Current Catalysts

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.

David Dupuis

Makivik Corporation

Originally from Kuujjuaq, Quebec, Dave works for the Makivik Corporation's Economic Development Department as a Business Development Officer and works directly with the Director of Economic Development on energy projects for the Nunavik region. In 2017, two pilot solar projects were developed in Kuujjuaq, a 20kW and 55kW system. Makivik is leading efforts to introduce wind, solar, and marine hydrokinetic systems to reduce diesel consumption for electricity generation in the off-grid Nunavik communities. Dave has a particular interest as climate change is directly affecting his community and region. Dave also wishes to learn more about tools to gain better community engagement in these efforts and to increase participation and awareness of the positive outcomes stemming from clean and renewable energy systems.

Vanessa Frank

Kainaiwa Resources Inc.

Vanessa is from the Blood Indian Reserve in Southern Alberta. Her primary work experience has been with the oil and gas industry working in different areas of surface land. She is currently employed as the Surface Land Administrator for Kainaiwa Resources Inc. There, Vanessa responsible for overseeing all Oil & Gas surface activity for the Blood Tribe. As industry evolves so has the Blood Tribe’s focus on delivering alternative energy-based projects for their community. KRI has been designated to undertake future alternative energy development opportunities.

James Harper

Sturgeon Lake Cree Nation

James is a mechanical engineer in training, recently graduating from the University of Manitoba. James believes in the future of energy, with a focus on fully integrated energy solutions; renewable energy, energy efficiency, and demand management. His major undergraduate project involved founding a vehicle design team, which designed, built, and tested an ultra-efficient battery-electric vehicle in an international competition. He hopes to learn from the Catalyst program on how to implement projects of his own in First Nations communities, as he believes clean energy is the key to improving the socioeconomic conditions on reserves (as well as mitigating climate change).

Neil Hawkes

Nunatsiavut Government

Neil works as the the Energy Facilitator for the Nunatsiavut Government. He has a degree in mechanical engineering and a graduate certificate in renewable energy technologies. The Nunatsiavut Government is committed to achieving a more sustainable energy future in Nunatsiavut and its work on energy projects is guided by and grounded in the goals listed in the Nunatsiavut Energy Security Plan. As the Energy Facilitator, Neil will be involved in projects such as a micro-grid project incorporating wind power and smart-grid technology, building efficiency improvements, energy education, and much more.

Tanya Johnson-MacVicar

Kwilmu’kw Maw-klusuaqn Negotiation Office

Tanya Johnson-MacVicar has been employed with Kwilmu’kw Maw-klusuaqn Negotiation Office Mi’kmaq Rights Initiative (KMKNO) as the Mi’kmaq Community Liaison. Born and raised in Potlotek First Nation; she is the granddaughter of Valerian (Smokey) and Cecelia Marshall. Tanya graduated from NSCC with an Aboriginal Court Worker Diploma as well, received her Hospitality and Communications Diploma from Compu College. For the past two years Tanya has been working alongside the Nova Scotia Mi’kmaw communities on hydro projects that need replacement, refurbishment or decommissioning. Some of these hydro projects that include; Gulch Spillway Refurbishment, Lequille Main Dam Refurbishment, Tusket Main Dam Refurbishment and Gaspereau Lake Reservoir.

Jason MacLeod

Glooscap First Nation

Born in Middleton, N.S. Jason is a member of Glooscap First Nation located in Hantsport, N.S. Jason joined the Canadian Armed forces in May of 2002, and was trained as a Supply Technician. In 2010, Jason was appointed the quartermaster position for CFB Kingston’s Peace Support Training Centre. After his retirement from the Canadian Forces in 2013, Jason started his studies at Acadia University, majoring in History. In 2015, he started his employment with Glooscap First Nation, and has held several positions within the organization, including On-site Monitor for the Gaspereau Lake Refurbishment Project, Manager of Special Projects, and currently he is the Housing and Maintenance Officer. He resides in Coldbrook, N.S. with his spouse Kayla, and their two sons, Cole and Connar.

Samuel Minde

Neyaskweyahk Group of Companies

Sam is currently the President and CEO of Neyaskweyahk Group of Companies Inc., the corporate business arm for the Ermineskin Cree Nation.  The Neyaskweyahk Group of Companies Inc. was officially launched in April of 2013. The NGCI business development strategy was to address the Nation’s existing assets and transform them into sustainable businesses that would create employment opportunities for Nation members.  Since establishment, 4 short years has shown that economic development has revitalized the community's business core. They are now looking forward to developing renewable energy projects in their Territories.


Kyla Morrisseau

Aniimbiigoo Zaag'iging Anishinabek

Kyla is the Consultation Coordinator/Climate Change Specialist for Animbiigoo Zaagi’igan Anishinaabek. Her main priority is protecting the rights and interests of Animbiigoo Zaagi’igan Anishinaabek along with teaching the community how to adapt in the changing climate. She sees the truly value in the use of green/clean energy in order to fight Climate Change and lower carbon emissions for the next generations. Kyla also works alongside the Community Planner as they work together on the Energy Plan for the community as well as exploring clean energy initiatives for the construction of a green community on their land base. She believes that the 20/20 Catalyst Program will truly benefit Animbiigoo Zaagi’igan Anishinaabek as they move forward with the design and construction of their community in the near future.

Andrew Oler

Tulita Land & Financial Corporation

Andrew Oler works in the Sahtu Community of Tulita, NWT. Tulita is heavily reliant on diesel generated power. Andrew is interested in assisting the diesel reliant off-grid community of Tulita to build localized renewable energy capacity while nurturing: economic opportunities, community driven initiatives, and long term sustainability planning.

