Executive


Chief Bobby Cameron

image-6Bobby Cameron has a deep appreciation and respect for the traditional way of hunting, trapping, fishing and gathering. When he was nine-years old his father taught him to lay down tobacco and give thanks after he shot his first deer. This lesson helped to instill a strong belief in the Inherent and Treaty rights of First Nation people. He firmly believes the Treaty Right to Education is the key to ending poverty and improving the lives of Indigenous people.

Cameron is from the Witchekan Lake First Nation where he worked as a school teacher and sat as a band councillor. In 2011, he ran successfully for the Office of the Second Vice Chief of the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations and was re-elected in 2014. During that time, Cameron held the Lands and Resources and Education portfolios.

In the fall of 2015, Cameron with the support of many Chiefs and Councilors was elected as Chief of the FSIN. His mandate is to continue with the implementation, enforcement, protection on Inherent and Treaty Rights.

“It is vital for our youth to complete their education from early childhood learning, graduating high school to earning a post-secondary degree to developing skills in a specialized trade. Education is the key to building healthier people and communities. Our Grandmothers and Grandfathers had the spiritual guidance and foresight to include our Treaty Right to an education when they entered into Treaty more than a century ago. We will continue to honour their vision by staying in school and helping our people protect, promote and implement our Inherent and Treaty Rights.”

Portfolios:


First Vice-Chief Kim Jonathan

Vice Chief Kim Jonathan took office as interm Chief December 2014 and First Vice Chief in October 2012. Kim takes pride in her Dakota and Cree heritage. Her parents are Velma Buffalo of Wahpeton Dakota Nation and Arthur Turner of James Smith First Nation. Kim has been blessed with four beautiful children.

Guided by the teachings of her grandparents, parents and traditional Elders, Kim’s ideology consists of sustaining culture and languages, traditional values, the voices of her ancestors, and advocating for treaties in order to improve the health of First Nations, the welfare of children and youth, their education and training aspirations, and accommodating for better housing and other needs. Kim has been an advocate for the First Nation community, and has worked alongside the leadership by providing support and advice on a variety of issues. In 2012, Kim was recognized as one of Saskatchewan First Nations Women in Leadership.

As interim Chief Kim Jonathan was responsible for 9 portfolios within Federation of Saskatchewan as of April 2015 to September 2015.  The portfolios include AFN Regional Chief, Legislative Assembly, Executive Council/Indian Government Commission, Health & Social Development Commission, First Nations Women’s Commission (Shared with Vice Chief Heather Bear), Communications, Treaty Governance Office, Justice Commission, and Intergovernmental Relations.

Vice Chief Jonathan was employed with the Prince Albert Grand Council since 1999, and has served in education, wholistic wellness and at the White Buffalo Treatment Centre for youth. At the treatment Centre, Kim was the Clinical Supervisor for the delivery of programs and services. Kim has confidently delivered presentations at international conferences on topics of sharing indigenous ways of healing and clinical supervision. Kim also served as a Board Member with the First Nations University of Canada, and with Indian Child and Family Services.

Portfolios:

  • Justice Commission
  • Indigenous Gaming Regulators
  • FSIN Youth
  • UNDRIP
  • TRC Recommendations

Second Vice-Chief Robert Merasty

Bob MerastyRobert (Bob) Merasty is an avid promoter of Saskatchewan First Nations business and human resource development for the past 25 years. He believes that First Nations success in business directly contributes to the long term economic foundation for the province and more importantly enhances self-determination goals of our First Nations communities. As such, he works diligently at building essential linkages for First Nations.

Previous to Bob’s success as 2nd Vice Chief he was the principal consultant for R.A. Merasty Business Associates his primarily focused on business project development and facilitating essential corporate networks in Saskatchewan. Bob has served as the Senior Advisor to the Saskatchewan Research Council for Aboriginal Business Development and Community Relations. He has held previous roles as Senior Advisor to the Crown Investments Corporation of Saskatchewan for Aboriginal Business and Human Resource Development, Executive Director of the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations, Corporate Circle initiative. Bob has worked with several First Nations communities. Bob’s backgrounds in business, law and marketing will add valuable experience to his current position. He has been a business owner and entrepreneur with his business ventures in Visions Marketing and Fitness Works.

