Board of Governors

Yvette Arcand

Ms. Arcand is a member of the Beardy’s & Okemasis First Nation in Saskatchewan and is an expert on Indigenous teacher education in Canada; she holds a Master’s of Education degree from the University of Saskatchewan. She has been with the Indian Teacher Education Program (ITEP) at the University of Saskatchewan since 1998 and is currently the program’s Associate Director. Yvette’s research work includes studies of the research and policy environments surrounding Indigenous teacher education.

Dr. Ken Coates

Dr. Ken Coates, a recognized scholar and champion of Indigenous rights, is a professor of History and Canada Research Chair in the Johnson-Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy at the University of Saskatchewan, as well as the Director of the International Centre for Northern Governance and Development. Ken has particular interests in subjects such as treaties, land claims, resource rights, economic development, and intercultural relations. He has served in many senior roles as a university administrator, including Vice-President Academic and Dean, at institutions such as the University of Saskatchewan, the University of Waterloo, the University of Manitoba and the University of New Brunswick.

Lori-Ann Daniels

Lori-Ann Daniels ia a Dakota Cree from Okanese First Nation. Lori-Ann is a proud mother of four beautiful adult children, and her greatest joy in life is her noosim Kinley Rae. She has been involved in education for more than 15 years in many capacities. Her area of expertise is primarily in K-12 First Nations education and she has also taught at the post-secondary level. Lori-Ann currently hold a Bachelor of Education Degree and a Master’s of Education Degree in Educational Administration. Her experience with First Nations education includes areas such as: Kindergarten to Grade 12 and Post-Secondary, teacher/principal supervision and evaluations, grant or proposal writing, program development, curriculum development, and policy renewal or development. Her career path has been a very rewarding and wonderful journey in the educational field. Lori-Ann has learned that her main purpose in life is to be a voice for our children and young adults. She is committed to learning every day how she can fulfill that purpose and to remind all people that First Nations are essential to our future and must be active learners at all levels of education. Lori-Ann believes that in order for our First Nation students to excel in their chosen profession they must have that sense of pride that comes along with identify and most importantly a sense of belonging.

Dr. Thomas Dignan

Dr. Thomas Dignan has served as a pioneer in the health of Aboriginal people for more than 40 years. An Aboriginal healthcare advocate, he has mentored hundreds of health care professionals. A co-founder of the Native Physicians Association of Canada, he was the first president of the Native Nurses Association of Canada. An acting Community Medicine Specialist, Dr. Dignan has worked for Health Canada’s First Nations and Inuit Health, Ontario Region for more than 10 years, at times, operating as the region’s sole medical support.

Dr. Dignan’s pursuit of excellence and his many historic firsts in the medical field have been recognized through numerous awards: from the 2002 Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal; the 2005 National Aboriginal Achievement Award in Medicine; the 2006 Order of Ontario; and the 2012 Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal. In addition, on October 20th 2016 Dr. Dignan was awarded an Honorary Fellowship by The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons.

Dr. Dignan directs his energies toward improving the health of First Nations people and drawing on-reserve health issues into public focus. He also continues to contribute towards numerous national committees concerning health care and First Nations health. Dr. Dignan is a Mohawk from Six Nations of the Grand River and lives in Thunder Bay and Bracebridge in Ontario.

Dr. Alika Lafontaine

Dr. Lafontaine is a prominent Indigenous physician and FNUniv alumnus. Dr. Lafontaine is the Medical Lead for Aboriginal Health Program (North Zone) and an Anesthesiologist for Albert Health Services. He is the President of the Indigenous Physicians Association of Canada, which promotes culturally safe care for Indigenous patients. He is also a council member of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons Canada. In 2008, Alika won the CBC/Magna International competition for Canada’s Next Great Prime Minister, and in 1999 he was the recipient of the National Aboriginal Achievement Award for Youth.

Edward H. Mirasty

Edward H. Mirasty is a member of the Little Red Reserve (Lac La Ronge Indian Band) and resides in Prince Albert with his wife Melanie of 26 years. He is currently the Director of Education at the Prince Albert Grand Council with over 22 years of education experience. Edward is currently completing his second year of a Doctorate of Education Degree through the Wilkes University’s on-line program. The majority of his work experience has been involved in First Nations K-12 education in administration. He sat on the Assembly of First Nation’s NIEC (National Indigenous Education Committee) in 2016-2017 as well as the Measurement and Accountability Task Team joint working group. He volunteers his time with the federal penitentiary and helps with feeding the homeless in his community. Edward loves spending time in the outdoors fishing, golfing, hunting and camping while learning how to play guitar and reading.

Loretta J Pete Lambert

Ms. Pete Lambert is a mother, aunt, grandmother and wife. She is from the Little Pine Cree Nation. Loretta’s education includes degrees in education and a Juris Doctor in Law. She is currently a practicing lawyer and has taught elementary, secondary and post secondary school. She possesses Professional Teaching Certificates from the provinces of Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia. Loretta is a proven successful education administrator. She managed and coordinated the creation of the website, archiving the Cree Language based on two dictionaries: one from Dr. Arok Wolvengrey, First Nations University of Canada and from Dr. Earle Waugh, University of Alberta. Loretta was an elected Board Member with the Greater Catholic School Division and an appointed Board Member of the Many Nations Cooperative Board. Her experience on these boards shows proven success in governance and leadership.

Ruby Sinclair

Ruby Sinclair is a Cree woman from Flying Dust First Nation where she currently resides. She completed a Bachelor of Education from the University of Saskatchewan in 2007. After two years she returned to school to complete a Juris Doctor from the University of Saskatchewan and in 2014, Ruby was admitted as a member of the Law Society of Saskatchewan. Her legal career has been primarily focused on representing residential school survivors.

Bernadine Walkingbear


Elder Advisors

William Ratfoot from Loon Lake/Makwa Sahgaiecan First Nation

Margaret Reynolds, English River/Patuanak First Nation

Faculty Observer

Paula Daigle

Student Observers

Fraser Heathen, Regina Campus

Trevor Dubois, Northern Campus

Verne Martell, Saskatoon Campus