Catalyzing Change Coast-to-Coast-to-Coast
Participants in the 20/20 Program are called 'Catalysts' because they dedicated to catalyzing clean energy benefits in their community. They are eager to make things happen and have come to the Program to learn how to achieve even more. Catalysts have diverse backgrounds and professions and come from communities across Canada.
Read the bios below to learn more about each of this year's Catalysts.
Hamlet of Kugaaruk
Alex is Inuk, born and raised in Kugaaruk, Nunavut. He is employed by the Hamlet of Kugaaruk, their municipal government. His job title is Community Economic Development Officer (CEDO). Before he worked as CEDO, he worked with Community Justice. Where he worked with at-risk youth and developed programs for them. Before that, he worked at the local school in different capacities. He is very committed to his community and he loves to see his people and community move forward. He is an active volunteer as the lead organizer and founder of their local hockey league and a coach for youth basketball.
Metlakatla First Nation
Braden recently completed his BSc in Environmental Science from Mount Royal University in Calgary. Braden will be returning to his home community to assist in the development of his nation’s Environmental Management Plan. His vision for Metlakatla is one centred around Ts’msyen culture and language, renewable energy, food security, climate change mitigation and preparation, and restoration of degraded areas within their traditional territories. Braden hopes the Catalyst program will help him implement clean energy projects and create sustainable, long term jobs for Metlakatla members. He believes renewable energy is crucial to mitigating climate change but also includes local food production projects and restoration of ecosystems incorporating traditional ecological knowledge and resource management systems.
Charla is a mother of 3 children and has lived in Elsipogtog First Nation her whole life. Her journey has taken her to many different places of work. She has worked as a freelance designer, an administrator for her church, secretary for the Social Assistance department, and a software tester, before coming to Kopit Lodge, a grassroots organization that deals with consultations. She is hoping that she can get the most out of this program so that she can help her organization and community start to look at ways to use clean energy that is both sustainable and beneficial. Our motto is to "protect the water" and she wants to be able to fulfill that motto while also bringing her community up to date with clean renewable energy.
Métis Settlements General Council
Charlene was raised in Edmonton, Alberta, with a strong Métis cultural background. Both her parents were raised on the Fishing Lake Métis Settlement where her mother, along with many family members, currently reside. Charlene has been the Climate Lead at the Métis Settlements General Council (MSGC) since 2017. In this short time, she has accomplished many projects to help reduce their carbon footprint at the Métis Settlements owned building in Edmonton. Charlene also sits on the Indigenous Electricity Technical Working Group (IETWG) as part of the Indigenous Caucus. Charlene is looking forward to commence working with industry on project management in Community Generation.
Mi’kmaq from K'jpuktuk and a strong environmental activist, Corey has always understood the important relationship between energy and the environment. Working with the Clean Foundation, Corey actively supports Indigenous communities, assisting them in their journey of energy independence and self-governance. Corey is a strong advocate for the importance of environmental enhancement, social responsibility, and ethical business practices. As a local from Nova Scotia, Corey places strong value on the importance and adoption of the Triple Bottom Line.
Beaver First Nation
Dustin is a member of Beaver First Nation from the Childs Lake/Boyer River communities in the Treaty 8 Territory. He spent 12 years in Oil and Gas Industry where his career focused on the Production Sector such as Production Testing, Service Rigs, Pipeline and Facility Construction. Dustin now operates Beaver First Nation's Lands & Resources department and also sits on the NWAB Stewardship Plan. Dustin's Nation has taken strides to minimize their Carbon footprint by introducing Solar power to the community. One of his key roles is to ensure that the Beaver Peoples rights are recognized and protected. Dustin believes with more Green Energy projects it will allow his community to get back to their roots.
Agoke Development Corporation
Jason is a proud Oji-Cree community member from Ginoogaming First Nation in Northern Ontario, Treaty #9. He is an accomplished advisor, facilitator, negotiator, entrepreneur and economic development professional with over 15 years of experience working with First Nations and community owned economic development corporations. Jason is determined to assist advance the socio-economic position of First Nations and raise the quality of life of Anishnawbe peoples. Jason has a strong interest in renewable energy projects with a variety of hybrid models that leverage solar, bio-economy resources, and pumped storage hydro. He has a passion to integrate greenhouse technologies and software into combined heat power projects that bring food security to Northern Ontario First Nations.