He serves on numerous boards including First Nations Power Authority of Saskatchewan, Saskatchewan’s Corporate Procurement Committee, Saskatchewan First Nations Economic Development Network and Chair for Flying Dust First Nation Holding Corporation.

Qualifications Highlights

  • Extensive corporate networks established over the past 25 years as a businessman, corporate board member, athlete and leader in Aboriginal Community, Human Resource, Business and Procurement Development
  • Excellent interpersonal and communications skills essential to establishing strategic corporate and community relations
  • A proven team player who has planned and implemented initiatives directed at development of Aboriginal communities and our future leadership
  • Understanding of the importance of our First Nations cultural and spiritual beliefs and fluent Cree speaker.
  • Former Chief of Flying Dust First Nation

Portfolios:

  • Fiscal Relations Commission
  • Gaming Commission: SIGA, First Nations Trust, Community Development Corporations
  • Saskatchewan Indian Equity Foundation
  • First Nations Bank of Canada
  • UNDRIP
  • TRC Recommendations

Third Vice-Chief Edward (Dutch) Lerat

Photo courtesy of Shannon Avison

Edward (Dutch) Lerat is a member of the Cowessess First Nation of Saskatchewan, Canada. Edward has served Indian Governments of the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations for a period of 19 years. During this time he served as Executive Assistant to the Chief of Saskatchewan Indians and later got seconded to the Federal Government in Ottawa as Special Assistant to Minister Argue. In 1984 he was elected as Second Vice-Chief for the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations, in 1995 he began his fifth term with the FSIN as an elected Vice-Chief. During this period of time, Mr. Lerat served on many Boards and Commissions, and was Regional Vice-Chief to the Assembly of First Nations of Canada.

In February, 1996, Vice-Chief Edward (Dutch) Lerat was seconded to the Saskatchewan Indian Gaming Authority as Acting Chief Executive Officer. Edward was an instrumental player in the establishment of Casinos in four Saskatchewan Communities under First Nations jurisdiction and control.

From August, 1996 to June 2000, Mr. Lerat was appointed to the position of Chief Executive Officer, for the Saskatchewan Indian Gaming Authority.

In April 2004, Edward was elected Urban Councillor for the Cowessess First Nation and has served two consecutive terms. He continues to be instrumental in pursuing programs and services for the Urban Cowessess Membership.

In October 2009, Edward was elected Third Vice Chief for the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations.

Portfolios:

  • Economic and Community Development Commission
  • Centre of Excellence
  • Indian Resource Council
  • Independent Bands
  • Urban Development Committee
  • Housing: On and off-reserve
  • Veterans
  • Senate
  • Bold Eagle
  • UNDRIP
  • TRC Recommendations

Fourth Vice-Chief Heather Bear

Fourth Vice Chief Heather Bear is a member of the Ochapowace First Nation in Saskatchewan. She is a wife and mother of 4 children and most recently, a Grandmother. Prior to being elected to the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations as Fourth Vice Chief, Heather had served as a Council member of the Ochapowace First Nation for six years.

During her term of office, Heather has worked collectively for the betterment and advancement for all First Nations in the area of Treaty Implementation, prioritized education as a Treaty Right and the foundation for our schools, ensured the development of First Nations youth to become the future leaders, and continues the commitment to improving the life situations of First Nations people.

Vice Chief Bear is an alumni of the First Nations University of Canada, she has obtained her Certificate in Indigenous Leadership Governance and Management Excellence through the Banff Center of Management and has served on numerous boards and commissions at the First Nation, Tribal Council and Federation level.

In October 2014, history was made as Vice Chief Heather Bear was the second woman elected to the FSIN Executive in 65 years.

Portfolios: