Indigenous Technical Advisory Group
The City of Saskatoon is committed to building respectful relationships with Indigenous peoples (encompassing First Nation, Métis, and Inuit within Canada). In support of this commitment, the City of Saskatoon seeks Indigenous peoples with specialized knowledge to join the Indigenous Technical Advisory Group (ITAG).
The mandate of the group is to provide First Nations & Métis worldviews to lead the City of Saskatoon to improve the quality of life for future generations. ITAG was first formed in 2019 with the intent to advise City staff on processes and procedures within systems of the City of Saskatoon. Since 2019, ITAG has guided multiple projects, policy changes and integration of Indigenous Knowledges within the City of Saskatoon.
Tansi! My name is Audrey Armstrong. I grew up mainly in the North Battleford area but we moved around a lot. My ancestral bloodlines come from both the Thunderchild & Mosquito communities, and I am a registered band member of Thunderchild First Nation. I grew up with my Cree culture, despite the challenges that intergenerational effects & trauma brought to my family. I am not fluent in my Cree language, the intergenerational effects of residential schools took that away from me, but I am learning. I attend ceremony on a regular basis to keep in touch with my culture and my traditions.
I have worked with disadvantaged and marginalized people for the entirety of my social work career, and I feel that I bring a good perspective from that alone. But also, because I am a nehiyaw iskwew and I have lived experience of being a marginalized person. I applied to be on ITAG because once I learned what it was, I truly believed that it would be an incredible opportunity to be a bigger part of our Saskatoon community and that I would bring a great perspective of both personal and professional views. I am so passionate about our community and helping our people. I have sat on multiple boards in the past and have spent my entire social work career working in the community. I feel that in this position with ITAG, we can help to enact change for our Indigenous people which is so important. I look forward to the work that we will be doing with ITAG.
Margaret is from the Whitecap Dakota First Nation, located just south of Saskatoon. Margaret wants to be part of decision making processes and feels that her voice is important and to help other First Nations feel like their voices are heard. Margaret has willingness to adapt to healing and change.
Faith wants to be involved and works toward creating a safer environment for the Indigenous youth & community in and around Saskatoon. Faith is the daughter of late Daleen Kay Bosse, who was murdered here in Saskatoon in 2004. Growing up in the MMIW community has brought a lot of good and negative outcomes for her, Faith is now becoming an advocate and voice for MMIW, speaking at meetings and events telling her mother’s story. Her perspective on the dangers towards Indigenous women is an asset to the work of ITAG.
I am a community minded person and I enjoy helping others. The state that many of our Indigenous people are in, here in Saskatoon, is very concerning to me. Having said this, we also have a community of very successful Indigenous people leading the way. I have been a teacher for several years and have worked in schools all around Saskatoon. My area of expertise is education, but my perspective begins with Indigenous students and their families. I grew up in Saskatoon and, lived in the core for many years, accessing services for myself and my children. I am Metis and married into a Cree family from the Onion Lake First Nation, so my perspective is very much a combination of Metis and Cree ways of knowing, protocols that follow these cultural ways and how the two are very different but often work together.
Cheyenna is a First Nations woman of Cree and Dene descent, and a member of the English River First Nation. Cheyenna grew up on the ERFN La Plonge reserve and has lived in Saskatoon for 25 years.
Cheyenna obtained both her Bachelor of Arts in Indigenous Studies/Anthropology (2002) and her Law Degree (2005) from the University of Saskatchewan. Cheyenna was a civil litigation lawyer for 10 years where she enjoyed significant opportunity to engage in mediation, conflict resolution, and research and report writing. Cheyenna’s legal training has also exposed her to issues and understanding of the TRC Calls to Action, UNDRIP, and Indigenous Law. She is an experienced advocate, with Courtroom and trial experience.
For the past 9 years, Cheyenna has been the Director of Lands & Consultation for ERFN. This position has allowed her to liaise and consult with Provincial, Federal, and Indigenous Governments; companies in the resource industry; and regulatory bodies on issues arising from the use and occupation of ERFN Ancestral Territory in Northern Saskatchewan. Cheyenna's work meets her Nation's broader goal of preserving and protecting the culture of ERFN by preserving and protecting their Ancestral land. She has gathered Indigenous Knowledge from Elders and Traditional Land users; created Indigenous law; negotiated Impact Benefit Agreements; and supervised both Indigenous and Scientific environmental monitoring programs.
Cheyenna also has 18 years of experience sitting on Boards. Most notably, she has been Chair for an Indigenous Trust fund; allocating millions of dollars in funds over 7 years. Cheyenna and her husband Jonathan are the proud parents of five children.
