Senior Leadership

  • Valérie Courtois

    Valérie is a registered professional forester who specializes in Indigenous issues, forest ecology and ecosystem-based management and planning.  She is a member of the Innu community of Mashteuiatsh, located on the shore of Peikuakami, or Lac-St-Jean. Courtois holds a degree…...Full Bio

  • Michèle Taïna Audette

    Michèle Audette has made an outstanding contribution to the defense of Indigenous women’s rights in Canada. She became involved very early in her life in the fight to end discrimination against Indigenous women. At the age of 27, she became…...Full Bio

  • Ethel Blondin-Andrew

    Ethel Blondin- Andrew is a member of the Dene Nation from Tulita, Northwest Territories. In 1988 she was elected to the Parliament of Canada for the District of Western Arctic, as the first Indigenous women to be elected to the…...Full Bio

  • Frank Brown

    Frank Brown is a member of the Heiltsuk Nation from Bella Bella. His Hereditary Chiefs-Yím̓ ás name is λáλíya̓ sila meaning “preparing for the largest potlatch.” Brown is an adjunct professor at Simon Fraser University’s Resource and Environmental Management Department.…...Full Bio

  • Norma Kassi

    Norma Kassi was raised and educated in Old Crow, the most northerly community in the Yukon. She is a citizen of the Vuntut Gwich’in First Nation (People of the Lakes) and a member of the Wolf Clan. Encouraged by her…...Full Bio

  • Steven Nitah

    Steven Nitah was raised by his great grandparents on the land around Lutsel K’e in the Northwest Territories. Elected to the Northwest Territories Legislative Assembly in 1999, he served as the Chair of the Special Committee on the Review of…...Full Bio

  • Dave Porter

    Dave Porter is a member of the Kaska Nation, whose traditional territory covers a large part of northeastern British Columbia and southeastern Yukon. He spent the first seven years of his life on a trapline near Good Hope Lake, B.C.…...Full Bio

  • Miles Richardson

    Miles G. Richardson O.C. is a citizen of the Haida Nation and Canada. He grew up among his people on Haida Gwaii and in 1979 received a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from the University of Victoria. From 1984 to…...Full Bio

  • Bev Sellars

    Bev Sellars is a former councillor and chief of the Xat’sull (Soda Creek) First Nation in Williams Lake, British Columbia. First elected chief of Xat’sull in 1987-1993 and then from 2009-2015, she also served as an advisor for the BC…...Full Bio

Team Members

  • Sean Durkan

    Sean Durkan worked as a journalist in England until he was recruited by the Calgary Sun. He went on to serve in Ottawa as national parliamentary bureau chief and syndicated columnist for Sun Media. He was a regular CTV, and…...Full Bio

  • Serge Ashini Goupil

    Serge Ashini Goupil is a member of the Innu Nation from Matimekush Lac John (Schefferville). He obtained a Bachelor of Science degree from l’Université de Sherbrooke and a graduate diploma in project management from l’UQAC. Ashini Goupil has worked for…...Full Bio

  • Larry Innes

    Innes is a partner at Olthuis, Kleer, Townshend LLP, a leading Canadian law firm practicing in the areas of indigenous and environmental law. He represents and advises indigenous communities across the North on land and resource management issues, including the…...Full Bio

  • Carol Kavanagh

    Honoured to provide administrative support to the Indigenous Leadership Initiative team, Kavanagh has a background in graphic design, academic editing and small business. Her volunteer efforts have contributed to the legalization of midwifery in Ontario, independent schooling and the local…...Full Bio

  • Melody Morrison

    Melody Morrison has worked with First Nations and Aboriginal organizations across the country for several decades, including on constitutional, land claims and self-government negotiations, education matters and resource development issues. She offers strategic, government relations and communications advice, does speech…...Full Bio

  • Shaunna Morgan Siegers

    Shaunna Morgan Siegers was born and raised in Manitoba. She is a member of the Crees of Waskaganish First Nation situated on the southern shores of James Bay in Eeyou Istchee. A scientist with bachelors and master degrees in botany,…...Full Bio

  • Brie O’Keefe

    Brie O’Keefe is a social policy specialist who supports Indigenous Organizations, First Nations and Municipal Governments in the Northwest Territories on a wide variety of policy and strategic planning issues including conservation, land use planning, self-government negotiations and fundraising. Born…...Full Bio