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Board of Directors

Message from the Board Chair

The Saskatchewan Indian Gaming Authority (SIGA) was created with a social purpose to create jobs and opportunities for First Nation people. SIGA is owned by 74 First Nations of Saskatchewan (The Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations (FSIN)), and it is an honour to represent the Board of Directors of the Saskatchewan Indian Gaming Authority.

 

As stewards of the organization, the Board sets out a course for the future by implementing the strategic direction for the company. Always looking five years ahead, SIGA continues to reinvest in its facilities, its people and implement initiatives that focus on the outcomes required by our shareholders, customers and employees.

 

Since opening its doors, SIGA has generated more than $1 billion in revenue for our beneficiaries. As a fairly young company, this is an outstanding accomplishment – one that we can all be proud of.

 

On behalf of the Board of Directors, we look forward to sharing in the success of our common vision.

 

Respectfully,

Chief Reginald Bellerose

The Board of Directors

The Board of Directors is responsible for the stewardship of the organization and is ultimately accountable for the management of the affairs and business of SIGA. It has established a terms of reference addressing its principle duties and responsibilities as a Board. All of its directors are independent of management and no member of management serves as a director.

Board Chair

The Chair, as the presiding director, provides leadership in guiding the Board and coordinating its activities; and fosters Board relationships in the best interests of the organization. The Chair, while working closely with the President and CEO, retains an independent perspective to best represent the interests of SIGA, the Board and the communities they serve. The Chair, on behalf of the Board, reports to the FSIN Economic and Community Development Commission (ECDC) and the FSIN Legislative Assembly on the affairs of the corporation, including all business aspects of casinos owned or operated by SIGA. The Chair in turn reports to the Board of Directors any recommendations offered by ECDC and the Assembly. The Chair is a non-executive appointment.

Directors

The Board of Directors is comprised of not more than thirteen members. The Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations and the Tribal Councils appoint these members to the Board. Only individuals registered under The Alcohol and Gaming Regulation Act, 1997 may be members of the SIGA Board.

Chief Reginald Bellerose

Board Chair

Board Chair – Chief Reginald Bellerose is currently serving his eighth consecutive term as Chief of Muskowekwan First Nation (MFN). Prior to his work at MFN, he held positions at Royal Bank, University of Alberta and Junior Achievement Canada. Chief Bellerose holds a Master’s degree in Project Management from the University of Saskatchewan and a Bachelor of Arts in History and Political Science from Concordia University. As Chief of Muskowekwan First Nation, he remains focused on enterprise in and for his community, primarily in the area of natural resource development and sustainability. He’s passionately committed to future generations through investment in education, long-term business strategy, and through generating own-source revenue through exercising Inherent and Treaty Rights. He speaks often on the need to address healing and wellness in First Nation communities. He is known for fair and transparent leadership, and for his community dedication and compassion. Chief Bellerose sits on various boards throughout the province and nationally, including First Nation Power Authority, Saskatchewan Indian Institute of Technologies and Encanto Potash Corp.

Chief Larry Ahenakew

Chief Larry Ahenakew, was appointed to the SIGA Board of Directors on May 11, 2010. Originally from Ahtahkakoop Cree First Nation, Chief Ahenakew represents the Battlefords Agency Tribal Chiefs (BATC) where he was appointed Tribal Chief in April 2010. Chief Ahenakew graduated from the University of Saskatchewan with a Native Studies degree. Chief Ahenakew was formerly a Band Councillor on his reserve, which he held for twelve years before he decided to take on the larger role of Chief. Chief Ahenakew is currently fulfilling a seventh term.

Chief Darcy Bear

Chief Darcy Bear is in his eighth consecutive term as Chief of the Whitecap Dakota First Nation. He holds a Business Administration Certificate and an Honorary Doctorate of Law from the University of Saskatchewan. Chief Bear has also been the recipient of many awards including the Commemorative Medal for the Centennial of Saskatchewan in 2005; the Saskatchewan Order of Merit in 2011; and the Saskatchewan Diamond Jubilee in 2012. Recently, he was awarded the 2016 Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business Hall of Lifetime Achievement Award for his oversight of the transformation of the community, increasing opportunity and prosperity against formidable odds. He has dedicated half of his life to the betterment of his community and has been the driving force behind extensive economic development and an improved quality of life within the community.

Chief Richard Ben

Chief Richard Ben joined the SIGA Board in October 2009. Richard served as Chief of Makwa Sahgaiehcan First Nation from 2008 until his election to Tribal Chief of the Meadow Lake Tribal Council on November 21, 2018. Prior to his tenure as Chief, he also served one term as a band councillor. Currently, Chief Ben is also the Vice-Chair of SIIT. His experience includes terms with the FSIN Education and Justice Commissions, and a number of boards with the Meadow Lake Tribal Council. Chief Ben’s background also includes three years in the army reserve and four years as a Recreation Director on his home reserve. Chief Ben has an education in Police Sciences and Information Technology and recently obtained his certificate in Business Administration.

Chief Connie Big Eagle

Chief Connie Big Eagle,Pro. Dir, is the Chief of Ocean Man First Nation. She has served her Nation in leadership for 15 years as Chief and on Council. Chief Connie Chairs the Yorkton Tribal Council Treasury Board, Vice Chairs the Treaty 4 Education Alliance and represents Saskatchewan on the Assembly of First Nations Women’s Council. Chief Big Eagle joined SIGA Board in August 2015.

