Wilson Bearhead is a Nakota Elder and a member of the Wabamun Lake First Nation in Treaty 6 Territory. Wilson has served as the Chief of his community, Grande Chief of Treaty 6 and Assembly of First Nations Alberta Regional Chief. He began his career in the field of addictions, mental health and supports for children in care. Over the years Wilson had dedicated his time, always in service to the community, families and children, in roles that include Elder at federal corrections agencies, public libraries and in schools. Most recently Wilson Served as the Elder for Elk Island Public Schools. Wilsons grandmother Annie was a powerful, positive influence in his young life, teaching him all of the lessons that gave him the strength, knowledge and skill to overcome difficult times and to embrace the gifts of life.
Robin Kyme is a proud Nakota woman, mother of 3 boys, and member of the Alexis Nakota Sioux Nation. Robin has taken on many roles in her community, and in various fields of work, always in service to the Elders and the young people. She most often chooses to offer her gifts, skills and support from behind the scenes lifting up those around her. Robin started her career in administrative support roles, then worked as a medical transportation coordinator, finance officer and even spent time in the field electronic engineering. As her sons came of age Robin decided that is was important to model commitment, determination and perseverance to a whole new level and apprenticed as an electrician. As a result, Robin counts Journeywoman Electrician as one of her many qualifications. Over and above all of this Robin is a gifted seamstress and artisan who has created many beautiful moss bags, star blankets, ribbon shirts and skirts, pow wow regalia and so much more… many of which are now counted as treasured possessions for many families across the country. Robin’s mother, Gladys, was a strong, beautiful, generous matriarch and role model. She gifted Robin with the teachings that she would need to carry her through life’s most difficult and challenging times with strength, humility and grace.
Sharon was born into a large politically active Metis family and is the 3rd youngest daughter of the late Canadian Senator Thelma Chalifoux. Sharon has spent most of her life learning and then working within the Metis communities in Slave Lake, and the greater Edmonton area. Sharon volunteered with her Mother to start Michif Cultural Connections which is a local Metis resource that houses artifacts, books and Metis specific resources. Sharon has worked for the past 16 years at the Musee Heritage Museum developing and delivering curriculum based Indigenous programs for students of all ages and has expended the indigenous programming at the Museum and Heritage Sites in St. Albert, currently Sharon is the Programming Manager for all the sites in St. Alberta. Sharon sits on the Indigenous Advisory Circle for the Alberta School Board Association, the Wisdom and Guidance Council for St. Albert Public the Principal Co-hort for Sturgeon County school division and recently elected to the Alberta Museums Association, Sharon is a facilitator for Blanket Exercises within the local schools, municipalities, government departments and does many presentations for Professional Development of teachers. It is Sharons mission to keep up the work of her Mother and help to promote, protect and preserve the Metis history of our region.
McKenna Marthiensen is a proud Inuvialuk woman whose family originates from Tuktoyaktuk in the Mackenzie Delta of the Northwest Territories. Having lived in both British Columbia and Nunavut, Alberta has been home for the past 15 years. McKenna has grown up with, and is surrounded by, strong women who continue to inspire and encourage her in her educational endeavours and her own personal journey. Currently in her final year of a bachelors degree, McKenna is pursuing graduate studies in law and forensic psychology and looks forward to a career that provides her the opportunity to contribute through positive change and reciprocity.