Jordy Ironstar (they/them)
Jordy is a Two Spirit Nakoda Oyadé, and member of Cegá Kįnna First Nation (Carry the Kettle, SK). They grew up in Saskatoon and call it home. Jordy works nationally to advocate for 2SLGBTQIA+ issues including social determinants of health, with an emphasis in Indigenous ways of knowing and doing.
An Elder, professor, social worker, Residential School and Sixties Scoop survivor, Kewistep has spent his lifetime helping people heal from trauma, many of which he experienced himself. Gilbert is a longtime educator and knowledge keeper. He has been involved in various community work in and around Saskatoon as a cultural advisor for groups such as the Wicihitowin Indigenous Engagement Conference, Reconciliation Saskatoon, City of Saskatoon Indigenous Technical Advisory Group, Office of the Treaty Commissioner and others.
Andrea is humbly honored to fulfill the role of CEO at Meewasin with an amazing team, Board of Directors and passionate community. Andrea’s priorities are to action with success, the strategic priorities of Meewasin, ensuring alignment with Meewasin’s mandate, this involves everything from public and government relations, partnership, innovation and management of both existing and new resources.
Born and raised in Saskatoon, Andrea is proud of her Metis roots and her community. She volunteers as a mentor through Leadership Saskatoon, and the City of Saskatoon’s Indigenous Technical Advisory Group. Andrea represents Meewasin on the Discover Saskatoon Board, as well as a Board Member for CCIUCN (Canadian Committee for International Union Conservation Network), and sits on Trans Canada Trail Indigenous Advisory Committee.
Andrea joined ITAG specifically, as Saskatoon is her home and she cares deeply about bringing necessary changes for a better and more meaningful tomorrow.
Andrea has her CAFM designation through AFOA Canada and continually looks for opportunities to advance learning in both formal and informal ways. Andrea makes the most of her downtime enjoying travel, exercise, a good book and puzzles. She loves biking with her partner, walks in nature with her dog Rocky and depending on the time of day, her teens Matthew and Olivia will join her!
Harry is an advocate for Indigenous Peoples and the Cree language. He has a range of experience in politics and academics and has been with the ITAG group since 2019. Harry has provided invaluable information and advice to ITAG over the years and has created safe spaces and has given advice on how to authentically engage the Indigenous community. Harry has been instrumental in various City of Saskatoon projects like the implementation of the 21st Street Bike Rack Project, the creation and implementation of the Community Bus Shelter at E.D. Feehan High School and has been instrumental in various other projects like the development of the City of Saskatoon’s ayisiniwak: Communications Guide. Harry is a community connector, leader, negotiator and knowledge keeper, we are very fortunate to have Harry continue in his leadership on ITAG.
As a young Indigenous woman being born and raised in Saskatoon my entire life, I have both witnessed the triumphs and barriers Indigenous Peoples face in this city. As a resident who hopes to pursue my career, raise a family, and continue my learning in this city, I want to ensure it is a safe space for the next generations. I want to bring the teachings I have from my Elders and family who also call this place home to utilize traditional knowledge, Indigenous frameworks, calls to action, and the voices of our youth to this space so we are accountable to those who need us most.
I am a 23-year-old Indigenous woman who finds space primarily in the sustainability sector. Over the past few years, I have been an advocate for Indigenous Youth voices in economic reconciliation and working with communities to combat lateral violence. In addition, I push for our seven generations principle and sustainability efforts, so we remain thoughtful of our interconnectedness with the land and Mother Earth. I have advocated on an international scale at this point in my life but I know this means nothing if we cannot contribute to our Home Fires. I want to be part of this group so I can bring the perspective of a young, urban, Indigenous woman who calls this city home and wants to see our teachings, Youth, and responsibility to the land amplified in all that we do.
I strongly believe the City of Saskatoon is committed to Reconciliation and aligning with the TRC Calls to Action. As a born and raised resident of Saskatoon, I have seen the changes that have been made, along with insights on the work that still needs to be done. Having grown up in cultural traditions and practices, I feel confident and comfortable voicing my opinion and beliefs on how we as a city can continue to move forward in a good way while taking into consideration the barriers that still remain and while we work together to move past those.
From a young age, I have been immersed in traditional teachings and ceremonies, while at the same time exposed to Indigenous politics at the provincial and federal levels, such as the FSIN and the AFN. I remember traveling with my late Moshum from meeting to meeting discussing "the upcoming election" for the future National Chief (then it was Phil Fontaine in 1997, followed by Matthew Coon Come) and their platforms. It was then I knew that my passion and goal in life is to advocate for Indigenous peoples of Canada. I have an immense passion for Indigenous peoples, and how I can make a difference for the people who have suffered from the genocide and intergenerational trauma brought on by the Residential schools and 60s scoop and make an easier life for future generations. I think it's extremely important to recognize our youth and encourage them to be successful, whatever that may look like to them.
