ITAC’s Directors represent Indigenous-owned and controlled organizations and are the voice of members from every province and territory.
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.
Jason W. Johnston
Jason Waub-Addick Johnston is Anishinaubae from Chippewas of Nawash Unceded First Nation (Neyaashiinigmiing) in Ontario. Jason has focused his education and professional careers around appreciating, understanding, and educating people about his and other Indigenous histories and cultures, and the natural world. Currently, Jason is the Interpretative Program Coordinator for Cape Croker Park in Neyaashiinigmiing. With his colleague, Jason is developing year-round, experience-based cultural tourism programming. This encompasses the natural and cultural history of their traditional Anishinaubae territory around Lake Huron and Georgian Bay. This programming allows community members to share their traditional knowledge and revitalize their connection to our culture. It also provided the means to educated Canadian and international visitors about Anishinaubae culture, language, and our rich and extensive history dating back since time immemorial.
Jason holds a Master of Science in Environmental Science from Thompson Rivers University. His Master’s thesis, and three subsequent published international academic papers, focused on the misrepresentation and underrepresentation of Indigenous peoples, histories, and cultures within Canadian national park and protected area tourism sectors. Additionally, he has received a Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies Degree from Thompson Rivers University, Fish and Wildlife Technician and Fish and Wildlife Technologist diplomas from Sir Sandford Fleming College, and an Outdoor Adventure Naturalist Diploma from Algonquin College.
In 10 of the past 12 years Jason worked for Parks Canada in Visitor Experience – Bruce Peninsula National Park, Fathom Five National Marine Park, Georgian Bay Islands National Park, Jasper National Park, and Mt. Revelstoke and Glacier National Parks. During this time, he worked as an Indigenous Interpreter and Visitor Experience Supervisor. He supervised front-line visitor experience and interpretive staff at one of the busiest Parks Canada sites in the country. Jason developed and delivered dozens of interpretive programs focused on Indigenous histories and cultures, natural history, and wildlife. Jason has also worked as an interpretive and wilderness guide for two Indigenous-owned, world-renowned ecotourism lodges on the coast of British Columbia; Spirit Bear Lodge and Knight Inlet Lodge. Over the past two years, Jason has worked as an instructor for the Nicola Valley Institute of Technology, developing and instructing multiple courses within the discipline of natural resource science, teaching Indigenous students in various First Nation communities throughout British Columbia.
Kelly Fiddler is Cree from Waterhen Lake First Nation in North West Saskatchewan. Mr. Fiddler holds a Bachelors of Commerce and Arts degree from the University of Saskatchewan.
Kelly believes the potential for Indigenous tourism in the area is great for its band members and thus hopes through his role to encourage and support more Indigenous tourism through both entrepreneurship and band expansions and acquisitions.
Yadultin & Dūsts’ā̀dle, is Inland Tlingit/Tagish Khwáan from the Carcross/Tagish First Nation; belonging…
Yadultin & Dūsts’ā̀dle, is Inland Tlingit/Tagish Khwáan from the Carcross/Tagish First Nation; belonging to the Dakhl’aweidí Clan under theTagish Keét Hít (Killerwhale House) in the Southern Yukon Territory. She presently serves as President of the Yukon First Nation Culture and Tourism Association. She has taught First Nation Governance at Yukon College and works closely with many Indigenous communities as a consultant focusing on Indigenous self-determination. She continues to teach engaging workshops for Government on indigenous history, land claims, self-government for 20 years and for numerous First Nation Governments and organizations.
Marilyn leads a traditional dance group; the Dakhká Khwaán Dancers, recipients of the National Indigenous Tourism Award and nominated for an Indigenous Music Award in 2018. Marilyn was honoured by the Governor General of Canada as a recipient of the Polar Medal for Cultural Reclamation. She has earned a B.A. in Anthropology from the University of Alaska and a M.A. in Indigenous Governance from the University of Victoria.
Representing Newfoundland & Labrador
ITAC Board member representing Newfoundland & Labrador
Miawpukek Tourism, Culture and Recreation Director
Colleen is a graduate of the Community Recreation Leadership Program and is now working towards a Tourism Management Degree.
