Indigenous Advisory Committee: Membership
The Indigenous Advisory Committee provides the Government of Canada expert advice and participates in the development of policy and guidance for the new impact assessment system.
The Committee's membership includes First Nations, Inuit, and Métis members. Representation from all three distinct Indigenous peoples helps ensure that the Committee provides a broad and inclusive perspective reflective of the unique rights, interests, priorities and circumstances of the Indigenous peoples in Canada.
Sue Chiblow (co-chair)
Sue Chiblow is Anishinaabe kwe, born and raised in Garden River First Nation, Ontario. She has worked extensively with First Nation communities for the last 30 years in environmental related fields. Sue has a B.Sc. in Biology, M.Sc. in Environment and Management, and is pursuing a PhD in Environmental Science with a focus on Nibi Kendaaswin. She has worked with the Chiefs of Ontario as the Environmental Coordinator of the Environment Unit. Through her company, Ogamauh annag, Sue continues to work with First Nation communities and Elders as an Anishinabe Advisor on environmental projects and policy analysis (i.e., watershed planning, source water protection, Anishinabek law development, policy development, facilitation, strategic planning, report writing, environmental assessments, documenting Traditional Ecological Knowledge, and environmental management planning). She was awarded the Vanier Canadian Graduate Scholarship in 2018. Sue has assisted in drafting international documents for the United Nations and the Special Rapporteurs on First Nation issues.
Elmer Ghostkeeper (co-chair)
Elmer Ghostkeeper (B.A., M.A.) is a community leader from Buffalo Lake Métis Settlement in northeastern Alberta. He is an author, independent consultant and strategist on cultural, social, economic and political matters. He is a member of the Indigenous Wisdom Advisory Panel of the Environmental Monitoring Division, Alberta Environment and Parks, where the vision is to braid Indigenous knowledge and science and western science to better understand and monitor natural resource development impacts on Alberta’s land, air, water and environment to ensure sustainability. Elmer is fluent in Michif (a blend of Cree and French), Bushland Cree and English. In 2004, Elmer was awarded the Order of the Métis Nation for his contributions as an Alberta Métis leader and President of the Alberta Federation of Métis Settlements Associations during the repatriation of the Constitution Act of Canada, 1980 to 1982, for the inclusion of Métis as an Aboriginal people in Section 35.
Jocelyn Gosselin is Métis from Northern Ontario, with ancestral ties to the Red River. Since finishing post-secondary school, Jocelyn has made the Alberta Oil Sands Region her home, and has extensive knowledge and experience in the Canada-Alberta Oil Sands Monitoring Program. She serves her Nation by offering her consultative services to support the communities’ initiatives, and is active on various multi-stakeholder committees as Métis representative appointed by her Nation. She holds a B.Sc. in Environmental Management from Royal Roads University, and a Diploma in Environmental Field and Laboratory from Niagara College. Jocelyn embraces the balance between traditional knowledge and modern science, and provides policy and technical advice to Indigenous and western governments. Jocelyn practices traditional harvesting which strengthens her connection to community and the land.
Paul Jones is Anishnabek from the Saugeen Ojibway Nation Territory; his reservation is Neyaashiinigmiing, and he is of the Ngig (Otter) Clan. Paul was a Band Councillo for the Chippewas of Nawash from 1991 to 2017. As such, Paul acted as senior Council Liaison, playing a key role in engagement and negotiations with Provincial and Federal Governments in the areas of Indigenous Treaty Rights, environmental issues, as well as resource, energy and infrastructure development. He has over 30 years experience working with professionals, academics (from biologists, philosophers to nuclear Physicists) and Knowledge Keepers. Paul has served on a variety of national committees addressing Indigenous and Treaty Rights, in particular Indigenous-Science knowledge systems engagement. Paul has been a commercial fisherman for decades, balancing his rights advocacy work with the sustainable exercise of his Indigenous rights.
Melody Lepine is a member of the Mikisew Cree First Nation (MCFN) from Fort Chipewyan, Alberta. From a young age, she was motivated by traditional teachings in environmental stewardship to advance studies in environmental conservation sciences at the University of Alberta and Royal Road University. This balance of teachings in both traditional environmental knowledge and western science has become a key strength in Melody’s career. As Director of the MCFN Government and Industry Relations, she is responsible for overseeing all government and industry consultation pertaining to resource development within the Mikisew Cree territory. For the past 16 years, she has managed hundreds of government and industry consultation files, many of which include oil sands environmental impact assessments, regulatory interventions at hearings and part of the development of consultation protocols, Indigenous knowledge studies, cultural impact assessments, negotiating impact benefit agreements and developing a community-based environmental monitoring program in her community.