Treaty 10 Territory is my homeland, First Nations, Métis, and settlers inhabit the land. My parents’ lineage is of Dene, Michif and Cree descent. I honour and respect the life teachings of my ancestors, I breathe them, I am because they were.
I identify as a two-spirit woman who understands being marginalized on numerous levels. I was invited as a knowledge keeper and represent underprivileged, marginalized peoples, of Saskatoon. I continue to decolonize my being by partaking in ceremonies, connecting with others, and participating in various healing initiatives. My lived experiences have provided me with the knowledge that I carry. Marci Tcho, Masii, Tiniki
My name is Margaret Naldzil, I am a Denesuline Grandmother/Mother from the Treaty 8 Territory in Northern Saskatchewan. My interest in the Indigenous Technical Advisory Group is to be a voice in the policies and decisions making processes for our vas indigenous groups of our city of Saskatoon. I have worked in various fields such as Child Welfare, Gaming, and in the Mining Industry. I have been on various groups/Boards including Police Management Board in Fond Du Lac, Occupational Health & Safety at Cigar Lake Mine and hope to be of value in this Group. Marsi
Louise has an extensive background working and volunteering with a diverse range of people from many different cultures. Born and raised in northern Saskatchewan, she is of Métis ancestry and speaks fluently in Cree and Northern Michif language. She values accessibility, inclusiveness, equal opportunity and democratic processes and is committed to the work that she takes on.
She is the past Executive Director of CUMFI Supported Living Homes, women shelters where single mothers and their children reside and work towards a safe, enriched environment for themselves and their children.
She is also very committed to the Aboriginal community of Saskatchewan. She served on the Board of Directors for the Indian and Métis Friendship Centre, past President of Aboriginal Friendship Centres of Saskatchewan and has served as a committee member for Urban Aboriginal Strategy and the Aboriginal Health Committee.
Louise served for a two year on the Multicultural Initiatives Fund Committee and has served a four -year term on the Sask Culture Board of Directors.
As the past Director of Women's shelters, she has engaged the clientele with various workshops from Domestic Violence, Anger Management, Traditional Parenting and Individual Counseling.
She continues to serve in the community as an Elder and a Knowledge Keeper, She also offers individual counseling to women experiencing violence and domestic abuse.
She's a mother of 5 grown children, grandmother of 14 and great grandmother of 7.
Darlene is interested in being an ITAG member to better undrstand how the City does its mandates on indigenous peoples in Saskatoon and she is also interested in sharing knowledge about how these environments benefit from shared knowledge and experiences. Darlene has time on her hands now that she is going on Disability and Fostering Parenting her grandsons. Darlene has lived in Saskatoon since fall of 1991 after living in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan.
The perspective Darlene can bring to the group is being a woman, of Cree Nehiyaw descent, once common law to Dakota family and have raised3 sons and one daughter in both environments. Darlene has extensive knowledge in round dance, powwow culture as a seamstress, dancer, organizer, and host. Darlene worked in the higher education environments like University of Saskatchewan and SIIT as executive assistant with 25 sites with U of S and 9 campuses with SIIT. Darlene has been a part of the start-up of TRC circles since 2008 when they had their first meetings at SIMFC and assisting FSIN with getting these awareness activities which were very small in those days. To date, Darlene represented Iskwewuk Ewichiwitochik and Gordon Tootoosis Nikaniwin Theatre with Reconciliation Saskatoon since 2016. The longest volunteer group with no office or government is the MMIWG 2SLGBQIIA awareness group Iskwewuk Ewichiwitochik (Women Walking Together) from 2006-present (17 years). In the last year, they have worked with commemoration with 60s Scoop Society and AFCS on MMIWG files.
Traditional Pow wow and Round Dance singer/drummer, Plains Cree from the Sturgeon Lake First Nation, now living in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. Marc is an accomplished athlete who is now giving back to community through his volunteer roles as coach for various Sask First Nations and Winter Games and along with the North American Indigenous Games. Marc values the role of “helper” in the community and can be seen actively participating in Round Dances.
I was interested in becoming a member of ITAG as I feel my education, knowledge and experience is a valuable asset for the community. To have a voice in the City of Saskatoon as a member and as a community radio host, is quite the blessing for myself and people I have worked with in the past!
As the first generation in my maternal bloodline having not attended residential schools, my lived experience has made it a passion of mine to study Sociology to help address systemic barriers. Intergenerational trauma and effects are extremely noticeable when you've lived it your entire life. I feel it's important for people in other groups to know why Indigenous representation is essential for sincere truth and reconciliation.
