About

Mission

To encourage and promote the Saskatchewan First Nations Economic Development Network through services that enhance the capacity and effectiveness of the members.

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History

The Saskatchewan First Nations Economic Development Network (SFNEDN) was established in 2012, as a result of the needs identified by participants who believed it necessary to have a network that assisted First Nation Economic Development practitioners and corporations in becoming better involved and integrated in the provincial economy.

Our goal is to assist in navigating a path where a higher percentage of First Nations are actively participating in the provincial economy.

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Board of Directors

Milton Tootoosis
Chair

Milton is from the Poundmaker Cree Nation in Treaty Six Territory. Milton has over two decades experience in human resource management and aboriginal policy at the tribal, provincial and federal levels of government. His professional and personal interests enhance and build communities of collaboration with attention to building positive relationships and advancement. Milton has served on numerous committees with a focused attention to skills development, creating capacity and economic independence within First Nations communities. Milton received his Bachelor of Indigenous Studies in 1985, has studied public administration and taken numerous professional development courses. He is an accredited Professional Aboriginal Economic Developer by the Council for the Advancement of Native Development Officers. He is also a student of the Native Nations Institute for Leadership, Management and Policy at the University of Arizona.

mtootoosis@otc.ca

Charlotte Ross
Co-Chair

Charlotte Ross is a band member of the Montreal Lake Cree Nation and has been residing in the Saskatoon area for over twenty years. She completed her formal education at the University of Saskatchewan with an undergraduate Honors degree in Native Studies and a graduate degree in Adult & Continuing Education. Charlotte was involved in academic advising, liaison communications with First Nations and strategic planning throughout her tenure at the U of S for twenty years. She has been involved in the agricultural storage industry since 2012 with her partner, Paul Sharpe, incorporating as Osihcikew Contracting Ltd. and going across SK, AB and MB to build grain storage bins with local farmers and commercial size operations. They have recently expanded their repertoire of services to include steel building construction as well as being the only representative for Olympia Steel in SK. She has two children, numerous nieces and nephews and an ever-growing circle of grandchildren.

charlotteross2010@yahoo.ca

Angela Pratt
Board Member

Angela Pratt is a band member of Muscowpetung Saulteaux Nation located near Regina, SK. Angela completed her Bachelor of Administration, with a concentration in Marketing, in 2005 from the University of Regina/First Nations University of Canada. Her next academic goal is to pursue the Master of Business Administration designation. Angela has been working with the First Nations since she completed her degree. Angela has worked with Raven Consortium, Touchwood/Yorkton Tribal Council Child and Family Services, Yorkton Tribal Council Executive Office, SaskTel and Muscowpetung Saulteaux Nation. Currently, she works for FHQ Developments as the Economic Development and Business Advisor and has held the position since November 2011.

Angela's career aspirations have been focused on supporting the advancement and success of First Nations communities and as such, has joined the SFNEDN team as a board member. Angela is the proud mother of two boys and currently resides in Regina, SK.

apratt@fhqdev.com

Mel Merasty
Board Member

Mel Merasty is a member of the Peter Ballantyne Cree Nation in northern Saskatchewan. He received his diploma in Business Administration from the Saskatchewan Indian Institute of Technologies in 1997 and his Bachelor of Commerce degree with a major in Marketing from the University of Saskatchewan in 2012. He has taken numerous professional development courses and will be pursuing accreditation in economic development. He is an Economic Development Officer working with his band’s seven northern reserve communities plus the urban membership. He assists the band members with their entrepreneurial ideas and the communities with economic development committee training thus building capacity development and enhancing community readiness for economic opportunities.

His interests include enhancing economic and community development, social entrepreneurship and building relationships between First Nations and Non-First Nations organizations. Mel currently resides in Prince Albert.

mmerasty@pbcn.ca

Pam Spink
Board Member

Pam has held senior management positions in both the United States and Australia. In the United States, she was a Program Manager for the Executive Development Center at the University of Illinois. As a senior executive in Australia working for Pacific Dunlop Ltd. (Ansell Ltd.) and Foster’s Brewing Group, she did strategic planning for both domestic and international markets (the latter included Europe, the United States and New Zealand). Complementing her work experiences, she has a BA from Western University, London Ontario and a Master of Business Administration from Monash University, Melbourne, Australia. She has a long-standing interest in helping develop economic opportunities in First Nations communities.

p.louise.spink@gmail.com
p.spink@inneredgeresources.com

Heather Exner-Pirot
Director, Board Member

Dr. Heather Exner-Pirot is the Strategist for Outreach and indigenous Engagement with the College of Nursing at the University of Saskatchewan. She has previous appointments with the International Centre for Northern Governance and Development, the Johnson-Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy and the University of the Arctic.

heather.exnerpirot@usask.ca