ATAC Board of Directors
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Organization: Wagmatcook Culture & Heritage Centre Website: www.wagmatcookcentre.com
Robert Bernard is a Mi’kmaw business owner of Diversity Management Group (DMG), a consulting firm based out of We’koqma’q First Nation in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. Since 2000, DMG has created numerous partnerships with both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal companies with the goal of helping to create capacity building opportunities for Aboriginal people. This includes working with businesses and communities with a focus on long term socio-economic benefits & supporting authentic cultural tourism development in Aboriginal communities.
Organization: Metepenagiag Heritage Park Website: www.metpark.ca
Patricia Dunnet is the General Manager at Metepenagjag Heritage Park (MHP) in Metepenagiag Mi’kmaq Nation (Red Bank) New Brunswick. MHP is a state of the art facility that celebrates Mi’kmaq culture through music, oral history, exhibits, trail tours of the traditional Mi’kmaq lands and hands on cultural activities. The park’s mandate is to preserve, protect, and promote two significant National Historic sites, the Augustine Mound, and the Oxbow, both ancient and historic sites of the Mi’kmaq dating back more than 3,000 years.
Organization: Great Spirit Circle Trail Website: www.circletrail.com
Kevin Eshkawkogan is the CEO of Great Spirit Trail, a tourism company, composed of a hotel and conference centre located on Manitoulin Island and the Sagamok region in Northeastern Ontario, Canada. The Great Spirit Trail offers nature-based and cultural tourism from an Aboriginal perspective including adventures ranging from relaxing day trips and educational cultural workshops to wilderness eco-adventures via canoe and horseback.
Organization: Yukon First Nations Culture and Tourism Association Website: www.yfnct.ca
Bio coming soon.
Organization: Mahikan Trails Website: www.mahikan.ca
Brenda follows her lineage as a traditional Métis guide from the Kwarakwante and Aseniwuche Winewak of Jasper/Grand Cache and a descendant from the Michel First Nation. Brenda is a Professional Interpretive guide with the Interpretive Guide’s Association and is an active advocate of Aboriginal Tourism through her company Mahikan Trails.
Kylik Kisoun Taylor
Organization: Tundra North Tours Website: www.tundranorthtours.com
Kylik Kisoun Taylor is of Inuvialuit and Gwich’in descent, owner and operator of Tundra North Tours located in Inuvik Northwest Territories. Tundra North Tours provides Authentic Arctic Experiences connecting visitors with the land, cultures and people of the North. Kisoun believes that sharing his way of life and showcasing his culture is a way of preserving it. His love and passion for sharing his culture has helped him build Tundra North Tours to what it is today. He believes Aboriginal Tourism will play an important role in creating job and a sustainable economy for Indigenous people throughout Canada, strengthening cultural bonds and an understanding of what it means to be Indigenous.
Newfoundland and Labrador
Organization: Director of Tourism with the Nunatsiavut Government Website: www.nunatsiavut.com
Jillian Larkham is a beneficiary of the Labrador Inuit Land Claims agreement and was raised in Makkovik, Nunatsiavut. In 2010, she graduated from Memorial University with a Bachelor of Arts, double major in Archaeology and Folklore.
Since then, Jillian has worked a variety of jobs with the Labrador Interpretation Centre, Nunatsiavut Government, and Them Days magazine. In 2013, she began work in the tourism department of the Nunatsiavut Government as Experience Development Officer and became the Director of Tourism with the Nunatsiavut Government in 2016. She is responsible for the experience development and marketing of tourism in the Nuntsiavut Region. Larkham is also on the Board of Directors for Destination Labrador, Them Days Magazine and Cruise NL.
Organization: Tourism Autochtone Website: www.tourismeautochtone.com
Dave Laveau is the Executive Director of Quebec Aboriginal Tourism, an organization that is charged with safeguarding the interest of Aboriginal tourism companies by providing them with products and services to stimulate growth, best practices, and market visibility. Québec Aboriginal Tourism represents more than 110 active, associate and delegate members involved in the core development of Aboriginal tourism in Québec.
Organization: Artic Bay Adventures Website: www.arcticbayadventures.com
Gene O’Donnell is the manager of Arctic Bay Adventures, based in Arctic Bay Nunavut, a unique polar tourism destination. Arctic Bay Adventures focuses on using the traditional transportation of qamutiq sleds (dogsleds) to take visitors to see the incredible wildlife that is native to Canada’s Arctic, and teaching visitors of Inuit cultural traditions that date back hundreds of years.
Organization: Eastside Aboriginal Sustainable Tourism Inc. Website: www.eastinc.ca
As the Executive Director for Eastside Aboriginal Sustainable Tourism Inc., Jeff Provost proactively develops and markets Indigenous tourism related businesses and economic development programs in Manitoba and acts as an advocate for the Indigenous tourism industry in Manitoba. As a CANDO certified Professional Aboriginal Economic Developer (PAED) Provost is also the founder and Principal Consultant of Aboriginal Connects, an international consultancy with a focus on Indigenous tourism development. He is a founding member of ATAC and is also the Vice-Chair of the board of Debwendon Inc. Provost has a BA in Political Science and a Communications Certificate in Public Relations.
Prince Edward Island
Organization: Indian Arts and Crafts Website: www.indianartpei.com
Charlie Sark is a member of the Lennox Island First Nation, Epkwetk (Prince Edward Island), Mi’kamk’ik (North Eastern North America), and is the Chair of the Epekwetk Mi’kmaq Tourism Group. He grew-up in a tourism family that operates several seasonal businesses including a retail arts and craft store, ceramic figurine studio, ash-splint basket studio and a bakery. Their most recent venture is Big Charlie’s Pizza – a contemporary Mi’kmaq take on the traditional Italian pizza.
Organization: Wanuskewin Heritage Park Website: www.wanuskewin.com
Dana Soonias earned his Certified Aboriginal Financial Managers (CAFM) designation through AFOA Canada and his Institute of Corporate Directors (ICD.d) governance designation with Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto. Over the past 20 years, Dana has held senior positions with financial institutions and government. For the past eight years, he has been the CEO of Wanuskewin Heritage Park in Saskatoon where they are pursuing UNESCO World Heritage designation for the park with an elaborate multi-million-dollar renewal campaign.
He is involved with numerous boards and committees as chair and committee member, including Past President of the AFOA of Saskatchewan; Past Chair of the National Board of AFOA Canada; St. Paul’s Hospital Board and the Crown Corporation of Tourism Saskatchewan.
Mike Willie (T̓łalis)
Organization: Sea Wolf Adventures Website: www.seawolfadventures.ca
Mike Willie is the owner and operator of Sea Wolf adventures, a boat based wildlife and cultural tour business on Northern Vancouver Island, British Columbia. Sea Wolf Adventures connects travellers to the beauty of the Musgamakw Dzawada’enuxw, and Great Bear Rainforest through grizzly bear viewing and cultural tours with local First Nations guides. Willie was also previously involved with the Gwa’sala-‘Nakwaxda’xw School in Port Hardy, BC where he worked to support opportunities for education and growth for the children of the Gwa’sala-‘Nakwaxda’xw Nation.