Colleen was hired by the Miawpukek First Nation to build a Recreation Division in 2002. In 2005, she was asked to expand her workload to manage Community Cultural Programs. She also gained Tourism Development responsibilities in 2007, when her Division was renamed the Tourism, Culture, and Recreation (TCR) Division. Colleen grew the Division from one employee in 2002 to 52 fulltime and part time employees by 2022. Her current programs and projects include the Annual Traditional Powwow, other special events, Jipuji’j Campgrounds and Waterpark, community parks and trails, community sports and recreation, cultural revitalization, and Community Indigenous Tourism Development. The TCR Division was recognized by Chief and Council as a Department and was made official in March of 2022.
Colleen has built many strong industry partnerships over the years include Parks Canada, the Provincial Government Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, and Recreation (TCAR), Recreation Newfoundland & Labrador (RECNL), The Rooms, the Canadian Canoe Museum, the YMCA, and the Qalipu First Nations. Colleen is an active Board member of the Newfoundland & Labrador Indigenous Tourism Association (NLITA), Adventure Central Newfoundland DMO, and the ICH program.
ITAC Board member representing Manitoba
David Daley is a Métis man, and long-time resident of Churchill, Manitoba. David and his wife Valerie have worked hard to become a part of Churchill’s tourism industry including owning and operating the Wapusk General Store (hand-built by Dave) and Wapusk Adventures Dog Sled Camp (paw-built by Dave’s dogs).
Dave serves his community as the Chairman of the Churchill Métis Local, President of the Churchill Chamber of Commerce and Chairman of the Manitoba Indigenous Tourism Advisory Committee for the Province of Manitoba.
Representing British Columbia
ITAC Board member representing British Columbia
Frank Antoine is the co-founder of Moccasin Trails, a cultural tourism company based in Kamloops, BC. He worked at Quaaout Lodge & Spa at Talking Rock Golf Resort for more than a decade and was vital in the development and marketing of authentic Indigenous cultural tourism programs and projects in the Skwlax community.
He is a strong cultural ambassador and proud to share the traditional knowledge he carries. Frank has sat on a variety of tourism boards, including the Adams River Salmon Society, Shuswap Trail Alliance, Hat Creek Society, McAbee Group, Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association, as well as Indigenous Tourism of British Columbia.
Representing Northwest Territories
ITAC Board member representing Northwest Territories
Representing Prince Edward Island
ITAC Board member representing Prince Edward Island
Jamie Thomas is the Director of Culture and Tourism for the Lennox Island First Nation. She has worked diligently to identify the artistic abilities, cultural skills and traditional knowledge throughout the community. She is responsible for assisting in building capacity in and around the community and is responsible for creating strategic plans to ensure that Lennox Island is part of the Indigenous Tourism experience being offered to visitors coming to Prince Edward Island.
Jamie believes that grass-root engagement is fundamental to the success of any and all initiatives she is involved in. She is passionate and committed to the work she does. She approaches things with an open mind and prides herself on being a visionary who believes that any idea is worth exploring.
Jamie has over 22 years of experience working with First Nations communities both on and off-reserve at the National and Provincial levels. She has sat on numerous boards and committees and has given professional presentations to a variety of audiences across the country. Jamie has received certification from UPEI in Mediation, Facilitation and Conflict Resolution. Jamie was also a recipient of the Queens Golden Jubilee Medal.
In 2017, Parks Canada awarded the Lennox Island Mi’kmaq Cultural Centre with the Sustainable Tourism Award while in 2018 they received the Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada’s Most Improved Tourism Business award, both under her direction.
ITAC Board member representing Quebec
Member of the Huron-Wendat Nation, Marie-Pierre had the opportunity over the past ten years to collaborate with all the Quebec First Nations. In addition to a multidisciplinary academic study in business administration and mathematics, she has first-hand professional experience of Indigenous realities. For the past two years, she has held the position of development advisor for Indigenous Tourism Quebec and she is strongly motivated to contribute to the optimization of the Indigenous tourism sector. Her commitment and ability to adapt will certainly lead her to meet the diverse needs of Indigenous tourism businesses. With a great interest in reconciliation as well as the promotion of the diverse Indigenous cultures, Marie-Pierre feels particularly interested in the development opportunities within the tourism sector.
