The Saskatchewan First Nations Veteran’s Association’s vision is to bring equality to all our SFNVA members and to close the gap in the quality of life between First Nations and non-First Nations Veterans and their families.
The Saskatchewan First Nations Veteran’s Association is mandated by its members to:
- Monitor and participate with First Nations leaders to bring about positive change in the quality of lives for First Nations Veterans and their families;
- Redress historical wrong-doing;
- Promote unity to address common concerns and develop a collective voice for First Nations Veterans and their families;
- Preserve the history of First Nations contributions to Canada’s safety and well-being; and
- Promote the “warrior ethic” among First Nations people, especially youth.
Grand Chief Steven Ross
Steven M. Ross was elected to the Saskatchewan First Nations Veterans Association to serve as the Grand Chief on March 31, 2015. He has been an active member of the SFNVA for 15 years. Steven served for the Queens own Rifles of Canada. His tour of duty included United Nations Peace Keeping Duty in Cyprus. Steven holds a Bachelors of Arts Degree and an Associate of Administration diploma from SIFC, University of Regina. He is the Chief of the Elder’s Council and Chair of the General Band Assemblies for the Montreal Lake Cree Nation. He is a member of the Saskatchewan Chapter of the Aboriginal Finance Officers Association. He also sits as member of the Montreal Lake Business Ventures Board. For the past 15 years Steven has owned SR Prorpietor, a property rental service based in Prince Albert that serves First Nations clients with housing needs. He has also been in the trucking industry with his own tractor trailer for a number of years. Steven has served as a Band Councillor for Montreal Lake Cree Nation for 25 years with portfolio assignments including education, housing and economic development. He has worked as band administrator for 10 years. He has managed many band businesses including store manager, restaurant manager and a convenience store owner. Steven has been very committed to his role as Grand Chief. He is committed to the priorities set before him by the First Nations Veterans. He serves with the highest respect and dignity.
Prince Albert Branch President Emile Highway
Emile Highway grew up in Southend, Saskatchewan and at the Guy Hill Residential School. Emile is a member of the Peter Ballantyne Cree Nation. He joined the Armed Forces in 1962 and completed his basic training with the Queen’s Own Rifles. He later transferred first to the Princess Patricia Canadian Light Infantry and then to the 3rd Canadian Mechanized Commando, serving a total of 10 years in post-war Germany with those outfits. In 1977, hoping to increase his career training, Emile transferred to the Royal Canadian Engineers where he advanced his education, retiring from the Armed Forces after 20 years of service in 1982. During his service, Emile earned the European Medal, the Peacekeeping Medal, the N.A.T.O. and Saskatchewan Medals, and the Canadian Decoration. When he retired from service, Emile began drinking to excess and later joined an abstinence group. He has now been sober for 26 years, 15 of which he spent as an addictions worker.
Prince Albert Vice President Phillip Ledoux
Vice President Phillip Ledoux is a member of the Mistawasis First Nation, where he currently resided. VP Ledoux served with the 2nd Battalion (Queen’s Own Rifles of Canada. He says that after 14 years of Residential School, Army Basic Training was a piece of Cake. In April, 1965, he went to Cyprus with the United Nations Forces. He’s seen special duties in Beruit and Lebanon and has traveled extensively in the Middle East. Veteran Ledoux left the Armed Forces in April, 1966.
Regina-Fort Qu’Appelle President Deon Hassler
Deon Hassler is Assiniboine from Carry the Kettle First Nation. His parents, Leroy and Myrtle are Assiniboine from CTK. He’s a veteran of the U.S. Navy, and his father and brother Dale are US Marine Veterans. He served on the USS Peleliu LHA-5 and USS Takelma ATF-113 out of Long Beach, California. He served four years active duty and two years reserve as a Machinist’s Mate Third Class Petty Officer. He was injured on a rescue mission during his first year on the USS Takelma, a tugboat. They were salvaging another ship at rough seas and he was at the wrong end of a grappling hook when it caught him from behind his legs. Someone was able to cut the line before it took him overboard with the anchor it was tied to. Today he works at the File Hills Qu’Appelle Tribal Council as a Circuit Rider Trainer in the Water and Wastewater treatment plants. His experience with the Qu’Appelle Valley Water Shed gave feedback on the environmental issues we face today. He has lived on Carry the Kettle since leaving the military alongside his wife of 27 years.
Regina-Qu’Appelle Branch Vice President Ron Redwood
Vice President Ron Redwood is a member of the Cowessess First Nation, and currently works with the Cowessess Treaty Land Entitlement Office. Ron joined the United States Army in 1968. In 1969 he served in Vietnam and in 1970 he returned to Vietnam for a 2nd tour. He served with the 572nd Transport Company and was released with an honourable discharge in 1971.
North Battleford Vice President Arland Tootoosis
Arland Tootoosis was born in Great Falls, Montana, and is a member of the Poundmaker First Nation, where he grew up. After his return to Canada as a teenager, Arland began to get in trouble with the law, so he and his brother hitchhiked to the U.S. and joined the United States Navy in Devil’s Lake North Dakota in May 1970. In June 1970 he reported to San Diego California for Basic Training. He reported to the U.S.S. Tolovana (AO-64) for active duty on August 24th, 1970, serving the U.S. Navy in the Vietnam War. He received Honorable Discharge in March 1972 and returned to Canada. He has been awarded the Vietnam Service Medal and the medal awarded by the South Vietnamese to recognize the Navy’s service. After his discharge, he worked at numerous jobs and became addicted to both alcohol and narcotics. Eventually, he found recovery and currently works with the Saskatchewan First Nations Veterans’ Association, serving his first term as North Battleford Branch Vice President. Arland lives with his wife and daughter in North Battleford.
North Battleford Vice President Victor Sanderson