Carole Bryant

Carole Bryant , Pro. Dir, rejoined the SIGA Board in January 2010. Carole is currently Director of Governance and Corporate Services with the Ranch Ehrlo Society. She has had diverse career experience in social work, community development, Human Resources, corporate services, board governance and communication. Carole is the past-president of the Saskatchewan Association of Social Workers and is a former past-president of the Regina Rotary Club. She was one of the founding board members of SaskPower Commercial Inc. and has board experience with the Luther College Board of Directors, Investment Saskatchewan and is a former President of the Regina and District Food Bank. Carole has a master’s degree in social work. She completed her MBA from Queen’s University in Kingston and has her CPA designation.

Chief Bobby Cameron

Chief Bobby Cameron As a member of Witchekan Lake First Nation located in Treaty Six territory (northern Saskatchewan), Chief Bobby Cameron has spent the majority of his life maintaining strong ties to culture, language and identity. As an avid hunter, trapper, and fisher, Chief Cameron advocates and understands the significance of First Nation culture and tradition with respect to keeping close ties to traditional lands. He is currently in his second term as Chief of Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations, a Treaty and Inherent Rights organization that represents 74 First Nations and more than 160,000 First Nation people. Previously, he served one term as a Vice-Chief for FSIN. Chief Cameron is also the Regional Chief for the Assembly of First Nations. Chief Cameron holds a Bachelor of Arts, with a major in Indigenous Studies from the University of Regina. A devoted partner and father of six children, Chief Cameron is a strong advocate for Treaty and Inherent Rights for future generations of First Nation people.

Chief Tammy Cook-Searson

Chief Tammy Cook-Searson is the Chief of Lac La Ronge Indian Band (LLRIB), currently serving her fifth consecutive term. Prior to running for Chief, she served three consecutive terms on the LLRIB council. She also serves as the President of Kitsaki Management Limited Partnership, the band’s economic development initiative that focuses on long-term sustainable businesses. Chief Cook-Searson received an honourary Doctor of Law degree from the University of Regina for her leadership and advocacy for Indigenous issues. She also received the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal in 2002, the Saskatchewan Centennial Medal in 2006, and the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2012. An active member of the community, she is also involved in many cultural events and fundraising activities, including the Jim Pattison’s Children’s Hospital Foundation. Chief Cook-Searson is a mother of three and wife for 26 years. Her hobbies include volunteering with the community, berry picking, boating, and canoeing.

Chief Marie Ann Daywalker-Pelletier

Chief Marie Ann Daywalker-Pelletier was appointed to the SIGA Board by the File Hills Qu’Appelle Tribal Council in early January, 2013. She is currently Chief of Okanese First Nation, a position she has filled since March, 1981 – serving 38 consecutive years to date. Chief Daywalker-Pelletier has sat on many boards and obtained professional director designation in 2015. Currently she is the Chair of the Saskatchewan Indian Women’s Commission, Chair of the TFHQ Safe Shelter Inc. and a commission member of the Health and Social Development Commission. Chief Daywalker-Pelletier was recently awarded the Order of Canada for her role as the longest standing women Chief in Canada.

Chief Nathan Pasap

Chief Nathan Pasap is a proud Nakota/Cree member and Chief of White Bear First Nation. Prior to being elected Chief, he served one term as band councillor from 2013 to 2015. During this term, he was instrumental in leading the way for election representational reform at White Bear. Chief Pasap has also served with the Canadian military, worked at SIGA, and at the Regina Provincial Correctional Centre. He holds his Bachelor of Arts degree with a dual major in Political Science and Indigenous Studies from First Nations University and University of Regina. Chief Pasap is currently Chair of Treaty 4 Education Alliance, was the president of the First Nations University of Canada Student Association and has sat as a member on the First Nations University Board of Governors. As part of SIGA’s Board, he oversees all subcommittees under the Board’s purview. He and his partner Jody Whitney, along with their four children, enjoy spending time on White Bear and at their home on the Tsuu T’ina Nation. His hobbies include golf, hockey and practising his Treaty Rights to hunt, fish and gather like his forefathers and grandmothers did since time immemorial.

Kevin Poock

Kevin Poock from the Battleford Tribal Council Management Corp. was appointed to the Board in February 2012 by the Battlefords Tribal Council. Kevin is a Chartered Financial Planner who has 25 years of experience in the financial services industry. He was instrumental in the financing and opening of the first four casinos operated by SIGA. In 1998 he joined Battlefords Tribal Council to assist their Economic Development Division. He currently is part of a group that manages several diversified businesses, holding companies, and analyzes new opportunities for First Nations.

Chief Calvin Sanderson

Chief Calvin Sanderson was appointed to the SIGA Board of Directors in the Fall of 2018 and represents the Independent Bands. Chief Sanderson was a Band Councillor from 2000 to 2003 and then became Chief of the Chakastaypasin Band, a position he’s held since. He has been involved in settling land and annuity claims for Chakastaypasin and strives to work hard to benefit his membership. Chief Sanderson has also been on the Board of Indigenous Gaming Regulators since 2009.

John Charles Thomas – FSIN Senator

John Charles Thomas – FSIN Senator is a distinguished member of Beardy & Okemasis First Nation. Prior to be elected Band Councillor in the late 1980’s, he had worked as a Probation Officer, Lands Coordinator; Land Manager; as well as, a Treaty Land Entitlement Trustee and was involved with the Saskatchewan Indian Culture Center and the Beardy & Okemasis First Nation. Senator Thomas was instrumental in developing the Executive Management Act, Senate Act, Land Management Act, Housing Act, Personnel Management Act and Band Custom Election Act for Beardy’s & Okemasis First Nation. After his term as councillor started working for the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations. Senator Thomas is very passionate about his family, especially his grandchildren, politics, treaties, economic development, sports and recreation, governance and justice.

Elder Joe Quewezance