Representing Nova Scotia
ITAC Board member representing Nova Scotia
Marlene is a Program Facilitator, Coordinator, Instructor, Educator, Designer, Master Artisan, and Cultural Facilitator. Marlene is a member of the Mi’kmaq First Nation from the Atlantic Region. She has facilitated many programs throughout the Atlantic Region as well as nationally. She has facilitated and Co-ordinated Programs such as Bridging To Success for DALA, The Seven Paddle Project at Bear River First Nation, as well at powwows, conferences, gatherings, Treaty Day Events, and throughout schools, universities in the Atlantic Region.
She has been producing and teaching Authentic Mi’kmaq Arts & sharing her Culture for over 30 years. She has been producing independently Matues (Porcupine) Quill Work and also sharing her knowledge nationally and internationally. Marlene is the past Chairperson of the Board of Directors for Nations in a Circle Arts Group Atlantic Aboriginal Arts Organization from 2004 to 2014. As well she is presently on the Alternate Board of Directors for the Native Council of Nova Scotia and serves as an Elder sharing her knowledge when asked to do so. Marlene also has sat on the board for the jurying process of the Canadian Council of the Arts in Ottawa, Ont. She has been part of the development of some of the policies and programs within the Canadian Council of the Arts to advance First Nations Artists in their respective disciplines. She has worked with Nations in A Circle as a Master artisan in her discipline. She was the Mi’kmaq First Nation Facilitator for the Back to Basics Women in Business Training Program across Nova Scotia. Over the past several years Marlene has been a Support for students and chaperoned many Youth Programs in the Schools across Nova Scotia as well as for Adult Learners and Women’s groups.
Marlene was also nominated for the Woman of the Year award in the Annual Atlantic Aboriginal Entrepreneur Awards Show, (2007). Marlene has attended and Facilitated Mi’kmaq Cultural workshops at the Canadian Aboriginal Festival in Toronto, Ontario. She has facilitated interviews with Actors such as Tom Jackson and Adam Beach to name a few. Some of her works and products are seen in Movies like Scarlet Letter featuring the Actor, Demi Moore.
She teaches Mi’kmaq and Aboriginal History and Culture through her Art at universities, schools, Trade Shows, (Saltscapes) Halifax Exhibitions, conferences, and in communities across Canada. She has presented at numerous conferences regionally, nationally and internationally over the past 30 years. Marlene’s Products has been represented at the NAFFEM -North American Fur & Fashions Exposition in Montreal, Que a number of times. Marlene herself has been featured on ASN Breakfast Television on many occasions demonstrating her Fine Art of Porcupine Quill Work.
Representing New Brunswick
ITAC Board member representing New Brunswick
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.
ITAC Board member representing Nunavut
Sheila is the founder and executive chef of sijjakkut, a 100% Inuit owned company that prides itself in the preservation and promotion of Inuit culture through inuksiutit menus. Sheila has shared menus in Iqaluit, Ottawa, Toronto and New York City. She also collaborated with other accomplished chefs in a New Arctic Kitchen event in Nuuk, Greenland.
Shortly after making Iqaluit her home in 2010, Sheila started working with the delicate and unique flavours of Inuit foods to create delicious fusion dishes. She quickly discovered a demand for inuksiutit menus and has been catering local events since 2011.
Sheila’s participation in MasterChef Canada Season IV catapulted her passion for inuksiutit dishes to a national audience. She has been featured in the Globe and Mail as one of the top emerging chefs in Canada, was featured in a Chatelaine article and has contributed a recipe with The Kit. She has appeared in Chuck and the First Peoples’ Kitchen, Moosemeat and Marmalade and NHK’s Gatten!
Sheila is Inuvialuk and is enrolled in the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement.