At FNPA, we provide members with solutions that work now and for years to come. Our employees work with autonomy, mastery, and purpose to create work we can all be proud of.
Our ultimate goal? Inspiring our company, members and community towards a better and smarter future.
Chief Executive Officer
Mr. Lonechild (White Bear First Nations- Treaty #4) is a well-known advocate in creating new economic opportunities and serves as President and CEO of First Nations Power Authority connecting both Indigenous and Industry leaders in renewable and alternative energy development. As a first of its kind organization, Mr. Lonechild heads the organization as our strategic leader and serves the FNPA Board and provides leadership direction to the FNPA Team.
Guy served as Vice-Chief and Chief of the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations (1999-2008 and 2009-2011), where he oversaw the 25-year Economic Development Strategy highlighting important work in Alternative Energy, Oil and Gas, Agriculture, Tourism, Gaming, Housing and Community Infrastructure, Education, Health and Social Development.
Before entering politics, Guy served in various capacities as band administrator and private consultant to First Nations in Business and Community Development. He holds a Masters of Business Administration in Strategic Leadership from Cape Breton University and Associates Degree in Golf Complex Operations Management. He and his wife Leah have one child, Darian Lonechild and enjoy quality time with friends and extended family.
Membership & Partnerships Manager
Rebecca Âcikahtê is Anishinaabe, Dakota, Irish from Cowessess First Nation, Treaty 4 Territory. She joined First Nations Power Authority in 2014 as the Administrative Coordinator – Executive Assistant and took on the role of Membership & Partnerships Manager in 2017. She has 20 years’ experience in Administration having worked for organizations such as Cowessess First Nation, Regina Treaty/Status Indian Services, SIIT, Rainbow Youth Centre, Saskatchewan Workers’ Compensation Board, and the City of Regina. She is the Saskatchewan chapter lead for Women in Renewable Energy (WiRE) and a Director on the boards of For The Love of Matthew and Bright Sky Homes.
Rebecca has recently obtained a certificate in Management with Harvard Business School and a Certified Aboriginal Professional Administrator diploma and designation through AFOA Canada. She is currently working toward a Masters in Energy Security (MSs) with the University of Saskatchewan.
Rebecca is passionate about Indigenous energy sovereignty, energy security and sustainability, land protection and cultural revitalization.
Finance & Operations Coordinator
Christina Swan is the Finance & Operations Coordinator for First Nations Power Authority. Her previous positions with Canadian Natural Resources Ltd and Sakimay Retail Entities provided an ideal foundation for her to grow into her present role as she uses her bookkeeping and accounting skills to carry out day-to-day essential business functions.
Katrina L. German
marketing consultant, EthicalDigital.ca
Katrina’s original career was in adult literacy. She worked for READ Saskatoon and then Saskatchewan Literacy Network until she moved into the tech field. When Katrina first started her social media career, she created a Twitter campaign with Saskatchewan Literacy Network and Postmedia that reached 2.4 million people in one day with the message “Read to your kids.”
Katrina wrote the book on data-driven content marketing strategy. Literally. Her book and video training series, Action Tracking: Master your Digital Marketing Strategy in Under 30 Days, is a touchstone for organizations everywhere that want to tell their stories and connect with audiences in powerful new ways. As a social impact entrepreneur, she was the founder of an award-winning tech start-up and influenced millions of people through digital storytelling and online media.
She is a YWCA Saskatoon Women of Distinction Recipient, Startup Canada Prairie Award for Innovation winner, and 2018 recipient of the prestigious International Women in Tech® Award.
Community Energy Planner / Project Coordinator
Joshua Thomas is an engineer-in-training, graduated from the U of S with a B.Sc. in Chemical Engineering. He was contracted by FNPA for project management and coordination services in April 2020. Joshua set up and ran PheedLoop for the FNPA National SMR Forum with Indigenous Communities. Joshua has been conducting community energy plans for FNPA members.
