Since June 2012, Simon Adams has served as the Director of Community Services for Fort McKay First Nation. His responsibilities include overseeing the operations of the Fort McKay Community Arena, the Youth Centre, and Radio Station CIYU 106.3-FM. Simon was also instrumental in creating the Fort McKay Hockey Society in 2012 and the Fort McKay Radio Society in 2014.
Following a stint at Bloorview Children’s Hospital in Toronto, Simon’s entire career has been in the north. He has worked for a Dene community in the hamlet of Tulita in NWT, for the city of Iqaluit, and at MacDonald Island in Fort McMurray. In addition, Simon spent two years with the Government of Nunavut providing training initiatives and sports funding to 27 Inuit communities. His focus has always been on sport, recreation, and community wellbeing.
Augmenting Simon’s wide-ranging experience is a wealth of credentials. These include Business and Project Planning for Recreation Facilities from the Ontario Recreation Facilities Association; Alberta Arena Operators Level 1 & 2 Certificates; an Alberta OH&S Due Diligence for Managers & Supervisors Certificate, and certification as an Instructor for Alberta Recreation Facilities Personnel – Level 1 Arena, Building Maintenance, and Risk Management.
Among Simon’s many distinctive accomplishments is his role as the First Chairperson of Sport Nunavut. He was Venue Manager for the three ice facilities at the 2002 Arctic Winter Games (in Iqaluit and Greenland). He also served as Venue Manager for CBC’s Hockey Day in Canada, held in Iqaluit, and he oversaw the installation of the ice venue for the first Junior Hockey Game to be played outdoors in Canada, at MacDonald Island in 2010.
In addition to his deeply committed involvement in Fort McKay, Simon initiated the development of the Recreation and Parks Association of Nunavut (RPAN) in 2010. He has also developed recreation programming for palliative care children with Muscular Dystrophy, Spinal Bifida, Cerebral Palsy, and other acute illnesses.
Currently serving as Director of the Sustainability Department, Bori Arrobo is the leader of the Fort McKay First Nation Sustainability team. In this role, Bori is actively involved in discussions with industry and government in matters related to industrial development impacts on the Fort McKay Traditional Territory. He also oversees the planning and implementation of community-based research and monitoring of the environmental and Rights impacts of projects in the region.
Bori has spent more than 20 years in the oil and gas sectors, starting in Ecuador. For the past ten years with Fort McKay First Nation, his experience includes working with Indigenous communities to help mitigate the impact of the oil industry on their traditional territories. Through his education and career, Bori has developed a deep understanding of sustainability issues with empathy for, and understanding of, Indigenous communities and impacts arising from industrial development.
He received his B.Sc. in Geology/Earth Science from Universidad San Francisco de Quito in Ecuador, where he graduated Magna cum Laude. Bori also holds an M.Sc. in Sustainable Energy Development from the University of Calgary.
Bori represents Fort McKay First Nation at numerous multistakeholder forums, including the Oils Sands Monitoring Program, the Fort McKay Air Quality and Odours Advisory Committee, as well as various Fort McKay-Industry Environmental and Leadership committees.
Raelene is Senior Executive Administrator, Fort McKay First Nation.
She works directly with both the Council and the membership. Her primary responsibilities are in all areas related to governance.
A native of Fort McMurray, Raelene has worked in several key roles for a range of companies, including as a Safety Officer and a Health and Safety Administrator, prior to joining Fort McKay First Nation. Since that time, some of the projects to which she has contributed include the Elsie Fabian School, the Moose Lake Access Management Plan (MLAMP), the Annual Treaty Days celebration, and the COVID pandemic response. Raelene has also been a part of FMFN’s corporate social committee and has played a key role in event planning.
As a lifelong area resident, Raelene has a strong passion for the Wood Buffalo region and is committed to making a positive contribution to its future. Related to her background in the safety field, Raelene is an accredited National Construction Safety Officer (ACSA).
Mike Evans joined Fort McKay First Nation in 2018 as Senior Manager, Government Relations in the Sustainability Department. Now, working from the Edmonton office, he provides government relations support across the organization. Mike has been actively involved in efforts to protect Treaty rights, including the successful effort to protect the Moose Lake reserves by developing the Moose Lake 10KM Zone Access Management Plan (MLAMP), which Alberta adopted in 2021.
Mike has worked with Indigenous organizations across Alberta since the early 1990s. He has taught university-credit transfer courses in freshman English with the Yellowhead Tribal Council and Lesser Slave Lake Indian Regional Council. For more than 20 years, his consulting firm provided strategic government relations advice and counsel to four Premiers, more than a dozen provincial Cabinet ministers, numerous municipalities, Indigenous communities, and private sector clients. He served as Chief of Staff to Mayor Melissa Blake, RMWB, and as the Director of Communications in the office of Alberta Premier Jim Prentice.