Suzie O’Bomsawin is from the Abenakis of Odanak First Nation in Quebec. Suzie has an MBA and a combined bachelor’s degree in economics and politics, both from Université Laval. She currently holds the position of director of the Ndakinna Office of the Grand Conseil de la Nation Waban-Aki. This position has enabled her to learn about Indigenous consultations and understand the scope of the ancestral rights of Indigenous peoples, as well as the various related processes. She has also built positive relationships with various national and international collaborators. In addition, Suzie is actively involved in several organizations, including as president of the Musée des Abénakis, independent administrator with Sépaq and secretary-treasurer of Le Lien – Maison de la famille in Pierreville.
Stanley Oliver is an Inuit hunter, fisher and outdoorsman in Labrador. Raised in a family of eleven children, Stan’s father is from Labrador’s North Coast (Rigolet) and his mother is from North West River. He has worked in the Labrador and Atlantic region in the Natural Resources field/industry for over 25 years and is currently the Fisheries & Oceans Coordinator with the NunatuKavut Community Council. He has occupied several senior management and leadership positions with the Nunatsiavut Government and the Atlantic First Nations Congress. Stan has a Diploma from Memorial University as a Resource Technician, is a Certified Engineering Technician with the Newfoundland Association of Engineers, and several certificates in Aboriginal Governance and Administration. His broad education, work experience and local knowledge have made him adaptable to complex working environments. His philosophy is to create free, detail-oriented work environments focused on positive collaborative partnerships with government and business without losing sight of grass roots concerns.
Rachel Olson is a citizen of the Tr’ondek Hwech’in First Nation from the Yukon Territory. Rachel has a PhD in Social Anthropology and is President and a founding director of The Firelight Group, where she is also technical lead on the Traditional Knowledge and Use Study team, working with Indigenous communities on environmental assessment processes. Her focus is on Indigenous knowledge systems (IK) and traditional land use, examining best practices for incorporating these elements in research and environmental assessment processes with industrial projects such as pipelines, wind farms, and mining. For more than 20 years, Rachel has worked with Indigenous communities across Canada on issues related to IK, health, and resource development. She has authored IK/TUS reports for First Nation communities in British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario, the Yukon, Northwest Territories, and Nunavut. She has also testified at Environmental Review Board hearings on IK methods, analysis, and assessment.
Angel Ransom is a member and former Band Councillor of Nak’azdli Whut’en in British Columbia. She has a B.Sc. in Environmental Planning, specializing in First Nations Planning. She is also a Registered Professional Planner with the Planning Institute of BC and a full member of the Canadian Institute of Planners. She is an Adjunct Professor at the School of Environmental Planning at the University of Northern British Columbia. Angel’s experience includes: land use planning; communication and facilitation; technical research; analysis and writing; natural resources project management; and coordinating negotiations between First Nations, government and proponents.
Deana Sappier is a member of Neqotkuk (Tobique First Nation) in New Brunswick. Deana has a B.Sc. in Environmental Science and is working towards a Masters in Environmental Practice. A certified Environmental Professional with the Canadian Environmental Certification Approvals Board, she worked in environmental consulting for several years before taking a position with her community. Her experience includes: working in a laboratory; conducting site assessments; human health and ecological risk assessments; remediation projects; and reviewing environmental impact assessments. Ms. Sappier was part of the New Brunswick Watershed Management Working Group. She has presented to the Federal Environmental Assessment Panel and National Energy Board on behalf of Neqotkuk. One of Deana’s favourite projects was co-managing an On the Land initiative which taught youth traditional practices.
Kyle Vermette is a Métis lawyer and consultant from Saskatchewan. He was a founder of CLASSIC, a non-profit organization that administers a free clinic offering legal services to low income individuals living in the inner city of Saskatoon, through a course component offered through the University of Saskatchewan College of Law. He presently advises the Métis National Council on national and international issues relating to climate change, biodiversity and the environment and is in-house counsel for the Water Security Agency (Saskatchewan). Kyle was a member of the Multi-Interest Advisory Committee that provided advice on impact assessment to the Minister of Environment and Climate Change Canada on behalf of the Métis National Council.
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