East 403-247-5003 Ext. 1 2335 30 Ave NE · Calgary · Alberta · T2E 7C7 West 403-247-5003 Ext. 2 2340 1 Ave NW · Calgary · Alberta · T2N 0B8
Our People

Interactive Elder and Knowledge Keepers Connected to Miskanawah Map  |  Board of Directors |  Wahkotiwin Board of Directors |   Organizational Mapping

Our People

Kirby Redwood, BA, CEC, MA, MBA

Kirby Redwood is Saulteaux-Cree from Cowessess First Nation and has called Moh'Kinsstis his home for over 50 years. He has been involved in the social services sector as a professional and volunteer since 1988.  He has served in areas of children services, justice, adult education and social services. Holding a BA in Justice Studies, MA in Leadership, and an MBA, Kirby values the role of formal education and the possibilities this path offers in relationship to his traditional ways of being:

When we respectfully parallel Indigenous worldviews to Western worldviews we create opportunities for ethical space to emerge, and from there we open the doors to personal and community wellness.” (Kirby Redwood)

Through Royal Roads University, Kirby also obtained Graduate Certificates in Executive Coaching (2012) and Change Management (2016). Since that time, he has worked to create and encourage a coaching culture within his workplace and community. Kirby is motivated daily by Peter Drucker’s words; “The task of leadership is to create an alignment of strengths that make the weaknesses of an organization become irrelevant… [and] culture eats strategy for breakfast”.

As the Lead Oskâpêwis (cultural helper) at Miskanawah, Kirby takes great pride in being part of a learning organization that contributes to community as a social change agent and creates opportunities for the voices not always heard… to be heard. Kirby’s passions are his desire to make positive change within himself and the community he works and lives in. With a focus on strengthening and changing the narratives and perspectives of Canada’s Indigenous peoples, to ones that more accurately reflect who we are as Turtle Islands first peoples.

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Interactive Elder and Knowledge Keepers Connected to Miskanawah Map

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Board of Directors

Miskanawah is overseen by a volunteer Board of Directors committed to achieving stable growth while maintaining our roots.
Lana Garcelon – Co chair

Lana Garcelon is Dënesųłiné from English River First Nation. Lana studied law and graduated from the University of Waikato in Aotearoa (New Zealand) in 2017. Since then and prior to, she has worked with several legal service organizations from Vancouver to Toronto to Calgary. Lana joined the Métis Nation-Saskatchewan legal team in 2021 and is currently completing her articles. In this role she traveled to Rome in April 2022 with the Indigenous delegation to meet with the Pope. She maintains close ties with relatives and kin and travels north when her schedule permits. Lana also beads in her spare time, plays competitive volleyball & most recently has transitioned into her new role as a mother.
Robert Grier – Co-chair

Katelyn Lucas – Vice-Chair

Katelyn Lucas is a Métis woman who has been working within the Indigenous Community over the past 27 years, with a strong focus on homelessness, justice and vulnerable populations. Katelyn has engaged on many levels from front-line, to leadership. At present she is the Executive Director of the Elizabeth Fry Society of Calgary, and Co-Chair of the Aboriginal Standing Committee on Housing and Homelessness (ASCHH).
Katelyn‘s skills include community engagement and partnership collaboration. She is also a curriculum developer and has written content for Indigenous educational institutions and programs for post-secondary education.
Katelyn has spent many years providing cultural awareness training, facilitating workshops, and developing wellness programs for First Nation peoples and communities. Katelyn’s strength is in analyzing and restructuring programming to align within a culturally competent framework. Additionally, she designs evaluation tools and processes to enhance the outcome potential of programming and services.
Katelyn’s body of work has been primarily focused on urban Indigenous populations issues through addressing gaps that are barriers to urban and rural First Nation communities. Through the development of positive relationships with government partners, Indigenous partnering agencies, and community members from the urban center and neighboring First Nations, Katelyn has participated in many funding panels, collaborative projects, community consultations, and think tanks to help identify culturally appropriate options for improving justice and addressing homelessness and housing needs of Indigenous peoples.
Virginia Baescu - Treasurer

I was born and raised in Romania and came to Canada with my family in May 1997. I started my career from the ground up twice in the last thirty years and I studied for over twenty years. When I left Romania, I was the Chief Financial and Operating Officer for a private university specialized in economical studies and I was also teaching Finance, Accounting, and International Insurance at the same university.
Coming to Canada was not easy, but my husband and I wanted a better life, full of opportunities for us and our kids and with that desire in mind nothing was too hard for us. My first Canadian work experience was as a volunteer for Red Cross Calgary in the Accounting Department followed by a short term hourly paid position with them. Other workplaces: Accounting Clerk for Specialty Packaging, Accountant Analyst for Hull Child and Family Services, Financial Controller at Heritage Park Historical Village, Director of Finance, Vice President of Finance at United Way of Calgary and Area.
My career completely shifted after I enrolled in the CGA program. After four long years I obtained the CGA designation, and it was one of the proudest moments of my life. It was an exceedingly difficult program, but extremely rewarding in the end.
I spent many years of my career in Canada working in the not-for-profit/charitable sector. I love my work and the amazing people I get the opportunity to meet. Knowing that part of my work goes back to the community is particularly important to me.
I love gardening and nature in general, reading, travelling and spending quality time with my family.
Alex Montiel – Secretary