Kuujjuamiut Corporation & Nayumivik Landholding Corporation
Jason is from Kuujjuaq, Nunavik, were has works as the General Manager of Kuujjuamiut Corporation, a community development organization. Jason is also a long serving member of the Board of Directors of the Nayumivik Landholding Corporation which owns and administers Kuujjuaq Category I lands. He is very keen to learn about potential green energy projects that could be feasible in the north. His goal in the program is to see clean energy initiatives developed by his community that will have the least impact on the environment, while maximizing the benefits to the community & working towards eliminating the regions dependence on diesel powered energy.
Hamlet of Gjoa Haven
Jimmy is a Building Maintenance Foreman for the Hamlet of Gjoa Haven. He has worked for the Hamlet for over 18 years. Jimmy is interested in green energy because the cost of power in Nunavut is so expensive and he would like to explore opportunities to reduce the cost for people in his community. Jimmy would like to see his community use cleaner energy and reduce greenhouse gases. Jimmy knows clean air is very important for our future, and is very conscious of the diesel used for power in his northern community.
Originally from the Métis community of Île-à-la-Crosse, Jordyn Burnouf is a proud Nêhiyaw woman and member of the Black Lake First Nation. Jordyn has committed over 10 years to creating opportunity and building capacity for Indigenous youth. With a strong passion and relationship with the land, Jordyn is currently working on clean energy initiatives with a focus on community engagement and cultural inclusion.
Mi'gmawei Mawiomi Business Corporation
Kirt is from the Mi’gmaq tribe located in Listuguj, QC, within the district territory of Gespe’gewa’gi which means “last acquired land”. Over the past 25 years, he is proud to say his community has been advancing towards self-governance, economic development, and culture and language revitalization, among many other things. Kirt graduated with a bachelors in Business Administration and since then, has worked in a variety of fields and is now a clean energy project manager for the Mi'gmawei Mawiomi Business Corporation. Kirt has always had a deep respect for the environment and an understanding that everything is connected in some way. He is grateful for the experiences that have lead him up to this point in life and he looks forward to continue making a positive impact for his community and territory.
Fishing Lake Métis Settlement
Leon is a member of the Fishing Lake Métis Settlement in Treaty six territory. He is a father to three and grandfather to three. Leon works as a climate change coordinator full-time now for the Settlement. Sustainable, reliable and affordable energy sources are important to the preservation of the Métis that still live on the lands and is exploring all possible ways to meet the goals.
Heiltsuk First Nation
Leona is a proud member of the Heiltsuk First Nation of Bella Bella, B.C. a remote, isolated community located in the central coast of British Columbia. In 2014, she was elected to the local Heiltsuk Tribal Council. Leona is currently taking SFU’s Executive Master of Business Administration tailored for Indigenous Business and Leadership. She a proud mother to five children and grandmother to four grand children - her precious treasures. In Leona's words: "It’s a whole new level of love and makes her work in leadership that much more meaningful". Leona is ecstatic for her nation’s opportunity with ODI and her appointment as a Champion for the 20/20 Catalyst. She deems this an opportunity to set the table “For our Children’s tomorrows.”
Red Rock Indian Band
Melissa McDonald works with Red Rock Indian Band which is in Northwestern Ontario. As the Energy Initiatives Officer, her energy priorities include having cleaner energy systems, reducing consumption, reducing costs and educating the community. So far, she has worked on switching streetlights and facility buildings from incandescent to LED lighting, helping community members find energy cost savings, getting a Waste Diversion Management Study completed, updating Community Energy Plan and getting a Renewable Energy Feasibility Study completed.
Paul Andersen is an Inuit from the Makkovik in the Nunatsiavut region of Northern Labrador. He is a certified powerline technician and is currently the local Recreation & Youth Coordinator for Makkovik. He first became interested in clean energy when he worked as a labourer on a transmission line project in Labrador. Makkovik is an isolated community. They have no cellphone service, and no roads linking to any other town. Their only source of energy in Makkovik is diesel generators, and after having worked on a dam project, and seeing new projects happening all over our Country he would love to be able to do the same with his community. Climate change is real, and it is our job to contain it.
