Financial Literacy Working Group for Indigenous Peoples – Member biographies
Simon Brascoupé, Anishinabeg/Haudenosaunee – Bear Clan is a member of Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg First Nation, Maniwaki, Quebec. Brascoupé is now Director of Capacity and Membership, First Nations Health Managers Association. Previously Brascoupé was Vice President of Education and Training, AFOA Canada; Chief Executive Officer, National Aboriginal Health Organization; Director, Primary Health Care Division, First Nations and Inuit Health Branch, Health Canada; and Director, Aboriginal Affairs Branch, Environment Canada. He has written and worked in the field of Indigenous knowledge, financial literacy and is on Trent University’s Ph.D. Indigenous Knowledge Council. Brascoupé is an Adjunct Research Professor at Carleton University and an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Indigenous Studies at Trent University in Peterborough, Ontario. He has a B.A. and M.A. from State University of New York at Buffalo and obtained his Certified Aboriginal Professional Administrator (CAPA) designation in 2014. In 2013 he wrote, Literature Review of Indigenous Financial Literacy in Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the United States.
Adam Fair is the Vice President of Strategy and Impact at Prosper Canada. Adam began his career in social development at Prosper Canada in 2007. He is responsible for leading the strategic and operational planning, and managing partnership development. Adam studied politics and economics at the University of Toronto. He also completed the Graduate Diploma in Social Innovation at the University of Waterloo and the Performance Measurement for Effective Management of Nonprofit Organizations course at Harvard University.
Lisa Forbes is from Winnipeg and is a member of Peguis First Nation in Manitoba. She received her Bachelor of Arts (Economics) degree from the University of Manitoba. Lisa is a Business Consultant at SEED Winnipeg, a non-profit organization that works toward financial empowerment for people living on low incomes. In addition to training entrepreneurs, she provides support to non-profit enterprises and is a program developer. Lisa has led SEED’s financial literacy and women’s self-employment training curriculum development teams. She is part of a team that implements the Truth and Reconciliation Commission recommendations at SEED. Lisa is the founding coordinator of SEED’s Indigenous Community Collaborations initiative and contributes to its work in consulting with Indigenous People to create Indigenous youth literacy and Indigenous women entrepreneur training. She has worked for over 15 years in the community economic development field including as an independent facilitator, writer and researcher and has also been a community development worker at the City of Winnipeg.
Darren Hill is currently President and Chief Executive Officer of Junior Achievement of Saskatchewan (JA), where he is able to help encourage young minds to pursue interests in the areas of entrepreneurship and business as well as develop life, leadership, and financial literacy skills.
In addition, Darren has been a member of Saskatoon City Council since 2006 and has played a key role in the growth and development of the City. Darren also sits on many boards and committees, including the Saskatoon Board of Police Commissioners, Police Pension Plan Board of Trustees, Saskatchewan Urban Municipalities Association Board of Directors, and Federation of Canadian Municipalities Board of Directors.
Previous to his appointments to JA and City Council, Darren had 20 years’ experience as an entrepreneur, marketing manager, and advertising executive in the tourism and communications sectors. As an entrepreneur, Darren established an expediting service to tourist destinations in northern Saskatchewan. The company continues to be successful, employing full-time staff during the fishing season.
Carlana began her career in education as a teacher and principal with the Lakehead Board of Education. She joined the Ontario Ministry of Education (EDU); for 18 years she worked with provincially-funded school boards, and First Nation schools and organizations, to improve student achievement.
In July 2008, Carlana became the Education Program Director for the Martin Family Initiative, where she supports various strategies and activities related to Indigenous students across Canada.
She received her BA, BEd, and MEd from Lakehead University, and her EdD from OISE/UT. Carlana served on the Ontario Special Education (English) Tribunal from 2008 to 2014, and was a member of Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada’s National Selection Committee for the First Nations Student Success Program (FNSSP) for four years.
In 2009, Carlana was awarded the Sandra D. Lang Lifetime Achievement Award by the Ontario Government for the depth and quality of service she provided to students, families and communities across Ontario. In 2015, she received an Alumni Award from Lakehead University.
Joseph (Joe) is a member of the Mohawks of Akwesasne and recently moved to the Ottawa area. Joe has extensive experience in working with various entities such as Indigenous communities and organizations located on Indigenous lands, in urban areas, in remote communities and with mainstream non-profits connecting with Indigenous people. These areas include education and business- including the for-profit and non-profit sectors.
Joe has also worked with Indigenous and Minority-owned SME’s in the startup and expanding phases in writing business plans, securing funding and procurement opportunities.
Mack Rogers is the Executive Director of ABC Life Literacy Canada. He works with a remarkable team of educators, programmers, and communicators to develop and share literacy programs with communities across Canada. Mack is a collaborator first, both with his team at ABC and with our larger communities of learners and educators. He has worked in the financial literacy sector for over eight years and is proud of the impact ABC and the sector has had in supporting Canadians to develop new skills and increase confidence in managing their money. Mack has developed educational programs for adults and children for over 15 years, with the last eight years at ABC.
Talya Rotem is the Program Director at SmartSAVER, a non-profit that helps low- and modest-income families access federal government incentives for their children’s post secondary future, to improve their education outcomes, build assets early, and increase social mobility. She has worked for over 20 years in various non-profits empowering individuals to access post-secondary education, leadership, or health and wellness opportunities. She holds an M.A. in Sociology and Equity Studies in Education from the University of Toronto’s Ontario Institute for Studies in Education. As a blogger for Feeding Nunavut, Talya spent two years raising awareness among Southerners about food insecurity in many Northern Inuit communities. In recognition of her being a European Settler, and her Israeli roots, Talya lives by the “Tikkun Olam” (repairing the world) philosophy to address reconciliation, equity, and access for Indigenous communities. She is working on a personal art project to raise awareness and support among Canadian Jewry for Indigenous rights in Canada.
**Rotiskennenketi - She Who Carries the Burden of Peace
As President and CEO of Families Canada, Kelly supports members who work with half a million mostly vulnerable families in some 2300 communities. During her long Government of Canada career, Kelly had responsibility for research and public policy on child and youth issues as well as related national programs that still touch thousands of communities. She also completed an Executive Interchange with the Child Welfare League of Canada focusing in on mental health, fostering, and effective government/not for profit partnerships. Kelly’s extensive international experience has centered on advancing human rights-based legislative frameworks, public policy and programs leading to practical implementation strategies in areas of identity, culture, health, education, and child trafficking beyond Canada’s borders.
**Mohawk name bestowed in 2005 by Elijah Harper, former Member of the Manitoba Legislature, Chief, and human rights activist, in recognition of work on behalf of indigenous children.
Relay is the Finance Manager at the National Aboriginal Capital Corporations Association (NACCA), a membership-driven national organization for a network of Aboriginal Financial Institutions. NACCA supports the network which offers financing and business services to First Nations, Métis and Inuit businesses. Relay has over a decade of experience working in SMEs and listed companies across England and Canada.
Relay holds a bachelor’s degree in Accounting, is a Certified General Accountant Ontario (CPA, CGA) and a fellow with the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) UK.
Her key strength has been the ability to bring finance and operations together, streamline, develop and implement sustainable processes which support timely information used for decision making.
Relay is a member of Toastmasters International, volunteers with Junior Achievement Ontario and mentors new migrants into becoming well integrated and functional members of their community.
Doretta Thompson is responsible for CPA Canada’s social responsibility initiatives, including CPA Canada’s international award winning Financial Literacy program, programs that support financial literacy and financial capacity building in indigenous communities, and newcomer credential recognition and labour market integration. She is a member of FCAC’s Working Groups on Workplace Financial Literacy and Indigenous Financial Literacy, and the Conference Board of Canada’s Leaders’ Roundtable on Immigration, the Immigration Policy Committee of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, and sits on the Board of Directors of the Canadian Network of Agencies for Regulation. She is a recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for her voluntary work in the health sector.
A Couchiching First Nation member, Brent Tookenay has been the Chief Executive Officer for Seven Generations Education Institute for the past 3 years. Brent also worked for the Rainy River District School Board as the Superintendent responsible for Indigenous Education for 8 years. As CEO of Seven Generations Education Institute, Brent is responsible for providing education and training programs for the people of the Treaty #3 area. Brent has spent his entire career working and supporting the First Nation communities of Treaty #3 in all areas and levels of education.
Dr. Tremblay is Turtle Clan of the Mohawk Nation from Six Nations of the Grand River Territory in Southern Ontario. As the Chief Executive Officer of the Assembly of First Nations, Dr. Tremblay is pleased and honoured to play a strong advocacy role for First Nations in Canada in this time of reconciliation and change. Having worked as the Senior Executive Officer for the Band Administration in her home community of Six Nations and as the Chief Executive Officer of the National Aboriginal Health Organization, she brings first hand knowledge and experience in leading First Nations at the local and national levels. Dr. Tremblay was responsible for the certification programs for Finance (CAFM) and Administration (CAPA) and was actively engaged in research and program development in her role as Vice President with AFOA Canada. She was the former Chair of the National Advisory Committee of the Purdy Crawford Chair for Aboriginal Business at Cape Breton University, NS, and is currently an Associate Professor for the Indigenous Knowledge Centre at Six Nations Polytechnic Institute. Dr. Tremblay received the Indspire Award for Education in 2015. And on the home front, she takes special delight in the teaching and learning activities that are undertaken on a regular basis with her seven year old granddaughter Alexis.
Tremblay is of Métis heritage and works as a Senior Policy Advisor with the Native Woman’s Association of Canada. She holds a Masters in Communications and has over 20 years of progressive leadership in capacity building, socio-economic/technologic innovation, organizational adaptation and social learning.
Connected with Indigenous communities across Canada, she works to address their pressing and needs. With her years of experience in the halls of Parliament, working with small-businesses and entrepreneurs, with high-tech and small farms, in both the English and French speaking worlds, and now in daily engagement with our Native peoples, her working perspective embraces a wide spectrum of Canada’s challenges, strengths, and possibilities.
If her life has a recurrent theme, it’s the drive to reduce waste. This means pushing the boundaries of opportunity so that all can contribute and benefit; it means making more of the shared commons and opening the flow of information; it means restructuring our social bonds to find our shared purposes.
Director, Capacity Development & Intervention, First Nations Financial Management Board
Suzanne Trottier is a member of the Métis Nation of Manitoba. She is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) and holds a Masters of Business Administration (MBA) in Finance from the University of Western Ontario. Suzanne is the Director of Capacity Development and Intervention with the First Nations Financial Management Board (FMB). Along with her team, she provides capacity development support to First Nation governments seeking to become Financial Management System Certified with the FMB. Prior to her current role, she was a Partner at BASE Partners who provide advisory support to First Nations pursuing economic and social development initiatives; the Quebec Regional Coordinator of Financing and Restructuring with the First Nations Inuit Health Branch of Health Canada; and Vice-President in Corporate Finance with Ernst & Young (EY) in their Montreal, Toronto and Winnipeg offices.
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