Our Direction comes from on the Seven Sacred Teachings:
RESPECT, COURAGE, LOVE, TRUTH, HUMILITY, HONESTY, WISDOM
The Indigenous Gathering Place Society of Calgary: the Elders and Indigenous youth that guide our journey, our seven-member board of directors, and the many volunteers and committee members make up the Gathering Place.
We are a non-profit organization formed in direct response to the call for a Reconciled Canada. We respect both Western written protocols and traditional Indigenous ways of knowing and being in all our relations.
MEET OUR MEMBERS
Elders REg & Rose Crowshoe
Dr. Reg Crowshoe and Rose Crowshoe are honoured Blackfoot Elders and Traditional Knowledge Keepers. Together they have been advisors for many committees with national, provincial, and local scopes focusing on work with Elders, youth, culture and the environment. They are both instrumental in the development of the upcoming Indigenous Gathering Place of Calgary.
Dr. Crowshoe, a former Chief of the Piikani Nation, is also a regular lecturer at academic institutions like the University of Calgary and the University of Lethbridge and was influential in the development of the education program at the Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump. He also co-authored the book Akak’stiman which explores Indigenous concepts of justice and sentencing circles.
Elder Doreen Healy
Born and raised on the Blood Reserve, Blackfoot Confederacy, Southern Alberta, Elder Doreen is a member of the Kainai Nation, Blood Tribe having made her home in Calgary since the mid 1960s. She has been instrumental with her knowledge, experience and professional endeavours in areas such as Tribal Councils, post-secondary institutions, government and private industry. She is the current Resident Elder for the Alberta Energy Regulator.
Co-Chair - John Fischer
John Fischer is the Director of the Iniskim Centre at Mount Royal University. With over 35 years of experience as an educator and administrator, and board member of the Calgary Foundation, John brings his leadership and expertise to the Indigenous Gathering Place.
Co-Chair - Eve MacMillan
Eve MacMillan recently retired as Executive Director of Sunrise Healing Lodge. During her working career she served on a number of non-profit boards—both municipal and provincial. Eve is the founder of the Oxford House Foundation of Canada, a non-profit organization dedicated to housing needs for individuals in recovery from addictions.
TREASURER - Huan Li
Huan Li is a CPA, CGA member and has worked at Sunrise Healing Lodge Society for over 10 years where he manages finances and accounting. Huan regularly enjoys hiking and is excited to contribute to the vision of an Indigenous Gathering Place in Calgary.
DirectoR - Tyler Makinaw
Tyler is from Ermineskin Cree Nation a part of Maskwacis, which resides within Treaty Six, Alberta. He served as the Indigenous Liaison for a law firm called Calgary Legal Guidance and is pursuing a law degree with intentions to found a fully Indigenous legal practice. Tyler has entrenched himself in helping people of all Indigenous backgrounds while working in many different areas within the justice sector.
DirectoR - Janet Naclia
Janet was born and raised in Fort McMurray, AB. She works as Alberta Recreation and Parks Association’s (ARPA)’s Program Manager, and liaison between ARPA and 40+ Indigenous communities, partners, and urban organizations. One of her main roles with ARPA is working with a group of Treaty 7 Elders on projects related to recreation and parks. Janet has also recently completed the Graduate Certificate Program in Indigenous Sport and Recreation through University of Alberta.
Director - Mike Simeons
Mike is a technical co-founder and social innovator of multiple organizations. He is passionate about software development, information architecture and process implementation. He contributes to a wide range of social causes and volunteerism.
Director - Lee Stevens
Lee is Tlingit First Nation from the Deisheetaan, (split tail beaver) Clan in Carcross, Yukon. She works at Vibrant Communities Calgary as a Community Engagement Specialist. Lee has worked as a social worker in Calgary for the past 11 years, for organizations such as the Calgary Drop in Centre, CUPS, and Alberta Health Services. Lee has always been an advocate for ensuring that Indigenous people receive culturally safe, and equitable services.
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR - TONYA CROWCHILD
Tonya is a proud member of Tsuut'ina Nation in Calgary, Alberta. She brings knowledge, education and experience in administration, corporate development, operations, consultation, economic development, network marketing and cultural advising to the Indigenous Gathering Place Society. Her experience, education and training throughout her life allowed her to gain an understanding of First Nations issues and traditional education in Indigenous history. Tonya believes in success of all Indigenous Peoples and seeks opportunities to serve in the ethical space the Indigenous Gathering Place has founded.
Community engagement Chair - Anne Harding
Owner of Forum Community Relations, a Calgary based consulting company dedicated to promoting and creating space for meaningful engagement, reconciliation, and relationship-building, Anne has also worked in Indigenous & Community Relations at Suncor Energy for over a decade. She has engaged with over 60 Indigenous communities and organizations across Canada on economic development, community engagement, education, training, and resource consultation initiatives. Anne holds a Master of Arts in Corporate-Aboriginal Relations and a CP3 (Certified Public Participation Professional) designation through IAP2 Canada. Anne lives in traditional Treaty 7 territory in Calgary, Alberta with her husband, two kids and chocolate lab, Grizzly.
Communications Chair - Michelle Fournie
Michelle is a member of Metis Nation Region III and a graduate of the Bachelor of Communications – Public Relations degree from Mount Royal University with a focus on ethical communications in the energy industry. She also holds education in Indigenous Social Work from the University of Victoria and brings professional experience in communications consulting for energy, government relations, and non-profit sectors. Michelle's passion and research efforts focus on how Indigenous peoples are portrayed in public discourse and the meta-narratives founding these conversations.
Engagement Coordinator - Devonn Drossel
Devonn Drossel is a Red River Métis woman who was born in Whitehorse, Yukon Territory, and whose familial roots are in Saskatchewan and Iowa, USA. She is currently a student at the University of Calgary pursuing degrees in International Indigenous Studies and Linguistics & Language. Additionally, she is actively involved in working towards the creation of a small, affordable urban housing community and eco-village in Okotoks as a part of Vagabond Tiny Homes and Sagebrush Social.
Social Media coordinator - Melissa Schwartz
Melissa is a recent graduate from Mount Royal University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications, majoring in public relations and minoring in marketing. She is an Advisor at Suncor Energy in Brand Management and Communication Services with a passion for diversity and inclusion, and Indigenous relations.
IGP COnsultan/ Traditional “Scout” - Aaron Aubin Consulting Inc. (AACI)
AACI is an Indigenous-owned consulting firm based in Calgary, Alberta. AACI was hired through funding made available by the Calgary Foundation and the Calgary Homeless Foundation. Since 2017, Aaron Aubin, Project Manager and Indigenous Consultant has worked alongside of the IGP Board of Directors and Committee to co-develop the Business Case for a Calgary Indigenous Gathering Place and the IGP Summary Brochure. AACI continues to provide a range of support services to the IGP including architecture, land use planning, strategic communications, and business planning.
Thank you to our funders