Past Catalysts

Our 20/20 family has deep roots...

Every year we add another 20 exceptional catalysts from Indigenous communities across Canada to our growing 20/20 family. Below is a list of previous 20/20 Program laureates.

2019 Cohort

Alex Ittimangnaq

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.


Braden Etzerza

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 Joseph

Kopit Lodge

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.

Charlene Holmes

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.

Corey Mattie

Efficiency Nova Scotia

Mi’kmaq from K'jpuktuk and a strong environmental activist, Corey has always understood the important relationship between energy and the environment. Through his work experience, 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.

Dustin Fournier

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.

Jason Rasevych

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

Jason Aitchison

Kuujjuamiut Corporation & Nayumivik Landholding Corporation

Jason is from Kuujjuaq, Nunavik, where he 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 clean energy projects that could be feasible in the North. His goal in the 20/20 Catalysts 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


Jimmy Arqviq

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.

Jordyn Burnouf

Kistasew Energy

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.

Kirt Dedam

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.

Leon Cardinal

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.

Leona Humchitt

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.”

Melissa McDonald

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


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.

Peter Aqqaq

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".

Richard Nerysoo

Teetl’it Gwich’in Government

Richard was born in a camp on the Peel River north of Fort McPherson, NWT. 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.

Sal Poirier

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.

Sharon Waughtal

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.

Siobhan Slade

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.

Tim Tutcho

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 Jobb

Jobb Developments

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.

2018 Cohort

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.

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.

Blaine Chislett

Sakku Investments

Blaine is from Rankin Inlet Nunavut and is the maintenance manager for a Nunavut birthright investment and properties company. He is a proud father of 3 beautiful girls and he would like to see the north as a clean and affordable place to raise his kids and future generations. He hopes to see the territory slowing move away from its heavy diesel dependent ways and invest into cleaner green energy.

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.

Chantelle Cardinal

Stoney Nakoda-Tsuut'ina Tribal Council

Chantelle Cardinal is a member from Whitefish Lake #128 (Goodfish Lake), Alberta. She has been working with First Nations in Alberta for over 14 years. Ms. Cardinal's current employment is as the Director of Housing and Environment for the Stoney Nakoda Tsuut’ina Tribal Council (G4) and is responsible for guiding and assisting the Tribal Council on engagement and project management on the Government of Alberta’s Indigenous Climate Leadership Initiative (ICLI). As part being the Climate Change Coordinator for the G4, responsibilities also include leading and directing activities related to climate change, energy efficiency and renewable energy development while working with communities to increase climate literacy.

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.

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. 

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.

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.

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).

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.

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.

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 cleaner, more renewable sources of energy and power.

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.

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.

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.

Samuel Minde

Elements Firetack Inc.

Samuel is an established entrepreneur and an experienced Executive in First Nation Governance. In 2021 Samuel incorporated Elements Firetack Inc. to support Alberta Wildfire Suppression efforts.  Elements Firetack Inc. provides Firetack crews to battle out of control wildfires in Alberta.  Samuel strongly advocates for the Inherent and Treaty Rights and is happy to provide advisory services to the ICE Network.  He is an advocate for stronger environmental polices and Indigenous clean energy projects. 

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.

Tony Bagga

Heart Lake First Nation

Tony is the Consultation Director for Heart Lake First Nation, holding the position for 4 ½ years.  His role consists of the development of mutually beneficial relationships with Oil and Gas, Forestry, Power and multiple other operations; addressing and mitigating impacts on Heart Lake First Nations traditional lands, specifically around environment, community investment and identifying economic development opportunities.  Ultimately to achieve long-term sustainability. Tony is looking to diversify and expand Heart Lake First Nations portfolio from the traditional oil and gas engagement. This includes opportunities for biomass heating and other clean energy projects to supply the community and send excess energy to the grid.

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.

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.

2017 Cohort

AJ Esquega

Kiashke Zaaging Anishinaabek (Gull Bay First Nation)

AJ is a community member and former Councillor for Kiashke Zaaging Anishinaabek (KZA) - Gull Bay First Nation. During his time as a Councillor, he held the Lands and Resource Portfolio. AJ enjoy the outdoors, hunting, fishing, being on the lake, hiking, KZA History, and learning his culture. He is excited to take on the position as Mashkawiziiwin Energy Projects Coordinator for his community and hopes to see KZA off diesel fuel power and into greener energy sources.

Andres Filella

Métis Nation of Alberta

Andres is a chemical engineering graduate with a background in education, environmental risk management, and energy and sustainability. Andres joined the Métis Nation of Alberta in early 2017, and is leading the MNA’s Climate Change Action Plan. Currently, his team is exploring opportunities in energy efficiency and installing a solar project at MNA facilities. While Andres sees big challenges in the fight against climate change, he also believes there is room for communities and individuals to reap significant benefits such as reduced energy costs, new jobs and businesses, and environmental and health benefits. His interest in the 20/20 Catalysts Program comes from wanting to learn about what other communities have accomplished, and understand how these could help the MNA’s Climate Change Action Plan.

Barrie Ford

Makivik Corporation

Barrie Ford grew up in Kuujjuaq, Nunavik, Quebec. During high school he was fortunate enough to get a summer job at the local biological station. It was here that Barrie was exposed to the work of the Nunavik Research Centre. From an early age he participated in a number of programs such as: water sampling, ageing Salmon, and surveying geese. Barrie has completed a diploma in Natural Science from John Abbott College and a B.Sc. in Wildlife Biology from McGill's Macdonald Campus. Barrie has now worked with the Makivik Corporation, an Inuit birthright organization, for over 10 years on a number of files ranging from biology, mining policy, community engagement to science facilitation.

Blair Hogan

Teslin Tlingit First Nation

Blair Hogan is a Teslin Tlingit First Nation citizen who has a strong history of effective community leadership in the areas of business development, economic development, and intergovernmental relations. Blair has assisted his self-governing First Nation, the Teslin Tlingit Council and community of Teslin, Yukon in developing political and financial strategies to access a wide-range of funds necessary to facilitate local community development and local opportunity creation. Currently Blair is implementing one of the largest-scale biomass district heating systems in the Yukon, that will directly offset 10 buildings in Teslin from importing and burning heating fuel and propane.

Colin Asselstine

Kluane Community Development Corporation

As General Manager of the Kluane Community Development Corporation, Colin works with government, industry partners, and Kluane First Nation Citizens to enhance local economic opportunities, attract investment in community builds and infrastructure and implement projects that encourage community growth in Burwash Landing and throughout the traditional territory of Kluane First Nation. Colin is a long-time resident and an active member of the Kluane Region, and he also sits on the Dän Keyi Renewable Resource Council

Darryl Hill

Six Nations of the Grand River Development Corporation

Darryl is a Mohawk of the Six Nations of the Grand River Territory who has worked his entire professional career in various First Nation government organizations. He started out as a Capital Management Officer with Indigenous & Northern Affairs Canada. Darryl has vast experience obtained while working with organizations such as a First Nation philanthropic fund, provincial aboriginal sport body, and a civil engineering consulting firm. Most recently he has worked with First Nations on community energy plans. Darryl is now employed as Energy Planner for the Six Nations of the Grand River Development Corporation.

Desmond Bull

Louis Bull Tribe

As a First Nation member, elected official and an environmental steward, Desmond was honored to research and develop the initiative for the Louis Bull Tribe’s PV system (Solar Project). Desmond worked closely with his community and with Gridworks Energy, completing public buildings assessments, applying for a First Nation infrastructure grant, and working on strategic planning for the solar project This work also opened opportunities for Desmond to sit with The Green Economy Network in Edmonton and Energy Futures Lab of Alberta, become appointed to the Alberta Energy Efficiency Advisory Panel, and be voted to the Alberta Solar Energy Society.

Joe Lazore

Mohawk Council of Akwesasne

Joe is a member Mohawks of Akwesasne Territory. He has duel citizenship and works on both sides of the borders. Joe has been a career electrician for over 25 years. He also has a Masters in the electrical field. Joe works for and maintains the Mohawk Council of Akwesasne’s infrastructure, building electrical equipment, and upgrading systems for energy savings. Joe has been looking for ways to harness local energy, including the great amount of water flowing around his community with great speeds and great volumes of water.