Joshua has experience in the mining and mineral processing sectors previously working for PotashCorp, Nutrien, and the Saskatchewan Research Council (SRC). While working for SRC and First Nations Power Authority (FNPA), Joshua developed an understanding of the lifecycle of a uranium project from exploration and feasibility to mining and processing, to remediation.
Clean Technology, Innovation & Data Consultant
Alexandria comes from 10 years of experience in the energy sector supporting the mapping of energy prospects, field operations of major capital projects, and project management as a geophysicist. During her decade of experience, she sought opportunities to diversify her skillset in community energy planning, digitization, and corporate climate strategy.
These continual improvement efforts led to a policy fellowship with the Public Policy Forum and the founding of energy and climate-focused charity, ENERGYminute. Present day Alexandria is a technology and innovation consultant enabling start-ups and executive teams to advance their visions.
Community Energy Planner
Tomika Pinay is an engineer-in-training, who graduated with a B.A.Sc. in Environmental Systems Engineering and a minor in Indigenous Studies. She is passionate about the environment and has wanted to work with Indigenous communities to create positive changes. Her capstone project of designing potential solutions for a wastewater treatment facility for her home community of Pasqua First Nation won an RCE SK Education for Sustainable Development Recognition Award in 2021.
With her education and previous work experience laying the foundation of knowledge to continue to grow in her role as a community energy planner with FNPA.
Community Energy Champion, Project Advisor
Harri was the founder of Virta Energy Consultants Inc., Harri Makivirta has more than 35 years of industry experience. He is a Mechanical Engineering Technologist in Heating, Air Conditioning, Ventilation, Refrigeration and Energy Management. Harri was the first and is one of only 6 people in Ontario to be BEAP (Building Energy Assessment Professional) certified by ASHRAE to do Level I, II & III Energy Audits. Harri opened his first Energy Management Company at the age of 18, in 1982 called Mountain Stream Energy Systems, specializing in HVAC and Co-generation, Alternative Energy Projects, Installed one of the first Ground Source Heat Pump Systems in Ontario, and Multi-fuel Boilers plants. This was prior to him going to college in 1986 for Mechanical Engineering Technology in Heating Ventilating, Air conditioning and Energy Management.
Harri received an award from Ontario Hydro for the first company to reduce 1 megawatt of electricity in Ontario for Cineplex Odeon Theatres. Harri Makivirta owned the firm that was the exclusive Energy Auditing Service Company to Ontario Hydro Energy (OH) when they started in the energy saving business in 1999, until the change of Ontario Hydro Services Company to Hydro One in 2002. He was part of a joint venture with a Marketing Firm; the consortium did all of OH Energy Retrofit work in Ontario.
Noel has focused on electrical utilities and the nuclear fuel cycle throughout his career. He has worked extensively as an executive in the public and private sectors in union and non-union environments both regionally and internationally in developing and developed economies. Noel has held senior roles at electrical utilities in Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Canada’s North as well as a vertically integrated Canadian nuclear company.
Noel served as the President & Chief Executive Officer of the Northwest Territories Power Corporation (NTPC) where he led the corporation through a significant change in strategic direction, dealt with COVID-19, and led the organization through a ransomware attack all while focusing on improved relationships with customers, Indigenous Nations of the Northwest Territories, and the company’s labor union.
Noel worked at Cameco corporation prior to his time in the Northwest Territories. He held senior roles in this company’s major projects organization, prior to becoming the company’s engineering executive. Following an internal reorganization, he also took on responsibility for innovation, research, development & commercialization, as well as technical oversight for worldwide operations.
Noel has participated as a board member of the “International Minerals Innovation Institute” (iMii), the Canadian Electricity Association (CEA), acted as a board member of URTEK, a technology development company and was the President of AlphaNuclear, a Cameco subsidiary. As a volunteer, Noel led a turnaround as President and the board chair of a struggling community-owned water co-op.
Noel looks forward to working with FNPA as the organization embarks on a sustainable energy future for indigenous people.
CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER
Membership & Partnerships Manager
FINANCE & OPERATIONS COORDINATOR
COMMUNITY ENERGY PLANNER / PROJECT COORDINATOR
CLEAN TECHNOLOGY, INNOVATION & DATA CONSULTANT
Marketing consultant, EthicalDigital.ca
Community Energy Champion, Project Advisor
Community Energy Planner
Board of Directors
Chief Felix Thomas
Felix Thomas has over 30 years of senior governance and management experiencewith First Nations. Born and raised on the Kinisitin Saulteaux Nation, Felix graduated from Pleasantdale School and the University of Saskatchewan. Chief Thomas has a Bachelors of Sciencein Physical Education and Bachelor of Arts. First elected as a councillor in 1991Felix was the first elected chief in 1993 until 1999. Felix was also Executive Director of FSIN’s Health and Social Development Commission from 1999-2002. Chief Thomas was re-elected in 2003 until 2008 when he was elected Tribal Chief of the Saskatoon Tribal Council until 2017. He was a partnerin a private company specializing in long term car rentals. He has since returned to Kinistin Governance as Chief.
Over the years, Chief Thomas has been instrumental in National, regional and local volunteer boards. Chief Thomas has co-chaired Assembly of First Nation, Chiefs Committee on Health, Chairman of Saskatchewan Indian Gaming Authority, Co-chair Thundering Ahead, a $40 million capital campaign. Chief Thomas is currently chair Wanuskewin Heritage Park and First Nations Power Authority. Chief Thomas is married to Dawne and father to Lindsay, Lana, Shayna and Joshua.
Director - Chair- Governance & Nominations HR
Mr. Lee Ahenakew is a collaborative and engaging leader that builds businesses opportunities with First Nations and industry. He is a member of the Ahtahkakoop Cree Nation. An expert in business planning and development with an ability to open new markets and build relationships, and with broad knowledge and experience working with First Nations and industry across Canada and the United States, Lee develops business relationships with a focus in the natural resource, renewable energy and utility sectors. He has delivered community benefit through partnership development, organizational strategies, community engagement, and quality processes to advance Indigenous inclusion and social responsibility including benefit agreement negotiations and implementation.
Most recently Lee served in several A/CEO positions related to construction and labour, renewable energy, and indoor vertical farming. He has held leadership roles for the largest mining company in the world for community engagement and as V.P of Member Relations for the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business. Currently Lee is Principal of Lee Ahenakew and Associates Consulting working with Indigenous businesses and industry in the areas of business development, water and wastewater utility development, community engagement, governance, and industry & indigenous relations. Lee is the Past Chair of the Board of Governors of the University of Saskatchewan and is a Director for the First Nations Power Authority of Saskatchewan.
Maureen Dawson is the Manager of Greenfield Origination at Boralex, Ottawa, ON Canada.
Marnie is formerly a Principal, Power & Utilities Group and Renewable Energy Group at Prairie Sky Consulting. She has been involved in renewables since 2004 as both a consultant and developer. She has worked on projects across Canada as the industry as grown and developed.
Marnie has led multiple disciplined teams and numerous engagement activities with varying stakeholders and Indigenous peoples to ensure both wind and solar projects have been developed successfully. As well, she has been an active member of CanWEA promoting and lobbying the industry for many years. She is a director on the board of First Nations Power Authority in Saskatchewan as well as one of the founding advisors of Women in Renewable Energy.
Born and raised on the Flying Dust First Nation, Albert Derocher has worked for his community for the last 33 years. His experience entails collaborating with various business organizations, non-profits, Indigenous institutions and levels of government in Canada. He has built his solid reputation and sought-after experience with the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations, Meadow Lake Tribal Council and now the Flying Dust First Nation. He is passionate and offers his expert advice as a true catalyst in the transformation process of many Indigenous communities as they grow and gain meaningful inclusion in the Canadian economy.