Hamlet of Taloyoak
Peter was born and raised in the little arctic community of Taloyoak, Nunavut. Every day, Peter is inspired by his two wonderful children who fill his heart with joy and pride. He was a Conservation Officer for the Government of Nunavut for a couple years, then decided to move back home and take up his new job as an Economic Development Officer. This role enables Peter to help his community thrive economically and socially. Peter’s goal is to get Taloyoak into the movement of green energy. For Peter, green energy helps preserve our land and water so that future generation can witness them as they are today: beautiful and thriving. He believes in a quote from Malcolm X "The future belongs to those who prepare for it today".
Teetl’it Gwich’in Government
Richard was born in a camp on the Peel River north of Fort McPherson, NWT. McPherson, Inuvik and Whitehorse. Richard is a consultant and advisor with negotiation, political and policy experience. Richard served as Premier of NWT from 1984 to 1985 and as a member of Cabinet for 10 years. He also served as Speaker and member on several Standing and Special Committees. Richard began his Indigenous Leadership with the Indian Brotherhood (later known as Dene Nation) of the NWT. Beyond this he has played leading roles in the Gwich’in Tribal Council, Gwich’in Development Corporation, Tetl’it Co-Op, and the Northwest Territories Power Corporation. Most recently, Richard was a member of several national agencies, Working Group on Natural Resources, Generation Energy Council and presently sits on the AFN-ISC Advisory Committee on Fiscal Relations.
Madawaska Maliseet First Nation
Sal Poirier is from the Wolastoqiyik tribe in the Wabanaki region. His community is the Madawaska First Nation. He is the environmental officer for the community. He is the first in his community to hold this position since it was created in 2017. He graduated from the University of New Brunswick with a degree in mechanical engineering. His goal is to reduce our reliance on fossil fuel and to have his community become a model in clean energy and waste management practices. It is important to him that he does what he can to leave a sustainable world for his 3 children and future generations.
Tribal Chiefs Venture Inc.
Sharon Waughtal (Masuskapoe) is originally from Ahatahkakoop Cree Nation in Saskatchewan – Treaty 6 Territory. She is currently working with Tribal Chiefs Ventures Inc. as their Climate Change Coordinator serving 6 First Nation communities in Northeastern Alberta. She has worked previously with the Federal Government for 16 years in different program areas and departments. Sharon has recently completed an Environmental Sciences program - Specialization in Water & Wastewater Treatment and Water Collection and Distribution from NAIT. Renewable energy and environmental protection has always been an area of interest for Sharon and when the opportunity came for her to gain experience in this area, she jumped at it.
NunatuKavut Community Council
Siobhan is NunkatuKvummiuk from St. Lewis (Fox Harbour), NunatuKavut territory in Labrador. She is a single mother to a beautiful little boy. Though by trade she is a heavy-duty equipment technician, she is presently working with the NunatuKavut Community Council in collaboration with Nunacor as the NATURE (NunatuKavut Action Team in Understanding Renewable Energy) Youth Council Coordinator. She has worked with researchers from the University's of Dalhousie and Waterloo to develop renewable energy plans for three off-grid communities on the coast of Labrador and currently working on plans for six more off-grid communities, along with a food sustainability project for her home community. Siobhan is beyond excited to start this incentive and be able to help her community by being a leader in renewable energy for her territory.
Deline Got'ine Government
Tim Tutcho is the communications officer for the Deline Got'ine Government, a combined Indigenous/public government that is Treaty-based with self-governing authorities.Tim has worked for the IT Department in Deline since 2010. When the self-government agreement for the Deline Got’ine Government was finalized, Tim designed the network infrastructure for the community government, in preparation for future technologies while adapting for today's modern infrastructure. Soon afterward, his expanding career in IT services allowed Tim to begin work as Communications Officer and starting the initiative to set goals for Deline to get off diesel in the future.
Tyler is an ambitious First Nations Entrepreneur and is a member of the Peter Ballantyne Cree Nation. He is the founder of Jobb Developments, a rapidly growing contracting company based in Northern Saskatchewan. Tyler plans to bring Clean Energy Projects to his communities that will drive economic opportunities, sustainability, job creation & energy sovereignty. With the 20/20 Catalyst program, it will give Tyler & his communities the tools & skills to continue creating clean energy projects for years to come.