I am interested in becoming a member of ITAG to support City of Saskatoon while they work to incorporate Indigenous knowledge, teachings, and traditions for future generations. I am in support of initiatives that are already happening in the community and want to be a part of the change. I am a passionate Métis woman who is continuing to reconnect with my culture and share knowledge with the community.
My experience and passion in working with the community and community members gives me a unique perspective in joining ITAG. In pursuit of gaining my Project Management Professional certification, I have had the opportunity to gain experience while working at Wanuskewin Heritage Park, starting as a Project Coordinator for the complex Thundering Ahead Renewal Project. Since completion in 2021, I have acted in the roles of Project Coordinator for UNESCO and capital projects, as well as Building & Grounds Manager. These unique opportunities have allowed her to advance her knowledge in cultural heritage, executing projects, and working with community members. Shelby volunteers as a committee member for Meewasin Valley Authorities Conservation Advisory Committee. Additionally, she loves nature, camping, the outdoors, and spending time with her pets.
I am a mother grandmother and great grandmother. My family from grandparents and my siblings survived the IRS and sixties scoop. I realized I needed to make a difference in my life to help my children and future generations. I Hope my kids will live by the motto “your never to old to learn”. I have many years of lived experience and not afraid to share this if it is helpful to another. I hope that I can contribute to this board through my lived experiences and that it helps other share their lived experiences.
Candace Wasacase-Lafferty is a citizen of the Kahkewistahaw First Nation and a graduate of the University of Saskatchewan. Candace is the Senior Director of Gordon Oakes Red Bear Student Centre. Having worked on campus since 2001, Candace has held in various roles in human resources, community relations, student services and partnership development, and she headed up the realization of the Gordon Oakes Red Bear Student Centre.
Shawn Waskewitch is a member of the Onion Lake Cree Nation, where he grew up and graduated high school. He has two daughters, Sienna & Sierra, whom he is proud to say exemplify the qualities of a strong nehiyaw iskwew. Shawn is a graduate of the Edwards School of Business from the University of Saskatchewan. In 2015 he received his Supply Chain Management Professional (SCMP) designation from Supply Chain Canada. Shawn is the AMI Coordinator with SaskEnergy and has been since in 2013. In addition to sitting on the Indigenous Technical Advisory Group (ITAG), Shawn also sits on the Muskoday Economic Development Authority (MEDA) and SaskSport Board of Directors.
I believe in the vision set out by the group. I would like to be involved in the future planning of the City's policies, programs for the betterment of the City as a whole. Having been grounded in nehiyaw ideology while still navigating the "City Life" I feel that I am rather unique in that respect.
I am proud to have been born and raised in Treaty 6 territory and the homeland of the Metis Nation. I am a registered citizen of the Metis Nation of Saskatchewan, and my Indigenous relations are from Northern Sask. My dad and Kokum were registered members of the Canoe Lake FN. My Kokum was a C-31; my dad only received his status about 15 years ago when Bill C-3 came out. I could now register since Bill S3 has come out, but I am in a cultural dilemma of ‘where do I belong’. I have always felt more connected to First Nations culture, but I have been Metis all my life, and this is the community that has accepted me. My Kokum attended the Ile-a-la-Crosse day school and later had all her children taken away from her and my dad also had his oldest child taken away from him; so, I am a third-generation residential school survivor, and my family was directly affected by the '60's scoop.
I have spent the last 18 years working at Gabriel Dumont Institute. I have learned much about my culture and history over the years working here, and I take great pride in it. I am very knowledgeable about the labour market in Saskatoon, as I have helped well over 600 Indigenous people become self-sufficient. In my role as Employment Counsellor, I have built many different types of partnerships around Saskatoon with all different types of employers, including The City of Saskatoon. I have much insight into what jobs are available out there and, more importantly, what barriers our Indigenous people face when it comes to being considered for those jobs.
I have been the Chair of my union's Indigenous Committee since 2014. Since taking on this role, some of my accomplishments include instating a land acknowledgment, creating an Indigenous Vice-President role, and ensuring there is an Indigenous voice in our Strategic Planning. I have presented on the Calls to Action at our annual convention and will continue to ensure this is a priority for my union.
I wanted to join ITAG because I was born and raised in Saskatoon; this is my home. I knew I would love the opportunity to be part of making this great city a leader on the Reconciliation journey. From a young age, I knew I wanted to 'help' my people and improve our quality of life in some way. I have had the honor of working with the Indigenous people of Saskatoon for almost 18 years now. I am honoured to have the opportunity to make a difference on a larger scale and walk the walk when it comes to TRC.
I have the pleasure of being the mama to three beautiful, amazing Metis children that I have been and am raising to embrace their heritage. My son is 20, my first daughter is 16, and my baby girl is 3. I currently live in the Blairmore neighborhood. I grew up, went to school, work, and have always lived on the Westside of the City, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.