Juanie Pudluk

Government of Nunavut

Juanie grew up in Resolute Bay, Nunavut. After high school, he went to university and studied Electrical Engineering. He became interested in energy while working for the power utility, Qulliq Energy Corporation. Nunavut is highly dependent on fossil fuels and Juanie has been researching ways to reduce fuel usage and maybe use alternative energies to heat and power homes. Juanie recognizes that many technologies exist that can help but finding a way to overcome many of the obstacles in the far north is difficult. Juanie now works for Capital Projects within the Government of Nunavut.

Kim Nash McKinley

St. Mary's First Nation

Kim is a member of the Maliseet First Nation and a member of the St. Mary’s Community in Fredericton; a Former Chief for the off reserve Aboriginal Peoples residing in the province of New Brunswick. .  She has experience working with all levels of government, Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal communities, public and private agencies as well as non-profit organizations and educational institutes. Kim is now the Economic Development Officer for St. Mary's First Nation.

Kim Scott

Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg

Kim holds a Master of Science from the University of Waterloo, is member of the International Society of Sustainability Professionals and the Canadian Sustainability Indicators Network. Her professional interests include advancing democracy through distributed, community owned clean energy systems, reinforcing moral independence and self directing freedom for Indigenous communities through energy independence and amplifying the nexus between human health, energy and environmental integrity.

Lee Thom

Kikino Métis Settlement

Lee was born in Lac La Biche, Alberta and is a member of the Kikino Métis Settlement. Lee worked in the oil and gas industry for many years before moving to the Alberta Pacific Forest industry. From there he ran and was elected as the Vice-Chairman for the Kikino Métis Settlement administration. Lee became involved with climate change when he was offered the position as the Climate Change Coordinator at the Métis Settlements General Council in Edmonton, AB. His focus is to assist all eight Métis Settlements in Northern Alberta with their green initiatives and to help reduce GHG’s. Within the next few years Lee hopes to educate and assist the Métis Settlements in the installation of solar panels, retrofit housing and to promote clean energy.

Leonard Flett

Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation

Leonard was born at Jackfish Lake and is a member of the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation (ACFN). Leonard studied “Native Communication” at Grant MacEwan College in Edmonton. He then went to work for "Industry" at Suncor, known as G.C.O.S. Later, Leonard moved into Housing Construction in Fort McMurray as the city was booming in the mid 70's. Today, Leonard is employed with the ACFN, drafting an Emergency Evacuation Plan. His community already has two solar panel systems installed. Within the next 5 years, ACFN would like all 89 residential units and those currently being constructed, to have solar panels installed.

Lisa Francis-Beaver

Nova Scotia Power (Acadia First Nation)

Lisa Francis-Beaver has a background in Human Resource Management and Industrial Relations, Saint Mary’s University, and has earned other economic development and business certifications along the way. Lisa spent fifteen years with Acadia First Nation working in community economic development. As a mentor and regional Mi’kmaq chair on several economic development fronts she was a strong voice of the Mi’kmaq people receiving House of Assembly recognition and featured in the Wabanaki People of the Dawn regarding culture, heritage, archaeology and green energy sustainability.  In 2015, she obtained the first Aboriginal Relations Advisor position with Nova Scotia Power, and currently continues to establish the foundation of Aboriginal Affairs within the company.

Melissa Quesnelle

Blood Tribe (Kainai Nation)

Melissa is from the Kainai Nation in southwestern Alberta. She brings industry experience in environmental design, construction, and project management to a leadership position with the Indigenous Sustainable Structures Collaborative. In her role as Executive Advisor, Melissa is honoured to be working with a passionate group of industry professionals committed to a common goal: Providing environmentally sustainable building systems that are culturally appropriate and clean energy compatible. She and her team believe that access to affordable, high-quality, resilient buildings is a critical factor to overcoming many of the social, environmental, and economic challenges faced by First Nations and Inuit communities across Canada.

Michael Ouellette

Pimicikamak Cree Nation

Michael is a member of Pimicikamak Cree Nation in Northern Manitoba. He proudly works as a community medical doctor in Pikangikum First Nation in Northwestern Ontario. Michael believes that, to truly address the health of people in any community one must put attention towards energy security and economic development. Thus, he has been developing interests in these areas. He recently completed a certificate in Best Practices in Indigenous Business and Economic Development at The Banff Centre. In addition, plans are in place to pursue an executive MBA in Aboriginal Business and Leadership at Beedie School of Business in Vancouver. As the clean energy lead for the Pikangikum First Nation, Michael is interested in developing opportunities for the community as they move forward with connection to the provincial power grid as a new partner for the Wataynikaneyap Power Project and grid extension.

