareness, and advocacy, aiming to build capacity in Indigenous nations while also contributing to mainstream society. His innovative approach not only fuels economic growth within Indigenous communities but also offers versatile solutions with broad applicability across both mainstream and Indigenous societies in western Canada.
With a track record of successfully revitalizing contaminated properties, Natomagan is a recognized thought leader in the field. By sharing his journey, challenges, and lessons learned, Natomagan offers a unique opportunity for attendees to gain a deeper understanding of the under-addressed issue of methamphetamine contamination and its broader implications.
CRP, CRM, ARM, Specialist, Indigenous and Northern Housing Solutions (Alberta)
Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation
Yolanta’ s career in affordable housing and homelessness spans over the last 36+ years. Her tenure included a large property manager of social housing for 15 years and a not-for-profit funding organization working to address homelessness for 7 years. Her current employer of 15+ years is Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation where she worked with non-profit and co-operative housing portfolios then transferred to Client Solutions in Indigenous Housing Solutions for the last 10 years.
Yolanta has been a member of Real Estate Institute of Canada (REIC) since 2010 and holds the Certified Reserve Planner, Certified Property Manager, and Accredited Residential Manager designations. As an engaged member of REIC Edmonton Chapter, she held executive positions on the Board and served on several national committees. In 2018, Yolanta was awarded the J.A. Weber Award for her contributions to the Edmonton Chapter. Yolanta joined the Nation Board of REIC in 2019 where is continues to serve her 3rd two-year term.
Senior Policy Analyst, Environmental Public Health Division
First Nations Inuit Health Branch, Indigenous Services Canada
Keith Smith is an Anishinabek (Ojibway) man from Sagkeeng First Nation in Manitoba and the father of two beautiful young women. Keith graduated from the University of Manitoba with a degree in Chemistry and an after-degree diploma in Environmental Public Health from the British Columbia Institute of Technology. Keith has worked in the First Nations portfolio in the federal government for the past twenty four years and as an Environmental Public Health since 1995 and he has significant experience working both with and for First Nations communities, both self-governing and Indian Act communities.
Keith has had the great pleasure of living, working and traveling extensively throughout Canada – from the North Pole and the northern Archipelago to British Columbia, through the prairies and finally into Ontario, all while visiting or working in First Nations communities.
First Nations Health Managers Association
Selena Willier Schmidt has proudly dedicated over two decades to the field of First Nations health. Growing up in the landscapes of northern Alberta, she has woven her roots into St. Albert, Alberta, where she and her husband are raising their three sons.
Her career has been a rich tapestry, involving roles within local and regional First Nation organizations and with the federal government’s First Nations and Inuit Health Branch (FNIHB). These experiences have immersed her in a diverse array of health-related projects. With a formal background in mental health, she has nurtured a deep interest in enhancing mental health programming and services specifically for First Nation communities.
Presently, Selena is on her journey towards completing her Master of Arts in Leadership, a pursuit that echoes her commitment to ongoing development. As the Education Specialist at the First Nations Health Managers Association, she takes great pride in the privilege of facilitating learning experiences for community health workers across Canada.
Acting Senior Environmental Public Health Officer
First Nations and Inuit Health Branch-Alberta Region, Indigenous Services Canada
Kyle is an Environmental Public Health Officer with the First Nations and Inuit Health Branch and has been providing environmental public health services to First Nations Communities across Alberta for the past 16 years. Currently acting as one of two Senior Environmental Public Health Officers in the region, Kyle also works on the drinking water and housing portfolios and plays an active role in maintaining the public health inspection application used for inspection entry and data collection. Kyle is married with two daughters, ages 8 and 11, and as such, no longer has any free time or hobbies!