As a graduate of Business Administration from SIAST, Mr. Derocher has applied his skills and knowledge to help further FDB Holdings (Flying Dust First Nation’s corporate entity) as their General Manager. Over the past 20 years, Albert has proven himself to be one of Saskatchewan’s finest and well-respected Economic Development leaders and practitioners. Mr. Derocher has raised a blended family of ten children and 15 grandchildren who are all very active in their lives and remains to be his proudest accomplishment.
Mr. Paul O’Byrne has worked in a variety of capacities in the communications industry since 1974. In 2003, Paul and long-time business partner Greg Fehr, partnered with the Battlefords Tribal Council (BTC) to form Saskatchewan’s premier Indigenous advertising and communications agency – MGM Communications.
In 2015, Paul and Greg purchased BTC shares to become equal partners in MGM Communications. In those years, Paul has gained extensive experience in all aspects of the industry including strategic planning, print, broadcast and multi-media productions. Today Paul is the CEO and managing partner of MGM Communications.
MGM is well established, having operated in Saskatchewan since 1984. With a focus to recruiting only the most talented communications professionals, MGM has a solid reputation for developing outstanding communications, marketing and advertising to private and public organizations in the province, and across Canada.
Chris Ball is an experienced financial executive with over forty years in international banking and infrastructure finance, Chris has specific expertise in the Green Energy Power field and was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2013 by Clean Energy B.C. He has managed the financing of excess of 100 green energy projects during his career.
Chris is currently Executive Vice-President and Co-owner of Corpfinance International Inc. (CFI). CFI is a boutique investment bank, which has over $ 1.25 billion in assets under management and has raised over $7 billion in capital funding since its inception in 1985.
Chris has played a key role in funding energy and infrastructure projects in Canada that includes companies like Innergex and Boralex.
As a Director and Chair of the Audit Committee at Algonquin Power, he has played a pivotal role in overseeing its growth from $90 Million in assets as an income trust, to over $10 Billion in assets today as a public company. Algonquin Power is now a global player expanding its renewable power operations in ten different countries.
Since 1994, Chris has been involved in helping many start-up energy projects in throughout Canada to develop and grow into significant entities. Chris has also been an advisor to a number of Boards in the emerging energy markets and through his stewardship they are making strides to becoming well-recognized entities in their various fields.
Chris, is a proud board member of Algonquin Power, First Nations Power Authority and Clean Energy BC and holds a designation of ICD.D (Institute of Corporate Directors).
As a Saskatchewan-born Métis entrepreneur, Bradyn Parisian has demonstrated success in renewable energy (solar PV), tech and management consulting. He brings significant corporate experience in the electric utility sector and indigenous economic development. He has served as a director to numerous for-profit companies ranging in size from $1M to $10B in assets, operating in various industries. He holds an MBA, BBA (Finance) and the ICD.D professional designation, along with graduate level training in corporate innovation and tech entrepreneurship from Stanford University and MIT respectively. Mr. Parisian is a proud member of the First Nations Power Authority Board.
Chanze Gamble, MBA
Chanze Gamble has 20 years’ experience as a senior executive at some of Canada’s most well-established Indigenous organizations and as a governance and business consultant supporting Indigenous self-determination and business projects. Chanze is Founder and President of Invest Indigenous Summit, supporting Indigenous entrepreneurs and businesses to develop equity financing proposals and businesses pitches to attract equity investors. He has an MBA and is a PhD student at the University of Victoria’s Gustavson School of Business, focusing on Indigenous economic development and cultural influence. Chanze is Cree and a member of the Beardy’s and Okemasis Cree Nation in Saskatchewan.