Samantha Robichaud

Mi'gmawe'l Tplu'taqnn Inc.

Samantha works as the Energy and Mines Coordinator for Mi’gmawe’l Tplu’taqnn Inc. (MTI). MTI is a not-for-profit, rights-based Mi’gmaq organization whose members are the 9 Mi’gmaq First Nation communities located throughout the Province of New Brunswick. Samantha is the primary contact for energy and mining projects and her role is to ensure that Mi’gmaq rights are recognized, affirmed and protected within the energy and mining sector. Her goal within the organization is to help the Mi’gmaq obtain better opportunities by advancing energy projects that are safe and sustainable for the environment which will help mitigate impacts of climate change.

Stacey Goulding

Leq'a:mel First Nation

Stacey is both a member and an employee of Leq’á:mel First Nation (LFN).  She has been working with LFN since 2009 where she started as a steonographer for leadership and committee meetings.  Since 2012, Stacey has been working within the lands department on projects that carry out LFN's priorities under Land Code.  They are currently working on phase 2 of rolling out LFN's Environmental Management Plan and in the second year of a major restoration project entitled the Nicomen Slough Restoration Project. Stacey’s passion is around preserving and protecting the environment in a holistic way that includes educating people and meeting the needs of today's society while preserving and protecting the land for future generations.

Tristan House

Chiniki First Nations

Tristan is a former youth program coordinator for Chiniki First Nation. Now working as a volunteer community ski coach and one of the founders of the first Stoney Nakoda Lost Wolves ski team, one of Tristan’s main goals is to raise healthy young people in his community. The Chiniki First Nation is in the process of setting up a Solar Power Plant on the west side of the reserve, which will have an estimated power production of 40MW. The community’s plan is to start construction some time this summer and complete the nation’s first renewable energy project.

Vincent Ostberg

Bearskin Lake First Nation

Vincent became interested in renewable energy when he was a younger man in his 20s. Vincent's interest grew from his late grandfather, Isaac Beardy's, desire to see hydro generating turbines situated along the Severn River in Bearskin Lake. Vincent has attended the Ontario Water Power Association workshop in Thunder Bay in summer 2016 and learned about the different companies, learned about different software for calculating the costs of building the infrastructure, and building business partnerships with First Nations communities and the private sector. Vincent is the Community Consultation Officer for the Michikan Lands and Resources Department in his community.

Wanda Westhaver

Acadia First Nation

Wanda Westhaver is a Mikmaw woman from Nova Scotia.  She has been employed as an Employment/Training Officer with Acadia First Nation for the past 20 years.   Wanda has a keen interest in learning more about green technology and sustainable energy projects. The timing of this training couldn’t be better as Nova Scotia Power is undertaking a huge project over the next 10 – 12 years to upgrade their six Hydroelectric Generating Stations on the Mersey River. This program will assist Acadia First Nation to be ready to take full advantage of opportunities for community members.

2016 Cohort

Andrew Epoo

Village of Inukjuak

Andrew is the youngest Municipal Councilor of Inukjuak. He is heavily involved in the region's political youth council and plays an advisory roll to the council. Finding modern ways to teach traditional values is a difficult task but Andrew feels that clean energy is a path we can take to ensure that some of these values are instilled into our younger generations.

Cara Sanders

Curve Lake First Nation

Cara is a highly effective, dedicated, hardworking individual with a vast experience in environmental projects and Federal and Provincial environmental assessments (EA), with responsibilities ranging from data collection to project management to report writing.  She combines an Undergraduate Degree in Geography, a Masters Degree in Spatial Analysis with a focus on environmental studies and Certified Engineering Technologist accreditation with over ten years of experience.  Cara is now looking to apply her experiences as well as her strong research, planning, and coordinating skills to develop clean energy projects.