Mike has a B.A. and an M.A. from the University of Alberta and has been a guest lecturer in the Alberta School of Business Executive MBA program. He is a member of both the International Association of Business Communicators and the Canadian Public Relations Society. He has been a keynote speaker at over a dozen national conferences on subjects including the impacts on municipalities of oil sands development, First Nations consultation, cumulative effects, and municipal infrastructure. Since 2005, has delivered lectures and workshops on personal development, leadership, and academic preparedness at universities and colleges across Canada and the US.
Mike has received numerous awards and citations from professional associations, government agencies, and non-profit organizations, including the Premier’s Award of Excellence. He was an integral contributor to the award-winning Moose Lake public relations campaign.
He has coached competitive swimming for ten years and youth soccer for six. As a former musician, his band once opened on tour for k.d. lang and was listed in the Canadian Punk Rock Hall of Fame. His IMDb page is mostly accurate. Every year Mike helps ensure the smooth running of the parade and Tug o’ War competition during Treaty Days.
As Senior Manager, Communications, Therese leads that department for the Fort McKay First Nation. She oversees communications and brand strategy, media relations, issues management, online communications, and related functions.
Prior to taking on this role, Therese built a substantial career as a senior administrator in public service. Her work involved engagement and consultation with diverse groups. She has led communications teams for municipalities and post-secondary institutions. Therese has worked as a journalist, broadcaster, and fundraiser.
Therese has a Master’s Degree in Journalism from the University of Western Ontario. She also has an Executive Certificate in Public Sector Leadership and an Advanced Executive Certificate in General Management from Queen’s University Executive Education.
Therese is a Board member of The Rockies Institute and a member of The Writers Union of Canada, Alberta Writers Guild, Western Writers of America, Crime Writers of Canada, and Sisters In Crime Canada West.
An award-winning author, her memoir of the 2016 Horse River wildfire, What You Take With You: Wildfire, Family, and the Road Home, was a Finalist for the 2020 Alberta Book Publishing Award for Best Non-fiction.
Therese was a finalist for the 2022 Heart of Wood Buffalo Award for Excellence in Executive Leadership for her work leading diverse teams in a non-profit environment.
Appointed to the position of Human Resources Director of Fort McKay First Nation in November 2022, Kim spent the previous two decades working in various capacities for the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo. She has gained extensive experience in every aspect of Human Resources, from Benefits and Compensation, Payroll, Safety, Disability, Recruitment, and Labour Relations.
Starting her career at RMWB in 2002, Kim rose steadily through the ranks until attaining the position of HR Manager, Total Rewards. Having mastered all the challenges presented by her previous employer, Kim sought new horizons and was happy to accept her present position with FMFN.
Kim’s educational background is extensive. She earned a Diploma in Office Administration Technology, followed by a Certificate in Human Resources Management, and a Certificate from Queen’s University IRC in Labour Relations Foundations. She also has Certificates in Total Rewards and in Culture.
Kim and her children are active volunteers for the annual Community Clean Up in their neighbourhood, as well as various community events such as the soup kitchen and community pancake breakfast.
Taking on the position at a challenging time, in July 2020 during the COVID pandemic, Mervyn T. Mapfumo is Director of Finance for Fort McKay First Nation. In this crucial role, Mervyn is accountable to the CEO and the Chief and Council, reporting to them on a regular basis. Among many other responsibilities, Mervyn provides leadership to Finance and IT staff; leads all business planning, accounting, and budgeting efforts, and provides financial advice and guidance to Senior Management.
Previously, Mervyn served Fort McKay First Nation as Manager of Accounting Operations from 2014 until his 2020 appointment to his current position. His tenure in the region began in 2012, working first as a Junior Accountant and then as a Project Accountant. Mervyn’s career began in 2008 at Ashcity Worldwide, in Richmond Hill, Ontario.
Mervyn holds several degrees and professional designations. He is a Chartered Professional Accountant (CMA) and also a Bachelor of Business Administration (Accounting). Additional credentials include a Certificate of Completion (Computer Accounting) and an Associate Degree in Business Administration (Accounting).
Since April 2015, Angela McKenzie has been promoted to the Director, Occupational Health, Safety and Environmental (HSE) for Fort McKay First Nation. As such, she is responsible for every aspect of the health, safety, and wellbeing of the First Nation. This includes ensuring compliance with federal and provincial legislation, reviewing and updating the community emergency management plan, and overseeing the Nation’s community policing program as well as the employment and training of CPOs and Bylaw officers, among many other duties.