Examples of Chanze’s projects include implementing business development programs such as the BC Indigenous Clean Energy Initiative, Economic Development Support Team, and Nation Governance Initiative at the New Relationship Trust; authoring the First Nations Consultation and Accommodation Pest Practice Report; and writing a feasibility study for the Tsawwassen First Nation to enhance the Delta Port corridor efficiency. He was A/CEO of New Relationship Trust, A/Executive Director, NRT Foundation, Director of Business Development, APTN, Director of Corporate Development, National Aboriginal Achievement Foundation (Indspire)
Thalia Aspelet has over a decade of experience in energy split between technical and non-technical work that includes geophysics on an asset development team, completing Shell’s Global Graduate Geoscience Program as a processing geophysicist as well providing non-technical risk support as the External Relations Advisor and Community Liaison Officer to a mid-sized emerging energy company. Ms. Aspelet supported the development and execution of oil and gas upstream non-technical risk planning, integrated activity planning, front-end planning, NTR Team (Environmental and Regulatory) as an External Relations representative. Her experience is also in building and maintaining strong working relationships amongst high-performing industry teams with internal and external stakeholders, facilitating detailed technical support that contributes to her strong track record in industry-leading project optimization, regulatory compliance, production and end-of-life cycle development expertise.
She holds an APEGA, Professional Designation, 2020, Project Management Level 1, 2018 University of Calgary, CAPLA, Administration of the Alberta Energy Regulatory (AER) Directive 56 Certificate, 2015;Shell Graduate Program: Geoscience, 2012-2015; University of Calgary, Bachelor of Science – Geophysics, 2010
Dean Mozdzen currently serves as Vice President Operations/Chief Operating Officer at Hundseth Power Line Construction in Saskatoon, SK Canada and previously as the Chief Operating Officer at Northwest Territories Power Corporation. Mr. Mozdzen has been in the electrical utility industry for over 30 years and served at SaskPower Corporation for over two decades in increasingly senior levels.
Dean holds a PMP Designation from Project Management Institute, is a Red Seal Powerline Technician, and is a proud member of the First Nations Power Authority Board.
Dave is a project advisor for FNPA, and is the founder of Sustainable Project Partners Consulting Inc., an energy and sustainability consulting firm based in Calgary. He has spent the last 9 years in the renewable energy and energy storage industry, working on residential, commercial, and utility scale projects throughout Canada, the United States, and the Caribbean.
As a consultant, he recently led development of 60MW of battery energy storage projects in Alberta, and completed a Smart Grid Study of Canada for a European Federal Government. Prior to starting his company, he worked at Saturn Power Inc. and led development of the Highfield Solar Project, Saskatchewan’s first utility scale solar project. While at Saturn Power, he also developed a portfolio of seven utility scale solar projects in Texas, Bermuda’s largest solar project, and many other utility scale solar projects in North America.
He graduated with a degree in Environment & Business from the University of Waterloo’s Faculty of Environment. Dave has given numerous guest lectures to students about sustainable energy at the University of Calgary, SAIT, and NAIT. Dave enjoys working with FNPA and is focused on sharing knowledge and building capacity in renewable energy for First Nations.
Chief Felix Thomas
Director / Vice Chair
DIRECTOR - CHAIR- GOVERNANCE & NOMINATIONS HR
Director / Projects Committee Chair
DIRECTOR / Audit Finance Chair
Chanze Gamble, MBA
Let’s talk about a partnership today!
FNPA is a First Nations governed, not-for-profit development company, reducing development costs and risks for First Nations-led projects. FNPA is the pathway to powerful opportunities.
Discover the possibilities and connect with our Membership & Partnerships Manager, Rebecca Âcikahtê below!
First Nations University of Canada
1 First Nations Way
Regina, SK S4S 7K2
Phone: +1(306) 359-3672
Treaty 4 Territory
202B Joseph Okemasis Drive,
Saskatoon, SK, S7N 1B1
Phone: +1(855) 359-3672
Treaty 6 Territory
30 Commercial Road
East York, ON M4G 1Z4
Phone: +1(855) 359-3672
Treaty 13 Territory 9
Monday to Friday 8:30a.m.–4:30p.m.
+1 (306) 359-3671