Chantel Henderson

Pinaymootang & Sagkeeng First Nations

Chantel was born and raised in Winnipeg, MB., and was the first in her family to earn a high school diploma, attend college and earn a Bachelor's & Master's degree. After her schooling, Chantel moved to Montreal and became involved in Missing Justice at the Centre for Gender Advocacy and joined the board of the Native Women's Shelter of Montreal and the Centre for Gender Advocacy. Chantel became interested in environmental issues, solar power, economic emancipation for women, and women empowerment through school and volunteer work. Chantel is looking forward to participating in the 20/20 Catalyst Program for Entrepreneurs in the Energy Sector.

Corey Tarbell

Mohawk Council of Akwesasne

As a Volunteer Firefighter and Building Inspector for his community Corey has been striving to find the best solutions for the Akwesasne community. One of these solutions will be clean and efficient energy for Akwesasne. Corey was the project lead on the Aboriginal Conservation Program (ACP). This program was a huge success for Akwesasne. With the ACP, the Akwesasne were able to provide energy efficient appliances and add insulation to over 200 homes in effort to reduce the energy bills. The amount of teamwork involved to accomplish this task due to huge time constraints was astonishing. As Mohawk culture promotes the future of the next seven generations, Akwesasne can only benefit from the use of alternative clean energy.

Darrell Brown

Kisik Inc.

Darrell is a Cree entrepreneur and advocate for Indigenous Business based out of Winnipeg, Manitoba. He holds an Advanced Diploma in International Business from Red River College and a Certificate in Indigenous Leadership and Management from The Banff Centre. Beyond this, Darrell is a founding member and past chair of the Aboriginal Chamber of Commerce.In addition to owning a full service office furniture dealership, Darrell does small consulting contracts for a range of clients through his company, Kisik Clean Energy. Darrell has extensive firsthand experience with the Canadian Federal Governments Aboriginal Procurement Strategy. He is now looking for the experience of a clean energy based project that involves First Nations.

David Jeremiah

North Caribou Lake First Nation

David's journey began when he ran for council two years ago. Although he didn't win, his platform focused on sustainability and a job opportunity was available as Energy Coordinator after the election, which he applied to and got the position. David is passionate about having his community pursue clean energy and reduce their dependence on diesel. He wants to learn as much as he can so he can achieve that goal for his community. David is also the Community Worker for the Remote Electrification Readiness Program for the Wataynikineyap Power transmission project.

Dylan Whiteduck

Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg

Dylan Whiteduck is a First Nation business graduate student from Algonquin College in the Business Management & Entrepreneurship program. Dylan now acts as the Economic Development Officer for is First Nation: Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg. Dylan is responsible to actively promote and aid the development of businesses for Kitigan Zibi band members. He also carries out related support research for band business ventures and helps organize business development workshops and seminars. Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg is eager to move forward with clean energy. With the emphasis on Aboriginal partnerships in the recently released Quebec Energy Plan, we are hopeful that there will be more opportunities for us to continue to work on energy projects.

Ed Genova

NB Power

Edward is a Mi’kmaq from Metepenagiag First Nation. He’s a Graduate of the University of New Brunswick majoring in Biology and Physial Education. In 2007, he left the education field to work in Industry, and has been with New Brunswick Power Corporation now for 9 years.  His work has helped to improve relations, deal with legacy issues, offer guidance, support and facilitation to Indigenous communities in New Brunswick. He has always been a passionate educator and believes that in order for Indigenous communities to reach self-sufficiency they need capacity to do so.

Eileen Marlowe

Government of Northwest Territories (Lutselk’e Dene First Nation)

Eileen is a Chipewyan woman from Lutselk’e, NT.  She holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Professional Communications and currently works for the Government of Northwest Territories (GNWT) within the Energy Division as a Communications Advisor.  She is responsible for increasing public knowledge and awareness of what the GNWT and its partners are doing in energy conservation and efficiency, energy projects and innovation.  Eileen feels that it is important to reduce the use of diesel within northern communities now more than ever.

Grant Sullivan

Gwich'in Council International

Grant Sullivan has been the Executive Director of Gwich’in Council International for the past 3 years. Prior to that he was employed by Beaufort Delta Health and Social Services as a Financial Controller. Grant has also owned and operated his own small business and enjoys the challenges of being a contractor. Grant attended primary and secondary school in Inuvik, NT then moved on to earn a Bachelor of Management with a Major in Finance, from the University of Lethbridge in Alberta. Although Grant was born and raised in Inuvik, NT, he presently resides with his family in Whitehorse, Yukon.