Angela started with the Nation as a Manager of Health, Safety, and Environment, a job she has held since 2013. In this new role, she developed the HSE department for the Nation. She also upgraded the HSE manual, mentored numerous young HSE professionals, and created a meaningful and lasting safety culture.
Angela holds a Certificate in Health, Safety, and Environmental Processes (CHSEP) from the University of Fredericton, Root cause analysis trained by Taproot, and completed the inherent right to indigenous governance at the Banff leadership centre. In addition, she is a member of the Canadian Society of Safety Professionals, Women in Occupational Health & Safety Society, Alberta Construction Safety Association Safety committee, and the Aboriginal Professionals Network.
Angela received an Award for Public Service from the RMWB for her role as the Director of Emergency Management during the 2016 horse river wildfire and was also a Keynote speaker at the Infonex conference for Emergency Preparedness for Indigenous communities.
Angela is just as concerned about public safety as about safety in the workplace. She has been actively involved in the update of the Community Emergency Management plan for Fort McKay First Nation. She also volunteered twice doing disaster relief in Haiti following the devastating earthquake in 2010 and Calgary and Siksika following the floods of 2013. Currently is Chair of two committees which are the Mothers of McKay Association, offering childcare and aboriginal headstart programs, and the Community Safety Initiative which is a mix of community members, safety professionals, and even law enforcement, as well as co-chair of the Fort Mckay Hockey Society which helps coordinate hockey events in and assists in yearly hockey registrations for the community. In addition, proudly adding new members to the Fort McKay First Nation and being a mother of two beautiful children.
Cassandra McLean became the Manager of Strategic Initiatives at Fort McKay First Nation in June 2021. She plays a critical role in managing multiple, concurrent high-profile projects and initiatives. A key responsibility for that role is the development and implementation of strategic initiatives for FMFN. Her work supports the direction for overall business strategies, including short – and long-term strategic planning.
Previously, Cassandra served as Executive Assistant to the Chief of FMFN for more than three years. Her career began at Syncrude Canada Ltd in 2000 when Athcon Developments joined Syncrude Canada in a partnership program that hired four Indigenous high school graduates, including Cassandra, to learn drafting in the Syncrude As-built Department. After that year, Cassandra was asked to stay on at Athcon as an as-built drafter. She subsequently joined Syncrude, becoming an As-built Administrator and then Coordinator, running the As-built department. In 2015, she became Syncrude’s OMIS 4.1 Information and Documentation Administrator.
Among Cassandra’s many achievements, she holds a MicroStation Certification and has taken drafting courses through NAIT. Areas on additional training include various training including a Project Management Certificate and a Leadership Certificate.
Cassandra has many deep family ties to the region and regularly contributes to local social causes. She is a Lifetime Member of the McMurray Métis and has done extensive volunteering for both the United Way and the Wood Buffalo Food Bank.
Dr. Alvaro Pinto became CEO of Oilsands Development for Fort McKay First Nation in July 2020. His primary responsibility in this role is to lead the development of a major Fort McKay oilsands project that will produce 450 million barrels of bitumen from Lease 174C.
Prior to taking on his new responsibilities, Alvaro spent almost ten years as Fort McKay First Nation’s Executive Director, Sustainability, Community Services, and Education. His career has taken him around the world. He was previously Sustainability Corporate Director for Yamana Gold, and Health, Safety, and Environmental Director of the Canadian Nickel Corporation, both in Brazil. He was Vice President of Safety and Emergency Response at Lonmin Platinum in South Africa. His early career includes work in the oil, metals mining, and consulting industry in South and North America.
Dr. Pinto has a Bachelor’s degree in Mining and Mineral Processing Engineering from the Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais Brazil, an M.Sc. in Environmental Sciences from the University of East Anglia, and a Ph.D. from the Colorado School of Mines, and a Master’s in Business Administration from the Georgetown University. He is a member of the Minas Gerais Regional Council of Engineering and Architecture.
Over the course of his career, Alvaro has received several significant global awards. These include FCO — the Foreign & Commonwealth Office British Council Scholarship for an M.Sc. Program in 1993/1994; the Swedish International Development Agency Scholarship for Mining and the Environment in 1996, and the CNPq National Research Council Scholarship for a Ph.D. Program from 1999-2003.
Alvaro has been actively involved with the Fort McMurray Food Bank since 2016. He is also the Founding Director of the Fort McMurray Angel Flight Club, which began in 2020, providing RMWB residents with access, by air, to non-essential medical services unavailable in the region.