Jolene Recollet

Wahnapitae First Nation

Jolene is Anishinaabe-Kwe from Wahnapitae First Nation, a signatory of the Robinson-Huron Treaty of 1850. Currently she serves her community as the Economic Development Officer, supporting the work of the Sustainable Development department. Jolene first became interested in clean energy when her community undertook a grass-roots, community-based approach to developing an Energy Action Plan. Wahnapitae First Nation strives for energy sovereignty and independence and prioritizes providing safe, clean, reliable energy for all community members.

Vince Robinson

Nuxalk First Nation

Vince spent the last 20 years working in Vancouver and on Vancouver Island. He spent approximately half that time with a furniture company and other half at wood mill. Vince’s last years there were spent as an apprentice sheet metal fabricator. He then made his way home to Bella Coola and started as a labourer for his community. This led to his current role as “Clean Energy Coordinator”. Vince has worked for my community as a youth worker in the past and up until now, was his most rewarding and fulfilling job.

Darin Swanson

Council of the Haida Nation

Darin has lived his life time in Haida Gwaii in the Village of Old  Massett on the northern shores of Haida Gwaii. Darin is a proud father, and a Grand father. His background is as a building contractor, he is an inter-provincially certified carpenter. He currently works for the Council of the Haida Nation as the Capital Works Department manager and was recently appointed as the Energy manager. Haida Gwaii is powered by Diesel, Haida Gwaii has a pristine environment and running on diesel is our dirty little secret. It’s Darin’s goal for Haida Gwaii to be energy sovereign and maximize economic opportunities and job creation through renewable energy. 

Mike Tilson

Chu Cho Environmental

Mike has worked for Tsay Keh Dene Nation for 11+ years alongside a team of incredibly talented and driven individuals pushing hard to build, expand and evolve a Nation-owned group of business enterprises. Mike is currently the General Manager of Tsay Keh Dene's Chu Cho Environmental LLP, where he sees his role as being driven by the need to create and maintain opportunities for exceptional growth and development for the employees, the business and most importantly for Tsay Keh Dene Nation and its citizens. In 2017 Chief Izony asked Mike to reinvigorate a project started 10 years earlier with the mandate to completely displace diesel. This is the project and this is the vision.

Dana Tizya-Tramm

Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation

Dana Tizya-Tramm was born and raised in the Yukon Territory, a proud member of the Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation. Bridging indigenous ways of knowing with western best practices Dana continues to “break trail” for the coming generations, and now in his position on council with his self-governing First Nation through projects like his community solar energy project. This project will be the largest in the Canadian Arctic and is just the beginning as his people continue to live with their environment, now through new technologies. The 20/20 Catalysts Program offers Dana the opportunity to gain insight and experience to better serve his community, nation, and the world at large.

Calvin Waquan

Mikisew Cree Nation

Calvin is a Mikisew Cree member from the Treaty 8 Territory in Fort Chipewyan, Alberta. Calvin is a Councillor of the Mikisew Cree First Nation, sits on the Board of Directors with Mikisew Group of Companies, Chair of Housing/Public works/Property Management within Fort Chipewyan, Doghead and Allison bay reserve, Co-Chair on the Environment portfolio for MCFN, and is on the Mikisew Cree Government/Industry relations negotiations team, with Mikisew lands being in the heart of the oil sands region, Wood Buffalo National Park (UNESCO) he sits at various tables, boards and committee’s for his environment and business portfolios.

Devin Ward

Mi'gmawe'l Tplu'taqunn Inc.

Devin is a Mi’Kmaq from Natoaganeg (Eel Ground) First Nation and is a father of two wonderful boys. He works as the Fisheries Coordinator at Mi’gmawe’l Tplu’taqnn Inc. (MTI) and is responsible for overseeing fisheries consultations as well as assisting in the review of natural resource projects for potential environmental effects that could result in impact to First Nations rights. Devin has always been a proponent of green energy integration and has been involved in the development of green energy projects in the past. His goal in the program is to gain the skills necessary to help guide the Mi’Kmaq communities of New Brunswick to become leaders in the implementation of green energy.

Bill Williams

Hamlet of Kugluktuk

Originally from rural South Western Ontario, Bill lives and works in the Arctic Community of Kugluktuk, Nunavut., Bill was an early adopter in Ontario Solar Power, and Biofuel Energy in an agricultural setting. He joined The Hamlet of Kugluktuk team as the Economic Development Officer in 2015, and is a Nunavut Economic Developers Association Board Member. With direction from Hamlet Council, Bill was the project lead for Kugluktuk Recreation Complex 60kW Solar PV System. Bill is interested in assisting the diesel reliant off-grid community to build localized renewable energy capacity while nurturing: economic opportunities, community driven initiatives, and long term sustainability planning.

Kat Woodman

Woodstock First Nation

Kathleen (Kat) Woodman is a Wulustukw of the Woodstock Reserve in New Brunswick. She is a mother of 5 and grandmother of 10. Kat graduated from Saint Thomas University with Distinction in 1995 with her Bachelors in Social Work. Kat is currently a Policy Advisor for her home community of Woodstock First Nation. She is the driving force behind Wisokolamson Energy through the LORESS process. It has become her mission to shift our community away from waning fossil fuel dependency towards a cleaner, more renewable sources of energy and power.

Like we said, Catalysts come from across Canada...