Over the past 15 years, David has operated in a variety of service, management and advisory capacities either directly for an employer or through his consultancy DLF Sustainable Development Services. The skills and experience range from operational forestry, business development, policy, land use planning and governance. This experience has been built upon and supported by both a BSC in Forest Management from the U of A and a Forest Technologist Diploma from NAIT. A significant portion of the last 15 years have been spent in roles designed to promote First Nation involvement, participation or benefit from resource development projects or projects affecting lands within their Traditional Territories. Most of this work stems from his awareness of geopolitical intergovernmental relationships and the evolving Consultation doctrine at the Supreme Court of Canada.
In all projects the key drivers to success have been identifying where collaboration, coexistence and consensus can be achieved amongst the parties. Through his consultancy, DLF Sustainable Development Services, he provided interim General Manager services for Wahkohtowin Development GP Inc since May 2015 and was awarded the full-time position March 2018. The main development focus has been on supporting business development and participation in the Forest Sector of Ontario on behalf of its owner First Nations. Recently, David became a Board member for FSC Canada and acts as Chair for a second year as the new National Standard is now released. To advance reconciliation and grow awareness for indigenous competency and knowledge systems, David has also re-qualified and is a Registered Professional Forester with the Ontario Professional Foresters Association.
Marguerite and her family moved to Sault Ste Marie in August of 2016. She worked as a contract employee for OLG in their payroll department before coming on board with Wahkohtowin in October of 2017 as the Financial Controller.
Marguerite was a graduate of Hotel & Restaurant Management. She started with her last employer in 2000 in the sales and Catering and Accounts Payable and it forever changed her career path. She took a Bookeeping course which further solidified her passion in accounting. She had 9 years of experience as a Business Manager before joining the Wahkohtowim team. She brings many years of expertise in customer relations and accounting.
Kristin is a proud member of Chapleau Cree First Nation. With an academic background in Social Service Work and Drug and Alcohol Counselling, Kristin has been an advocate for Indigenous Peoples in Northeastern Ontario for 18 years; specializing in Child Welfare and Indigenous Health. She later went on to obtain a Leadership Certification with the COADY institute at St. Francis Xavier University. While engaging in advocacy work Kristin recognized the interconnectedness of “The Land” (Kitaskeynano); as it relates to the health and success of Indigenous Peoples and Communities. As a result, her passions have become developing strategic partnerships and influencing local policy to support and encourage the resurgence of Indigenous practices and teachings.
Kristin is also very involved in creating awareness on climate change and incorporating green initiatives into her practice as a City Councillor in Timmins. She is currently enrolled in part-time studies at Laurentian University with her sights on a BA with a Concentration in Equity, Diversity and Human Rights. She is also the proud mom of two daughters.
Amberly returns to Wahkohtowin after completing a Teachers Degree at Nipissing University. Amberly was born and raised in Chapleau, ON and is a member of Brunswick House First Nation. She is passionate about youth and social development which combined with a Social Work Diploma and roughly 3 years of forestry experience through MNRF, is convinced that the Guardian Program needs to be a mainstay in our Indigenous communities. Her work as the Guardian Program Manager will combine all these skill sets, she brings to enhance the program outcomes envisioned by our Elders.
Note: The logo on the t-shirt represents our Guardian Program which our Birch Tapping initiative is dedicated to support through the cultural practice of collecting sap (water) and converting to syrup for a range of benefits. The trailer in the picture holds the processing equipment and the project is designed to connect cultural practice, youth and community through volunteerism to explore entrepreneurism and learn about business, sales and marketing while any revenue is reinvested into the program.
Elena is a member of Chapleau Cree First Nation through her late grandmother Alice McCulloch (nee McWatch). She completed a BSc in Environmental Biology, specializing in Wildlife Biology at McGill University’s Macdonald campus in Spring 2020. She graduated with honours, having completed an undergraduate research project on mercury in fish and marine mammals of Southampton Island in Hudson Bay. A poster on her research was presented by her at the 2019 SETAC North America conference in Toronto. She has spent two summers working as a research assistant in a forest resources lab at Nipissing University in North Bay. Elena is eager to apply the experience she’s gained on these research projects to collaborating with Northeast Superior First Nations to protect the land in accordance with traditional knowledge and values.
Isabelle Allen is an enthusiastic young professional who received her Registered Professional Forester (RPF) designation in Ontario in November 2019. Her role at Wahkohtowin is Projects Forester, specializing in Forest Management Plans and Indigenous involvement. To assist her in this role she recently graduated from the Master of Sustainable Forest Management program at the University of British Columbia, and has a BSc in Environmental Sciences and Resource Management from the University of Guelph.
Isabelle is a member of Timiskaming First Nation, and has enjoyed the opportunity to work with other First Nations on forestry related projects since starting with Wahkohtowin in the Spring of 2018. She is excited about her opportunities to serve Northeast Superior First Nations through Wahkohtowin where building relationships with Indigenous communities and forest professionals is a priority.