John Jensen

Carcross Tagish First Nation

John Jensen has a degree from University of Phoenix in BSc, Business Management, and is currently pursuing a Masters of Environmental Management from Royal Roads University. John is a director of of the Yukon Energy Board. John also sits as a General Counsel Gaanaxtedi Clan representative for the Carcross Tagish First Nation (CTFN). John has experience in directing private development of clean tech energy systems, primarily a micro – gasifier that produces energy from wood chips. John’s ambition is, creating sustainable energy for the Yukon, and creating an additional economic pillar from such developments, that will help foster economic development in the Yukon.

JP Pinard

Kluane First Nation

JP Pinard is a professional engineer and a community wind and renewable energy researcher, consultant, advisor, and advocate. JP grew up in the northern mining town of Val- d’Or, Quebec, in James Bay Cree territory, and his ancestors came from France in 1647. He received his

bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering at the University of Waterloo and wandered into Whitehorse the following year in 1992. His calling to renewable energy came in 1996 and returned to university (University of

Alberta) to pursue a master’s degree and then a PhD on the wind climate of the mountainous Yukon. He has assessed the wind energy potential in dozens of communities across all three Territories of Northern Canada. JP’s vison is for the Yukon and Canada’s remote communities to be carbon free

and gain economic wealth from renewables and energy efficiency. His primary focus is to help the Kluane First Nation build a renewable energy future and share this experience with other champion communities across Canada’s North.

Melina Laboucan-Massimo

Lubicon Cree First Nation

Melina Laboucan-Massimo is Lubicon Cree from Northern Alberta. She has worked on social, environmental and climate justice issues for the past 20 years. Melina is the Just Transition Director at Indigenous Climate Action, the Founder of Sacred Earth Solar and a Fellow at the David Suzuki Foundation. She is also the Host of a new TV series called Power to the People which profiles renewable energy, food security and eco-housing projects in Indigenous communities across Canada.  

Michelle Myers

Xeni Gwet'in First Nations

Michelle is a member of the Xeni Gwet'in First Nations and was raised with Tsilhqot'in beliefs by her parents. She is currently pursuing degrees in Native Studies and Environmental Conservation and has been part of several organised initiatives this year that are focused on issues related to land and climate change including the Indigenous Climate Change Action Plan, Tla-O-Qui-Aht Tribal Parks Summit, Power Shift Alberta, and the Open Access Energy Summit. Michelle wants to support her community in developing a sustainable economy using the bountiful resources they have been gifted with, and she looks to support an energy based strategy that will bring jobs into her community and protect the livelihoods of Tsilhqot'in youth for seven generations to come.

Regina Jacobs

Mohawk Council of Akwesasne

Regina has been an Emergency Manager for the Mohawk Council of Akwesasne for well over a decade. She currently chairs the Akwesasne & Local Emergency Planning Committee (ALECP) and sits on the International Association of Emergency Managers (IAEM) Standards and Practices committee – representing First Nations. Through the 20/20 Program, Regina hopes to incorporate renewable energy as a reliable resource into the Akwesasne Joint Emergency Operations Plan (AJEOP), and create a platform that enhances and supports Haudenosaunee Traditional Teachings that emphasizes our responsibility as a First Nation to live responsibly and to protect Mother Earth while preserving it for the Next Seven Generations.

Rosa Brown

Vuntut Gwitchin Government

Rosa's bio is coming soon.

Sheldon Nimchuk

Qikiqtaaluk Corporation

Sheldon works for the Qikiqtaaluk Development Corp. and is currently developing a Micro-Grid for Iqaluit.

Tanna Pirie-Wilson

Tobique First Nation

Tanna is a very proud Wolastoqiyik from Neqotkuk Maliseet Nation (Tobique First Nation). She is currently the CEO of Band Operations for her community and has a keen interest in green technology and sustainable energy projects, which has developed into a passion for moving towards greener communities. Tanna feels that now more than ever is the time where integrating First Nation traditional methods of sustainability with today's green technology will help us create greener and brighter futures for the next 8 generations.