Born and raised in Venezuela, I moved to Canada in 2017, changing beaches and eternal sunny days for the ever-surprising Calgary weather. As a lawyer by trade with a focus on human rights and international humanitarian law and a Master in Leadership, I have spent the past 15 years working in the non-profit sector.
Before moving to Canada, I worked with international humanitarian operations such as the Red Cross and the Jesuit Refugee Services. Once in Canada, I continued working toward supporting local communities to overcome social barriers. I have been lucky enough to work with CRIEC, Pro Bono Law Alberta and United Way. Currently, I am the Chief Executive Officer of Diversecities.
Robert Hamilton – Director

Robert Hamilton is an Associate Professor at the University of Calgary Faculty Law. He holds a BA from St. Thomas University, a JD from the University of New Brunswick Faculty of Law, an LLM from Osgoode Hall Law School, and a PhD from the University of Victoria Faculty of Law. Robert teaches Property Law and Aboriginal Law and has published extensively on Indigenous rights issues.
Jay Gerritsen – Director

Jay Gerritsen’s professional career includes over 25 years in team building management and leadership roles. Jay is a Director at Natural Resources Canada (NRCan), Nòkwewashk sector. In Jay’s time at NRCan he was on the TMX Team that was awarded the Achieving Results award, the NGTL Team that was gifted a braid of sweetgrass in recognition of award-winning contribution to advancing Reconciliation as well as personally receiving the Living Leadership award. Jay brings knowledge and awareness of Indigenous issues and the Government of Canada’s obligations and commitments with respect to Indigenous Peoples. Jay has a unique understanding of the diversity of the culture, the history, legal rights, politics and an understanding of the top issues for Indigenous Peoples; both politically and socially. Jay is also one of the founding creators of Influence Mentoring Society (IMS) and was appointed Vice Chairperson of the IMS’ Board of Directors in December 2020. Jay lives in Calgary with his wife Arden, son Matthew.

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Wahkotiwin Board of Directors 

Miskanawah's governance structure has adopted a Wahkotiwin Board of Directors to ensure strong Indigenous representation and transfer of knowledge. The Wahkotiwin Director is viewed as a knowledge keeper, responsible for building and strengthening relationships within the process of transferring knowledge, transferring traditional knowledge, and modelling and living Wahkotiwin.
Bruce Randall – Wahkotiwin Director

Bruce Randall is a mentor, builder, and grandfather.
Having graduated from McGill University Law School in 1985 with dual degrees in Law and Civil Law, Bruce was in the legal sector in Toronto, Montreal and Calgary until his retirement from law in 2004 as General Counsel and Vice-President Law with The Forzani Group Ltd. in Alberta.
Bruce then shifted his career into the non-profit sector, eventually being part of the founding group of the Calgary Region Immigrant Employment Council where he served as its first Executive Director from 2010 until his 2nd retirement in 2022.
Raised with the spirit of “Bon Ami” in northern New Brunswick, Bruce brought community building into his volunteer life, serving on a range of boards and committees including Miskanawah Community Services Association (as a Director since 2016 and as Chairperson from 2019 to 2023); Influence Mentoring Society (where he is a co-founder and has been a Director since 2014); the Alberta Association of Immigrant Serving Agencies; BlackNorth Initiative; and most recently Calgary Youth Justice Society (where he serves as Vice-Chairperson).
Bruce teaches non-profit management courses at Mount Royal University (since 2014) and at Red Deer Polytechnic (since 2016), introducing his approach to governance and community-building to adult learners looking to make their own mark in life.
Along his journey, Bruce has sought to support students, emerging and mid-career professionals, and organizations alike on their own pathways to success, in his many roles as story-teller, mentor, guide, connector, teacher, advocate and friend. .
William Dickson – Wahkotiwin Director

Bill was born and raised in Calgary in the last century. He spent over 40 years in public education, teaching, administering and always learning.
He has volunteered for the past 25 years in the not-for-profit sector and now enjoys his role as a Wahkotowin Director of Miskanawah.
Jennifer Findlay – Wahkotiwin Director

With 20 years of experience working in the private sector, Jennifer’s career has focused largely on building strong relationships and partnerships with a broad base of communities and stakeholders in support of responsible resource development.
Jennifer currently works at Pembina Pipeline Corporation as Senior Manager, Indigenous and Stakeholder Engagement, leading the Communications, Community Engagement, Government Relations and Indigenous Engagement functions for the company. Prior to this, she led Government and Tribal Affairs for Pembina’s Jordan Cove LNG project, based out of Portland, Oregon. Before joining Pembina, Jennifer held a variety of roles at Talisman Energy and Repsol Oil and Gas Canada, where her work on resource plays and major projects took her to many communities in Saskatchewan, Alberta, British Columbia and the Northwest Territories. She spent an additional three years working firmly outside her comfort zone in development roles focused on financial and procurement controls, water strategy and international exploration.
Jennifer holds a Bachelor of Arts in International Indigenous Studies (with distinction), a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology (with distinction) and a Master of Arts in Community Studies. Jennifer is a member of the Board of Directors for two not-for-profit organizations as a Wahkotiwin Director at Miskanawah Community Services Association, and as a Director at Influence Mentoring Society. She is passionate about volunteering to support Indigenous communities and people as a result of the profound impact they have had on her life and her worldview. Jennifer lives in Calgary with her husband Brent and dog Stella, and works hard to enjoy as much travelling and good food as is humanly possible.
Dan Rochon – Wahkotiwin Director

Dan Rochon is a Wahkotiwin Director and the past Treasurer of Miskanawah. He is currently retired after a career at Enbridge, ATCO, and Tsuut’ina First Nation. While at ATCO Sustainable Communities, he made frequent presentations across Canada at Indigenous economic development conferences organized by groups such as AFOA Canada and most of its provincial chapters.

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Organizational Mapping

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